|Two crabs. Image by Flickr user Mark Jones. (CC BY 2.0)|
Seems [it’s] a scene from a movie, today. I was merely eight years of age at that time. I still remember the farmer leveling the field after ploughing – to ready it for planting rice. The soil was muddy and watery - and he was skidding like a frictionless, perpetual machine. It's hard to mention the exact scene, but you can imagine a pair of oxen running as fast as possible in the mud with the plough clung to their shoulders and in place of the tiller, a flat wooden plank attached to the end and a man riding on the plank as if he is surfing through the waves.
As I was a small boy, I kept running after the plough and caught the fish and crabs as they popped out of the mud occasionally. I hurled them in a small plastic bucket as and when they came out of the muddy soil. The crows and herons would look at me enviously while I enjoyed splashing through the mud. After one hour's running behind the man and his plough, I gathered half a bucket of fish and crabs. Walking towards home with my precious catch, many fish jumped out of the bucket and I had to put them back again and again. And in the process some fortunate ones slipped out in the muddy paddy fields.
I had caught more fish and only around 15 crabs. However, when I reached home, the crabs were still at the bottom of the bucket clinging to each others' feet while many fish had escaped. None of them had been able to jump out of the container. When I clutched one of the crabs, two others clung to its feet and similarly others clung to their feet, making a chain of crabs.
I had two things in mind: One, the unity among the crabs and their love for each other. Two, the Leg Pulling Syndrome that did not allow any of the crabs to jump out and seek freedom. However, when I put all the crabs on the floor, all of them started fighting with each other and I knew it was not a case of unity. It was a matter of leg pulling.
As I grew up, I found similar situation many times - many people clinging to each others' legs - restricting others to reach their goals. I wonder why people do it. Can’t we just push each other forward instead of pulling towards the bottom?
Seeing the leapfrogging neighbouring economies – China and India, I just could not help myself sharing this incident. We are like those crabs and they (Chinese and Indians) are like fish. They have leapt out of the bucket and we still are at the bottom. We must be aware that if we remain at the bottom for long we will be devoured by the consequences at the end of the day.
So, I don’t care about the crabs any more.
And my simple proposition – let’s get rid of this Leg Pulling Syndrome and start pushing forward each other. That will lead us to a brighter future. There’s no doubt!