Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Perhaps it is better for us not to fall for such issues.
'Why father' his curious mind rattled him 'WHY'
'It is none of our business.'
And that ended the conversation!
'It is none of my business' he thought
then what is my business
to go to school, study and work
eat, live and make a family
and then worry about sustaining
is that it, is this my business?
Nobody could have answered his questions
for in a place where the time plays tricks
and hides the hours, which seem less
to attend to one's own business
who could have taken out few minutes
to answer his questions, it was out of question !
And so he sat thinking on his own,
there were a lot of things to think about
Just yesterday his teacher in school
was teaching him morale science
after the class while going home
he saw the same teacher
throwing the banana peel and
a half eaten apple on the road
The dogs rushed to eat the leftovers
and a motor nearly crashed in one of the dogs
the dog after a long cry, gave up.
the body was lying there till the other day
when he went to school.
In school, the office peon often
spit the red thick liquid of 'Paan'
on the outer wall, staining it
Whenever he went for loo
the side tap near the broken window glass
was always running and wasting as much as it could
the administration had registered for the new tap
procurement, some 6-7 months ago
But the plumber shop across the road
was too far to reach.
On 15th august they celebrated their independence day
the school organized a parade and patriotic songs were sung
The chief guest, now a retired government administrator
sat in the school car, carrying with him
10 kgs of sweets served by independent India.
While returning home , he could see
the tricolor flags lying on the ground soaking wet in mud.
His father read about the news in the papers
'Tsunami again, we might as well hold a fund raising event in the society.'
His mother said ' Yes, good idea, we will also have dandia party along...
.. last time that BharatNatyam performance was very boring!!'
His father telephones the other Uncle's and Aunty's.
"Dad, can you give me 100 Rs., I want to give it to my friend.'
'Why? His parents will give him all he needs, none of your business'
'His father is no more, you remember they were on holidays in Andaman
when the Tsunami came last time. Tomorrow is his Mom's B'day
He wants to give a surprise gift...dad.. dad..'
'Mr. Mehta, I think we may want to have the Golgappa stall also this time....'
His voice reached none. Wind blew and flickered the pages of the book, which read 'The morals of life.'
Saturday, July 23, 2011
(Courtesy- Google Images)
Megha, how often I have remembered the only times I had met her. My memories go back to the last decade. She was the daughter of one of the construction workers who were building our house. I used to play at the site quite often and had stringent instructions from my mother, who overlooked the whole business, not to indulge with the kids of the workers. Like every child, I savored the eternal joy associated with breaking the rules and not getting caught. Mostly the kids who played around that area were boys. Megha, 32 at that time, was the illegal (the term I understood much later) of Ram Barua Gujjar (Ramu, as he was called), one of the construction workers. She, 5 feet tall and with endless flabs of fat, had one of the most beautiful pair of eyes. She had the biggest and the roundest dark circles around her eyes but the thing I found interesting was the bright spark that came from the pair, twinkling hope. Every other day, I would see her sitting on the heap of sand near the ragged covered hut and gaze at the children playing nearby. She was always there – listening to his Galis (words used in hindi for abusing), chewing tobacco and drinking black tea (for the milk was too costly to put in the tea). Megha gossiped a lot but rarely with others. She gossiped with the children. Others did not want to speak to her. She hadn’t served the purpose she was brought to serve. But she was satisfied with life as it was presented to her or so I thought. When the construction of the house was complete the workers moved away from the places to somewhere else. Megha, came once or twice to our house to get some household work. That time, I came to know from granny that her husband had left her. Of course granny did not give her any work for reasons I couldn’t understand. It was some news to me as I did not know for the starters that Megha was married. I always thought she was there as an entity, a single cell. It never occurred to me why she was constantly abused by Ramu, simply because all other wives were also abused by their husbands, who lived in the construction areas. Granny told that she delivered a child, the sole purpose for which Ramu had kept her (as a wife). After 2 years, she had been successful in producing the progeny.
It is now more than 10 years since Megha. We shifted places and houses. Cities changed and so did household help. Megha, who failed to give Ramu the family honor for which Ramu had accepted her as a second wife (no legal marriage information is there to anyone’s knowledge) is still pouring hope. She gave birth to a baby girl as did Ramu’s first wife. Ramu was then the father of 3 girls before Megha faded from our lives.
Rain still pours every year in the city. In Hindi we say:
‘Sawan aya, Megha barse’
But Megha is lost in time, in some city of this country. A boy is still the family honor there and Megha still hopes that she will be able to do what she has been brought for.
Queer is the world
And queerer are its norms
She still lives in the world of hope
Till the darkness fades and
Brings the same joy
On the birth of a girl or a boy.