Despite knowing about the bandh, I should say that I underestimated the shutdown today. When the milk / newspaper / essentials arrive at your doorstep and when the maid servant show up, you are immune to the issues outside of your home – at least for a finite period. Had I been working from home today, I would not have realised about the impact to the common people. Only when I was driving to work in the near-empty roads of Bangalore did I realise the “support” that common men had lent to the organisers of the shut down. As the restaurants and bakeries had downed the shutters, the only people that were open for business were the mango sellers by the roadside. Hope they were able to make some money to earn their bread.
It has been really a long time since I experienced anything like large scale bandh / shutdown. While some of the shut downs – typically called by the opposition will fizzle out due to the strength of the government machinery, no party could afford to dissociate from causes like petrol price hike, reservation issue, cauvery water problem (in TN) etc. What purpose do these shut downs serve? By getting the country to a grinding halt, aren’t you weakening its already fragile economy further? Well, if the logic holds good in India, so many things would have been different for good.
Despite all this tall talk, I would say that this kind of unexpected break from the routine is oneof the joys of living in India. Although I am attending work today, the fact that it is a shutdown outside makes things a little different and that I could cancel few scheduled meetings has given me some breathing space.