Everyday Things

lettersfruitsMillionaires, Presidents, even Kings

Can’t get along without everyday  things…

   …….or so goes the poem that I learnt at school- perhaps in the 3rd or 4th standard.

Millionaires, Presidents, even Kings

Can’t get along without everyday things

Were you president, king, or millionaire,

you’d use a comb to comb your hair.

If you wished to be clean- and you would, I hope-

You’d take a bath with water and soap.

The poet goes on to illustrate her point- that even the richest and most privileged people need these ordinary things, just as everyone else does–  with a number of examples-

And you couldn’t sign a letter, I think,

With anything better than pen and ink.

And if you wanted to read you’d be sure to look,

at newspaper magazine, or a book.

And at the end of the day-

When you wanted to rest your weary head,

like other folks, you’d hop into bed.

In these simple words that even children can understand, we find hidden a universal truth! It is so true, that no one can do without these ‘ordinary’ things.

These are the essentials for a comfortable human life.

However well-to-do a person may be, however many extra-ordinary or expensive things he may possess- he/she still needs every-day things.

Every person needs water and soap to take a bath, food to eat, books to read, and a bed to sleep. These are things that every person should have.

Rich or poor, each and every person needs these ‘every-day’ things!

lettersfruitsI could add a few every-day things to this list myself.

Sufficient food for everyone, and clean and abundant water- enough for one’s every-day needs.

A chance for every child to go to school. To study as much as he/she wants to.

Perhaps a small garden in every neighbourhood for children to play in, and for grown-ups to unwind after the day’s work.

A clinic in every locality- where medicines at least for all the common ailments are available.

These are just every-day needs, ordinary needs. Nothing extravagant about them.

But for many people in our country these have become unattainable.

By law every child should be in school till the age of fourteen, but the reality is different.

There are laws ensuring open spaces in cities, but the powerful builders circumvent them, and tall buildings come up where green spaces should have been.

The government clinics often have few medicines in stock, and poor patients have to stand in queue for hours to get even those which are available.

So what is the solution? How can these ordinary comforts of life be made available to each and every person in society? 

Perhaps the answer is right in front of us, but we just can’t see it?

What do you think?

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20 thoughts on “Everyday Things”

  1. Manju,
    Solution is very simple and it is there for us to implement.
    We,as people are very tolerant.We have been on tenther hooks for far too long.We have accepted all the hits and misses fom the establishment.
    India isn’t just 5% of those who have deep pockets,shop in Europe,study in the US,Holiday in Swiss Alps and have enough cash stacked up overseas to see their three generations through.
    Time has come when those who are being deprived of basic needs have started to ask and demand their rights.Be it,schools,hospitals,accommodation,health facilities.Get out of the city to a Dist centtre and hear the deprived class.They have become assertive.Its not too far away.
    Ask your own house maid,you will get the answer

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    1. I wish the ruling class would understand this, and ensure that the ordinary needs of all are satisfied before just a few get to enjoy any extra-ordinary and extravagant luxuries.

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    1. Zephyr, there is probably no easy solution. However, it would be a start towards resolving this sad situation if we all realized that it is not enough that just a small section of society reaps the benefits of progress.

      India will progress in the real sense only if all benefit from this progress, not just a few. How to make some people understand this- well, that is the challenge….

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  2. Manju, poets, writers and artists, and I may daresay ‘bloggers’, sketch the world as they find around them. The poet wrote what she saw and felt in the world surrounding her. You have written what you see and get overwhelmed by. I don’t see any answer around me, perhaps I am mentally dumb, maybe I am soullessly blind. Where is the hope till we have this corruption surging through our veins in place of blood?

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    1. Yes, you’re right. Corruption is like a cancer poisoning our society.

      Many indulge in corruption for personal gain. Many more are sucked into the whirlpool of corruption out of helplessness.

      But what is definitely true is that corruption ensures that the common Indian gets little chance to share in the benefits of progress.

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  3. There are indeed so many issues assailing our country. The solution may be simple – political will – but the road to attaining this solution extremely difficult. Even if the VVIPs use all the things we do, they always have and will always have those many extra things that commoners don’t.

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    1. Oh yes, some people will always have many extra things that common people don’t. Complete equality is never possible. Perhaps not even desirable.

      But some people people havng a little more because of their talent or hard work, is very different from people amassing wealth through fraudulent means. Unfortunately, the second case is more common today. 😦

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  4. We need a good, strong leadership who is true to his /her conscience to do things right for his/her country. Until then, Rajas and Kalmaadis will be there to fill everything into their pockets, without bothering about other ordinary people.

    Will wait and see other responses for this beautiful post.

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  5. The Government does not appear to be in a mood to accomplish what is wanting. Now a days for every thing they talk about Public Private partnership even for basic amenities. The politicians are totally unconcerned and they are not aware of the ground realities. They have alienated themselves. The other day there were reports suggesting that Mamta Banerjee was dining with her family. In between she casually asked her sister-in-law about the prices of some vegetables. She was aghast to learn the realities. Second day she initiated some actions which brought down the prices by about 50% in Kolkata markets.

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    1. I had not read this story about Mamata Banerjee! I’m glad she did something about the prices when she found out they were very high.

      I agree that politicians are not aware of realities of everyday life. Perhaps they should mingle more among ‘common’ people and see for themselves how bad things really are!

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  6. Wish there was a solution when the needs are so simple… the needs of millions of Indians in reality is very meagre yet even this is not being fulfilled. The only goal of each politician is to increase his wealth after every election. And when this same politician gets elected over and over again by the strength of his money then what shall the voters do? I think a rule should be made that no politician is to contest a second term. This will reduce this greed for money.. but who shall bell the cat?

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    1. Yes, I agree. It would be a good measure not to let politicians stand for elections repeatedly (particularly in the same constituency). But as you suggest, who will propose this? Not politicians themselves, for sure!

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  7. A very thoughtful and meaning full poem the beauty of which is enhanced by your addition and explanation. . I wish.that because of the threat posed by team Anna the rulers improve their ways.

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    1. I think perhaps it is the Anna Effect that caused some scams ( CWG, 2G, etc) to come out in the past couple of years. Of course, that does not mean that all the guilty will be punished, but it’s a start….

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