Monday, 31 July 2017

Snowy January

 Through the snowy January nightfall, up shots of thirty-one days snow fall, the news spread like a forest fire—the rumour or reality, nobody knows.  Something about Ayesha and a Pundit boy. Molested, hugged, romanced, love: none of them, sitting in a Madarsa after the Friday prayers, noon where the deodar trees stirred, covered with snow, cooling all, the cold breeze, hitting them, in a frequent gush of decayed anger, their own stale breathing, knew exactly nothing what happened.
"He was Shankar Pundit," said Maulvi Akbar. He was a young boy; a long, slim, fair-coloured boy with attractive features, who was counting the notes. "I know Shankar Pundit. He's a shrewd pundit boy. And I know Ayesha too."
 "How do you know her?" a second teacher asked.
"What do you know about her?" a student asked. "A beautiful girl?"
"No," the teacher said. "She is about thirty, she is divorced."
That's why she has no respect... "
"Respect, hell!" a bearded, strong built youth shouted. "Won't you take a Muslim woman's word before a pundit's?"
"I don't believe Ayesha will seduce a Pundit boy of twenty-two." The teacher said.  "I know Ayesha."
"If women get old without getting married, their attraction for boys goes down---" Said Maulvi Akbar.
"I don't believe anybody did ant-thing. Nothing happened." I leave it to you to decide.
"Then you're a hell of a pundit man," the students muttered angrily.
"You don't understand?" He said. "You accuse a Muslim woman a lie?"
The Maulvi held the book, opened to teach to his students. He did not look around.
"It's this cold weather," another student said, "It's enough to make any man hot do anything. Even to an old lady like Ayesha."
All remained serious. Maulana said in his mulish tone: "I ain't defending the pundit boy. I know well and you fellows too, how a woman that never…"
"You damn kefir lover!" the student said.
"Shut up, paid rioter," scolded the teacher. "We will first inquire about the incident and has enough time to act."
"Nobody will touch him. The student murmured. "Facts, hell! I want him stoned to death. I am an expert stone pelter."
"You're comfortable with Hindu kafirs," the student retorted. "Aren't you?" You tell them, Babur, "he said to the student. "You can add up to me, even if I am not only a Muajjim and a stranger."
"That's right, students!" the teacher said. "Find out the truth first. I know Shankar Pundit.
"Shut up, Imran," the second student said. "We have enough time to punish him."
"Well, Allah!" the student shouted. "You think a kafir in this town…?"
Babur could not digest this. "Do you claim that anyone excuses a Hindu attacking a Muslim woman? You better go back to Vaishno Devi temple. Valley, Kashmir Valley doesn't want your presence here.
"Vaishno Devi what?" the second student said. "I was born and brought up in this valley." He was baffled and shocked. He was ready for any tussle. He drew folded his sleeve. "Damm if I'm going to tolerate a Muslim woman---."
"You tell them, Babur," the Muajjim said. Allah if they---."
The main gate of the madrasa opens with a crash. A stoutly built man stood at the door, his long beard floating. He was wearing long black kurta, wore a round- skull cap. His hot, aggressive and violent looks created a sense of fear in the group. His name was Taimur. He was a local goon.
"Well," he shouted, "You keep on delivering sermons and let a Hindu boy rape a Muslim woman on the streets of Islam Nagar?"
Getting support, the Muajjim was very excited. His beard was floating like kabaylees. His armpits were stinking. "That's what I have been telling them!" he repeated his hot tone.
"Did anything really happen?" the third student asked. "Every time, everybody can't watch her undress, on the river bank, like Shahrukh Bhai says?"
"What?" a shocked student said. "What is that?" The teacher asked them to remain silent and pay attention to Quran and its teachings. 
Aamir flattered the third student. "You are waiting to happen?" Are you going to let the Hindu boys do what they like until you get evidence?"
"I am telling the same!" Aurangzeb shouted, cursing everybody.
"Here, here," fourth student Nadir whispered. "Not so loud. Don't talk so loud."
"Right," Aamir said; "no need of talking at all. It is enough of talks. Who's accompanying me?" He rubbed his buttocks violently.
Maulvi Akbar silenced all. "First find out the facts students. I know Shankar Pundit. It wasn't him. Let's discuss with Haji ji and act accordingly"
Aamir angrily twisted his furious face. Maulana Akbar did not pay any attention to Aamir. They looked like Shia and Sunni sects. The other teachers pretended to be talking with the students. "You mean to tell me that you'd give more weight to a Hindu's word over a Muslim woman's? You damn kefir lovers---." Aamir said.
Another student Laden rose and silenced Aamir: he too was also a local goon. "Now, enough is enough. Let's figure out our action plan. Actually, nobody knows, what actually happened." 
"Figure out, my foot!" Aamir jerked his fists. "All they're with me get here from here. The ones that ain't---." He stared his gaze and pushed his arms across the road. 
Four men rose. The students also got up. "Here," they said, throwing their books; We are with him. We don't want to live but by Allah if our daughters and sisters and mothers---." Aamir stood on the floor and abused other of enjoying free electricity and heating, donated by kafirs to keep the mouth shut. Another rose and moved with them. The leftovers sat awkwardly, ignoring one another and then one by one rose and joined the killing squad. 
Maulvi collected the books from the floor. "Students, don't attack him. Shankar Pundit can't do it. I know him."
Hot headed Aamir shouted, "Come on," He almost ran. From his long kurta pocket pulled out the butt of a heavy automatic revolver. They ran out. The madrasa door crashed behind them reverberant in the chill air.
Maulvi Akbar collected the books carefully and swiftly, and put them away, and ran to his room, and took his skull cap from the wall. "I'll be back soon as I can," he said to the other teachers. "I will help my people —" He went out, running. The two other Maulvis followed him to the door and accompanied him, leaning out and looking up the street after him. The air was silent and cold. It had a freezing cold at the base of the tongue.
"What can we do?" the first asked. The second one was saying "Allah ho Akbar," under his breath. "If he gets angry Aamir, today will be last day" "Allah ho Akbar," the second whispered.
"You think he really has relation with her.?" the first said.
She was thirty-one or thirty-two. She lived in a small-old house with her invalid brother and a thin, dirty, depraved uncle, where each morning, between five and six, she would appear on the roof covering her face with a hijab, to sit on the floor and listen to the Aarti from a Hindu temple. After dinner, she takes rest for a while, until the afternoon began to cool. Then, in one of the three or four new salwar-kameez which she would go downtown to spend the afternoon in the local market with the other ladies, where they would bargain the prices in cold, pressing voices, without any fear of refusal by the sellers.
She was off at ease people— not the best in Muhammadabad, but liked by the sober people—and she ordinary-looking, with a brilliant, faintly faded manner and dress. When she was a student she had had a slim, nervous looks and a sort of rigidness which had enabled her to popular of the town's social life as epitomized by the farewell high-school party and Jamat-social period of her age group while still children, without any class consciousness.
Very late she realized that she was maturing; that those among whom she had been a little attractive look than any other were launching to learn the satisfaction of snobbery. But her face began to carry that dazzling but almost faded look. She still carried it to parties on dimly lit halls and summer lawns, like a cover, with that confusion and irate denial of truth in her appearance. One evening at a party she heard a boy and two girls, all school- mates, called her aunty. She stopped going to parties. 
She gazed at the girls with whom she had grown up as they married and got families and scores of children, but no man ever paid any attention to her steadily but the children of the other girls had been calling her "aunty" for many years. Their mothers told them in sarcastic tone about how fashionable Ayesha aunty had been as a girl. Then the backwards going town began to see her moving on with Rama Shankar, a Sanskrit teacher in a college. He was a bachelor of about thirty-two —a fair-colored man, always smartly dressed. He owned the first Tata-NaNo car in town, saffron coloured. Ayesha was seated beside him wearing a designer burqa the town ever saw. Then the town began to curse her: "Shameless Ayesha!" "But she is matured enough to take care of herself," others whispered. She almost pleaded her schoolmates that the children call her "didi" instead of "aunty."
It was five years now since she had been branded as a bad character lady by public opinion, and four years since the teacher had gone to Akbarabad, returning for one day, each Diwali, which he spent with his friends in a temple. From behind their curtains, the neighbours would see him pass, and during the across-the-street Diwali-day visiting they would tell her about him, about how well he looked, and how they heard that he was prospering in the city, watching with bright, secret eyes her haggard, bright face. Usually, by that hour there would be the scent of perfumes on her breath. It was gifted her by her only friend. She was considered as immoral socialite aunty of corrupt civil society.
Her mother became very old and kept to her in the room altogether now; the bony aunt ran the house. Against those conditions, Ayesha bright dresses, her idle and empty days, had a reality of fuming worthlessness. She went out only with elderly women now. Each evening she dressed in one of the new dresses and went market alone, where her young cousins were already strolling in the late afternoons with their body wrapped in stinking burqas, tired heads and heavy, awkward arms and conscious hips, clinging to one another or staring and chuckling with naughty boys when she passed and went on to the tea shops, in the doors of which sitting and relaxing men almost ignored this single aunty, pining for their attention. 
The teacher, Maulvi Akbar went speedily up the street where the dim lights, insect-swirled, frowned in a severe and vicious manner in the lifeless air. The day had died in a gloom of dust; above the gloomy square, chocked by the killing dust, the sky was sad as the inside of a grave. Below the east was a buzz of the twice-tamed moon.
When Maulvi Akbar passed them, notorious Aamir and three others were getting into an old jeep parked in the dark street. This Jeep was used by Aamir to carry stone pelter in the valley. Amir roared with full might, "Anybody wants to leave, did you?" he said. "Damn good thing; by Allah, tomorrow when this town listened to about how you saved the honour of your faith"
"Now, now," Ghazni said. "Dawood's all right. Come on, friends; fast!"
"Shankar Pundit will never do anything wrong, boys," Maulvi Akbar said. "Why, you all know well as I do there isn't any town where they got better Hindus than us. And you know how women think about men when there isn't any reason to, and Ayesha you know anyway? "
"Sure, sure," Ghazni said. "We're just going to speak to him a little; that's all."
"Speak hell!" Aurangzeb said. 
"Shut up, in the name of Allah!" Ghazni said. "Do you want everybody in town to know about everything?"
"Tell them, in the name of Allah!" Aamir said. "Tell everyone that'll let a Muslim woman eloping with a Hindu boy."
"Let's go; let's go: here's the tempo." The tempo moved yelling out of a cloud of dust and black smoke at the street end. Aamir started his jeep and backed out and took the lead. Dust and smoke lay like smog in the street. The street lights dangle dim- floated as in water. They drove on out of town.
Old vehicles were creating ugly noise on rutted lanes. Dust and smoke engulfed it too. The dim bulb of the temple, where Shankar Pundit used to teach the downtrodden children in the evening, was unusually silent, perhaps, fearing some mishap. "Better stop a little before?" Gazni advised. Aamir did not reply. He slammed the tempo to stop, in the headlights; all were glaring for Shankar Pundit.
"Listen here, boys," Shah Rukh said; "if he's here, don't ask anything? If he was involved, he would run. Don't you see he would?" The tempo also came up and stopped. Aamir got down; Aurangzeb leapt down beside him. "Listen, boys," Shah Rukh said.
"Switch off lights!" Aurangzeb said. The wheezing darkness hastily engulfed the lanes. There was no sound in it save their breaths as they hunted air in the arid dust in which they rot; then the retreating chomp of Aamir and Aurangzeb's feet, and a moment later Aurangzeb's voice:
"Shankar. . . Shankar!"
Below the east, the pale of the moon amplified. It lifted above the mountains, brightening the air, the dust so that murdering mob breathe, live, in a sink of rotten lead. The night-bird was voiceless, so do insect, no sound except their panting and a faded tick of toning metal of the vehicles. Inside their impassive bodies crushing one another, they seemed to be agitated dryly, for no more moisture came. "Allah!" a voice said; "let's get out of here."
They waited until blurred voices began to audible out of deadly darkness. They got out and waited tensely with heavy breaths in the dark. Aamir kept on abusing Shankar Pundit and Hindus. They all ran shouting, "Kill him, kill the kafir!"
"Not in the open," Aamir said. "Pull him into the car." They drag Shankar in. "Kill him, kill the pundit son!" the ruthless voices murmured. They dragged Shankar to the car. Maulvi Akbar had waited beside the jeep. He was feeling sick and low. 
"What is this, boss?" Shankar said. "What is my fault" Someone brought a long cable. They tied him. He submitted to the cable, looking swiftly and doggedly face to face, hoping to hear some kind word. "Who's here, boss?" he said, leaning to stare into the faces. He spoke a name or two. "What you-all say I done, Aamir Bhai?"
Aamir pulled the door open and shouted, "Throw him in!".
Shankar did not stir. "What you- all going to do with me, Aamir Bhai? I haven't done anything, I haven't done anything: I swear ' in the name of Allah" 
The others struck him with regular blows and he spied and cursed them, and swept his tied hands across their faces and accidentally hit Maulvi Akbar upon the mouth, and the Maulvi struck him hard. They pushed at him. He stopped struggling and lied quietly as all were hitting him. He lied between the Maulvi and Gazni, coiled his body in so as not to touch them, his eyes going quickly and relentlessly from face to face. The jeep was running followed by the tempo.
"What's the issue? Daood?" Gazni asked.
"Nothing," Maulvi Akbar said. All laughed.  They drove towards the forest and turned away from town. The tempo came out of the dust. They drove on, gaining speed; the final glimpse of town left behind.
"Damm, he stinks!" Ghazni said.
"We'll finish that," the man in front beside Aamir said. Shahrukh suddenly moved forward and touched Aamir's shoulder.
"Throw out, kafir," Aamir said without turning his head. He drove speedily. Behind them, the searching lights of the tempo glared in the dust. Presently Aamir turned into a narrow road. It too was bumpy in disuse. It led back to an old graveyard, on the bank of river Jhelum. It had been used for grazing land.
"Shankar," Maulvi Akbar said.
"Throw him in the river, then," Aamir said, flinging the car along the furrows. Besides the Maulvi Akbar, Shankar spoke: "Aamir Bhai."
Maulvi Akbar wanted to get down. Their action was like a dead boiler blast: cooler, but utterly dead. The jeep jumped from rut to rut. "Gazni Bhai," Shankar said. The Maulvi Akbar began to jerk frantically at the door. "Glance out, there!" Gazni said, but Maulvi Akbar had already kicked the door open and rolled out of the jeep. Gazni kicked Shanker furiously, and he swung out. The car went on without dropping the speed.
The force flung him rolling, through the mud-sheathed wild plant, into the river. Dust winded about him, and in a deep, brutal crackling of lifeless marshy land, he lay choking and gagged until the tempo passed and died away. He fluttered and tried to rise but collapsed.
The moon was clear, riding bright and clear of the worldly dirt and the town was frowning beneath. Shankar lost his consciousness, could not hear the sound of running vehicles and the blaze of dust behind them. Taimor's tempo came last. Now one man was less in the jeep. 
They drove; the dust gulped them down; the glare and the noise died away. The dust hung for a while, but soon the eternal dust wrapped them up. Maulvi Akbar scaled back onto the road and limped on toward madrasa. 
As she dressed for dinner, on that Sunday evening, her own body felt like dancing. Her hands shook automatically, and her eyes had a bright sparkle, and her hair flew and crackling. While she was still dressing her friend reached and sat while she put on her very showy undergarments, stockings and a new red suit as if going to meet her beloved. "Do you feel hot enough to go out?" she asked. "When you have had time to get over the shock, I will tell you what happened. What he said and did; every- thing." All her friend was listening with bewildered astonishment.
In the leafed darkness, as she walked toward the mall road, she began to smile mysteriously, something like a socialite, getting her prey, until she ceased smiling. Both the friends walked slowly because of the terrible cold and due to her hilarious mood. But as they reached the mall she began to whistle, walking with her head up, holding her friend's hand, looking at each other romantically, and glittering class of their eyes.
They entered the mall, took the corner seat, gorgeous in her transparent fresh dress. She was feeling young. She watched, as un-wed couples eat ice-cream, her head up and her eyes dazzling, fleeting the hotel and the scantily dressed drummers in chairs along the curb around them, "That's the one: see.? The one in saffron in the centre." "Is that he? What did they do with Shankar? Did they—?" "Sure. He's all right." "All right, is he?" "Sure. He went on a little jaunt." Then the wine shops, where even the young men loafing in the entrance, casually dressed and chasing with their eyes the motion of her hips and breasts when she passed.
They went on, passing the rowdy boys, suddenly hushed silence, defensive, fear. "Did you notice?" the friend said. Her tone crashed like long hanging sighs of pain. "There's not a Hindu in the mall. Not one."

They decided to go the movie-show-‘Page-3'. It was like a mini but artificial fairyland with its fashionable girls and bright presentation of life caught in its beautiful but dark metamorphosis. Her eyes and lips began to flutter. In the dark, when the movie was shown, she tightly gripped her friend's hand. She hurried before other's could see, without the feeling of amazement, and she took dozens of kisses and smooches on her friend's face where she could see the hordes young men and girls sitting in two and two. 
The lights dimmed; only the screen lights visible, and fake life began to unfold, stunning and romantic but sad in real life. Young boys and girls sat, aromatic and romantic in the dimly lit hall, their paired backs in shadow, delicate, sleek, and their slim, beautifully young, kissing and embracing with the silver screen, inevitably on and on. They began to laugh. In trying to suppress their agony, it appears more abnormal than ever; heads began to turn. Still laughing, guards raised them and led them out, and they stood at the gate, laughing on a high, unrelenting note until the taxi came up and they helped them in.

It was almost midnight when Taimur drove up to the house of lovelorn Ayesha. It was orderly, clean and like a bird-cage. He parked and locked the jeep outside her house and entered. Shocked Ayesha rose from the bed beside the table-lamp. Taimur entered her room and stared at her until she looked down.
She stood before him, her face terrified, and an adult magazine in her hands. Her face became pale, strained, and fear struck. "Haven't I told you not to talk kafirs?"
"Bhai!" she said. The magazine dropped from her hands. He glared at her with his hot eyes, his fierce face.
"Didn't I tell you?" He moved toward her. She moved back then. He caught her shoulder. She stood lifeless, looking at the debauch.
"Don't, Taimur. I am sick. . . . periods; please, Bhai. You're slaughtering me."
Taimur violently removed her dress and the new undergarments and the stockings and threw her to bed.
Suddenly, he pulled out the pistol. Ayesha became paralysed. She opened her mouth but no word came out. He said today was payback day. He said note down the time and day.
He took the pistol from his hip and laid it on the table beside the bed, and sat on the bed and removed his shoes, and rose and slipped his trousers off.
There was no movement, no sound, not even an insect. The dark world seemed to lie stricken beneath the cold moon and the lidless stars.
He pushed her, pinned her down, slapped her, bite her and hit her.
Taimur rubbed the pistol on the thighs of Ayesha. Ayesha shivered and began to weep because she realized the penetration inside.
"Shut the slut up or I'll shoot you."
"Didn't I tell you?" He released her and half struck, half flung her across the bed, and she lay there and watched him quietly as he left the room.
Taimur was rough and violent. He spits on Ayesha. He stopped, zipped his pants, started the engine and drove away.
Ayesha stood dazed and confused, what had happened. Suddenly she stood and rushed out of her house, went straight to river Jhelum and jumped.
Next day devotees saw two dead bodies floating. One was of Shankar Pundit and other was of Ayesha.
Maulvi Akabar, his students and other faithful were there dazed and puzzled. With hushed discussion, puffing bidi in the fog. 
While the ice was fresh and cold they stopped laughing and stood still for a time. 
"Shhhhhhhhhhh! Shhhhhhhhhhh!" they said, seeing the ice-pack, smoothing their heads, examining it for the story; "poor girl with a kafir!" Then to one another:
"Do you suppose anything really happened?" their eyes darkly glitter, secret and passionate. "Shhhhhhhhhhh! Poor girl! Poor Ayesha and Shankar!"
Police were called and bodies were fished out.
Police sent the bodies for post-mortem. A post-mortem confirmed the rape on Ayesha but the DNA test confirmed that rape was not committed by Shankar Pundit.
Police conducted the search of the house of Ayesha. Only a round skull cap was found and the marriage photos of Shankar and Ayesha, marrying according to Hindu customs in a temple.
Civilized and sane citizens constructed a temple on the banks of river Jhelum in memory of Shankar and Ayesha. Young lovers visit that temple to get the blessings of God for a long and happy married life. 

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Creation of a New Character

One may be the bravest soldier in one's regiment, received compliments  from officers and peers, and received the best comments for the bravery, but if such a soldier fail to convey his bravery in the bravest manner like killing a terrorists in an encounter, even the  bravery of such a brave soldier will pass unnoticed and unrewarded.
Same applies to literary, historical and professional deliberations and presentations. Clear show and honest presentation must be there by the soldier in a professional and brave manner in the records of the regiment, and the sooner the soldier achieves this formula, the better it is for his regimental growth on the professional front.
Translators are not the language-mechanics but they are the gate-keepers of aesthetics, they are not the looters of originality but they are the baskets of human emotions being transferred from one basin to another river-bed.
(Subodh Sarkar, ‘EDITOR's NOTE', Translations and the New Mandarins', Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, New-Delhi, No. 263, May/June 2011, vol LV No.3, p-7) 
Communication skills and language are very important in professional career and work place dynamics and growth and these qualities, skills and command can make a new character or expert, in the same manner skills and expertise in translation, script writing and history writing can make a new character, can give new interpretation to any book and kill the original character or interpretation.
For example in 1960 a famous movie Mughal-e-Azam, was produced by Shapoorji Pallonji and directed by K. Asif.  After this movie, so many new interpretations came about Emperor Akbar and his life. Noted eminent, secular, communists and Muslim scholars created altogether a new Emperor Akbar. A ruthless, brutal and fanatically anti-Hindu Emperor Akbar was replaced by kind, secular, romantic and humanist Emperor Akbar. Not only was this, a new romantic but imagery Queen Jodha Bai also created to show Emperor Akbar as a secular king to show Hindu-Muslim unity and prove the superiority of Muslims over Hindus. 
Similarly, in 1963 a very famous film Taj Mahal was made and written by A.K.Nadiadwala and directed by M.Sadiq, based on the historical legend of the love of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. As per the legend, Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in fond memory for his beloved seventh wife Mumtaz Mahal. But in this blockbuster creation a new Shah Jahan was created and really brutal, womanizer anti-Hindu Shah Jahan went into oblivion. 
In the present scenario, literature, as well as film, presents a distorted image of reality, for both these media of expression, tend to glamorize violence and sex to become more saleable and popular.
(Sumitra Kukreti, GLORIFICATION OF CRIME IN LITERATURE AND FILM: THE GODFATHER VS INDIA'S BANDIT QUEEN', Film and Literature, Ed. K.K.Sharma, K.K.Publications, New-Delhi, 1997, P-127.)
To avoid such controversies and distortions, some unchangeable characteristics, based on realities should be given to the script writers and directors before-hand before making any such historical movie, so that coming generations must get a true picture of the history. The concerned must ponder over the subject before initiating such important projects. This will be of great help to convey the history correctly.
They are actually launderers of ideas and history. Recently in a very scintillating speech famous MP, Meenakshi Lekhi branded such writers as ‘Intellectual mercenaries'.'  Such faulty creations only add to confusion and controversies. The writers and translators must keep in mind that it certainly goes a long way to have efficient and effective, but honest communication with the audience and readers. The coming generations of readers and viewers monitor the effect of the performance or the text and significantly contribute to the factual presentation of any historically important character.
This is the age of social networking sites. One cannot hide the reality, about any character or text from the readers for a long time. As in the case of eminent secular historians, now nobody believes their versions. They are subject to mockery.  This is the worst type of anti-intellectualism or as famous Victorian poet Matthew Arnold wrote in Culture And Anarchy as ‘Philistine'.
One must make a list of important events before taking them up as projects. It is a very important quality to depict the things honestly. It is very good to show some extra merit in the script or in the book but blatantly ignoring the historical facts may not go down well with the audience or the readers. It is understandable that now a day everyone tends to be a bit more informed when dealing with such creations. But one must be honest in one's professional life.
Same confusion and controversies were created when the secular and communists groups tried to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tipu Sultan. For Hindus and nationalists, Tipu Sultan was an anti-Hindu fanatic ruler who was responsible for slaughtering thousands of Hindus and razing Hindu temples. But in the famous television serial ‘The Sword of Tipu Sultan,' written by Bhagwan Gidwani, Tipu Sultan was shown as a secular ruler, who fought against British rule in India. Secularists and communist describe Tipu Sultan, as the first freedom fighter, died for the independence of India. He was renamed as ‘Tiger of Mysore' by them.
The powerful presentation is an asset but one being tactful and honest while ensuring that you do not twist the history for somebody's vested interests. Owing to stressful environments at work, it is important that the writer must say the right thing at the right time. Doing so avoids future confusion and controversies and establishes the associations, demonstrates thoughtfulness and credibility. In case one is forced to write things which are not based on facts, the best way to tackle that pressure is to ignore such needs and refuse to get involved in such projects.
The Manusmrti (Sanskrit:  मनुस्मृति), also met the same fate. Manusmrti is the most important, most reputed and most studied legal text among the many Dharmaśāstras of Hindus and Hinduism. Seeing the death and importance of the Sanskrit text it was the first Sanskrit text translated during the British rule, by Sir William Jones, in 1794.  Manusmriti is also called the Mānava-Dharmaśāstra or Law of Manu. But after translation Manusmriti was badly criticized by secularists and caste-ists although it is a different matter that most of the critics of Manusmriti do not know even the A-B-C of Sanskrit. Now Manusmriti is a highly abused and criticized text.
There is no denying the fact that the enduring value of literature lies in its universality of appeal. Every reader of a literary masterpiece brings to it a richness of interpretations which springs of the quality of his own sensibility. The work acquires value to him for its lights up the dark corridors of his soul and gives him a chance to air his views on the meaning of life and destiny. But Narasimhaih also points to a danger inherent in such an approach. Critics may adopt a "fragmentary" approach and see a work of art only as a wish-fulfillment of their own frustrated dreams and desires.
One must have gleaming ideas but nobody is allowed to distort the facts or history. Such gimmicks cannot work for a long time. One is bound to be exposed. The honest and effective presentation is the key to building trust, reputation and healthy environment.
In this category of creation on new characters, the name of Bhim Rao Ambedkar is most apt. Ambedkar never was a victim of caste discrimination. He had his schooling at the Army school, run by the British government. Later on, he shifted to Elphinstone College. Gayakwad ruler of Baroda, Sahyaji Rao-III, financed his higher education. He also had his education in America. After coming back from the US, Ambedkar was appointed a secretary to the King of Baroda. Bombay Governor Lord Sydenham helped Ambedkar to obtain the job as a professor of political science at the Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics in Bombay. So Ambedkar had a very comfortable life.
Though this simplistic position on biography and autobiography was shared by theorists of the two genres in the past, in the context of the kind of debates that contemporary theory has witnessed on such question as the discursive distinction between fact and fiction, the constitution of subjectivity in auto/biography, the truth status of the claims made by the auto/biographer and the overall generic specificity of auto/biography, one might find it difficult to accept the position that the self in the past is an uncontested subject. This is not a purely theoretical debate. Sometimes people, including writers, can feel deeply mortified by the images that fellow writers create in the name of auto/biography.
(‘Translation as Hoax: Art, Othering and life Writing', P.P. Raveendran, Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, New-Delhi, 237, Jan-Feb 2007, Vol. LI, No.1, Pp191-92. )
Due to the vote bank politics in India, secular leaders and caste leaders found Ambedkar as the most powerful mascot to get the votes of Dalits. They changed everything related with the life of Ambedkar. He was re-canonized as a poor, oppressed and struggling Dalit icon replacing all the real facts about his life. The reality was that Ambedkar was the son of a British army officer. Ambedkar's ancestors had for long been in the employment of the army of the British East India Company. His economic condition was quite good and he was very well cared by a Brahmin teacher during his schooling and higher education was looked after by King of Baroda, the Gaekwads. In his political career, he was very well supported by Britishers and heavy weights of Congress.
The question that remains to be answered is,' Should literature or a work of art be censored?' The answer is ‘Yes'. Despite our right of the freedom of speech and expression, certain control is necessary. This freedom can be abused very easily. This concept of freedom combines the ideas of right and duty.

Film and Literature, Ed. K.K.Sharma, K.K.Publications, New-Delhi, 1997. 
Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, New-Delhi, 237, Jan-Feb 2007, Vol. LI, No.1, Pp191-92.
Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi, New-Delhi, No. 263, May/June 2011, vol LV No.3.

Chintoo and the Mobile Phone

Standing, on the rooftop of his one room LIG flat, Chintoo was offering food to birds, doing the Shradh rites in memory of his late father. Tears were flowing from his eyes, remembering his late father.
It is believed that the spirits leave Pitru–loka and reside in their descendants' homes for a month until the sun enters the next zodiac—Scorpio (Vrichchhika)—and there is a full moon. Hindus are expected to propitiate the ancestors in the first half, during the dark fortnight.
Staying far away from home and elders, today's generation is lost for roots and culture. In such a situation, the very mention of pooja, paath, homa, havan and some important rituals like Pithra Karma or Shraadh evokes a sense of fear and anxiety.
It is like "Thanksgiving" to them for the blessings one enjoy because of them in this life time and coming generations will be called by the family name that they belong to. They bless us with all their hearts when their journey to the final destination is done with ease.
In this ritual, Chintoo 's little son Peeku was also happily and playfully helping him. Peeku was studying in a government school. Chintoo used to drop his son, Peeku on a cycle. Chintoo also offered food to cows in memory of his father.
Men, women, children do this Pitru worship or tarpan. That is done only after their death. Doing this every year removes many materialistic problems in life and helps us to progress spiritually. This is of immense value.
Chintoo, aged four played with his tricycle, rolled in the grass and ran barefoot in the park with his father.
He was the sunshine to his father. He was a pure joy to him.
Bedtime came and Chintoo didn't want to go to sleep.
Night after night he resisted as if troubled by the shadows of the night.
His father tried to talk and plead with him.  He coaxed him and at times rebuke him but to no avail.
Chintoo wanted the constant light and not the dark.
He wanted the light of the day and not the dark shadows of the night.
The joyous and playful child did not want the black he saw in from the day-night cycle.  But Chintoo was not ready to "see".
It was soon to be that his father kisses, hugs and loving heart brought this child peace and a good night's sleep.  The house was once again a delight.
Yes, father's love was the healer of the fear of the dark.
When they reached to the University Chintoo decided that he needed to go to the toilet.
Chintoo quietly opened her purse and took 500/= out and ran to the drinks bar. He asked politely for a can of coke. He gave the man the money and went back to the hostel.
He was sipping it hastily so he could get as much as possible before his father noticed. His father turned around and saw him sipping the whisky. He looked furious. He snatched the can from him and threw it in the dustbin.
They both turned around and started walking again. Once the evening walk was over they started walking back to the hostel and they came to a big hill.
Chintoo thought he would run down it. He started running down it and his father yelled at the top of his voice to stop running or you will get down. 
He just ignored him and kept running. After about a minute he fell down and was screaming. His father also ran. He quickly reached to him and he had a big cut on his knee. His father quickly phoned the dispensary in charge and told him what happened and the in charge said that he would be there in a minute.
The in charge arrived and helped Chintoo up and told the father to accompany him. All came to the dispensary. He got 10 stitches and that he was never going to drink the wrong things again. They were all pleased that Chintoo was alright.
In the university, he had always captivated the girls; unlike the cars, the mere lifeless attractions with their deception of the bright colours, hard, strong, the extremely attractive interiors, but it was neither humans nor animals.

The new university building with four stories was majestic for newcomers. The girls counted the steps for each garden and threw their bodies against the trees of the unending hills to suck in more air than their lean and thin legs could pull at each drag.

But no heights awed them, like the pigeons. They flew at the maximum end the eye can see, a dot of brown; the spy on the visage of the sky spotting its blue beauty with humble grace. And then they would appear in multitudes, whirling in the sky their harmonized tap; bodies in accord with the cadence of their souls. These birds, heartless man consider, of prey, piloting, navigating the convoy of tranquillity as they contemplate under the sky.  In their yogic reverie, they resist worldly tension and reached higher and more higher, these pigeons flying on the spirit of the universe. No jealousy, no hate, no competition. Some were less high and some were higher.

The girls widened their eyes and stressed their forehead to see across limits, to defy the sun for a sight of this delicate march even as the pigeons amused in its vivid cheerful glare. Near, nearer, they kept flying for its scorching power and yet their wings neither burnt nor melted as they make fun of the Sun. It was for the sun they danced and with the sun they danced, the energy that the one acquired from the other. The flock made them the spirits, the eternal creations of a blue heaven, perpetual, impermeable, and invulnerable to the limits of earthly endurance. The pigeons return their nest after sunset but girls never return their nest, once left by them. They are always on the hunt for a bountiful nest and tasty prey.
Chintoo was a little boy who was very naughty. He started stealing money from his mother's purse to spend on his friends. He bought a mobile phone with this stealing money. With the dawn of superior technology, mounting use of mobile phones and other devices are greatly harming the new generation. Students are developing a strong addiction to their mobile phones, which is hurting their concentration, studies, IQ and behaviour. Parents and teachers generally face this trouble in fighting the diversion of students and children. Chintoo was also a victim of this disorder. He hardly gave any call to his parents but all the time chatting with his friends, especially girls.
The dinner time was most playing time for girls; cashing their womanhood on their celestial existence, their meditating resolves to attract the fops like a sandwich. Behind the rocks, under the dark bushes, dark caves, thick tree etc. all the places were adored by their Yoga asanas. When the girls were performing Yoga like pouncing down, they did not make any sound, no shriek; not even the crackle of their bangles alerted the victim of the attack. Some hot and fast breathing for a moment than all the passions spent and lull.
The delicious dinner followed with all silence. A mysterious calm swept across the eyes. The girls flew down and were gone and next day looking for another prey like the daughter of washer man in The Wasteland of T.S.Eliot.   Chintoo was always busy with these girls. Always busy on the phone with one or the other girl but no time to talk to his father.
 "Shakina …….how did you eat today? Two pizzas, two burgers …Is this all you are learning in university? To be immature with your prey?"
Only when her friends saw her vomiting and pain in stomach, visible on the face of Shakina that they felt a pang of pity.
"So it was Chintoo is the guy who gave ache ……but how can he give pain to your stomach?"

And how could the girls know about the evening outing? Shakina was embarrassed but not scared. How amazing that a girl could have so much power. Her mind was always sharp and fast in fooling the boys.  And so were all her girl classmates and senior school girls who too were startled by this new opening in a hilly town. The teachers or the proctor equally were harassed and helpless. Their positions were like sisters, nuns, the office-bearers who have no powers except to gaze at the counsel of the Church sermons, on discipline, tolerance, control, love and patience. Strictures for students were announced in the university school assembly—

‘Students must be disciplined, must be careful about their studies and safety, must play in the university ground,  must not litter the university and classrooms, must not roam with the boys in the forest, must be regular and punctual in the classrooms even during breaks if the class-teacher so instructs.'
It was forbidden for the girls to roam with the boys in the playground but rather they stick around the boys like the cigarettes in the cigarette box. The seats and desks inside four walls of lifeless classrooms were dull and ugly to them. The breaks had lost all meaning and the playgrounds all festivity if they fail to get their prey.  There was no chitter-chatter, the chirp and jingle of soft feminine voices that yoke the boys. The green playground was gleaming, clean but lush green, deserted and lonely, inviting and waiting for the players. The huge trees, neighbouring it standing voiceless, were guarding the terror-stricken landscape, guilty of the crime of sheltering the lusty love-birds.  The girls observed that the breeze could not swing the twigs as much and the leaves did not twinkle as much, but the elements of youthfulness had the force as much as when they sauntered out, hang around, hugged, and kissed, embracing each other, trying to digest the food stuffed in their stomachs.
After five years of unproductive stay, Chintoo felt ignored and the girls were looking for the better settlement. The girls gazed at from the classroom glasses, looking out for boys but they haunted no more as they were chasing the marks and career.  Neither did they hold meditation sessions and the blue skies appeared tasteless, dull and lifeless when they felt the storms of time. Another batch passed by and the teachers were sure, they were gone.

"Students, today Shakina got selected in Microsoft. We will have a small party in the campus. She has sent money for soft drinks, chocolates and creamy pastries for everyone. After that, you will be allowed to go out to the classrooms. The dean wished good placements for everyone. "
Shakina looked at the appointment letter kept in her file like some holy pages of some holy book, delicate and pious. Her mother had tried to fill the fear in her heart by tying a red thread on her hand; and she could truly feel the imam of the mosque holding her small wrist, hard and familiar. On her first day in the office, she wore gleaming in white embed suit. Her riches bewitched her silly mind with her raw artistic sense seeking to affirm its birth.
As the new session began, new students joined. The girls thronged into the anxious waiting recreational area starving for their band. The green grass welcomed the steps from their trampling feet. They banged into each other, fell upon each other, spin over and frolicking over the ground and the liberal bosom was also joining in their joyous movement. They crooned and have fun and leered and hissed and the jingly snigger echoed in the bushes and rocks, waiting for new love-birds for over two months.
They pushed and roamed until drained of the delight and finally picked up their partners. The hissing sound of young cupids blew through the air. The odours made them thirsty and they dug their lips into each other to quench the thirst. Then they struck, from all the angles;  , the assault was silent but agreement. The beats of cheeks against each other's cheek hummed no alarm. They disappeared with the same suppleness as with which they had pounced. Shazia has no regret over the loss of her virginity.
"Where's your mobile?" It was out of real concern that the friend remembered the life trapped in a mobile. For Shazia, it was as though she had lost her virginity yet again. This time she had been swept up in the ground. To the ground and Shazia, herself was to blame for this great loss.

Shazia pleaded to God to ask forgiveness. The blue sky was radiate in a hex and the amazing dance of young cupids held the dark-hidden space.  Theirs synchronize actions, renowned their union, the dim light and the evening. Nothing could scare this harmony of the secular souls and the blissful bodies floating in the splendour of green space. It seemed to Shazia, a glimpse of divine bliss. Did the divine souls wade through these unknown depths as highest bliss? Had they mastered this composition and had they developed wings those glided them deeper and deeper towards ecstasy? Or did they descend from the heavens for such voyage?

The students saw Chintoo sitting there as a prince, splendid and bossy, his imposing persona attracting everybody and then like the robes of a prince flaunting his majestic influence. In his hand, the expensive mobile phone flashed from the shining brightly in the moonlight at the evening hour. He held it, seemed to be a slave to it, his fingers always pricking at it, nibbling it.
He moved about the corridors, moved a few steps, twisted his legs, but kept on clutching the mobile phone. His strong physique was good enough to attract the restless souls and girls were naturally attracted to him. He was an easy victim for fiddling in search of prey– the lifeless mobile gripped in his strong hands, questioning perhaps of its use for his own good while Shazia and the classmates waited below breathless and stiff, for his next love.
He put his mobile phone in his pocket. All the girls wriggled their fingers into his pocket.  They were more interested in touching his private hidden part. The bright cover excelled its lustrous lustre and the expensive casing flashed with glee as the phone struggled out of the pocket of Chintoo.  A piercing whistle declared the excited flash of recovery. He pounced down and fluttered his arms with a force that gripped girls in his strong arms. Shazia and the girls enjoyed this as he mounted higher and higher to strengthen the bond.

"Strange, it has never occurred before. Chintoo was not worried about his phone. Were they thanking for his steel grip?
"No, he was wishing me a warm welcome! Thank you, Chintoo!" Shazia kissed the phone and put it back in his pocket.
There was chuckles and screams and laughter interspersed with delightful whistles as all went back to the hostels; across the lush green grounds and the transcendent blue skies above.

Now Chintoo was left alone in his hostel.  He was looking the glass of his mobile phone, the thin wire and links of the head-phone device, always inserted in his ear, appeared to Chintoo, as flimsy, as vague, as a horrible dream of some horror Arabian stories. He pulled out the hand-free from his ears, and the expensive mobile cover meant to protect the mobile, seemed the most important thing in the world.  He was not ready to risk its safety. The operation and signals, the plus-down manoeuvres of the network, the pictures and the voice would be a vital concern to its ethereal existence. Chintoo was proud of his mobile as if it was his family member.
There was lightning in the sky. The heavy down pour plunged the ground; a bright lightning landing on the green ground as a piercing screech stabbed the stillness that had penetrated Chintoo's obsessed mind frozen from the shock of his loss. On the pitch, his head turned upwards to the roof of the four-storeyed huge campus that housed the hostel and the classrooms.
He opened his eyes as if he was seeing a horrible dream. He remembered his father and days spent with him.
Chintoo was a very naughty boy since his childhood.
His father wanted him to work hard but he was interested in movies, mobiles, friends' television etc. . . . 
Then the day before they were going to the university his father said that dear Chintoo works hard.
He rang his father. But came no reply.
It was getting late enough to be worried. I once again stepped into the balcony and looked down. Except for a drenched street dog that was lying down miserably near the gate, there was not a soul to be seen anywhere. Rain water had puddled under the lamp post. A breeze ruffled the mango tree in the courtyard and a few twigs fell down and broke. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Did I hear a soft knock at the door? I turned back....
My father was standing at the door. ‘How are you beta Chintoo?' Came a soft question. I clang my father and cried and cried. Silently, I vowed never to hurt and disobey my father.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

O! Lord Krishna

Your grandeur is divine,
Radiance is never ending,
Kingship eternal,
And majesty is timeless.

Your lustre benevolent,
Your Kingship fabulous,
Your grandeur is with dignity,
And brightness is gorgeousness.

Your greatness never declines,
Your splendour mesmerises the spirit,
Your radiance boosts love,
Your rule has timelessness.

O the Supreme, the bestower, the Giver.
Compassionate and benevolent ambience,
Man violates and commits the sin of hate:
You pardon on his remorse.

Your Divine existence, felt by noble souls,
Your tranquillity and peace remain forever,
With love in world multiples,
O Krishna! Your Maya wipes out tears and pain.  

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Man and God

Created by unknown God: gorgeous, wonderful;
Having positive qualities of kindness and care,
Godliness, purity, love and affection.
But deep inside carrying a primitive barbaric man,
With instinct to hunt and slaughter; ravage, burn
And fill the spirit of rivals with horror.

Man incarnates his own gods, in his naughty minds;
Bit by bit fabricate gods myths with fairy-tales,
Load the mind minds with fantasy, fancy and images.
Wishes, doubts, and worries; make waves of fake gods.
The yell, blazes in hearts, and minds in quest of blessing from gods.
Inscribe all the tales of man made Holy Books.

Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, and Shiva: all are within;
Compassion, humility, care, and love are in our mind and hearts.  
Created by God, He is for man to guide and purify inner self;  
But the brute man, in his hidden self;
Bang up violently, to raze beautiful world;  
Of innocent creations, to create a disorder.

Love and compassion for fellow creations,
Must rest in our deep self, to control us, seize us, and arrest us.
Rays of Truth dawns on every heart,
The essence of the Almighty reflects there,
To bless with peace of mind and heart,
And go beyond the self, to illuminate the soul.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Future of Modern Man

The primitive men are still in existence,
In every corner of the nation,
With their obnoxious way of dressing,
Feeling, as superior in spirits and souls,
But actually controlled by evil spirits,
Of Arabian deserts and ways.

Ignorant about customs and traditions,
Of origin of great forefathers,
Blessed by the Trinity,
Of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh;
Of Karma stories of the Gita,
Of stories of Ram and Ramayan.

Dawn of modern man in present age,
Has neither faith nor love for departed;
Forgotten humanity, compassion and sympathy;
Selfishness, self-interest, regressive;
Tearing down natural world, brutally;
And draining the treasure from the lap of Mother Earth.

Money and greed driving the mind,
Terrorists and Jihadis are people's icons,
Wiping out the lives of the innocents,
Loss of innocence and reliability not cared,
Celestial gifts of love and tranquillity,
Fading away in thin air.

How to recapture blissful glory here?
Collective conscious of Mankind
Bit by bit, slipping into a gloom.
O Divine Love! Demonstrate Thy Mercy;
Recapture, the hearts of humankind,
Create human beings splendid, with mercy and empathy.