Change Agent is a person who wants to change everything physical or abstract. He bears grudge against his leader, his surroundings, his wife, his children. He is ever anti establishment and loves to hate even self for variety of reasons. There was this boy in my college. We would plan to see a movie, he would insist to attend Hindi literature class. Entire group would be enjoying cold drink, he would go for tea. Next time we order tea, he would only want to smoke a cigarette. He was a change agent. Later he got married, we thought that is the end of our change agent. He proved us wrong, he became a bank officer. We hear he leads fellow officers to dharnas, go slow and pen down strikes once in every six months.
It has really become so easy to be a change agent these days. To be satisfied with present scheme of things is totally out of fashion. Change Agents are omnipresent. Cockroaches of my house are running around in the whole household as if programmed to ask for a change in my cooking/eating habits. May be they want pizzas. Lizard of my house is equally frustrated, she doesn't like color scheme of my house. She seems to be whispering "the walls do not have my kind of yellow". My wife is unhappy too. She complains neighbors have latest car, fully automatic washing machine and jewelry while me a 'do nothing' is condemned to live hand to mouth on bare salary.
My maid is unhappy. She wants me to change my black and white TV. with color TV. She resents why we give her clothes which are either ill-fitted or ill-timed (old fashioned)
Actually, to be unhappy, to be a change agent is a state of mind in the same way as is to be contended and happy. Learned people have advised down the ages, to be contended means no growth, no progress, everything stand still - symbolizing death. Therefore, people are anything but contended, they are unhappy and frustrated. They are the fresh breed of change agent. They want to change everything, destroy and rebuild. Block politician wants to be elevated to zonal leader. Zonal leader wants to be district president. District President's ambition in life is to be a Chief Minister, however brief the tenure may be.
The change agent is always itching to change everything he casts his eye on. He doesn't accept rather hates status quo. Change agent could be found everywhere be it local bodies, Rajbhasha Samities, housing societies, political parties and trade unions. Some of these change agents operate at a much higher plane. They want to re-write Indian history, give a call to 'go back to the Vedas' or to be 'future visionary' depending on the occasion. Such types have a hobby of procuring awards, titles and felicitations. Change agent lives off the publicity. Publicity is their life line. No publicity! No press coverage! Hell with your change. They can never run short of ideas. They strongly believe everything in this world needs to be changed and gods have preordained them to do it. They rake up issues with perfect timings - when you least expect. (Depending on which side wind is blowing they become strong pro-reservationist or turn into fiery anti-reservationists). For example present regime is not doing anything for poverty alleviation. Why all licenses and permits are being given to moneyed people. Why so much oppression in society. Why government is not doing what it has been elected to do - governance, what is happening to arrest depletion of ozone layer. Why so many cars that cyclists are finding it hard to park their bicycles, leave alone pedaling them on road.
I was under the wrong impression that my children are happy and contended but I find them to be unhappy on several counts. They too are change agents. They want to change their TV. viewing hours to include late night movies. They are grossly unhappy about my sleeping schedule and resent my light erratic sleep as I wake up every time they walk home late at night. They do not hold satisfactory opinion about my hair style and dress sense either. But they are tolerating. Nonetheless they want to change and change it all.
A friend of mine from bollywood who started off a small time operator is in big league. Thanks to his being change agent. He has changed everything he laid his hands on. Given new meaning to obscenity with fifty gyrating pelvic thrusts per song mixed with dual meaning lyrics, leaving nothing to imagination. His heroines are unhappy because with all this dare bare, they are no where. Films starting from silent black and white era became colored with talkie and now gone blue rendering dialogues, in whatever language, superfluous.
My neighbor is unhappy too. She wants to change the present scenario. She has several points to be aggrieved of.
If all the unhappiest unite, they will still be unhappy. Two unhappies don't make one happy. When unhappies came to power, their happiness was short-lived and they were again relegated to their cocoon of unhappiness minus the power. In fact even while in position they continued to behave as if in opposition, hence, fell apart. In bureaucracy 'once a sir is always a sir' similarly, once a change agent always a change agent. Every thing needs change. Keep changing.
People don't reminiscence of olden times as golden times for nothing. They recall with nostalgia the strict discipline. A politician once bought would stay bought. One candidate would get the ticket to contest election and others would honestly canvass for his victory. Today one gets the ticket and instantly he makes one thousand other aspirants unhappy, who promptly act as change agents and run around to unseat him from the word go. State capitals, Delhi's coffee houses are the known joints of change agents. You can find them in abundance. Change Agents of cell phone variety are only found at Surajkund and lobbies of five star hotels, politely asking you - "Looking for a change? Can I help you?"
( from collection of satires 'Bald is beautiful' 2000)
published also in Alive Nov. 2000