I saw this bridge in Goa on a beach. Through my lens it created the illusion of the bridge leading to the sea, it looked seamless. I asked myself if I had the courage to walk on a bridge which led to the sea or maybe it would take me to some place else that I couldn’t see. Would I blindly trust that it would take me somewhere safe. I was not sure. Trust has always been an important aspect for me, be it in a relationship or in people in general. It reminded me of some events in the past where I was juggling with trust.

Once I was traveling in a rickshaw, on my way to work and I wanted to stop by at a temple on the way. I was carrying my usual bag along with a laptop bag. I knew that the temple would be crowded as it was a festival day and hence I was weighing the options of carrying both my bags along with me in the temple or leaving them behind in the rickshaw. I knew that carrying them inside would be a tough task and leaving them behind triggered a big question….can I trust the rickshawala??  I tried to look at the rickshawala’s face through the mirror; he seemed like any normal looking guy on the street. Should I trust him? I decided to carry the laptop bag with me since it was more expensive than the other one. I got off the rickshaw near the temple and told him to wait for me for 5 minutes. I carried the laptop bag and left the other one in the rickshaw and as soon as I turned he called out to me and asked to me take the other bag as well. I was surprised and asked him why. The answer I got was quite thought provoking. He said that in today’s world of bomb blasts in every city, a bag left like that is good enough to create suspicion. I knew what he meant. He didn’t trust me.

So we are all living in an era where we don’t trust each other.

My friend doesn’t give her house key to the maid because she doesn’t trust her. My next door neighbor doesn’t allow his wife to work because he doesn’t trust her. The senile grandmother first feeds the food given to her, to her dogs because she doesn’t trust her children. The father doesn’t give the car keys to his son because he doesn’t trust him with it. The mother doesn’t let her child go out and play because she doesn’t trust the world. And of course not to forget, the rickshawala doesn’t trust me.

Is distrust a new found urban disease hitting all of us?

Few months back I had gone to Lucknow for some work and I had some time to kill and so I decided to go see the famous Bada Imambada which has two floors which is known as Bhool Bhulaiyya which is basically a maze and there is only one way of getting out of it and of course taking a guide is the right way to go. As I was alone I was hesitant about going alone with a male guide and expressed my concern to the head guide. He was shocked at my apprehension and told me in few and clear words that the world is based on trust and this were their livelihood so how could they dare to mess with it. But how could I explain my apprehension to him, that living alone in a city for a long time has taught me to be safe than sorry. So with my semi convinced urban mind I went to see the Bhool Bhulaiyya.

We are all living in the bhool bhulaiyya of terrorism, political goondaism, religious fanaticism, agonizing competition, social injustice, heart wrenching suicides etc and I think there has to be a way to get out of it. I don’t know what that way is but I hope that we find it someday. Perhaps trust could be the answer!


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