Wednesday, November 26, 2014

the prime mover

siddique was puzzled. kamlesh was in quiet contemplation. the winds carried her words with even more force. she adjusted her white dupatta across her petite frame, standing straight she looked at their faces. the darkness slowly enveloped the expressions into a montage of curiosity. the leaves of the tree all around rustled in anticipation. she felt a surge of electricity enveloping her senses. she continued,

the culture of excess exists because its allowed to exist. the culture of consumerism and consumption is by-products of capitalism gone horribly wrong, capitalism is no longer used for whats it intended for. power has become more and more centralized in our democracy citing capitalism. democracy is based on will of the majority to elect peoples representatives who look out for the interests for the broader interest of the community where every single individual is a shareholder. but peoples representatives are now taken over by multinational corporations who have hijacked the interests of the larger sections of society to keep their own personal gardens safe and rich. in a country where more importance is given to the merits of an ipod than the problems associated with poverty and pollution, we should realize the democratic narrative is taken over by the corporation narrative. apple, microsoft, coco-cola while bringing some value to society are doing what they do to protect their self-interest. if apple was so interested in doing good for society why is it none of its products are open-source. anyways the companies originated where it originated from had a need, coco-cola did not originate in the united states when people were still in poverty. at that time the people there thought to improve basic necessities was more important. that should be the dialogue in the media here right now. not obessing ourselves with every gadget, every popular sub-culture of the world. why do people here who claim they want to do good for society not go to the improveished sections of society and tackle problems such as poverty and illiteracy head on. we can gain so much more and society can evolve so much more if only we organize ourselves collectively to prioritize decisions that matter to us .. to them , to people there on the streets. if and when we raise the majority of people to a standard where they dont worry about food, shelter and clothing should we prioritize armchair people sitting in airconditioned offices talking about doing good for society. gandhi said ...

be the change you want to see in the world completed siddique walking towards cristine.

kamlesh arched his eyebrows as he said , so you mean to say.

yes she said. lets resign from our jobs. lets stop living the way we do, in our ensconced shells of pleasure because talking about all this and doing what we do only seems hypocritical. lets organize people into self sustaining cooperatives who can look after themselves without being influenced by the narrow interests of the marketing media who feed us and shape what we want so that we think thats what we need. lets look at amul for inspiration, lets look at gandhi, kurien .. bring them to the people.

kamlesh looked at his watch. its almost time he thought. he looked at siddique, what about the others he asked. should we talk to them about this.

cristine said , i resigned from my job today. i already started the revolution.   

Friday, November 21, 2014

the evening sun

the culture of excess. thats what i abhor. i can go on and on how we are programmed, how society controls our actions and how we are so caught up in the worldly pursuit of things that we forget to live life .. just a little bit. we cant be completely happy and nor can we be perfect and nor there can be this perfect moment. life itself is an anamoly, if there was perfection there would be no evolution. we evolved to what we are today due to the anamoly, an accident. but the spirit of humankind is the attempt at perfection. the incremental progress that we strive for. the irony. life can be an accident, the law of large numbers. do you know that if you have an infinite number of monkeys typing one is bound to reproduce the complete works of shakespeare.

and we feel or sometimes we are even made to feel that imperfection is what we need to seek to resolve. the lack of perfect happiness is why we wonder our life is empty. in an attempt to satisfy this need people look in the wrong direction. corporations are made to take advantage of this with the never ending products and things and stuff. we are made to believe that if we buy a thing that somehow magically our emptiness will disappear. its a self fulfilling prophecy albeit a temporary one. your car will not give you happiness, buying armani will not give you happiness , buying a house will not. again am not saying you dont need to have it , but thats not what we are looking for. look inside yourself, think and think and analyze. be at peace with yourself. love yourself. not in the self narcissism that people now exhibit.  its just impossible that life can be only about a house , car and some expensive clothes to wear. it cannot be an evolutionary goal.

kamlesh paused for a bit. cristine looked at him .. she wryly thought this was the same guy who thought perfection existed. that was him alright. the one who pined for utopia, perfection, this pure unadulterated feeling that humans are capable of. the primal , the emotion that is stripped of all the mascara at its most skeletal form. all the pretentiouness gone with the wind, just the sincere truth that is him. but he was still sincere, only he could never accept in the past that an utopian society didnt exist. he demanded the sky of his friends. even from her. maybe only from her and possibly siddique. but he was a child lost in a candyshop. and when she fell from those lofty standards he set , he was deeply hurt. she knew it. it was inevitable. she tried to explain it to him but he wouldnt listen. but now he had made peace with it. he resigned himself to it, but given his way he would want to design utopia.

siddique stood patiently listening to him. intellectualizing ideals that mattered not a bit for survival. he admired them but he knew it was only good to listen to it , revel in it. but then after they go back to their houses , the grind of life starts. you need to get a job, you need to earn money , you need to buy a house , you need to buy a car and so on. siddique realized the three of them are privileged, they didnt struggle for a house or food or education. yet the speech was profound and he would have his say later.

the evening sun was slowly winding up its journey into those orange skies. they burned like the passion with which kamlesh spoke. the cool breeze wrapped the three of them in a bond of invisible faith. kamlesh paced up and down the marbled floors of the building terrace. siddique rested against the grey wall with his arms folded as he looked at the distant sun. he wondered when it will stay always shining in his life. he felt alone without kamlesh and cristine. he knew kamlesh and cristine loved each other in the most pristine manner possible but that was also why they could not express it. he just hoped that it would not eventually destroy their friendship. cristine shifted her hair and she looked at the distant sun and hoped it would never set on her.

we should start a revolution. kamlesh was jolted by those words by cristine.
 


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

just another bygone day

like always siddique was ready with the equipment. the narrow streets were bustling with activity. kids all around playing the one and only game in india that could rock a nation into collective consiousness. cricket. followed by religious zeal, the sounds of ball hitting bat resonate as you walked across the tar paved street where kamlesh lived.

it was quite a sight. concrete buildings erected next to each other in a straight line on either sides of the street to hold the bustling metropolis, each with its small courtyard just perfect to hold the cricket pitch .. all of 22 yards. and thats where all the action happened late into the evening before the dark skies enveloped the city. there was hardly any traffic in this inner lane and the street was part of the playground. each building would host a game with kids from the neighboring building joining in.

but as always it was just siddique and kamlesh, on their turf matching their skills. kamlesh was a natural talent stroking the ball, fielding with energy and bowling like a madman. mostly it would be siddique charging in to kamlesh who would find the perfect placement. this was the only time that kamlesh would bully siddique with his unparalleled skills. and cristine would watch it from her terrace behind her science textbook. she would always long for something so that she too could be a part , sometimes she did .. but it was a mans game. she wanted to be part of their game, next to him part of his life. to get his attention she would always cheer siddique, she enjoyed getting under his skin.

crash .. bang. she was broken from her imaginary world. she saw kamlesh and siddique rushing away from the scene of the broken glass windows of the neighbour. she couldnt react. before she could go away, the neighbor appeared,

its kamlesh isnt it. you saw them playing here. tell me and ill make sure he never plays here.

oh no , i dont think so. i was here all this while but i dont know. there was no one playing here. its from the other side i think.

tell me the truth cristine, your dad will be angry if you lie.

cristine saw kamlesh winking at her from the corner of the wall. her heart skipped a beat.
with a smile she said,  no i am not. honestly there was no one here.

oh these kids, the exasperated neighbor went back to his evening dose of the reality show.

kamlesh and siddique slowly walked out.

thank you shouted siddique. cristine join us , we will play something different now right kamlesh.

kamlesh looked at her hoping his face wouldnt give it all away. allright only today cristine but i generally dont like to play girly games.

as she joined them , it was the familiar friendship and tales of gossip. the three musketeers slowly started their journey into life.


Tuesday, November 04, 2014

saiyaan

she rolled over to his side , laughing ever so in a teasing manner. sitting on the bed his back rested against the wall as he watched her roll towards him. her smile revealed her pearly white teeth with her hair flowing across her face. the room was cozy and warm, with the books from yesterday scattered across the multi patterned rug. as he looked from the rug, across the room in the mirror he could see her back arched slightly as she lay in thought and at the same time smiling at him. the red saree that draped her lay softly as if in perfect unison with the body. he looked at her eyes, a million emotions held within waiting to be discovered.

it was a fight against the odds. he didnt care. he didnt care when he first laid his eyes on her as she came striding towards him. he knew at that very moment he would want to share every moment of his life with her by his side. he was naive and young. didnt care what she thought or where she was from or what she wanted. the exuberance of youth consumed him ever so brightly. his passion overflowed while talking with her consuming her emotions for him. it was like this huge wave from the ocean that engulfed her with all its might. it was overpowering, every thought , every action, every moment was so consumed by her.

Heere moti main na chahoon
Main to chahoon, Sangam tera,
Mai to teri saiyaan, tu hai mera,
Saiyaan, saiyaanaaaaaaaaaan
Tu jo choole pyaar se, araam se mar jaaun
Aaja chanda baahon mein tujhmein hi ghum ho jaaun mai,
Tere naam mein kho jaaun,
Saiyaan, saiyaaaaaaaaaaaaan.


... as kailash kher played in the background. she rolled even more closer to him wanting to be a part of his journey into nostalgia. she knew him so much that it could only be dangerous. she knew his every thought , his action ... she smiled and got upto look at his face and gently stroked his cheek. that moment she felt an infinite energy sweeping into her. his pure unadulterated love quelled her doubts and she has never felt so vulnerable to anyone else. she took his head in her hands while she kissed his cheeks. as her lips lingered on his cheeks she could smell the faint traces of the perfume on his body. she wanted to soak in the moment. she closed her eyes and uttered "i wish this moment did not end."

he turned his head, his forehead on hers. looking into her eyes , he searched for himself inside. he slowly kissed her lips as she came closer to him. "lets not speak because words are not enough."

Monday, February 03, 2014

no, please dont .. whimpered kamlesh amidst sounds of laughter. he knew he shouldnt have come alone to this part of the playground. but he had a way of getting lost in his own little tiny world. the three big boys gathered around him, one pushed him from behind and kamlesh knew what awaited him. he felt weak and scared. his voice barely registered a word. his throat dry and he was frantically hoping this would stop .. somehow just stop. suddenly a voice was heard. he recognized siddique. siddique walked right in keeping a brave face, kamlesh the principal wants you what are you playing here for ? mention of the school principal suddenly changed the attitude of the bullies. one boy patted kamlesh on the back, such a nice chap .. our good friend but run now to the principal but we will be looking out for you and with a wink the three guys left.

the burnt photograph slipped out of his hand, as the memory of that day came flooding back to him. he had burnt his own face on that photograph in a fit of reflective rage. it was the three of them. siddique, him and cristine. now all that remained of the photograph was cristine and siddique standing with the third musketeer burnt to hell. kamlesh knew his world deserved no amends. the two musketeers would never forgive but his heart longed for that special feeling.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

catharsis

he was interrupted from his musings by the sun which glowed in the empty sky. the clouds hiding it moved further away dancing into the unknown. it felt just like home he thought. the skyline was no longer visible. he was all alone in the moment reflecting on that decision that changed the course of the life of three individuals. he wondered always, would life have changed if he had the courage to look beyond his principles. did he really have a choice ? does the course of life be determined by choices made by individuals, or is it like the course of water which does not really change by throwing some rocks into it. it still flows in the same direction overwhelming everything in its path.

the images of that day were still alive. you changed she said looking at him, or were you always like this. so you wouldnt love me anymore if it challenged your principles. he looked aghast at her, you cant really compare this with that. its just ... answer me she said. there was a tone of finality in her voice. this was her moment of truth, the blind leap of faith for which she had forsaken everything. are you really asking me for an answer .. fumbling for words. she didnt say anything. every moment he hesitated she knew maybe , maybe he was a coward. yes he said walking past her. thats me he said not knowing what reaction he would get from her. he didnt think, he could not. his mind was a blank. she walked right away from him into the flames of catharsis. he held firm, sure in his belief.

now twenty years he was not sure anymore. he pulled out the burnt photograph from happier times. he looked at her toothy smile. he knew he was not responsible for all that happened afterwards, but his words that day still weighed on him heavily. its not the significance of that day itself, but he felt like every moment of importance in his life later on was somehow influenced by that day. no matter what, he always thought about that day when something very important happened to him. afterall somehow he found himself in that very place where she looked at him with disappointment in her eyes. he only underestimated her love and overestimated her tolerance. 

Saturday, February 01, 2014

the roots

he stood there at the bottom of the stairs, looking up the winding staircases. he held the beam for support and narrow staircase beckoned him to climb them. his ears were filled with laughter, kids laughing and talking excitedly .. slowly it faded away. it came from a time past and returned there. isnt it true that every place you stay there is something of the place that becomes a part of you, which is disturbed into existence only when you go back there.

the grey colors on the walls had stood the test of time. he climbed up slowly in the midst of a strange quietness. it was late in the afternoon. warm. humid. suddenly images of chaos and people jostling each other and urgent screams filled his brain. it faded away quickly, faster than the receding waves on the beach. did it feel the same, did it still mean something or was the search for meaning futile it its task he thought.

its not fair, this is just not fair she pleaded looking at them. her eyes rested on him finally hoping that he would speak up for her. but he did not flinch, his eyes looked right back at her. its a fight of principles he thought and he cannot give it up. the search for answer lies not in a moment of weakness but in the moment of truth. he believed this to that moment, even painfully disagreeing with someone he long admired. it was decided. everybody left, except for her and him. standing there unmoved she looked at him boring into his mind to find a rational explanation. you didnt have to do this, he is our friend she implored. he is he agreed, but maybe he was and he definitely he is not one of us. does friendship mean more than principles he asked her. her eyes were fixed on the distant trees on the horizon, yes she said looking back at him just as my love for you means more than any principles in this world.