February 16, 2008

Remembering the Mahatma?

I found a piece of newspaper today. So? Behind the door, on the rest room floor it lay. So? It read 'Remembering the Mahatma.' Someone had 'happened' to drop it, probably unaware that they had, and left it lying there, or may be it was a gust of wind--who knows!

Whatever, the Mahatma, with his life sketch and his ideologies lay there unnoticed--behind the door. I retrieved the paper, redeemed it (if I may say so!) But could I retrieve the Mahatma? Leave alone redeeming him!

He has been dropped by the world today! Or should I say the winds of the times have (sheer symbolism eh!)...but is this where he and his ideologies belong now? On the floor, to be trodden over by people! The man who fought all his life, and even gave it up, to uplift the downtrodden! He's better off forgotten for sure, I'd say, than meet this fate! He, a 'father' to the nation then, a 'Father of the Nation' now--merely to be mentioned in books and newspapers that are trodden over...

February 10, 2008

भटकती नज़र आती हैं कभी
गली-कूचों में, बेकार, यूं हीं
न मंजिल का होश, न रास्ते का ही,
हो चली हैं ज़माने से बेज़ार कहीं.

वीरान हैं अब,
गुज़ारे वक़्त सी ख़ामोश.
एक ज़माना था खिलखिलाती थीं
रोशन थी शमा इनकी भी कभी.

ख़ाली हैं क्यूँकर पैमाने ये आज,
खो आयीं हैं शायद ये कहीं
जो रहा करती थी इनमें अक्सर,
वो समंदर सी गहरी नमी.

जाने ढूँढती थीं क्या
कल जब मिलीं अचानक मुझको,
एक अरसे से गुमशुदा,
आईने में, निगाहें मेरी. 

February 9, 2008

An epiphany...this? Nah!

I read this beautiful book 'Shalimar the clown,' in which the protagonist walks a thin, line of a rope, in mid air! It's all about keeping the balance! He believes...

Well, don't we all do this most of our lives...Yes! We do. We tread the thin line between love and hatred, sanity and insanity, at some point in time or other, and, this thin line between hope and expectation, at all times, almost! One moment we are hopeful of something, and the next, we're in the grips of expectation! We can't even make out when we moved over to the other side! So subtle is the transition!

There comes a point in his life, when 'Shalimar the clown,' crosses over, on to the other side of the thin line between love and hatred. A hatred beyond reason! beyond the limits of sanity! So subtle a transition, he fails to realize it has happened! That, he no more walks this thin line between sanity and insanity...that, he has crossed over! He's off balance, the expert!

Balance! yes, that's the art...we must try hard, come what may, and strive at all times, to keep the 'balance,' lest we fall...expert or not!

February 4, 2008

face it!

During my journey from Delhi to Hyderabad, in the second half of November last, life showed one of it's ugliest faces. The enormity of the sight has haunted me ever since, and I bristle every time the scene replays in my head. (Harder hit perhaps, as most part of my holiday was spent indulging a cherished two year old, the contrast was too acute I guess!)

What can be worse than seeing an innocent, 2 year old, somersault to the beats of his mother's drum, and beg around saying 'be human, gimme some money!' (I wonder if she was his mother! Didn't look like!) It rent my heart to see his tender childhood crushed under such burdens, as beggary, exploitation and abuse! He'd perform, sobbing all the while, then sobbing still, he'd go around, begging--plate in hand. It was hard to make out if his sobs were genuine, or he'd been seasoned to perform them so well! Whatever the truth, it points to just one thing--if children are the future of a nation, and, if this is the state a lot of our country's children are in, our future, for sure, is in danger of being crushed at it's very advent!

I wish I'd taken a picture of the sorry sight! Just that I couldn't pull out my camera and take one...for reasons more than one! A picture got taken all the same! And, I am still unable to rid myself of it! You just saw it!

This conjures up another such sight--a girl, a pre-schooler's age, carrying, in her arms, a baby barely an year old, it's hand out-stretched, to beg--and another, yet another...!