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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And I face the sun


And I face the sun.
While a sweat trickles down, but dries off midway
I see the children toiling in the fields,
I see the workers in the mines.
The noise, the work, the chores - all dry up.

Amongst the maze that I had to climb down the mines
Which gave me moments of respite from the world above,
Only to realize that even there I tripped and fell… headlong.
I got to know the rocks below that withstood my fall.
The walls around me creaked, but didn’t give way.
I climbed, the soot caused the blur in my eyes.
I had left my dreams in the fallow fields which bore dust and hunger.
So I had no fears of losing my dreams. I climbed.
The skin came off my hands, I had to grasp the ladder.

Scratched, scarred, starved I climbed and stood.
The dawn gave way to the bright light
To which I stared right ahead…
… and I faced the sun.



  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Rethinking Democracy

The Middle East goes up in flames, from the Tunisian merchant who set himself ablaze, to the Palestine world which gained its momentum to express their rights under subversion. The right-wing regime in Egypt topples, to the great fervor building up en masse whose effects are even felt in areas like China and Myanmar. The irony remains, when these regimes have thus far attempted to portray the normalcy in their working, with the Nehru Prize given to leaders like Hosni Mubarak (which is bizarre considering the international tie up between the Egyptian and the Indian government) and who deems it fit to receive such an ‘honour’ after seven years of its declaration (!), the common man steps up to light up the streets with just the spark of democratic fervor which went missing not only from the country, but also from the minds of the several other ‘democratic’ nations who finds it an act of solidarity to bestow the highest award of a country to someone who embodied the ‘democracy-thus-far’.
This is not new, neither out of place, when we consider the tie ups of the Libyan premier Muammar Qaddafi with the prestigious London School of Economics where with a trivial aid of a few billion dollars to the institution made it consider the admission of his son and grant recognition to the recently-accused plagiarized Ph.D paper that he had submitted. The Libyan premier had also set separate grants to the same institution to train the intellectuals of the country, which ironically the British institution accepted not considering the political outcomes which had already surfaced in 1986 when Reagan had decided to bomb Tripoli under the very same dictator as an anti terrorist activity and was met with Thatcher’s vociferous support.
It’s interesting to note the reactions of the international community in light of the recent agitations. While Uncle Sam initially wanted Hosni Mubarak to remain in power, it had to comply with the change of events which followed the interim government in power in Egypt . Most of the European nations have in fact extended support towards the rebels, and has witnessed the media taking up an immensely important role, to the effect that the ‘The Economist’ resorted to use the term ‘Twitter Revolution’ in reference to the internet occupying a pivotal role in the agitation in Egypt and elsewhere.
India, on the other hand is witnessing a series of agitation staged by the Gujjar and the Jat communities of the Northern India. It is not a very uncommon phenomenon in the country, which has been scarred by the problem of representation of sectarian classes in the making of the government since the colonial times. The National Capital Region still remains surrounded by the Jats who have threatened to destroy not only the transportation, but also the oil and resource lines leading up to the city. For a very brief moment, it does occur to us, had a Muammar Qaddafi been on the throne of the government, would the Jats still have such a dominant voice?
It is not my intention to carry out an exclusive analysis of the contemporary world situation; rather I’d more emphasize the role of the masses in carrying out an agitation which derive the responses from the respective governments, in the light of the recent caste based agitations going on in India.
If we look at the similarities, they are more than pronounced, with the recent Jats and the Gujjar agitations and the rise in the Arab world. Both strive for a better representation in the current political scenario. Both claim they have been denied rights and representations in the functioning apparatus of their respective countries. They believe in semi-violent (or semi-non-violent considering the Gandhian ideological predominance in the subcontinent) measures to make it a point to let the government take any conclusive (or with respect to India, inconclusive) action. The demands in most cases are fair, and they are more than justified in resorting to such measures. The gujjars and the jats have successfully incurred the government of losses amounting to millions with the wave of agitations in the past few months, which has paralleled the losses incurred by the Arab world in terms of the oil industry. There has been a trend in the international world to associate the year 2011 with that of 1989 and 1848 when similar revolution swept past tumbling the communist and the monarchical regimes in Europe and the world respectively. It is interesting to comment in similar lines, the condition of India in the 1969-71 when the growing middle class consciousness les to the rise of leftist student movements in different parts of the country. We should keep in mind, the comparison is simply on the basis of the magnitude that these revolutions achieved, and not the ideologies and the nature of the demands they portrayed.
What is interesting is the way the different governments have approached these agitations, which then throws a partial light on to the probable consequence of these revolts. While the Arab world wasted little time in negotiations resorting to immediate counter-revolutionary operations reminding us of Germany in 1848, China in 1989. At places where the government could subdue them in the Arab world, they did, and at others the revolutionary forces had to break through government barriers to establish its’ control. Whereas, faced with an impending blockade of the very National Capital Region of the country, the government does very little to look into the demands and the causes of the Jat agitation. Not that it is a duty of the government to look into every demands raised by the minorities in India, but I believe that an agitation needs to be dealt with considering the consequence and the proportion it achieves.
The situation in India, in fact is a lot different form the Arab world. The factional parties here do not represent the war against corruptive regimes, they for a fact, do not even represent the entire country. The political developments in India have always been dominated, by a presence of political factions. The government as of now is dependent on such a vast number of factions, that it is ironical when these groups demand ‘democratic’ shares accusing the government of being ‘undemocratic’, when the very solid base of their agitation is provided by leaders who form a part of the ruling group.
An important observation at this point would be to look at the western world, which is familiar with the disruption caused when the ‘masses’ and the ‘elite’ fails to co-ordinate in a government. A little elaboration will tell us, where the recent history bristles with examples of the 'elite' causing mischief. In 2008 clever but reckless bankers sparked a global meltdown. American lawyers, in punishing doctors’ mistakes, made medicine more costly. Students in Europe riot to demand that others, including those not fortunate enough to attend university, pay for their tuition. We notice that the pattern of agitation that continues when the ‘elite’ does not serve as an altruistic group in other countries, is exactly the pattern that follows in India regarding any forms of agitation and rebellion. Just that, the difference lies in how we define ‘elite’ in this case. The Jats, Gujjars or for that matter any caste based, religion based, faction does not fall in the definition of ‘elite’ in India. Far from it, they declare themselves as democratic institutions! But with the pattern of the agitations aforementioned, the behavior of these communities are more like the disruptive 'elites' that separate themselves from the entire masses. It is only this particular trait of having a separate identity to that of the masses in their distinct behavioral pattern that the agitators in India and the 'elites' in the western world have in common.
The ‘elite’ are most likely to do harm when they rely on the coercive power of the state: for example, when they persuade it to grant them special favors. The irony is, in autocratic countries such as China and Russia the most influential people devote a disproportionate amount of energy to such rent-seeking, whereas liberal democracies are supposed to be the ideal form where the ordinary folk are better defended. But, that is entirely different in India. The factional parties are able to extract the support of the government granting them special favors. The assurance from the government forms the very backbone of all these uprisings, irrespective of the relevance of their demand and the utter nonchalance to a certification of their demands. They are secure in the belief that there awaits a government who is clearly bent on the ‘elite behavior’ than their responsibility to the masses.
Isn’t that some sad irony that goes, if not entirely but to a certain extent, unnoticed?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Superfluous Quandary

I was passing the local market. Sudden outbursts of hue and cry caught my attention. An everyday phenomenon, or so i thought. I was about to walk past when some crude swearing raised the inquisition of the average middle-class man in me.

I walked up to the crowd. An adolescent boy and girl stood amidst the judging eyes.

Perplexed.

Or rebellious?

Well, at least it was a sight better than the hogging and bargaining in that bazaar.

"Now what did they exactly do, kaka?", I wasn’t in for any sympathy or explanations. And I wasn’t disappointed.

'Can you believe the blatant indecency? They were... they were... I can't even say it! No respect for values and ideals! Uncouth. They don't realize they have the next generation watching them. Judging them.'

"Where were they found? Who found them? Did you see it?"

'The sacred relationship of a man and a woman! And look at them. Just look at them!! I dared not look at a girl before I got married! Bastard!' I chose to be a little delicate on the words.

And the crowd chipped in, they had something to hang on till noon.

I walked away.

The upholders of the society, nay traditions! Moral police.

Deep within the society spreads the worm, laying eggs of convenience.

Masked faces, shameless hypocrisy idealizing their own unchallenged norms.

Damn. And i thought there was a fight. A fight is always better. Nah?

I hate the sun. Useless delay.

The boy popped up. Cramped. Suffocated. Glances of repulsion and a helpless concern.

He needs someone to hold, a stick perhaps? They need a beating. Ha. That’ll do.

And me?

Ah! I need to go look for some good, fresh fish. And some grocery perhaps? Oh I so forgot the sweets!

My daughter-in-law would be here any moment!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The one who breathed RED.

The horizon was red

And I wondered the colour was blue; stamped Imbecile

My caput rolled down the stairs… there was red everywhere.

They licked every drop that fell, thirst was not the reason.

I had walked high.

‘You have your red… what more’?

“Oh there’s the smell!! There’s the warmth!! There’s the Red!!”


I walk down the square.

The paint is dazzling! The colour so bright.

‘Don’t you notice?’ the passer by, repulsion in his stride and lifelessness in his whisper, replies ‘Comrade’.


Blindfold.

Bayonets.

Lo! Behold!

I feel the wall,

And the sweat cold.

‘You had my head!’

“We want your Red”.

I felt the burning lead.


I walk again.

‘Do you see the sun?’

“Not until its red.”

I shoot a look. The dark spots and the dangling neck seem familiar in her.

I smell the wind, the stench intensifies.

A smile spreads across her face, serene.

And with a breadth as close as red

I turn crimson.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

CALL OF A DRAG


(i apologize for the use of language, hope it doesn't trivialize the write up)

What is that single fucking thing that I would stand up to protect considering nothing?

Why isn’t there any substitute word for ‘fucking’?

Why have I grown so skeptical?

Why are there people who are assholes?

Reasons?

Goddamn you. There are no reasons at times. You take a fucking long drag of the blazing tobacco shooting nicotine up your central nervous system, with shrieking hard metal music tearing apart your ear drums, with blaze of smoke all around you and substantial alcohol to jam up your biological processes, you CEASE TO THINK. YES, that is all you need to do sometimes. That is exactly why that is so hard.

Morality? You one hell of a screwed up son-of-a-bitch.

Take a look at yourself, and all that you had thought you would not do, … and all that you had thought you would actually do.

My ears hurt. My head pains. My system sick of the fucking bitter toxin and a semi-efficient nervous system fed with volumes of nicotine, regurgitates.

I think again, and I stop.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Disrupted Memories of a Pause

I still remember

The shivers I felt, when there was summer around

I’d searched for people-

I’d searched for distances that brought men together

I hated the blankness around-

The stillness of solitude

The blurred reality engulfed by the chilled dreams

And

Then it was distant.




Friday, July 16, 2010

Here's some off-the-chart post-a poem. It might as well fail to arouse any interest. Its called "Glimpse Of a Journey".

I have a fetish for the colour green.

I’m not sure how, it was only

When I looked out through a window

Anticipating reddish and brown and tawny substance

That they love to call soil, and I found green.

As though a prevision, I found out why.


The subtlety intrigues me, when I realize

The water droplet sitting idly on a grass blade and

The world it portrays in the reflection, is actually false.

Where have I been all along?

The likelihood that I am false is overpowering,

I awoke only to see the greenery gone.


Is it bizarre

To imagine the brown turf go green again?

How long has it been

Since the lack of viridity has perplexed me?

The rain is yet to arrive.


Once I found a man

Lost, he lay on a bed of grass

I yearned for the extent of his insularism,

Desperation embraced me, I thought for a while.

Right then I opened my eyes

And I found them green again.