Synonymous to the ‘Golden Bird’, India is a land of rich culture and heritage. We take pride in talking about how rich a culture we possess and no other country in this world comes even close to us in this regard.

However, an incident yesterday night forced me to think about what we are and where we are headed. Out for a walk with my sister at around 8:30 pm post dinner, I could see the regular pan-shops (beetel leaf shops) and ice cream vendors waiting for their customers to make a living (For those who are not aware, 40% of India’s population is BELOW poverty line).

A car with 4 young men stopped by the ice cream vendor, ordering one ice cream after another. With eyes lit up, the vendor passed on the material hoping to make a profit out of his ‘big sale’. Little did the poor chap know that these guy seemingly from a well-off background would just sprint off without paying him a penny. The vendor tried hard to catch these guys but could not do much against the racing car.

Experiencing this whole scenario – my brain stopped responding for a couple of minutes. I could not help but swear at those young men who ran away with almost a day’s earning for this poor chap. When enquired, the vendor almost had tears in his eyes.

This, in my life, was one of the incidents that I would never forget….

From the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharta to the the ice cream vendor, deceit has been prevalant in almost all stories that we hear.
We are today willing to trust Americans/Europians more than our own fellow countrymen. Our children prefer burgers and pizzas over paav-bhaaji and dosa. Old age homes are becoming a norm..

Makes me wonder – is our country still the ‘Golden Bird’?