There are always things that we do not know. When I shifted to Delhi, I certainly didn’t know a lot, not even today. This metaphor has always made me feel odd whenever I would go around market areas (not malls or high-end shops) in and around Delhi. ‘Paneer hi paneer’, ‘paranthe hi paranthe’ or ‘sari hi sari’ and so on, seems very peculiar to this region. I never heard or saw anything like this anywhere in Calcutta or the few times I travelled down south.
Having lived in Delhi for several years now, I think, I somewhat understand the nuances behind these metaphors. For me, these reflect the aspirations of people in this part of the country or rather their attitude towards that aspiration as people everywhere would aspire to prosper and acquire enough material goods in their lives.
Even though, almost all across India, people may amass objects and things, they may not be so vocal about it. In Delhi, this aspect seems more pronounced, especially in today’s time. The need to shout from the top of the roof that we have arrived is very critical, whether or not it is real. Abundance means being well-off. If you have everything in large quantities then it signifies that you are doing really well in life. More clothes, more shoes, more food, more cars, more houses and even more toppings on your pizza, whether or not your senses are totally confused as to which taste to savour and enjoy.
This need or aspiration can be witnessed across the levels of the society with only the level of frustration in not being able to fulfil them being higher or lower.
This life of excesses can also be sampled by the number of film awards every year. Every year we see innumerable awards and the ceremonies attached to them awarding more or less the same list of movies. The amount of money spent on each of these functions seems so inconsequential. Are these movies and the actors and directors so important to the functioning and welfare of this planet that we spend so much time and money in constantly awarding them?
As I set out in the morning for work,
the soft and mellow Sun
cast a lazy shadow
of all objects around
There is a certain gentleness in the way
Nature treats us, most of the times.
When all of a sudden I’m integrated
into the assembly line of our mechanical existence
The same road leading to the same crossing
with a host of automobiles lining up one after the other
As I opened the newspaper in the morning
I was greeted by the usual, that has become of our society
Another bomb blast and several deads
Another woman and her daughter killed
Another discussion on how the government
is trying to strangle the little known freedom
people have on the web.
What can be the mindset of people
when they read that a terrorist is planning to strike
within few months with a renewed and greater force?
If we were to get on with our daily cycle,
will everything we read or know about, subside?
Do I really have to get beaten up because
I do not agree or wish to be part of a general strike
called by a bunch of miscreants?
The Sun has set now and
another day has gone by.
Will I be lucky again tomorrow
to not be at some place where a mob
may just start vandalising things
or not like or comment on something
that will get me arrested?
I really wonder how long
before my luck runs out.
For the longest time,
i nurtured this wish
that there may be a day
when i may hold in my arms,
my own daughter.
I will crawl on the floor with her
Hold her tiny hand and walk with her
Learn to read stories and poems to her every night
while she ever so slowly shuts her eyes with a soft smile on her face
Buy flowers, books, pencils, colours, wind chimes, musical instruments and everything else
so that she can dream of all the possible things in the world
Listen to her when she has something to say
Motivate her when she has a long day
Dance with her when she wants to sway
See the world, for once, not from mine but her eyes, and
feel glad seeing her joy.
But, alas, this wish is not to be realised
for how can i bring a new life into this miserable world
where there are demons at every turn
Where, to raise your voice is to loose it
or may be loose even your life
Where they accept that life is to be lead with your head held down
and no questions asked
No, this dream can never come true
Not atleast mine.
I see some trees and
some grass and a complete park
I see people sitting and enjoying
the Winter Sun at lunch time,
kids playing and dogs freely, running
I watch the Sun get stronger and
then go weaker and
go to sleep under its decorative blanket
I just keep watching
even though it is right under my window
The green grass and some trees and
the wonderful feeling of being in the open and free
But i just keep watching.