Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Head of umbrella

Finding is the first Act
The second, loss,
Third, Expedition for
The "Golden Fleece"

Fourth, no Discovery—
Fifth, no Crew—
Finally, no Golden Fleece—

Crumbling is not an instant's Act
A fundamental pause
Dilapidation's processes
Are organized Decays.

'Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul
A Cuticle of Dust
A Borer in the Axis
An Elemental Rust—

Ruin is formal—Devil's work
Consecutive and slow—
Fail in an instant, no man did
Slipping—is Crash's law.

- Emily Dickinson

In the gutters our stars decay.
- a line from a poem by Vasko Popa, Serbian poet, in trans.

Boddo discontent and heavy bleeding.

On the bright side, my lil niece was born on the very day that my other niece was getting married!
Oh wait. This means I'm growing old. Okso, Not a very bright side.
But my lil niece, doods, she will kick some serious ass with her blooming gorgeousity. and I could not get more shitty amreekan hipstery if I tried. Yo &c.
Honest, she is incredible looking. With haughty eyes. I mean, which 2-day old kid do you know with haughty eyes? I am in awe. I will cause grievous harm to boys who try to mess with her fifteen years later. Mind it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Memory's children

Whoever the homeland may belong to, it is not merely a piece of geography. It is also not just history. Nor is it the rivers of the region, or the mountains. It is all those things that keep getting absorbed in your very being whether you want it or not. It constantly nurtures your mind, heart and soul. Keeps it alive... It is our land that gives us a vision. Gives us strength to see our country and see beyond it. To connect with our place and times.

- Krishna Sobti, Memory's Daughter, trans.

The state government would have us believe that normalcy has been restored in Nandigram. A "new sunrise", they're saying. I wonder what that means. All those women who were raped. Is the government going to dictate to them what normal is? Is 'normal' handing a red flag to you after your women have been raped and murdered, your men beaten up and burnt alive and your houses razed to the ground?
The burden of the past, it is a great one. Will anyone forget?

There is no activism in me. Just a lot of rage. And severe, numbing shock. I look at photographs we spare our readership. Photographs of rape victims, of men with faces so badly smashed all you can see is coagulated flesh, not even the eyes can be made out. No, these will never be published, there is only so much intrusive journalism - we try not to cross the line. But I see the pain, I see the blood, I see a torn sari and mauled limbs and stains.
There must be a way out. Please, God, let there be a way out.

p.s.: Please, spare me the inquisition. The last and penultimate paragraphs are not necessarily related.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Children of a lesser god

Sometimes, the thought of going home becomes an intrusion. Like when you're driving down the expressway, happy to have lost the road back to the city. The thing with happiness, though, is that it has an evil twin.
Tonight, I will go home and be thankful, for the big house, my two rooms, for my middle-class birth, for every material comfort that I so often scoff at in the name of humility. Because we live in a world where these things matter enough to save your life. Because my parents have two cars, their own house, and comfortable bank accounts, our lives are worthy of being saved. It sounds insane, doesn't it? But when I read about all those lives that are so dispensable because they have no other defence than their tears of anguish and helplessness, whose cries and appeals go unheard - this is all I can come up with to explain how this sort of continuing terror can be perpetrated on the people who have put the present government in power. The people whom the government purports to protect. Instead, children are dying, men and women lie wounded in hospitals, each reduced to a name and number plastered across their forehead with duct tape. The language of diplomatic communication has always been maddening; annoyingly passive. The prime minister has been kind enough to say that Delhi is "concerned". When your child falls down and hurts his knee, you show concern. When your house is full of termites, you're entitled to be concerned. But when the women of your polity get raped and murdered, when you can look at the fear on the faces of the men and children, and still shoot them to death to make a sham of all your promises, a mockery of the democracy you claim to ensure - I'm thinking there needs to be more than a show of "concern" and "direct interest".
Nandigram embarasses me. On the way to work, when I see a group of foreign tourists wandering aimlessly near Raj Bhavan, looking appalled at the empty streets of a city whose charm lies in its people, its overwhelming crowds, I am ashamed for the anxious alertness in their body language. When the police crack down on artists raising their voice against the atrocities, the complete disregard for the democratic rights of the people in my state embarasses me.
My city's silence, and my own, embarasses me. My 'education', the 'awareness' and 'exposure' that has cultivated for me and for those like me an ostensible 'voice', embarasses me because of the way in which it is being threatened and systematically quashed by my government.
And when I go back home, and think of all those people who have been rendered homeless, landless, and, in so many cases, without a family, I will be embarassed for the comfort I was born into and for the inability to do much else than to wallow in it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Picture hit hai

The sole purpose of this post, written at quarter past 3 in the morning, is to inform you that I am just back from watching the late night show of Om Shanti Om at City Centre, and doods, lets face it, I've totally seen it before you have. :-D

Also, it's an amazingly intelligent, beautiful film. I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a tribute to Bollywood, but it captures the essence of Bombay cinema in a way that's never been done before. Go watch it, quick.

And, hullo? It is IMPOSSIBLE to get transport from City Centre at 2:30 in the morning. And no, even crazed women running after cabs in stilletoes doesn't work.

Of course, this post wasn't meant to be either a review of the film or a chronicle of my day.

Frankly my dears, I'm only gloating about how my Diwali was pretty darn ossum. How was yours?

*tomorrow, Saawariya*

Oho, Happy Diwali kintu! Have a blast! :-]