Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Merciless Nepotism

The tragic death of Sushant Singh Rajput has not only shattered the nation but it has brought the ugly reality of nepotism and harassment in Bollywood. The unfortunate suicide has renewed the debate over nepotism and subsequent harassment in Bollywood. Many celebrities such as Ranvir Shorey, Abhinay Kashyap, Manoj Bajpayee, Dibakar Banerjee, Koena Mitra, Raveena Tandon, Sapna Bhavani, Shekar Kapur, Kangana Ranaut and others have also supported that this clannish atmosphere makes it difficult for the real talents but with no family connection in the industry, to sustain and survive.

Ranvir Shorey on his Twitter handle recounts an example of nepotism In Bollywood with an incident from an award show. Ranvir wrote, "This unfolded on a popular Bollywood awards show. A star kid is co-hosting the show. They announce the next category - Best Actor. The nominees are played out, and the star kid is one of the nominees. Surprise-surprise! To present the award, the hosts invite two esteemed film personalities, who happen to be the star kid's parents. What a sweet coincidence!" Ranvir further says, “… But something has to be said about the self-appointed 'gatekeepers of Bollywood'. Something has to be said about the games they play, and their two facedness."

There are clips and video evidence in which Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Shahid Kapoor etc mocking and insulting Sushant Singh Rajput. Old clips of Karan Johar, Alia Bhatt, and Sonam Kapoor ridiculing Sushant on the talk show of Karan Johar, and Kareena Kapoor Khan advising her stepdaughter, Sara Ali Khan must not date her ‘first hero’ in another clip.  

Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Ekta Kapoor, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Sajid Nadiadwala, Aditya Chopra, Yash Raj Films etc have been blamed for the harassment. Vivek Oberoi, Aishvarya Rai Bachchan, Abhijeet, Arijeet, Sushmita Sen, Abhinav Kashyap, Shreesh Kunder, Abhay Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Late Parveen Babi and so many others are the victim of this type of nepotism and harassment.

Apart from the known acting talents, Sushant Singh Rajput has an intellectual life apart from the shallow life of show business. He was not only a talented actor but also a scholar who had a deep knowledge of space science and astronomy. He also possessed the talent to use both his hands to write at the same time. He was ambidextrous which is a quality to make use of right and left hands with equal comfort.

Sushant was the tender tree of Bollywood who couldn’t survive due to the nepotism. He was also a very decent and humble actor who touched the feet of Manoj Bajpayee on the first day of Sonchiriya shoot. This is the reason that lakhs of followers have un-followed a section of Bollywood celebrities on social media.  Every year a number of people connected with Bollywood end up their lives due to nepotism and harassment.

This is the reason that most of the parents do not want to send their children to Bollywood. The film industry has no job security. The future is unrealistic and insecure. Here struggle has a different meaning. It means humiliation, heartbreak, addiction, compromise, surrender, physical exploitation, losing self-esteem, depression and may also lead suicide. Sadly Sushant Singh Rajput best personified all the evils of Bollywood. Every year dozens of such unfortunate souls are number in the death register due to suicide.

New entrants are only a lost shadow in the maddening crowd, unreal world of happiness and name, always near to death like survival on drugs, addiction, and sex or to death. That is why children rebel with their parents and run away to join this artificial world.

The outsider is the one who can’t speak wrong English fluently and no money in his pockets. But he has talent and vision. An intruder is one who is from the soil of India but not a so-called ‘cool guy’ who cannot please or entertain the filmmakers. He is a real ‘gully boy’ but can’t join the night party of Gully Boys of Bollywood. Mumbai is full of such struggling outsiders pining to become Amitab Bachchan or Akshay Kumar. Whenever a Sushant succeeds, these old Trojan horses try to bulldoze them.

Sushant’s suicide has shattered their dreams. Bollywood is neither an industry nor a corporate house. There is neither any method nor a system. As for a forest tree, bush, grass, water, insect, etc all are crucial for the ecology, the same is true to Bollywood. Despite good stars, it could never become a wonderful world because there are cannibal trees. They are ‘strangler trees’. They will uproot you, suck your water, and mineral grows big and produce rich fruits. He won’t tell anybody that the beggar sitting at his gate is sucked by him.

Bollywood is a dangerous forest full of strangler, cannibals and parasites kind of dangerous tree. They are always on the hunt for delicate, tender, weak trees to suck their juice and kill them. Some learn the art of survival; in turn, suck other new smaller trees. Those who want self-respect lost or die.

Sushant was one such delicate tree. That is the reason; Bollywood could never become an industry. It is just another dark, underworld. Kangana Ranaut, Shekhar Kapur, Sapana Bhavnani etc slam Bollywood. Kangana Ranaut said that his opponents made him believe that he was ‘worthless.’ She recorded a public service announcement clip wherein she condemned negative reports about the actor, pointing out Sushant was a rank holder and questioned how he could have a “weak mind”. Kangana went on to state that the actor never got the recognition he deserved.

Shekhar Kapur also slammed the people who let him down. Sushant Singh Rajput was set to work with him on ‘Paani’, but the film was shelved. In an interview, the filmmaker had revealed that a much disheartened Sushant had cried a lot then. He shared on Twitter, “ I knew the pain you were going through. I knew the story of the people that let you down so bad that you would weep on my shoulder...”

Koena Mitra had also expressed her displeasure for discrimination in Bollywood. She had stated, “ Sushant was a bright guy, good looking actor and succeeded with good films. A lot of people have experienced this…It’s pretty sad. He’s not the first one and there are many such Sushants in our industry…Those writing essays mourning his death used to mock him because he was a TV star.”

Sapna Bhavnani and Nikhil Dwivedi have also slammed the Bollywood for its nepotism and hypocrisy and not lending any support to Sushant Singh Rajput.
Sushant Singh Rajput couldn't make many friends and people used to ignore him due to his brightness. But even them is death has shattered the nation. BJP MP Shri Manoj Tiwari has asked for the CBI inquiry and another MP Shri Chirag Paswan has written to the Maharashtra CM Shri Udhav Thackeray for an honest probe.

Sunday, 21 June 2020

डर मत इस मंज़र से

हर रात के बाद एक सुबह आती है,
जैसे काली घटा के बाद रोशनी आती है,
हर दुख के बाद एक सुख की घटा आती है, 
और हर कमजोरी के बाद मजबूती आती है। 

इंतजार ना कर ज्यादा, नई सुबह आती होगी,
आंख खोल कर देख, नई रोशनी आती होगी,
हर समय तुझे दिखाई देती नहीं होगी,
वो कहीं तेरे आस-पास साथ ही होगी

ओ मुसाफिर तू कहीं सफर में भटक रहा होगा,
और अपने कर्मों को भूल गया होगा,
और काली रात के खौफ को सोच रहा होगा,
और कभी सुबह भी आती है, भूल गया होगा।

कभी देख उस काली रात के दर्द को,
रोक नहीं सकता, बेखौफ मंजर पर जाने को,
विदा होने से पहले, रोशनी देती है दुनिया को,
डर मत इस मंज़र से, विदा होने दे इस मंज़र को।

A game of Death

The poor man died at the hospital gate,
The power drunkard nation full of hate,
The months run by, April, May, June,
The happy days become a gloomy dream. 
I want to live, I want to love, I want to kiss;
I pray to give, the game of death, a miss.
I wish to dance with my wife,
I want to escape this deadly strife.
I lay isolated in my lifeless home,
I pine to breathe in free air zone.
The body is put on the funeral pyre,
But all are scared to light the fire.

My patience want to say enough, now bye,
I want to live and work san fear to die.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Silence of Corona

Silence of Corona
The bells have stopped buzzing,
Nor does the Azans piercing, 
Sermons of the pastor no mincing,
Only death has increased counting. 

Lifts are empty running,
No visitor to see liftman smiling,
The loud chatter of colleagues missing,
Loss is the caption of the daily morning.

Bread-milk supplier nowhere going,
Cab drivers have stopped plying,
Traffic sergeant has stopped whistling,
Roadside hawkers stopped hawking.

Anxious kids see schools waiting,
Theatres and viewers eager for screening,
Ice-creams waiting for lovers for sharing,
Guards sat with the empty register at the building.

Mother no more goes for surprise checking,
Friends halted for tip-toe hugging, kissing;
Sans angry arguments for irregular coming,
The happy life of the past always echoing.

Friday, 19 June 2020

Trapped Humanity

Trapped in the lockdown, horrible phase,
Humanity struggling to calm the rage,   
Hospitals chained in the monetary gaze,  
Nothing left to halt the deadly phrase.  

As the dice of death spreading death fear,
No remedy, only to shed the tear;
Only a pen to vent the anger near,
Family, friend and colleagues, all jeer.

All try to kill the China Corona Virus,
But struggling dons are each day in minus,
Only distancing makes life a safety bonus,
The new normal is loss and void genus.

Missing are the faces, cheering;
Vacant places, once hustling and sparkling;
Fearing infection all living ditching,
There is a permanent gorge, never gets filling.


Remove mask from your eyes,
Don't live in false illusion.
Ideas appear so weak,
In times similar to these, 
Life is the most valuable treat,
And death biggest cheat.
The intensity of your pain,
No one can realize trail, 
But I’ll be beside you,
In the gloom be two. 
Love is a bond inseparable,
That death cannot split,
May not be in your arms,
But always there in the heart.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Only Gratification

Neha has been working in a reputed company for the last many years. Neha has two little cute kids.  Mahira was in her third year of Engineering. Neha made Mahira her new friend and both like each other a lot. Most of the time at home, Neha was very much with her husband and they didn't feel anything abnormal in the friendship between Neha and Mahira. 
The husband of Neha was in the marketing job. So he has to go out frequently. In the absence of her husband, Mahira was the partner of Neha. Due to the presence of Mahira around, Neha never felt like missing out her husband. Whenever her friends asked, she simply smiled and said, I like her as my special friend. Neha soon realized that she was bisexual. She never felt anything abnormal in this. It was another relationship. Her husband knew about the inclination of Neha. He was silent. Her friends advised her, if you like both, go with both the relationships and enjoy a 'normal' life.
Great Hindu saint and now the chief minister of Utter Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, in December 2013, when he was a Member of Parliament, said (translated from Hindi):
"Homosexuality is dangerous to social morality. If social norms and boundaries are done away with, then there is not much difference between man and animal…I feel that to associate this kind of cheap sophistry with religious texts is gross immorality… There should be no social sanction if someone wants to do at a traffic junction what one does at home. It shouldn't receive any constitutional status either."
It was seen during the past decades more and more people can be seen in this type of relationship triangle. Family members and friends are aware of this choice. This bisexuality has not much attracted to the film industry. 'Margarita with a Straw' is a 2014 drama film deals with themes of human sexuality, self-acceptance and of inclusion. 'Four More Shots Please' is an Indian television web series with the story of four women as they live and love and discover tick in friendship. Fire is another erotic romantic drama film to show the homosexual relationship and a lesbian relationship of married women.
Eminent intellectual Dr.Subramanian Swamy and BJP Member of Parliament, in December 2013, said:
"Legitimising homosexuality leads to commercial profit since gay bars will be opened in all cities on foreign direct investment. It is a genetic flaw celebrated."
But label continues to haunt bisexual people, like an incurable disorder they can't be cured. There is a general perception they can't be loyal. Such relationships are not permanent like marriage. It is just for gratification. They are incapable to make any gender happy and fulfilled. They are treated as confused and abnormal. 'Sex and the City' has this type of theme. Set and filmed in New York City on the lives of four women friends who despite their age gap, different nature and frequent-changing sex lives, remain confide in each other. It tackled sexuality, safe sex, femininity and promiscuity. They failed to explore the difference between a romantic relationship and friendship. For them, there was hardly any difference between sex and friendship. 
Famous Yoga guru and Hindu seer Baba Ramdev said:
"I invite the gay community to my yoga ashram and I guarantee to cure them of homosexuality. (December 2013)"
Bisexual people are described as 'greedy' for pleasures. This negative narrative is widely believed and it forces many from accepting their preferences and choices. Samira, 30, discussed this with her friends. She was clear but couldn't express. She wanted to be close with both men and women at the same time but failed. She questioned herself about the moral aspect of to be bisexual. She restrained herself. She had a similar encounter with her cousin who asked her to decide her choice. "She was more baffled to hear this from her cousin and aunt, those were very open and modern and had such flings." That created more confusion, spiking internal phobia about bisexuality.
The controversial and fugitive Islamic preacher, Zakir Naik, said:
"Generally, naturally, no human being loves the same sex… it is not genetic."
For, men this is added stigma to their personality. Shahrukh was a gay till 20 but now he realized that he was a bisexual. "Because of accepted views society thinks you can't be loyal to your partner if you are bisexual. If you date a woman and she catches you in bed with a man, the shame will be inexplicable. This creates a sense of insecurity in both man and woman.
Even most of the LGBTQ community people are bisexual but openly don't admit it. They have bi-phobia. If they come to know that their friend was bi, they will start avoiding it. Even they are hurtful if someone tries to get a suitable guy for marriage.
Another famous Hindu saint, Sadhguru tweeted on September 18, 2018:
"Somebody has a certain kind of sexual preference. It is their personal preference because every individual has the right to do whatever the … they want to do with their body because it's their body."
Again he tweeted on June 8, "The only real purpose of life is to explore it in its fullest depth and dimension."
However, in big cities, people are coming out of the closet. They are building a community within a community for fun and satisfaction. By the help of Facebook, Zoom and other social sites, a support group and safe space is created for bisexual and pansexual to discuss their issues and later physical meetings. They get similar people with similar taste and choices.
This bi-people are also open to a threesome. Now we see bisexual women and men but it is still a long way to go to remove the stigma. In the interest of society and individual, we have to accept them. But now most of the family members accept this albeit after few pause and stare. After all, everything is created by God.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Do thy work: work is worship

Whenever my students and cadets ask me for truly some serious advice, I advice, “Learn to do your work, specially prepare your own bed to sleep. “ My immature students go away laughing at me, saying, “Sir is still hundred years back and will never change...“ However, I am very serious. Doing one’s own work is a mark of personality, a testimonial about being a name different in the crowd, a distinctive face of one’s individuality. Do not leave it to your mother, sister or the house help; it will become their manner of work or bed, and you will have to change your persona to suit theirs. Apart from that, it is a theme of self-cultivation.
Good enough years back, I went to Naogaon, Assam, to participate in a National Integration Camp with ten cadets. We were put up in an incomplete hospital near the forest. The hospital was abandoned by the authorities due to the terrorist of ULFA. As I was Associated NCC Officer, so a separate room was allotted to me for the next eleven days.
After completing all the paper formalities, I went to my room for some rest. My bed was smartly made. Too good for my taste. I opened the bed cover and found a small black cobra welcoming me with funnel upraised. As, I am a Brahmin, so I cannot kill any one of God’s creations without necessary grounds, and so, I called the PI staff of the NCC. They, using a can (they use it in many ways), they tipped the snake into a large plastic bucket, opened a window, and threw the snake out of the room.
Returning to the room, I decided upon to re-arrange of the bed, and on lifting the mattress, found an entire family of snakes. Disturbed by my intrusion, scores of small snakes were soon scuttling about the bed. I again shouted. The PI staff room was near to my room and they took me to the guest room. I spent the night in the guest room. Better a guest room bug than a forest snake!
Doing my own work, specially making my own bed was very important for me, something NCC taught me when, as a cadet, you were at the mercy of seniors, PI staff, NCOs, ANOs, and frequent pranksters. You were trained made your own bed, washed and iron your own uniform and clothes, polished your own shoes and clean your camp area.
Occasionally a dirt would infiltrate some hurtful annoy between your sheets and you would hide it artistically, preferably with a neat towel. “English“style was popular. You reorganized the sheets in such a shrewd way that the intruder, resting on the bed, found himself in an inextricable dirt. All this meant that NCC taught you had to be very caring of your bed and work.
I became so rigid about my habits and making of my bed that when I went to Meerut as a young student and stayed with the aunt of my friend to take care of her in the absence of her family who was also a motherly lady to me. I had an expected clash with her over I had the right to make my bed. She persisted that I was her guest, with a right to take care of me; she had a right to do my work including arranging my bedroom, plus the bed. I would arrange the bed. She would rearrange it. I did it again. At times she won; at times I. We reached a truce. She would fold and make in the morning, so I would be on time to my class. And in the night, I would make it, so that she could prepare the dinner comfortably.
During winter, my aunt prepared a hot-water bottle, to keep my feet and legs warm all night. It was very useful. As a result of her affection and care, I surrendered all my work and bed making right to my gracious aunt first time in my life. A good breakfast, good dinner and warm bed, what more can an immature student can have?
Food is not a problem to me because I like simple vegetarian food but it is the beds and toilets which always trouble me. There are pillows and pillows. I threw away before I go to bed. They give me the impression as if a Psycho is lying shrunken. I always loosen the sheet and mattress, as these are always tucked into the mattress very tightly. In some cases, mattresses are too soft; throw you towards the sky if you drop on to them abruptly. At times I prefer to sleep on the floor, using a thick carpet, sheet, pillow and blanket from the bed.
Once, a very unusual thing happened with me due to my typical nature. Always remember your hotel room number because rooms are very similar to each other. Once, I was standing in the balcony of my room, leaving the door unlocked to see the city. I am very fond to see the city. On returning to the room, I found my bed occupied by lady in a saree. She was in the wrong room? Fortunately, the lady remained cool and she apologized generously.
She seemed to recognize me, even though she failed to recollect my name.
“Aren’t you that writer-bed tidy? She asked in smilingly. “Come on in and have a drink. “
She was my friend of college days.

Celebrating defeat

I got a chance to visit the Bhima-Koregaon "victory pillar" in Koregaon, in Maharashtra, commemorating the British East India Company victory over the Peshwa of the Maratha Confederacy on 1 January 1818 and ensuing rule of the British East India Company in nearly all of Western, Central and Southern India.
Every day, on my visit, I go the victory memorial in Koregaon. A long pillar in bright stone is the main attraction, river Bhima that flows close to it. I'd like to swim on it but the water was very dirty like any other Indian river so almost forbidden. Near the village are the same old poor villagers and their mud houses which are painted with the names and pictures of their caste leaders.
On the walls of the memorial which is painted the names of great Bhima-Koregaon victories. Who was defeated at Bhima-Koregaon? The Indians. Who was the 1st Regiment of Bombay Infantry, Mahars, British East India Company, Captain Francis Staunton and other British officers fighting for? The Indians.
The "victory pillar" gate proudly announces the year the victory 1 January 1818 more than a century and a quarter before Independence. Who did the 1st Regiment of Bombay Infantry, East India Company mercenaries, Mahars and Captain Francis Staunton and other British officers shoot, bayonet and mine and blow up on that date? Other Indians.
The brutalities were worse than Jallianwala Bagh. Colonel Dyer only gave the order in 1919 at Jallianwala Bagh. The killing was done and triggers pulled by the Gurkhas of Gurkha Rifles, and by the soldiers of Baloch Regiment.
This is an ugly truth. I am not revealing any secret. I say that till August 14, 1947, the soldiers loyal to the Crown of England renamed itself a nationalist Indian army and a nationalist Pakistan Army, the next morning. We Indians, especially the Hindus have no history before that of a nationalist army, unlike, Muslims and Christians.
There are mentions about the fighting and warfare tradition of the Hindus or the Indians those goes back at least 2,500 years. The first Greek historian Herodotus mentioned that Indians at the battle of Plataea in 479 BC were hired by the Persian king Xerxes. The Indians fought heroically, though the battle was won by the Greek alliance and the Persian king Xerxes lost.
Eulogizing this tradition, Urdu poet Ghalib, who died in 1869, said proudly: "Sau pusht se, hai pesha-e-aba sipahgari," meaning our family profession has been soldierly for a hundred generations. The world has great respect for the Indian soldier's capabilities. Indians taught the European gorilla, bayonet and trench fighting.
The flattering biographers of Alexander the Great, Arrian, Quintus Curtius Rufus and Plutarch, mentioned that the greatest general has to use treachery to defeat Indian soldiers. This action stained the greatness of the conqueror. He had a treaty with a group of Indian soldiers and then they disarmed and deceitfully had them massacred. He used this deceit because he was scared of their fighting skill.
I have seen in India this respect mounted to reverence. Now, I have seen, it is almost a new cult of Army worship in the country. Fauj (army) and faujis (soldiers) are above criticism. The nation cannot listen to anything against the army.
People are upset with the subsequent Union governments because they have changed the rules which lower an Army officer's ranking with a bureaucrat of similar rank. Soldiers must be higher than bureaucrats. It is a well-known fact that when all fail, army steps in whereas bureaucrats have no achievements.
Same harassment was there with one rank, one pension. They had to wait for this for decades whereas the schemes benefitting the vote banks are approved and implemented in a day. Almost more than 40% of all central and state funds are grabbed by these vote banks. I have seen this national sentiment that serving and retired soldiers must get better salaries, pensions and benefits than the bureaucrats. Their contribution is much higher and necessary. Now, they are all the time on the battlefield.
A retired soldier has to commit suicide over OROP although the Aam Aadmi Party announced Rs 1 crore to the family of the soldier. Even family members of controversial deaths like that of Akhlaq, Tabrej, Pahalu Khan, Rohit Vemulla etc are showered with monetary help and jobs but at the death of a soldier, I have never seen such aggressive and competitive bidding over the bodies of a soldier. Why? Because the politicians are making a nation in which vote banks and controversies are more important than the death of a soldier.
However, the nation thinks differently. It wants all of us must pay constant and unconditional obeisance to our army. We sleep comfortably because our soldiers are awake. This is an accepted unquestioningly.
It is because of this reality we need a strong army. The government has very rightly spent Rs 59,000 crore for 36 warplanes for the defence forces. Some disruptive elements criticized this deal. We cannot because this purchase is an act of nationalism. In the 1971 Bangladesh war, we used fighters in combat and bombed the enemy very heroically.
We need more warplanes. We are always at risk of war. We are always not only surrounded by the external enemies but inter enemies have also become big threats. Naysayers ask, who are we going to war against? It is an irrelevant question. The Army must be strong and care first so that we can sleep and our boundaries are not further shrunk and encroached and I won't have to celebrate the defeats.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

‘Oxford bimari’ made this love story

When this ‘Oxford bimari’ hit the people, nobody could understand it like ‘China bimari.’ Nobody was bothered. It took everybody to the seventh cloud. I also joined lakhs of other people, running to Mumbai, Delhi and other big cities to fulfill their dreams. But, suddenly men-women in my slum cluster started running away from Delhi and walking back to their lost gaon.
Perhaps all were scared of an unknown fear. ‘Gaon’? Nothing is left there. I have sold my land and mud house. Now who will give me shelter and food there? It will be again another Delhi drama. No ration, no food, no salary. All ‘lafda.’ I hadn’t got my ‘pagar’ yet. The director of the firm was saying that he would be delaying the salary because of some ‘panga’ by the government. Hence I have to stay back and face China Corona.
But my parents were very worried about me. They called me. My mother was crying, and saying that my two younger sisters were wailing because they thought their brother will be killed by the China ‘bimari’ in Delhi. But…I didn’t want to leave Shabana alone and go back to Bengal. Who would take care of my love if I leave her alone? She was a decent woman…and we have a special feeling for each other.
Shabana worked in the same office as I did as out-source employees and our company was the same. We disliked our director. He was worse than our village ‘thekedar’ and ‘zamindar’who used to supply us for the ‘kohlu’ of the ‘zamindar,’ this out-sourcing was an Oxford ‘bimari’ exported to India by the great economist Dr.Man Mohan Singh. This was worst than ‘thekedari pretha.’ 
When Usman drove in his white Audy car, to the office all of us who had been abused, slapped, kicked and punched by the brute director of the out-sourcing company, wanted to beat him, once and for all but…ironically, it was his oppression, that had made our relationship firm...Shabana and me.
An incident made Shabana mine. She shared a personal secret about her monthly periods and taken few minutes off to rest on the side of the veranda. I saw Usman, walk up to her and to my surprise touched her forehead very softly. When she did not react, he held her by her hand and lifted her face. Shabana, come to my room and take rest. What were you doing in the night that you are so sick at work? He almost pulled her inside his air-conditioned room.
I felt very bad about this behavior of Shababa going with Usman in his room. I was a very hot-headed man in my village. On minor argument I used to get into fights with elders and boys much elder to me. By the time, I was a young boy; I was like a bull fighter. My neck, shoulders, arms and legs were like ‘pehlwans,’ People avoided me and became wary of me.
I could not stop myself when I listened the pleadings of Shabana, ‘chod do, chod do, mai mahine se hu.’ I rushed inside the room like a mad bull towards Usman…I wanted to kill Usman inside the room but Shabana stopped me. Usman’s face had turned pale as my first blow hit his face. ‘Leave my Shabnam alone..or I will kill you.’ He started trembling and yelled his private guards. Luckily, one of the guards was from my village and lived one street away from my house. He recognized me and stopped other guards and pacified Usman.
Slowly, I walked away…outside the office building. Shabana struggled to walk and followed me sadly. Head down, she walked fast, till she caught me. “Why did you beat Usman for me?” she asked. For the first time, she spoke to me, standing in front of a temple. We have been living together in the ‘juggi’ of my friend to safeguard ourselves from any further harassment by Usman and his men. We decided to accompany my villagers, who had decided to walk back home to escape the China ‘bimari.’
Our ‘juggi’ colony was sealed off and everyone was scary as if death will enter in each ‘juggi.’ Our office was closed. Our money finished and no other work to earn. The police were not allowing us to come out of the ‘juggis.’ Even for the toilet we had to take permission of the police and pay Rs. 2/= per visit. Very pitiable condition. Death was imminent. If we stayed there, corona will kill us and if we walk back home we will die of hunger, heat and exhaustion.   
There was no place even in hospitals and graveyards. Not even for rich and big people. But for poor people like us, weather we die here, or on the road, or in the hospital, or of hunger, makes no difference. This is ‘meri Dilli’ a heartless city.
If I die here, there will be no claimant, neither for my body nor for any compensation. Some corrupt Dilli government ‘babu’ will swindle and claim the compensation. Shabana can’t get any of the two, if she claims that he was my man, no one will believe her because she doesn’t have the proper papers to claim the body or the compensation. So, better die in your own village.
Shabana was ready to accompany me. Now, she can’t live without me. She always looks into my eyes. She was a young divorcee. I had seen so many others seeing her with voluptuous looks, even the rich in big cars. Her drug addicted husband pronounced ‘talaq.’ For keeping her again he asked Shabana to perform ‘halala’ with his father, for which Shabana refused. So, she was pushed out of her husband’s house. Now, I will take her to my village and marry her.
I went out of my ‘juggi’ the last time in search of some food. The priest of Hanuman temple gave me a big ‘thali’ of delicious food. Shabana will be happy to eat this delicious food. We shared the ‘thali.’
Next morning we started to walk for our village hungry, bare food, no money, with a shattered dream. In all we were thirty people, some were with their little kids. We reached Ghazizbad. Suddenly, we heard a siren of a police car. Our blood froze. He took us all to the police station. Like an angel, he arranged food for us and gave milk for the children. He arranged a bus of the UP roadways.
In the bus, I read a newspaper. A fire in our ‘juggi’ cluster burnt all the ‘juggis’ that killed five people and injured many more. The list of dead, mentioned me and Shabana. The generous Chief Minister announced and distributed the compensation of rupees five lakhs each who even failed to provide us food. The list of beneficiary included the kins of me and Shabana.
Neither of the two, the devastation or the corruption, are new; in fact, in most disaster stories they feature together. Yet, we rarely smiled to question how people can be so selfish in a world so narcissistic.

Tags: bimari-disease, gaon-village, lafda-problem, pagar-salary, panga-trouble, thekedar-contractor, kolhu-crusher, zamindaar-land-lord, pretha-system, pehlwans-wrestlers, chod do-leave, mai mahine se hu-I have monthly periods, juggi-hut, meri-my, babu-official, talaq-divore, halala-Islamic practice, thali-plate.

Monday, 1 June 2020

Corona Sermon

Pray to God!
To lift China Corona,
Like smoke,
And push it into the fire of hell.
Take a pledge, never to handshake;
Discipline our tongue,
Cut gossiping with neighbours,
And colleagues at work.
Avoid crowded theatres and weekend out;
Sermons at the pulpit and Friday gatherings.
Don't compel kids to rush schools every day,
Like labour bonded and slave;
Don't invite a friend for coffee and drinks.
Go for routine checkups,
Deep inhale and exhale in open;
Work fast to reduce the mass.
O, God! End this;
We will humans,
We are taught by our people with wisdom,
Sorry, but never followed;
Will be humans to each other,
As we have seen the worst.

1947 Revisited

I have read about the plight of refugees in 1947,
But now, abandoned by their own countrymen,
Pushed to a mass exodus to their villages,
Calling us migrants and outsiders. 
Stopped at the borders,
Like a nation unknown.
Branded as the spreader of China Corona,
Death was always chasing us,
Death from hunger, death on road,
Death on the track, death by exhaustion;
Death by heat, simply death and death.
Only God knows,
Which partition was more miserable?
China Corona or 1947?