The common man fights his battles alone

by | Nov 8, 2020 | 0 comments

By Adarsh Madhavan


Most of the Whatsapp groups to which I am involuntarily party to are dominated by the fervour over the US elections. Before the declaration, it was who will win, Biden or Trump or Trump or Biden and what have you. Maybe, by this time, a winner would have been announced.

Frankly, I care a hoot. Sitting here, a nobody in somebody’s home in a small town in a south Indian state, does it really matter what happens in distant US? Who cares if it is Biden or Trump or if both wins or loses. Either way, I don’t stand to gain or lose.

Of course, it may matter to those in the country where this election is happening. But outside it, and the political sphere, does it really matter?

Does it really matter to people like me?

Because it is not going to affect me.

Because that is not what is currently affecting me.

I am currently in a chaotic world of money issues, debts, cases, sickness in the family, insomnia, inability to function, fear,  shame, guilt, pain – physical and mental…how will this change if Trump or Biden wins? How will this change even if an Indian becomes the US president?

‘Market’ politics
I was at the vegetable market some hours back and the man in white shirt, white mundu and white beard and hair was not bothered about weighing the tomatoes. I thought he had something against tomatoes, but he had something against guavas and something against chillies and something against bananas too. I was going bananas as he held me hostage with his phone conversation: “I told him not to get into that party…because what has that party done for us? I left because I was treated like sh**,” he was saying loudly and he didn’t even say pardon, forgive me for my language, as the lady buyer next to me went beetroot red while the man put more colour and spice in his rants. He was in his own world. A world of politics. Of cheating. Of ungratefulness. Of pure malice. Hatred and venom.
At least he wasn’t talking about the US politics, I thought as I waited patiently for him to weigh the vegetables of my choice. The moment I thought it, the same moment he shouted: “What does (he uttered a local politician’s name) think? He thinks we are in the US; he thinks we are playing US politics? He thinks he is Trump?” Whoa! I think of it, he utters it. I want to throw the vegetables on his face, but then underneath his white shirt, his biceps stirred. Not all old men had physiques like mine. So, I patiently waited until he finished his diatribe.

Strike against COVID?
In other words, this is what politics does to some people; they are so lost in it and their own rivalry that they don’t even know what they are doing. They have the ability to put life to a standstill. In the pre-COVID era, there would be lightning strikes and the market and the shops and business and life on the road would come to a standstill. Those viruses existed before COVID, until the latter came and took the top spot as the mother of all viruses.

No one will speak for me
Maybe these once-famous strikers should come out of the woodwork and organise a major strike against COVID. Not allow it to step out, or roam about! Yes, pathetic attempt at humour. But the state of the mind is thus. Whether it is the local, state, country or the US politics…what does it matter for an ordinary man like me?  It doesn’t matter to me as long as someone rules. But then the tragedy is: For someone who is more interested in what happened in IPL than with a political party; or read about a humanitarian story than read about the dirt thrown on some politician’s past, not being part of this political whirl would mean being left out.

And no one will speak for me.

When the time comes and when I need one of them to stop someone from hurting or destroying me, they will not lift even one finger.

I will have to fight my battles alone.

That is the fate of a common man.

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