People of India, I don’t trust us. Or even our ability to think empathetically or to find pragmatic solutions. That is the realisation which compelled me to stop my initiative of giving better political candidature in my constituency. From then I have tried to focus on creating more job opportunities, improving access of quality education, providing farmers with alternative to loan sharks etc. But instead all my energy have been wasted by poor governance, kept so by political and bureaucratic system.
I don’t want to fight. For me, this is not about winning or losing. This is about finding peace.
I am starting my attempt to find peace at 12:00 am (midnight) on 26th January, 2022. Republic Day. The day I adore and pride more than Independence Day. Why is my peace lost? I am not worried about my future or yours. I know how to survive and my son will too. I am worried about the compromises he too will have to make to survive and grow. For many of you, this will sound absurd or weak. It doesn’t matter. I am not writing to convince anyone. I am just writing and recording it to put forth what my actions meant when you will try to interpret it as per your will.
Happy Republic Day !
(I will be live at my YouTube Chanel https://youtube.com/c/rupeshghagiin if I feel the need.)
Update: 6:48 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): I have started my 24+ hours fast from 12:00 pm (noon) today. I am still wondering where is the source of apathy we observe in most politicians and bureaucrats. In selective scenarios, they know how to fake the empathy as rule of engagement. Where does the apathy and disregard for the constitution and deceit towards the oath come???
Update: 7:32 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Gandhiji is still here. Some cats have joined me, trying to rub their backs against my shoes and jeans. Will Google if it means something.
Update: 8:11 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Starbucks, Near Mantralaya): Need to charge the mobile. Having a cold coffee too. Gandhiji haven’t moved a bit when I left. Let’s see.
Update: 9:33 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Came back and Gandhiji is still here. Haven’t moved a bit. I have brought 2*1 litre of water, I think it will be sufficient. A lady who leaves at the corner of footpath have warned me about thieves here. I know, I said and thanked me. The traffic have decreased substantially but still more than what I am used to in my hometown.
Update: 10:05 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): The statue of Gandhi here is taller than some trees around and shorter than some. For some birds, round head is perfect spot to sit and shit. Hence the you can observe bird poop marks near his head. I think, instead of statue, if it was real Gandhi, still he wouldn’t mind the birds on the head. Brain keeps on wondering, I don’t have any plan to control it too.
Update: 10:43 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Just besides Gandhiji, there’s a statue of Jamsetji Tata. Lighting and overall maintenance is better there. But I am sure, Gandhi doesn’t care.
Update: 11:12 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): One of my favourite clip from any web series, I found that what the protagonist of series is talking about America there, similar are my thoughts about India. I saw it first around 3-4 of years ago and still watch it sometimes.
Update: 11:50 pm, 25th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Traffic have lowered. The sound of JCB and other construction machines is stopped, temporarily, and started again as I am typing. I have doubts now, what am I going to say if at all we go live?
Update: 12:00 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Happy Republic Day. 73rd Republic Day, right? There is no change. Low but steady traffic continues. Gandhiji haven’t moved still. It’s 12 Hrs of fasting except for an espresso shot and a cold coffee.
Update: 12:30 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): The corruption is not the problem to be solved. The Citizen Experience is. The files which should automatically move to next table are kept waiting with some expectations. We fight for why there is this expectation and real problem gets ignored. Question is how an officer or even minister seating on the pile of files without next appropriate action for months, even years? Solving this problem through acquaintance or greasing for individual files is what goes on but shouldn’t the system be free flowing by it’s intrinsic nature?
Update: 12:33 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Let’s start walking towards Hutatma Chauk (Fountain). Gandhi is universal. In addition, may be it’s time to take the advice of martyrs of Sanyukt Maharashtra Samiti.
Update: 01:00 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Churchgate Station): So I am taking a rhythmic walk, lisning to ‘Shrivalli’ song from Pushpa. I stopped to take few clicks of Churchgate Station. It’s shining with TriColour lighting.
Update: 01:30 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hutatma Chauk – Fountain ): The fountain is under maintenance. The statue of Hutatma (Hutatma Smarak) is not moving. The flame is continuously burning with ‘Jay Maharashtra’ written in backdrop. Will the flame ignite enough willpower? It’s 13.5 Hours of Fast along with almost 5 km of walking. May be it’s time to rest now.
Update: 02:05 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): Have never taken bath at this time before. Feeling good. It’s 14 hours of fasting now. I guess this was easy part. Let’s see how it proceeds. Momentarily, had this thought that should I extend my fast to help other people like me, facing apathy from government and delay in routine work. But priorities are clear now, will not do that voluntarily. On one side the story of fast (this is practice for longer one that may be needed soon) continues, on other I need to tell the story of a file. Let’s do it slowly, after few days.
Update: 09:15 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): I just woke up a little while ago. It’s 21 hours of fast.
Update: 10:00 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): Google gave Republic Day doodle on search/home page.
It’s 22 hours of fast now. 24 seems possible. Let’s see how far can we go.
Update: 11:30 am, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): Astonishingly, I am not feeling hungry. It’s almost 24 hours of fasting. Tried to meditate but focus lasted for very short.
I am thinking, injustice takes away your peace. When you are subjected to injustice, and you stay silent because you want to be peaceful, the peace gets lost like forever. Instead confronting it and fighting is better. This will also take away peace but won’t disintegrate your persona and you can again go back to peace. But my quest is more, ‘How can I be peaceful even when I am confronting the injustice?’
Update: 3:52 pm, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralaya): Just came here again. Spent last few hours reading and walked here. Gandhiji is still here. Almost 28 hours of fasting now. I think I can go on. Actually, I should go on.
Update: 4:55 pm, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Fountain): I think a walk of 3 km was bad idea. Energy needs to be conserved. It’s 29 Hours of Fasting. Yesterday, I had coffee. From 9:00 pm yesterday, it’s only water. I am feeling somewhat peaceful but I think it’s misleading. Low energy might be slowing my thoughts.
Update: 5:32 pm, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Starbucks Kalaghoda): Having iced tea. Have to take decision on the fast whether to continue and for how long. An observation, on glimpse of food item, there is automated craving 😀. System 1 thinking I guess.
Update: 5:55 pm, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): Came back to hotel. This post is getting so long that hardly any one will read. Some people might reach till here if something happens and they want to know more. (Tell me in comment if you really cared to read till here. 😀)
Update: 8:35 pm, 26th January 2022, Mumbai (Fountain Inn Restaurant): So finally out to eat. Peace? Not so sure yet. But strength is needed tomorrow. Strength is needed for WAR.
Update: 12:02 am, 27th January 2022, Mumbai (Hotel Flora Fountain): Fasting is not as difficult as ending it.
Update: 10:35 am, 27th January 2022, Mumbai (Fountain): Gandhi came to visit. Just came out of room to see this. Today is special I guess.
Update: 10:59 am, 27th January 2022, Mumbai (Near Mantralay): Reached. Planning to seat here for long time.
For years, I have been thinking of founding a forum for improving Citizen Experience. That will make sure that no work stays pending and report cards of departments are created based on citizen inputs. I have some idea of how to do it. I had decided against the idea when I stopped politics and activism. May be this another episode of excitement and it will pass. I will keep waiting to see if Gandhi moves.
Update: 4:58 am, 28th January 2022, Mumbai (Airport): Just boarded the Nagpur flight. Enjoyed a great breakfast at Airport Lounge. A lot have happened yesterday. A long pending work is now done yet I am not sure if to forget all the trouble, struggle to move on or to remember and find fight so that no one else suffers the same. Peace is subjective. And it’s not constant.