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Showing posts with the label Ringside Indian

Waiting for Theseus

I was sitting by my window and watching the darkening of the horizon. It was only 5 in the evening, but it looked closer to 7. I could see an ant like hurry among the poor returning home. Those who had cycles leaned into the wind and pedalled faster and those who were plodding home, hastened their steps. There was the smell of sulphur from the lightings and petrichor from the surroundings. Somewhere, it was already raining.  She called me just then. Ever since she decided to get married again, she would call me more often. As if the joy of being a missus was raging a war within her with the golden shackles that it comes with. R2 (she called me that), it’s raining here. I so absolutely love the rains. Imagine, it is raining in midsummer! I am going on a drive with Roohi (her daughter). It will be awesome na? I looked out of the window. The first few drops from large drizzles had started hitting my windowpanes. My weather wane with bells by the window had started ringing in the

What made News?

20 Indian Soldiers martyred in border skirmish China reports casualties too (Big relief) For our Sons who died We killed too Cameras to be fitted in Covid Hospital Wards Says the Home Minister Now we can record the dying Sleeping with the dead Migrants should be transported back home Within 15 days Rules the Hon' Supreme Court, (Only) 75 days after the lockdown Was first imposed Sushant Singh Rajput hangs himself He was 34 Who are you to call us lunatics Asks Kangna in her Whatsapp post Chennai count of deaths double Clerical error blamed Maharashtra deaths may double A clerk is being identified So that he or she may be blamed Why is Telangana not testing Asks a bewildered High Court Bodies of two dead persons missing Family seeking answers And the State Home Minister says These are difficult times Such things happen Next time, we will paste photos over the dead bodies That way you can take a selfie And pray that the one inside Is your dad Or your brother Or the beggar Who died of

This Tear in the Fabric of the Universe

I look around and I see all my known acquaintances busy as an ant. I think they live in a different dimension. I think I am plugged into the wrong nodes of the universe. The blind beggar woman who lived in Bolaram Bazaar is probably dead. It was only the other day that I picked her up from the middle of the road and gave her some water. There were so many people around her. No one came. I asked a bystander who was cuddling his dog what had happened? She just fell down, she is probably dead, he said. I was on my morning walk that day, and on the way to the park I had seen the woman begging into thin air. On my return, as if by some invisible force, I was driven to the bazaar road. Like all the educated crowd, I absolutely stay away from busy places for the fear of catching the Virus (Covid19). But it was almost as if I knew that something had happened to her. And there she was, lying bang in the middle of the road, with scores of people simply looking at her still body. As if it w

Muddy flows the Ganges

The river of time flows muddied  Through weeping shores in spate. It carries with it The hunger of our orphans And the neglect of our masters Here a child died  There a friend held on To a dead friend Here a mother gave birth To a still-born And there a old man Sang to the Sea For redemption from the heat The sins of many Would hang heavy on all of us And when it is time to collect Let's be ready,  without apologies To pay.  The river of time runs sullied From the lament of the multitudes Who were sacrificed by some  Who blamed a virus For the wretchedness of their soul.

Us and Them, at the Secunderabad Station

They see my starched white linen And my custom leather shoes: Another White guy, they think And don't hold my glance They make way for me So that their dark hungry frames And their smelly patchy clothes Don't invade my privileged spaces Nothing from their struggling beings Should waft into my being And fight my Davidoff. Even their children A ball of unkempt hairs and leaky nose Rarely return my smile Ma Bharati This land that I walk on Is not my land It is their land The land of the slowly dying And the barely living I should be dead For the unforgiving sin Of merely being alive. 

Cry, Little Child, Cry!

Hold on to the lean fingers Of your old young mother's hand And stop trying to make sense Of the justice in this all When the school bells ring Find a little pebble to break Go help your father Climb a hundred stairs Look down the cavity in the walls But don't fall, don't fall May your never experience hunger Let there be junk from the day before Served with the kindness Of strangers who offer The big lord, gold Cry little child cry Let the concrete in the Sethu ' s* site Never run dry. You cry. You cry. * A rich man.


आज़ादी हम भी चाहते हैं तुमसे आज़ादी। तुम्हारे मांगों से आज़ादी ये दंगों से आज़ादी जिन शोलों में तुम हो लिपटते मेरे आशाओं से भरे तिरंगे को मेरी आन, मेरी शान, मेरे ज़मीर के निशानी को उन शोलों से आज़ादी। जिस आक्रोश से मार गिराते हो मेरे चमन के लाडलों को मेरे वतन के सिपाहियों को उस आक्रोश से आज़ादी। आज़ादी हम भी चाहते हैं तुमसे आज़ादी जिस मिटटी कि खुश्बु है हिंदुस्तानी जिस मिटटी में है सिमटी यादें हमारी तुमसे कई पुरानि, चाहते है हम भी आज़ादी तुमसे उस मिटटी की आज़ादी। केहना तो बहुत कुछ है दोस्त पर है हम पर भी कुछ पाबन्दी, ये तुम्हे है अब सोचना तुम्हारी मांग जो है आज़ादी है किस्से ये आज़ादी हमारे मिटटी से तुम्हारी या तुम्हारी सोच से है हमारी आज़ादी? आज़ादी हम भी चाहते हैं, तुमसे आज़ादी। .... This is my attempt to voice the intense unhappiness that the state of affairs in our state of Kashmir is causing to every Indian. I wish our politicians and media would stand up for the country rather than help us burn down our own attic. The land from where flows down this ancient civili

Look Ma, Pa is killing the kids

I think we are just to many of us. The last I read, one in ten denizens of this world lives in India. Maybe this is why as a nation we encourage more of our countrymen to die like dogs everyday. For a casual onlooker, it will be hard to see through this veil of English speaking media and urban middle class slumber. You have to look closer and then you will see the gross death that lurks all around us. The problem is far greater than one well covered and highlighted rape. In India, your gender does not matter, you are raped anyways. Consider this, our roads kill about 17 Indians every hour and maims twice as many. The Gau Mata probably will account for some of these deaths and the rest are by trucks parked on highways, trucks coming in opposite directions on a the 6 lane highway to avoid taking a larger round about, drunk drivers and villages playing Russian roulette with their lives on the road etc. Some bit of death might also be due to speeding in the absence of policing and step cur

Onions or Living?

My office boy has a young baby girl who has just begun to take her first few baby steps. On my way out, I see her hanging on to the gates and making baby-like noises. She is an optimist; I have not seen her cry. Yesterday on my way back from the supermarket, I bought half a dozen bananas for her. The mother was surprised, it was unexpected. At the supermarket, I remembered the choices I had as a kid. We were just about “middle-class” but we had enough food to eat. There were baskets of mangoes, litchis and five guava trees. There were biscuits which I and my sister would hog over and sweets during every festival. Today these choices are not available to 80% of Indian poor. The onion sells at INR 75/- a kilo, tomatoes at INR 72/-. Barely edible rice is over INR 30/- A doctor’s visit costs INR 250/-. Last year, over 17000 farmers chose to die rather than plod on until their next crop-loss. Many more will die. The rickshaw-wallahs, pavement dwellers, scavengers, mu

Thoughts On Christmas

I came across something interesting on TV early in the morning. The swami who was preaching from the verses of the Bhagwat Gita closed his sermon wishing all viewers merry Christmas. He did not stop at that, he went on to compare the lives of Krishna and Jesus and drew some interesting parallels. Here are some of them that were  particularly thought provoking: Popular figures of their times: Both Jesus and Krishna were loved by the common man on the street. One was the hero of the fisher folks the other the lord of hearts of the ordinary residents of Mathura, a town in ancient Gujarat.  Immaculate Conception: Though separated by atleast 7000 years by birth, both of them are known to have had an extra ordinary birth. While Baby Krishna escaped the wrath of Kamsa to live another day, infant Jesus escaped the king's soldiers just the same. Men of Miracles: Both were capable of miracles. While Krishna was widely accepted as incarnation of Vishnu and worshiped even when alive, the follo

You Burnt My Past!

India Burning As I fight rational to make sense of my today and stumble forth into a future I do not know of, I look behind and hear the holler of a million innocent lives. When you carved my nation's soul as if it were caviar on your cedar and rosewood dining tables, the wounds from that night bleeds still. You doctored my lessons, taught me an alternate history, made yourself heros and saviors of a race that could care less for you. When I grew up, I searched the google and learnt about the murder on your souls. You taught me about Hitler but kept your own names away from me, you taught me about the freedom struggle but kept secret your absolute craving and hunger for the power over a billion poor away from me. When I grew up, I googled and learnt about the dead the buried the displaced and the lost. When I have children, I will not sing songs of gods to them, I will sing songs of your murder and your lust, when I have grand children, I will burn MP6s and Blue Ray Discs with stor

The Poor Will Remain Unemployed... Poor

I sat the whole day in interviews today. I guess I met some 65 people today, most of them from extremely poor families. Today was the first time in my last 20 years that I came across qualified ITI certificate holders (most of them having over 75% scores) who continue to work as farmers and coolies (load bearers). If I spend too much time thinking about them, I will probably get into depression.  But there is hope. That entire hope rests on one man’s determination to change the way we Indian’s get educated. I have great belief in Kapil Sibal. I am not sure whether ten years down the line the results of planned changes will change the life of the poor who are the outcastes in this country with limited access to the entire support systems of food, education and healthcare. Whatever be the future, it cannot be worse than the present. Honorable Sir, the hopes and wishes of a million Indians ride on you. You have the power to affect our future. We are with you.  I also thank God for helping