Thanks, But no Thanks, We Don’t Deserve Anything Good

Damaged LCD screens, fewer headphones, and waste strewn all over. That in a nutshell was how the showpiece Tejas Express looked like when it returned to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) on 22 May after completing the inaugural roundtrip.

The Indian Railways officials reportedly anticipated such things. But what left them shocked is the extent of the damage.

Tejas Express

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According to railway sources, no less than 12 hi-fi headphones are missing and some of the infotainment screens were badly scratched.

The Tejas Express was already vandalised even before its inaugural run when the train arrived the CST car shed from Delhi. Some people, realising they may not be able to travel on this super-luxury passenger train because of the steep fares, threw stones and broke one of its windows in frustration.

Aeroplane on Tracks: 8 Things You Should Know About Tejas Express

The entire Tejas Express vandalism once again proves that we Indians don’t deserve anything good. It’s in the typical Indian psyche to screw up all good things that we come across and we have a long history of it. A beautiful piece of artwork, a historically important monument, or just a plain coat of new paint on the wall, we just love to damage and deface everything. So the paan thook is ubiquitous at every bend of the staircase, not to mention the Indian male’s favourite pastime of urinating in public.

Tejas Express

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The most recent pointer to everything that’s bad with us was the Coldplay concert in Mumbai. The programme was branded as Global Citizen. The idea was to promote togetherness and intercultural bonhomie. But how did it end? With at least a million kilos of trash strewn all over the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, one of the best multidisciplinary sports venues in the country. The million kilos could be a ballpark figure but we surely love our trash and that too as scattered as it can be.

We protest, we lambast the government ineptitude, and we take to the streets with a thousand demands. But we never introspect. Our metros cities are bursting at their seams with civic infrastructure struggling to keep pace with the population pressure. But what the heck? That’s not for us to bother.

Tejas Express

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Every Indian metropolis is chaos redefined. Come evening and madness lets itself loose on the streets. There’s a traffic jam and there’s almost always one person who decides it’s absolutely important for them to get to the front because that’s all that matters. Others are damned. Result? The jam gets worse and patience runs thin.

We Indians take pride in breaking the law, and sometimes even abusing it. What’s even sick is that we flaunt it before others, as if it’s some kind of achievement. Jumping the signal or taking out of turn favours are our birthright. And we are proud of it.

An ‘Anu loves Jatin’ on Humayun’s Tomb stands testimony to the grotesque Indian culture of considering everything as our own property. And why not? Our taxes go towards their maintenance and upkeep and we have right to do whatever crosses our mind.

Tejas Express

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So the list goes on. A tearing scratch on the paint of a newly bought car, blowing our nose and wiping the residue on the train linen, or honking tirelessly even when we know the vehicle in front has no space to move, we Indians are proud of our one-upmanship over our fellow citizens.

Well, no complains if the Tejas Express is decommissioned much ahead of it time.

Thanks, but no thanks. We don’t want to change. And we love it that way.

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Prabuddha Neogi

Foodie, lazy, bookworm, and internet junkie. All in that order. Loves to floor the accelerator. Mad about the Himalayas and its trekking trails. Forester in past life. An avid swimmer. Also an occasional writer and editor

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