In 2013 a Canadian magazine focused primarily on the Immigrants, selected me from amongst various immigrants as part of the top 75 immigrants to Canada for the year.
This is a part of their annual ritual to select the top 25 immigrants to Canada out of this list through a popular vote. The intention may be purely to honour immigrants and share their stories with a wider audience or to augment the sale and circulation figures of their magazine, or both, only they can tell.
I was happy and proud to be counted in this list.
Then greed set in. I wanted more and had to get into the top 25. I knew that I did not deserve to go beyond and that there were far more worthy names with decades of struggle behind them to be recognized ahead of me. And yet, the beast took over, drunk with desires of respect and recognition.
But how could I go ahead? My nature is outgoing and yet, I am haughty, reserved and at best, rough with people. To wear a mask is something I detest completely and diplomacy is a word that does not exist in my dictionary.
Good Lord! I had to get ‘Votes’ now. The last time I had asked for votes was almost a generation back in university and after the experience I had, I had decided to never, ever go through that pain again.
But the ego, which needed a further boost took over and ordered me to forget my ways and set aside my ideals to carve a name for myself.
My work that I was doing, the book that I was writing, the land that I wanted to till in my garden for the blossoming ahead, all needed to be set aside. I needed votes. It was time to play politician.
First I needed to inform people of my ‘feat’ and very politely cajole them for their ‘votes’, as if they were supporting one amongst them , an ordinary mortal. Off course they should not know that this man wanted to be recognized as extra ordinary by using their votes. So I drafted mails and sent them to all and sundry.
Then I telephoned people and asked for their guidance in finding ways to help this ‘poor’, ‘new immigrant’ who had just spent three years in Canada as against the heavy weights in the list.
Somebody suggested that social media is a big draw and that I should use it to my advantage. Social media for an anti-social person like me! I had just about forty friends on face book and always thought that friends meant people with whom you wanted to share your life secrets and thoughts and with whom you can relate.
One visit on face book and seeing that there existed ‘ friendly’ people with hundreds and thousands of friends made me aware of my small cocoon and kindled the lust for a larger ‘vote bank’ to target. I started work on building my network on face book. Names of relatives, ex-colleagues, college and school mates, ghosts of the past, their friends’ friends , anything and everything was scavenged and within one week, I was reasonably successful with a score of two hundred and ten plus.
Now the conversion tactic! I was waiting for the right time, when my list will be more than say three hundred and then I would send a simple request hoping for a higher hit rate with a newer audience .
Up till this morning when I got up on the right side of the bed and realised that I was becoming the exact dishonest, scheming , politician that I always hated just for the sake of a piece of paper which I did not even deserve.
I wanted to ‘use’ simple people who trusted me and let me look into their lives and turn them into a vote bank just for my vested interests!
I am ashamed of myself and the thought process that had set in and the only way possible for me to stand again with some self respect is by serving a public apology and making people aware of position seekers like me so that they do not get conned in future.
I am sorry and readers please use your discretion and remove me and people like me from your life.
I am relieved and thankful that I have mended ways before things could go wrong and can come back to my straight forward, care free , non diplomatic life style. Top or bottom, the world is round anyhow!
The ego has been killed and the soul lives free again!
Posted in Times of India on 12th April 2013. Link below-