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!

Hope? What hope?

The man in dirty rags had managed to drag himself near a railway station. But it was weird. Everything is dark there. It is not the period that we know of. at least not yet. It is the future. Much after politicians had finished looting the world. They were being very stupid, though they thought they were very smart for themselves. They did not know when you steal from your own home (planet), you are stealing your own stuff. Gradually they lost significance, then importance and worse was when they became irrelevant. Unnoticed, they kept dying one by one; meeting their fate.

He stepped into the dark station building. Taking support of a pillar, he looked at the ticket window. It was dark there too. No one seemed to be manning it. He entered the platform. No one asked him for a ticket or identification. He was on the first platform. As his vision adjusted, he noticed numerous people everywhere. It was difficult to guess if they were waiting for a train or just… being there. He was almost dead, as in dead tired. He looked around to lie down or sit at least with the support of a wall. There was no place to perch even on the floor. Every chair, cement benches, carts, book shop, tea stall everything was taken. People were lying all over. There was no tea being made. No fruits being sold or any newspaper on the stand. Just people, everywhere! He looked at a distance, towards the end of the platform. He decided to walk towards the end of the platform. He had to dodge people all the way; sometime even jump over few of them huddled together.

He reached the post where the name of the station is written in large alphabets and the platform slopes down to meet the ground. He was not interested but just thought to find which station it was. He touched the large slab of stone and moved his palm over it to find the name, like brail. He thought he found the name, but did not find it familiar, ‘zomboutipod’. He had never heard of it.

Any ways he was not here to find where he was; but to find a six feet space to rest. He found it one foot short, under the name board. He sprawled on the ground and placed his legs up on the pillar of the board. Comfortable was not the word. It was more like heavenly or blissful.

He was dreaming soon.
…he is a four year old travelling in Delhi metro with his elder uncle. The trains ran on electricity. They were so smooth. The stations were brightly lit. He thought, if by chance that light suddenly returned here, he might have to close his eyes for a long time to avoid over exposure. Suddenly he dreamed his eyes were covered with a film filled with red liquid. It took some time to realize that sun light was filtering through his eye lids. He was still on his back. He had a company though. A dog had snuggled next to him. Slowly, he opened his eyes and turned sideways to look in the distance; for a train, for some movement, for some one walking… all he saw was rail tracks which playfully wound themselves like a pair of snakes and disappeared into the oblivion. Just like the reality. Just like the life once he had, everyone had.

There was no hope for a train, no hope from and for the people laying all over, no hope from and for the system. There has been no system for as long he could remember, unless he went back 65 years.

Only hope that was there was from the dirty little dog, sleeping next to him.

Whose dream is it any way?

Oh, how come you are here?
Huh! Why is it so dark
And at this odd time?
What! I called you?
But I don’t think so.
Let me try and remember
Could you please just help me
When was that
I mean when, did I call you
At night! This last night! Shocking
So… did I call you on your cell
No no, I am not smiling
Then how?
You just heard me calling
Oh my dear, I am sure you were dreaming
He he, finally
Someone is dreaming of me
And has reached the point
Where I wanted her to be for a long time
Nice for me, ehh
Let’s go to CCD and celebrate with Cappuccino…
Where are you?
OMG! Not again
Thank god, you are not here,
Thank god, no one is here
To find me behaving so utterly silly
For the nth time
It was not about her dream
But mine

Shadows of darkness

Why is it so dark in here…

In my heart

All around me

Where have those twinkling lamps gone

Sending out signals of love and hope

Their smooth and warm light

Scattered all around my being

Hoping with hope

That kept me going

My face kept a stiff smile on…

Where are those lamps now

Lit by warmth of our love

Has the love burnt out

But why

And how

Don’t we all need light

Don’t we all need love

It is so dark now

I can’t find you

I can’t find the lamps

Even shadows are not seen

Have the lamps taken the shadows away?

Why can’t the darkness create shadows?

The light creates dark shadows

Couldn’t the darkness create bright shadows?

Now there is no you

There is no love, no hope

No light, no warmth

… not even shadows of darkness

Truth, nothing but the truth

Can you hear that soothing sound? It comes in between the splashes of rain and wind. Listen carefully. Actually it is sounds of many tiny little wind chimes; many, many of them. They all have different tones and notes and frequencies. They are ringing at different times. One gradually stopping while another fading in and going on until next one takes over. Of course sometime many ring together. All the sounds seem to be originating from the same place. I mean they are coming from the same direction! And also that place surely has a lot of constant breeze! Now, let me open the suspense.

Actually I knew the secret, all along. I know where they are hanging. Want to come along? I’ll show you. I know it’s raining, but it will be nice to go there. You wouldn’t regret the trip. That entire scenario is so surreal. You wouldn’t believe what you are seeing. Okay okay. We wouldn’t go. But if you are keen, I will tell you about it. Then you decide you can go on your own and see it.

Remember that round garden? Yes? Take a left from there. Keep going straight for about 300 meters. Road will end and you will come across sand. Now walk on sand. If you wish take your shoes off and carry them in your hand. Another 200 meters on sand and gradually sound of water will fade in and traffic from the road left behind, will go in the background, finally getting totally inaudible. There will be a sand upward incline, keeping climbing it. When you reach the top, the vast ocean line will reveal itself! I suggest you wait here for a few moments and absorb the visual. Gray sand in front, gray water after that and finally unending gray skyline. The only chance of a break in grayness can be, in case you find a fishing boat on the horizon. It may be black-gray-brown boat, or a dot of blue due to a plastic sheet.

Oh! Never mind that. Where were we? Yes I was telling you about the source of wind chime sounds. Okay now walk towards the sea about 100 meters. This will change in case of tide. It will be 150 meters in case low tide and much less in case of high… from the edge of water walk towards left. In a few minutes you will see a coconut tree. Last time I saw it was bending towards the sea. It is very tall and has many branches sprawling all over. Each branch is almost as long as the tree itself. I know but this coconut tree has branches! In fact many, many branches. Each branch has nearly fifty coconuts. So many people come and take coconuts when they need. Sorry correction; only women can take coconuts from this tree. Because tree knows they will break one only when the need it for use at home. They are not greedy to start a coconut business.

Now time to open the secret. At the bottom of each coconut, is a wind chime hanging, smaller ones down and larger ones on top of tree. They have different colors too. Silver, golden, red, orange… and now it is very clear that due to sea breeze, the sound never stops. These days during rains it is a bit too much. All bells mix up and make a shimmering and fluttering kind of continuous sound…

Let me know when you plan to go. We will take its photos and upload. Otherwise no one will believe the story.

Finding inner peace

I can see a street from my window

Actually a small part of it

Though the street mainly consists of potholes

Yet it attracts many

Cars, tempos, scooters, autos

As their loud horns blare

Further raising the decibels all over

Restlessness seems to have taken over

People trying to cross the street

Between many a brake screech

Scared old men women children

And the dogs scampering frightened

With their tails between their legs

Everyone seems so high strung

Someone wants to go across that way

Others are waiting to walk this way

Many have phones pressed to their ear

So they can listen to what they want to hear

This tiny part of a street has so much energy!

I was scared to add up the entire city…

My heart now was getting heavy

I left the window and shut it

Noises did reduce substantially

But my heart remained heavy

I thought about the sea

I love sounds of the sea

Waves make same sound

Their action very persistent

Each wave hits the shore

And spreads around all over

Then follows another

Another, yet another

Energy of the waves seems to be endless

Where in the sea must be their source?

Let me tell you a secret

Sea waves give me a therapy

With their sounds and energy

Soon my eye lids turned heavy

And I began to feel sleepy

As my mind sank further

I began surveying the world deeper

Noise of waves had considerably reduced

As though even this window had closed

The world below was different

In fact, very different

I swam even lower

Then even more

A bit more

Until there was no sound

Except smoothness and calm

A shell was crawling on the sandy surface

The fish seem to have lost their pace

It felt like a heavenly place

No one chased another to eat

No one seemed to want nothing

No one had to convey anything No one wanted to know anything…

As we dive in our thoughts, we find peace.