|The Bogibeel Bridge on Brahmaputra|
Though distance from the riverbank to the highway leading to Dibrugarh town isn't that long, it remains a daily nightmare for over 200 vehicles taking the riverine route from Dhemaji on the other bank of the river. While our driver was trying to outmaneuver the sand trap, I could see those youngsters at work from a distance and did tell my five fellow colleagues that should our vehicle sink into the sands we should be capable to pull it out ourselves, although in my mind I was praying against such eventuality.
But that was not to be, as our car could not force its way through the sands. Like several others, we too were trapped on the sprawling sand bed. Attempt at applying acceleration to pull ourselves out sank us further into the sands. The cumulative wisdom of five of us was no match to those three's. Having run out of all options, we signaled those three musketeers to bail us out. As there were many vehicles falling into the trap each moment, they rushed towards us and in a couple of moments we were driven out. We were charged a pittance for this benevolence.
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Accosted by such exigencies, every culture responds to it by being innovative. The question, however, is: should we marvel at such innovations or hold the society accountable for forcing smart people to do what smart people in other countries do not have to do? It is a question that nobody seems to be asking. All eyes currently are on the 4.9 kilometer long rail-road bridge being built at a cost of Rs 5,800 crore, and the promise it holds to trigger an economy which will without doubt turn a blind eye to such innovators.
Frugal ways of resolving societal problems come natural to us. It is 'thinking out of the box' that is part of our cultural construct, and which we often take for granted. The society may not have worked out ways to reward/monetize such 'skills', my sense is that those three youngsters couldn't care less as they would have already made their ways into working out innovative solutions to the problems that have yet to occur to our collective wisdom. It is freaks like these that keep the society sane in the sands of time.