Category Archives: Articles
Hindutva and Saffronisation are the rancorous topic these days with almost every Tom, Dick and Harry offering their opinions and suggestions. The most interesting topic occupying the front of the Indian tabloids is our Government’s plan to have all the Gau maatas of the country “Aadharised”. Sounds preposterous isn’t it, well it is true and Indian Government has actually mooted a plan to identify all the cow maatas by a 12 digit number by the end of this year.
Article 48 of the Indian Constitution mandates the states to prohibit the slaughter of cows and calves. This is keeping in mind the religious sentiments and is a sort of our way of paying back the maata for all the good she does for us. Right from the childhood Indians have made a feast of cow’s milk and various by-products of it so naturally a feeling of association and forbearance sets within our hearts. After all Indian’s are so large hearted people. So banning beef and cow slaughter in the country is still justified at large but having an Aadhar for all the cows of country is giving way too much identification to the poor thing.
Hindu scriptures describe cow as an animal that are closest to the humans and they are said to feel the pain and suffering of their masters by shedding actual tears. But that in no way guarantees a right to the policy makers to spend crores on this plan in a country where one third of the population is still below the poverty line. This also belies the Government’s development and economic growth plank on which it rode to an astounding victory about 2 years back.
Stats say that the states where the cow slaughter was banned have registered a decline in the cow population further underlining the Government’s overreach with its ambitious plan .Disappearing grazing land including feed and fodder, healthcare and unplanned urbanization have negative impacts on the cow population thus declining cow population is more of an economic problem than being just a religious issue.
Lets focus on the right issues as I am sure any cow today would be happier to see an improvement in the quality of the country’s poor than having assigned an ID.
Long back during one of my night walks when the mind is too tired to fascinate about a bright future or reminisce about the long gone past I wondered what if someone switched of all the street lights or just for a few seconds there be no artificial lights around us. What if just for a few minutes the moonlight is all that we have to guide us forward. Imagining darkness all around seems fascinating to me and I pleaded to God “please, if you can”.
I was brought up in a small town surrounded by villages. Days started with school at 7 and the nights ended with the 9 pm news hour. To imagine the world without the lights seemed so much strange to that small town kid. Now imagine that kid all grown up and in one of the busiest metros of India, Gurgaon. It seems that this city never sleeps and it never actually does. It is said that evening here starts after 10 pm and end at 5 am.
In midst of all this I wondered why is it that people who work relentlessly all through the week found it so pleasing to go out on a Friday night. When the entire week people complain about tiredness, exhaustion and sleep deprivation suddenly become all charged up to let their hair down at the nearest night club for the whole night. This must be more tiring than 9 hours spent at work every day, isn’t it.
People have become less interactive and less patient. The days have gone when we used to go out with a friend for an after dinner walk or a light chat after office which used to be refreshing and did away with the day’s stress. Man has got to be social but with less and less chances of meeting new people the weekend nights offer a great way to meet people and chill out for a while even if it comes at a cost of loss of sleep and thus more stress.
We have got to revert back to that original lifestyle. Who would deny that Monday mornings, just after weekends, are arguably the most tiresome and lazy. Parties and night outs are good if done once in a while. Mind’s natural state is relaxed which can be achieved by just shutting the light off or listening to some music it’s the stress that you actually go looking out for during weekends.
During those weekends when you feel there is nothing to do when actually you have much on your platter. However slow you want the weekends to be, how so ever early you rise or how much longer you run from your routine extra, you find that at the end of the day the
time flies past. It is like those rows of trees, those small brick houses outside the window of a train that seem to run behind at a constant pace, no matter how you crane you neck out they just go behind you and dissolve into an infinite oblivion. To do away with this feeling of running ahead of my weekends I try to slow down but in vain.
While taking a bus journey, I looked around and found an old man sitting at the front seat ahead of me. He had a mobile phone in his hand that was as old as he probably. The man was in his white shirt and black pant looked about 55-60 years of age. He had a tuft of white hair on his head with a few of them protruding out of his ear. After fidgeting with his phone for a few minutes he opened his messages and began reading them one by one. After reading each message he deleted it. This went on for quite a few messages. So out of curiosity I craned my neck to read what the messages were. The first one read “Happy retired life sir”, the second one said “We will miss you sir” and so on.
The old man had retired after 30-35 years at service. By deleting the messages he was trying to cut the chords that tied him to his past, to those years of service. We feel not looking back or doing away the memories will make us forget the past. We search for all the memories and try to weed them out one by one in a hope that this would save us from the nostalgia. But why do we want to break away or forget the past which was so good. Do we not like to remember good stuff, do we not want to be surrounded by the happy feeling of good times that make us look at the future in a hope of reliving the past. Then why was he deleting the memories.
We humans are the most dissatisfied out of all the creations of God. In childhood, we crave for good marks. Once we have marks we crave for the top position in class, once teens, we crave for a good college and then a good job. And then after all those years at service, in the twilight of our lives we crave for reliving the past. This is why the man was cutting all the chords from the past. He wanted to forget about something that he will no longer have “the daily 9-5 job.” Getting up in the morning and leaving for the job in a haste only to return late in the evening. Cursing the Mondays and looking forward to the weekends. Cursing our daily routine and waiting for the end of each month for our salary. No matter how sad or depressing this predictable life looks on paper all of us live it and most of us crave for it at the end of our careers.
Those 25 years at the job we are all runners who are running at a great speed. We run to see what is at the end of the race and once we reach the final post we long for the race. We long for someone that boss to manage us. We long for the feeling of completing our monthly targets or for that yearly bonus that gives us a free pass to “dine out”. Suddenly we find ourselves so heavily addicted to our daily routine that even the thought of slowing down fills us with gloom. We forget that this emptiness is not a curse it’s what that has been bestowed on us as a reward of all those years at work. Why do we not see it?
Are we so lost that we don’t see the light the end of the tunnel. Do we love the darkness so
much that even the thought of light scares us. Out of all the living beings, only humans walk on two legs and have the ability to choose. Then why do we choose to ignore the voice within is. Why do we fail to see the beauty of “now”?
Here it is once again. Is it because of the air or if it is something about the month that makes boys and girls go head over heels during the month of Feb. And as always being single adds to the despondency. When you go to the market and you see little red heart shaped the “heart” hung around the shops and people buying it, what you do yes you just smirk and your mind says “yes, God saved me some bucks” and in my case God has been saving my bucks since what like college, that’s when you know the month love is here with open arms.
So what makes the month of Feb that entire special after all don’t lovers go around hand in hand the whole year. It’s not like they will only bother you with their public display of affection and that’s the full form of PDA if , if you are wondering the first time I heard that term I thought of it as some kind of mobile device that you can take with and roam around with, only during a designated time of the year. This is a month when you already know that for these 28 days or 29(god forbid if it’s a leap year) you will have to tell yourself and say “Deal with it its Feb after all” and the other months you still can’t run away from it.
Mind you loving is not everyone’s cup of tea. Arreee it requires a lot of hard work. Waking up the so called “baby” from bed that is 10 bucks wasted because a well-loved baby does not get up so easily mind you that baby requires a lot of “love yous ” and “there for yous”. After dressing up for the office it’s now baby’s turn to call you to say “love yous and love you toos”, that’s another 10 minutes wasted. Once you reach the office and begin the tasks you get so much engrossed that you forget that its lunch hour and your baby does not eat lunch without you and you rush towards the canteen just so late that it’s time for the baby to go and apparently she always has a busy day and yet she finds time for you. On enquiring and much pursuing it is revealed the baby was waiting for you for so long when instead what she could have done was go out with her friends, not a bad idea is what you think but what you actually say is “oooo baby sorry let me make you eat with my own hands”. What is a lunch without a walk because lunch is not just lunch idiot it is a way to spend time with loved ones as they say. So after spending a whole 1 hour at lunch you come back to your desk only to find a message on your phone from the baby informing that you forgot to say the parting words that you always used to say and you actually wonder what is the thing you have been doing since long is “wiping your ass”. Anyhow you continue your work till the next time you look at the clock and its evening and you need to go. You have to surprise the loved one after all you know the monster “Feb” is coming. To make things worse they have these designated days teddy, chocolate, hug, propose, and kiss and Valentine’s Day and the poor guy after all the hard work thinks why did they stop at Valentine ’s Day. They should have topped it up with a make-out day.
So you see if you are a lover feel good because you have been doing a job no not just a job but two full-time jobs. And if you are not a lover cheer up and feel good because you saved yourself your hard earned bucks. And to that I wake up from this wild dream and say fuck that “I am a whole lot richer, i am gonna drink to that”. Now that I must say is a “Happy Valentine’s day” boys.
In the realms of my hands cuddling as if its world is comprised of just the area within the cup of my hand. I came to me on a one fine morning when I was a kid, starting an unknown journey that I don’t know what would have been if not without it. After all I can’t find one instance when it was not there with me if not physically then in my thoughts. It was not long before the days passed when we were always together no matter what the weather or the place, it always came to me. The window sill where she sat while I crammed for my History exams or the treetop in the prayer grounds where it sat smiling while I collected awards and used to see it from the stage wondering would I have the same smile if it won’t be there clapping or those times when I just used to smile just at the sight of it in the morning while I waited for my school bus
I stroke its weathers gently trying to count them as the time passes softly before she flies away to a strange little bird world. After all life is transient and no matter how much we try we have to let go of the best of things and on the other hand no matter how much we try their memories continue to make us smile halfheartedly, longingly wishing how would it have been if only it had stayed.
The rays of the sun are piercing the body now as if trying to melt the outer core and exposing the innards, the innards that have been covered by multiple layers of happiness sorrow and the toughest of them all resolution. She looks towards me with gleaming eyes, bubbling with energy and raring to go. After all new place, life and people await her. I thought only humans feel elated at the prospects of new but here it was feeling excited about leaving the past and embracing something new. I look back at my past and see that I too have run away from people and situations but the fact was in the hindsight I knew she would be there overlooking me from somewhere behind the clouds above.
It flew spanning its small wings high in the sky circling above me getting ready for a long flight that will take it towards mountains that will be hard to scale, that will offer various hurdles and test its limits. I am skeptical about the future but my concerns wither away when I see its determination and enthusiasm.
So I smile one more time before saying adios to the bird who had been second to none and who I don’t want it to turn back to say final wishes because breaking the chains of past and unleashing the ropes of future is what helps in the journey of life.
This independence I let it fly to somewhere………far.
Swiftly and slowly it comes down from the skies, trying to figure out a way to its destination. Weird it is how we always try to go to the top whereas it is determined to touch the ground. It tries to sway a little as if buying time before reaching the destination It reminds me of something that still eludes me. Something that every now and then approaches me in disguise and before I could hold it, have it and feel it, it vanishes as the early morning purple that precedes the yellow that sets in welcoming the golden sun.
It is frail and short and guided by wind. I see it struggling against the breeze so I put out my hand to hold it with an intention to protect it and care for it just then it glides sways the other way and escape my hold. I close my fist thinking I have caught it. But as always it deceives my anticipation and expectations. I eye it closely this time determined to hold it with an act that is more out of fear of failure than the protective instinct. This time the touch is soft and velvet I smile knowing I have caught it. With a feeling of win I open my fist to see and look at my achievement.
I find it crumpled under the confines of my fist. It now looked fragile and afraid. It is white and gets darker near the core as if hiding things in its heart. Maybe the secret of longing eyes and secretive smiles that it encounters in its journey is held in its core. On viewing it more closely I find it comes from a far off place and from an unknown bird that I did not know of before, the guilt sets in.
The breeze grows stronger with each passing second. It begins to flutter on my palm as if trying to take a flight and making one more of those umpteen attempts to travel far and wide before touching its Ithaca, the ground.
I resent ultimately understanding that it is never mine. Its beauty is coupled with the air it flies in, the terraces it land upon and the million palms that try to hold it. I smile at my fate. I open my palm more and more and more until the fingers straighten, to help it take off. It takes off with the help of the wind and goes far and goes wide as if smiling at deceiving me once again. I eye it as far as I can until it goes beyond my reach. I know one day at some point of life when I am sitting at the terrace brooding over the present and future it will come and sit in my lap reminding of something from the past but this time I will not hold but let it fly, maybe I will help it fly.
Last time I had a dream of doing something, achieving something and giving my everything for something was about four years back. When expectations were sky high and the only thing I cared about was making a big 1000 letter name for me to showcase the world. Life takes turns and sometimes turns the world upside down and I found myself finishing the task at hand with no aspirations or hope of future prospects for me personal or career wise. That is life and you live it whether stoically or passionately, it’s your choice. I preferred the former way of life.
I am of the view that each one of us has a pole star in life that we continue to follow each and every moment. That pole star sometimes hidden from us but always comes out of the clouds and again shines like a bright dot. In my case it took four years. But four years is not that long when you consider it in light years. And suddenly out of the blue I got a meaning to move forward. To see the bright future for those who are meant to be languishing in darkness due to their fate while we the more privileged ones talk here about our lost chances and lost fucking meanings.
So with this view in mind and to find the answers to some specific questions that have been plaguing me I plan to embark on a journey that would take me on a new path completely away from my career and whatever I have done until now. I don’t care for myself because fending for me is the last relevant question that I have in my mind. But the questions that I need the answers to are what about my parents. Till now when I looked into their eyes it was filled with hope. A hope and content to give me a thriving and a comfortable future. But now when I look into them I find desperate attempts to stop me from this self-destroying feat that I suddenly feel a liking for. It’s a risk and the last call would be mine because this time father won’t be there to clean up my mess.
So I am stuck with options on one side of the road I have a life that guarantees me a certain minimum standard of life and on the other hand a life that takes away everything from me at one shot and gives me a chance to begin afresh. On one side people have suggestions to all the problems on the other side I have the opportunity to find the answers myself. On one side I will have a future on the other hand each and every child will have a future. But I know whatever I choose I will always have my pole star to guide me and a road to walk upon but what means will I have to travel on it will be defined by the side I take.
Sometimes options are tough to choose from.
She picks up her bag to leave. Her eyes are still moist from the last nights chat but that did not deter her to turn around and for one last time face the man she loved so much for the past 6 years, she says ” if U ever fall in love with someone count till hundred coz that is the multiplying factor of my love for U., but now fuck U”. With this she leaves and the boy sits there at his place unmoved, unabashed and unaware of his loss. He sips his coffee and gazes at the girl sitting at the adjacent table and thinks “hmm!! nice that one but nxt time may be.”
This is just a summary of one more failed relationship in todays world. No need to tell the entire plot because rest of the part is basically useless because the fact is the warmth and the feelings that were shared just evaporate in such a short time and the protagonists are ready to move on.
Its good that world is so practical and shit and on top of it you may argue that moving on is better than lamenting with a handkerchief over a failed relationship. I am pained at this irreverble show of unkindness and utter easiness. Today feelings are the last thing that people want to be associated with. ” Sensitivity” is a taboo and so are sensible people. But This is not why nature created human beings. You may counter this but the fact that everything is a direct consequence of love is irrefutable. It is as true as the wind and the sun and the stars and the moon. After all if not for your love for reading you would not be wasting your time on this shitty article written by someone you dont even know.
You see around and the nature showers you with love everywhere. The tree and the grass, the moon and the night, the sea and the shore are in constant unison with each other. After all it is the love for money and aspirations that pushes us to go far and beyond our capabilities. When i asked a fisherman what takes him inside the turbulent sea into the bosom of death everyday ” he said had it not been for the love of sea for me, my family would never survive”, it is easy to see his plain and simple point of view. After all birds never sing for themselves and sun does not burn for itself. But we humans make a mistake when we try to quantify and qualify love with lust. Christianity describes lust as a cardinal sin not love. Love is the purest feeling that enables us to wake up and feel good each day. After all who does not love having a silent and peacefully relaxed mornings. In these times love is a result of individual wants and desires. For some it arises out of loneliness and for others it arises out of grattitude or sympathy. So my fellow earth mates stop being followers of these modern fucking times of hatred and envy. Be your own self, listen to your inner voice and shower your love on everything that this world offers you be ti a flower or a thorn and you will never have to move on again.
When I was more of a kid and less of a prick that I am now, anyways I am sorry I am losing the point here. I have a faint memory of getting out of bed one morning, the sun shone right through the window and the voice of my mother arguing with my father told me that it was one of those days when father is at home occupying his place on the bed of the master bedroom and reading newspaper the whole day. I came to my father’s room and found him smiling at a piece of cartoon in the TOI. I had no interest in whatever interested my father neither I read the newspaper. But the small bearded man in the cartoon caught my attention and that’s when I looked at the headline “you said it by laxman”. I found it amusing “when did I say anything, and who is this Laxman” but from then on everyday I used to read the cartoon completely unaware of the pun intended by the cartoonist. I tried to decipher what that old man did being there in each of the cartoon. I thought “by laxman” may be the guy in the cartoon is laxman himself. That is the oldest memory and association that i had with the great cartoonist RK Laxman and now when I have grown old enough to understand what the common man and “by laxman”means I like to cling onto the old memories that I had of his cartoons.
Rk laxman gave the definition of common man a meaning and an identity. His portrayal of a hapless, dhoti clad common man witnessing the daily happenings of life remains true, he never resorted to vulgarity and portrayed his views in a subtle yet comic way. The image of Indira Gandhi with her crooked nose is an example of how Mr. Laxman’s keen and observant eyes tried to look for peculiarities in people that only some have the eyes and skills to spot. His common man is still the same although he wears pants and shirts but the identity, aspirations and expectations are very much what they were.
Laxman was a cartoonist of the generation that only few would forget. His cartoons will enthrall and amuse the generations to come even if there relevance is diminished with times. He had a fulfilling life and died at an age of 95 at a time when the world is lamenting the loss of satire and humor. The death is a symbol of a world in which ideas and free speech are suppressed and people are subservient to the whims of censor bodies who call themselves the protector of religion and protector of ideals. It is good that RK laxman left us because the times that he saw were of freedom and humor. This world has no place for people and cartoonists like Laxman. Mr. Laxman had his own world or in other words “rk laxman kii duniya” in which he will always continue to draw cartoons and bring smiles to our faces. He can never leave us we have just lost the eye to spot him and his humor.