The two most powerful 3-letter-words in the world are - RTI and Sex (I don't mean male-female, so shoo in case your Indian culture is prone to tanning). They don't share the same lineage, no. Are not even distant relatives, (except of course when both get hitched, thanks to Guru ji's Sex tape and the ensuing curiosity by the RTI activist to see what exactly happened, and how, and where, and how much.) They are two words as apart as apart can be. But as powerful as powerful gets.
Why I say they are powerful? My experience, and probably yours too.
RTI - It is powerful. We read so, are told so and experience so too. I realised as much, when after nine months of persistently complaining and knocking on CPWD's door for an iron grill to keep my family and my house safe from robbers, it took the word RTI - used in crisp English and a confident tone - with a lazy greedy Senior Engineer to make the sparse hair on his head stand and his cochlea drum with nervousness. I had heard all excuses that delay is made of, some reasons to deny it to me altogether and many ways going directly through my wallet to make it happen. If only I knew the 'R' word is the wonder drug, I'd have begun with a 'Hello ji, RTI speaking, I need a door for my house, tender or no-tender!' In two days flat, and after visits from CPWD's who's who who looked like dazed dutiful owls going toweet-tohoo I got my door - dented, painted and testimony to the power of the word RTI. Just the word! My kitchen drain is blocked now, but I'm not worried. If RTI can work for iron doors, what's a little bit of kitchen waste stuck in a drain?
SEX - Admit it. Half the readers wouldn't be here if they hadn't seen this word in the title. Power to the word! And to all those women who talk about sex without the slightest hue of pink on their faces, wielding the rod and wearing the pants on a topic men have enjoyed as solely theirs. Sex, the word itself, draws attention like no other. As a word it can't get you doors and clear drains, no not as a word. But it can get you ears and audience and spectators and more (the above-mentioned Guru-ji is nodding his head). Reminds me of a debate class I attended in school where, to draw the attention of the children busy chatting, I said the word aloud - Sex - on the microphone and pin drop silence ensued, all tender-aged cochleas tingling and tangling with shyness and shock. Even a hair falling off my teacher's surprised head was heard, crystal clear. (My topic of debate was ozone depletion, by the way!) Plus, it's powerful even in it's absence, say on 'gupt rogi milein' advertisements on abandoned walls seen while travelling by train. Even our best friend Facebook recently advertised 'Shycart', the one-stop counselling solution to your 'family problems' and etcetera problems too, with the word 'sex' conspicuous by it's absence but screaming to be understood all through the banner. And it got a million hits!
So here we go then. RTI and Sex. An acronym and a word. I call them both words, powerful words. And in case you feel cheated by the title and falsely drawn into reading a very silly-and-sans-any-titillation article, my sincere apologies. Not that I can promise any better any time. Apologies for that, for after all, Shy is also a 3-letter word, beginning with an 'S'.