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Monday, April 02, 2007

Gandhi-giri : Munnabhai style

On a much-despised Monday morning, when one's rushing to work, muttering and cursing on self's lack of ability to wake up early, the last thing one wants to see on the outside panel of the door is a long, trailing, splotch of someone's saliva a.k.a spit.

I happened to witness this wonderful sight last week as I was locking my door. Aha! I was indignant. I wasn't going to have to clean up someone's spit ??! But when stuff happens on one's premises with none claiming responsibility, there's nothing much one can do except clean up the mess. Never mind that it is someone else's mess. That evening, I dutifully took a cleaner and scrubbed the offending sight from my door. I sprayed some disinfectant for added effect.

Next morning, I step out the door and there it is again: the same old splotch on a different spot on the door! I had my suspicion on the two wild things in my opposite apartment. So, what did I do? Did I go and knock boldly on their door and deliver a stinging slap for their unmannerly behavior? Unfortunately, no. I decided to do Gandhi-giri.

I dutifully took the cleaner and went to work again. The next day, I was relieved to see no spit on my door but when I inserted my key into the lock, it didn't go in. After several seconds of jiggling the key around, I finally locked the door. And now, the key refused to come out! I had to pull with all my strength until I tottered over backwards. Someone seemed to have tampered with the door lock. Sigh.

After putting up with more of this nonsense for a week, I figured I'd to do something. So I went to the apartment office this morning and lodged a complaint to fix the lock. The apartment guy urged me to go ahead and file a complaint against the suspects. But I've desisted for the time being.

Lest some of you might think that I am some enlightened soul, I did it out of sheer helplessness..:) There's no way that puny me is going to stand up to two strapping, drunken men. And if tomorrow, these guys decide to vomit on my door, its me that has to clean that up too!

It is at epiphanic moments like these that you realize why Gandhi chose "ahimsa". At times, there's just no other way! Oh and by the way, I am halfway through Gandhi's "My Experiments with Truth". Serendipity? Gandhiji, if you're watching this, I'd like some brownie points please!:)

8 comments:

Zeppelin said...

ayyiyyeeeeeeeee.... cheetangol..cheeyangol!!

Sridhar said...

hmm sad indeed, not only for spit cleaning but also munnabhai-sation of Ahimsa. Ahimsa is not the act of one who cannot perform himsa. It is rather the act of one who chooses to not perform himsa when s/he can do so. Moreover shying away from taking affirmative action against some crime does definitely not count under ahimsa, it merely is meek submission perhaps arising due to wrong interpretation of ahimsa. Please dont take it wrong here. I too most probably would have done the same (nothing better than a puny, meek submissive person i am) but still, by fact my act cannot be termed as ahimsa.

Ahimsa is very difficult path to follow at every time. Many a times people misunderstand it to something else like meek submission. Infact Gandhi himself some times had mistook mindless submission to practise of ahimsa. It is not I who say this, I merely quote what Shri Aurabindo told about Gandhi's a few acts (during 1946 to 48 times) something like I think he is getting mad. When greats like Mahatma Gandhi himself can succumb to swaying away from this tight rope walk we lesser mortals can be, in a way, forgiven for these kind of misunderstandings. Still a wrong interpretation is wrong ;-)

Venkatesh Gopalan said...

You have 2 choices,

1) Complain against the suspects. Let the people know that you only suspect its them and that you are not sure

2) Goto a gas station, buy the trident whitening gum (spearmint flavor preferred), chew it for 2 hours and 36 minutes, then take it out, flatten it, then role it and when nobody is watching stick it into the key hole of the suspects.

By not letting anybody know, you are also not letting the people who made the mistake know that they are making a mistake. Remember Ahimsa didn't throw the Britishers out, world war II made them weak, they had looted all that they wanted to and so simply got bored and left.

Priya said...

paavam subha nee!! enga irundhudhaan idhellam nadakumo..
are u sure its from humans..vera edhaavadhoe??

Hellboy said...

damn.. those rednecks :)

The property management will be more than happy to clean that mess for you. Thats the route you should be taking, you probably know this.

If someone is tampering with the locks then it is an absolute must that you let the authorities know of this. Gandhigiri has nothing to do with this. Its just a matter of personal safety and I can see Bapu nodding his head agreeing with what I am saying :)

Subha said...

zep: :)

sridhar,

I do recognize is Ahimsa is a more powerful path and much more complex than my little incident..:) I meant it in a light way. Like I said, i am no enlightened soul..:))

Venk,
well, i got my locks fixed..if this happens again, i am going ballistic..

priya,
kandippa oru naai dhinamum vandhu en veettu door-la mattum thuppadhu nu oru nambikkai dhaan..:)

hellboy,
Yeah, i did get my locks fixed..and management advised me to complain against the suspects. But I'd rather not file a complaint without any proof..Its not fair to put an innocent through trials without proper evidence.

Anonymous said...

Caution=Precaution +Prevention
Having vented ur feelings(rightly & boldly done in ur own inimitable style ), should have substantially reduced the trauma associated with such episodes.
It used to be the pretty old tactics to harass and embarrass indirectly(once it happened to our neighbour and his effort to curb & catch the offender ,keeping night long vigils ,failed; subsequently it stopped on its own.).Take heart this is not new.
What next? My advice would be to ignore it completely(+Gandhigiri also,as we are signalling surrender openly, leaving other party with very few reason to continue the abuse), though going ballistic may be the right thing at present and get u the well deserved Brownie’s with ego intact, provided u win the war?
If they are hard nuts, as it appears so, activism on ur part will only fuel their acts more.For a change, if u feel they are amenable,say ur bright hello or invite them for Madras filter-coffee and hope for a change. Perhaps they may fall for ur Blog!
If mischief continues further, ur friends should be handy to sort it out without any altercation.
In a way we are all like the character in the cartoon(a convict escaping prison thro a hole dug by him lands right in the path of a rushing LOCO-i am unable to paste here) not knowing what awaits at our back(Lallu-loco) or front (Bush-neighbour)!,having made a breakthro’. (taken from www.desikan.com, lot of pretty good articles to relish…).try taking it jovially…More on ur tamil posts pl…. Anon

A. Noname Moose said...

Like Sridhar said, ahimsa has it's place - but you have to be judicious about where you apply it. You don't fight disease by feeding it, you fight it by, well, fighting it.

And, people have to understand what you're doing before they give it any serious thought. And I seriously doubt these punks' alcohol lobotomized brains are capable of any more thought than food, beer, and er... eh.

I say you should take advantage of every recourse the "legal" system puts at your disposal. It's there for a reason, and it's a shame not to use it when your tax dollars are supporting it.

And here's why I put legal in quotes:
Natural Justice
Kennesaw, GA
Common Sense (heh)

And - I'd seriously consider moving. That's not cowardice, that's pragmatism.