Sick Minds

This horrid story had happened around 2005-06.

It has been quite some time since plastic bags containing tender skeletons were discovered in Nithari, a village near Noida, UP. The bags were thrown around in Nallahs and garbage heaps. The news numbed me so badly that I thought I will never be able to write about this horrifying incidence. In my entire long life I have never come across a more hideous act of crime, in my own country. I was completely shocked and disgusted!

I may be getting cynical, but basically I believe that majority of people in our society fall into the category of, ‘not nice’. Although nobody seems so on the surface, but given a chance of doing something on the quiet; we will lose our moral strength. We are insecure and scheming. We have no respect for women. We are always beating them, burning them or killing them; sometime even in their fetal position. Ironically this has been reported especially from the land of the bravery and heroism. We enjoy easy victory over weaker sex, because they are weaker and give-in in silence since they have to take care of home, children and us, men. We are the discoverers of how to rape vulnerable young girls in running cars.

But I had no idea that we had degenerated to this horrible extent.

There are many countries where the life has practically no value and no guarantee, like Iraq, Palestine, Sierra Leone, Somalia and perhaps many more. But there is a difference. These places are going through basic survival and political struggles. For people there, there is no guarantee when they will get a chance to sit down and eat a square meal and from where will it come? There is also lack of education. Idi Amin did a lot of plunder and rape in Uganda; but that is how dictators in such places are supposed to be. Innovators of ‘how to kill efficiently and cheaply’ did away millions of poor and week. It was the ego of a short, complexed and power hungry man against the week and meek. It was also the occasion of WW-2, so eliminating 6 million as cleanup operation was considered fair. But why does a well-educated millionaire who owns land, villas and businesses needs to do such atrocities on helpless poor children? It does not even make business sense, since it is so full of risk and may not be as well paying too. Plus how much sexual gratification the criminals may have got from those poor souls (that is what they are now)? I am at a loss.

This episode reminds me of some scary part of Ramayan when Ram, Seeta and Lakshman are sent to live in forest. This chapter is about the Asuras who are out to disturb the meditation and sacred life style of hermits and saints. Asuras do it by throwing human and animal parts into their holy fire of Havan and killing the sages. The two people who are arrested for this ghastly act, remind me of those Asuras.

I know lower and middle class everywhere is very defensive and wishes to lead a safe, hassle-free life. Many parents of these children either did not file the FIRs or did not pursued it. They did not want to pressurize the cops too much fearing a backlash. Many must have thought that it would be impossible to make the system work (be of help), because if anyone pursued hard, an enquiry against the complainant himself may start.

Some law keepers think, kidnapping young children, their unlawful confinement, violating their modesty (rape), murder, selling their organs and destroying the evidence in an organized way (+ more), is small matter.

Pt. Nehru is supposed to have sighed sadly once, ‘I know there is an India, but where are the Indians’? Well, it has been half a century since this observation was made in self-pity. Do not worry Panditji we are still doing it. Sigh!

Message for the heart

She was much in a hurry

Going straight ahead

Without looking right or left

Zooming through trees

Clipping and dropping leafs

That plummeted down with a brief grief

She was too fast for me too

But I caught up with her somehow

“Why such a hurry?

I have a genuine inquiry

Tell me what is the problem

Is there someone with loaded gun?”

I prodded her again,

“Where are you going?”

“I am a messenger”

She squeaked in anger

“Of a man in white turban

For a woman in blue gown

Walking the path right down”

“A very private message?”

I said with a naughty smile

She said hurriedly, ‘of course’,

In her menacing style

“I left turbaned man’s gun

To hit the head of that woman!”

Words fail me

I sat down to write…

As her memories

And my anxieties

Had started choking me

I placed on the desk a blank sheet of paper

Picked the pen up and guided it over

Even before I could write a word

My heart jumped out and sat on the paper

But now I was thinking hard

About the words

That will replace my heart

Will express my feelings

Which my heart was screaming

What my life was missing

How I suffered suffocation, irritation,

Worries difficulties botherations

Now it was hurting as my neck remained craned

Words didn’t emerge in my non-functional brain

In despair, I placed the pen in the slot

And shut the inkpot

My eyes were welling up

And tears were rolling down

Traveling my cheeks

And jumping off in the end

Finding the blank paper to land

Forming an unshapely figure

Soon these figures filled entire paper

With a language that couldn’t be read

But my feelings?

My feeling were perfectly expressed

Tears had said it all

All that I couldn’t recall

Alas! Sadly

My words had failed me.

Don’t leave me

Is it okay to ask,

Don’t leave me again?

You see I am not even with you

You do whatever you want to do

In and around your world

I do not physically figure

You know I am not there

And I know you are not here

I am not intruding into your space or taking your time

Demanding your attention, respect, or love of any kind

I can’t even see, what you are doing

Who is with you or to whom are you talking

Having coffee, watching movies

Or just sharing your stories

I am not snooping

On your emails or your phone

Even then you never promised

Never to leave me again.

World and her story

Time is passing

So is life

Cross roads, hairpin bends,

Steep climbs, landmarks

All falling behind

I can see a path winding away

Far in the distance

Dissolving into nothingness

One end of which is under my feet

The other seems to be

At the end of my vision

After that… nothing

After that… nothing,

Would be wrong to say

After all, the rest of the world

Has to be there

Somewhere,

Beyond the end of the path

Beyond the end of my vision

Yes, the world made by man

Will cease to exist

But world untouched by man

Will still be there

In its full glory

Narrating it’s amazing story.

I will pass away

You too will be gone

Our sorrows would be wiped off

Smiles will fade leaving no mark

Storytellers will not be around

Listeners also would have passed

But the world will go on

Narrating her story on her own.

Alexander, Babar, Genghis Khan

Christ, Kabir and Krshn

Winners and vanquished

Killers and the killed

All dumped randomly

Unceremoniously

In the dark silence

Of a little old box

Not moving

Not speaking

Yet wearing the crown

With a bloody sword in hand

Not knowing their story is done.

Theater of Life

What am I to say

What am I to do

Whether I am to stay

Or must I go

Is it up to me

Or is it up to you

I guess,

Nothing is up to anyone

It happens when it happens,

Till then behind the curtains

We must arrange our things

When the time comes

When the curtain opens

All will be exposed

And judged

By hundreds of gods

Sitting quietly in the dark

Watching like a hawk

The gods decide

Who was good and did well

Who was good but did not do well

Who was bad yet did well…

40 Years of Prithvi Theater