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Published: October 10, 2016 | DNA | Pravin Mishra

MY VIEWS, Pravin Mishra, Artivist, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are a walking conundrum,a series of contradictions.We want itwhite, and we want itblack. As the cliche goes, we wantto have our dhokla and eat it, too.

We are Amdavadis.We complain of pollution, yetwe aspire for bigger cars andlouder celebrations. On ourroads, when the person behind usannoys us with honking, we replywith the apt choice of expletives.Yet, we do the same if a vehicle infront of us is moving slowly. Wecomplain of traffic policemen notbeing efficient, yet we abstainfrom following basic driving etiquette,and should we get caughtviolating any we are quick tobribe our way out of it.

With distorted sense of individuality and sheer insensitivitywe have cawed out a bumpy roadfor ourselves. Have you everheard of two birds colliding inthe sky? Yet they fly together,hundreds in a group, coveringthousands of miles. Their brainsare smaller than ours, and theirmachinery consists of wings andfeathers. Perhaps we need to borrowa page from their rule bookand work as a collective in changing our mindset.

Perhaps then, our demands won't collide with our practices, our outlook with our ideal. Perhaps then, we

can evolve our minds to the higher state that we constantly strive for.

The biggest contradiction of the city surfaced a decade and half ago when Ahmedabad sailed through two different kind of tragedies. In January 2001, the devastating earthquake saw the dance of death and destruction. The natural disaster destroyed many lives and property across this prosperous city but it could

not destroy its human spirit. Humanity showed its resilient face from different quarters and Ahmedabad rose back like a phoenix and rebuilt itself with gusto.

Just a little more than a year later, hatred took over humanity and Ahmedabad saw communal riots and hundreds became victims of this man-made madness. The stark contrast in human behaviour is incomprehensible.

Spaces for art and cultural activities, public debates and discussion are shrinking and a singular narrative is being shoved down our throats by mass media. We as a city need to rediscover ourselves and create an identity and a direction for future by putting liberal minds together. Unless we chose to fly like a flock of birds we won't be able to fight that larger evils that surround us.

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