It never interested me. Like an irresponsible citizen of the country, I never bothered to think beyond my own life, surrounded by family, friends and happiness.
I even ignored the ‘ordinary’ man, who fasted, fought and yelled for my attention. Steadily, he was making heads turn, dialogues start and hopes rise. He was creeping into my personal space, assuring me that there is a way out of this madness. There is a way to make things better.
Again, I never gave it much thought. I had become so used to the way our country functions – where every little task seems like a project that requires strategic planning – that I wasn’t even thinking about how great it would be if things were a little easier to get done. How great it would be to live in a country that makes you feel like you mattered. Of course, I wished that things were better, but like I said, I never actively thought about it and did not really believe it to be possible.
It took a book, written by an author far away from the ways of my country, and the voice of a 16-year-old fictional character, for me to wake up. And to follow what the ordinary man was trying so earnestly to tell me.
Hunger Games, written by an author I had so far ignored, shook me up. My country is heavenly, as compared to where the book is set in. The state of the people in the book is appalling, to put it mildly. It makes you wonder whether we, as humans, have progressed so much that we have gone back in time. A time where ‘civilisation’ as a term had still not found a place in the dictionary.
It takes the burning earnestness of a very ordinary, very young girl, to trigger an uprising so massive, I wonder if it is possible outside the fiction world. And that’s when I am jolted. Back to reality. Back to where the words of the ordinary man still linger… “Main aam aadmi hu… ek aam aadmi kya chahta hai…” And I realise, that this man, who toppled over a decade strong government, could do so, not because the people had no other choice but him; he could do it because of that strong earnestness that is there in every suppressed ordinary man. Only, he didn’t let it get suppressed. He made it his strength. Just like that ordinary, earnest young girl in Hunger Games. The Aam Aadmi party brought the fictional world alive for me.
And so I awaken, once again, to the fact that resigning to fate is the easiest thing to do. But to do what you so eagerly feel for, and let fate take a backseat, is a simple act of courage. You only need to realise that you matter. And take things from there….
Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi party was quoted saying “…who would have thought that a one year old party would win 28 seats…” Maybe, I would have imagined. But would never have believed. Now I do. In this, in his part, and in much more.