Thursday, May 24, 2012

You are the mob...

... and it takes time to realize that you're a part of it.

 Petrol prices got hiked yesterday night. It jumped up by nearly 7 Rs, effective midnight. And as expected, there was a huge rush at almost all petrol bunks across our city(around India?), with people standing in long queues to fill up their bikes and cars before the new prices kicked in.

 The logic kinda stumps me. How many liters of petrol can you fill in your two-wheeler or car? 10? 25? And saving 7 Rs per liter, you'll be saving 70 Rs, or maybe 200 Rs, if you've a car. To save this amount, you gotta stand in long queues, sometimes for hours and get into fights and brawls at the gas stations. The fights did break out and you had police vans deployed at many bunks in our city. Is your 100-200 bucks worth all that waiting, fatigue and altercation? Maybe.

 I guess, its the 'default thinking' (about which David Foster Wallace spoke here) that kicks in at such times. Be one with the mob, and follow what others are doing. Don't think for yourself. Don't listen to your common sense. Save that small amount and feel satisfied. Or be in the herd because you're too afraid to be left out, to be on your own. It's okay to be a donkey for some time.

 Wonder what'll happen if the banks close shop tomorrow or if the economy comes crashing down. It takes only moments for the looting and savagery to begin. No, it's your average man on the road who does it, and it includes you and me too, if we're not paying attention to what goes on inside our heads.