Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Woes of My Life

It isn't home anymore. Not the warmth i knew of. Far from it, truth be told. The serenity of my land has long gone. There are only memories left. Today, there is despair and bitterness. My lands are parched and my life is barren.

Not long ago, i had a dream. A dream that meant fulfillment and prosperity. I laboured interminably to enliven that dream. What of it, you may ask. I know not words to explain. I reckon you know my plight already.

My life has been grim. I'm a kind that is now forgotten and relegated to statistics. Meek and impoverished they call me. Politicians sympathize in their deceitful ways. Others, like you, couldn't be more apathetic. Yet, it is my kind that feeds the nation; a staggering billion and more mouths that would be penurious should i embark upon another vocation. No, i speak not with pride, but with angst. This has been my trade, my life, and i do not know another.

Slowly, there are many in my fold who have done away with their lands - their prized possessions handed down through generations. In search of hopeful prospects, they have departed long ago. Why must i not be tempted or forced? There are these new breed of nouveau riche 'developers' lining up at my door with enticing bids, and threats.

Have you, with your know-hows, not read of my quandary? That i tread miles to fetch pales of water to irrigate my fields, and that my children toil under the merciless sun, to say but a few of the many! Oh, what would you know of my predicament? Your cushy jobs and demanding lives would only add to the indifference! Entire villages starve for the lack of water or food. The rains seem eons away. Our crops have failed and our brethren kill themselves. To us, this is desolation. To you this is statistic. There lies the difference.

However, my missive is not all stark. I would like to also imagine a future. One that brings us all that we ever sought. One that makes our lives truly gratifying. Does that sound Utopian? Perhaps, your 'learned sense' does describe it so. Well, it would certainly sound idealistic to many, far too many. And this is because, our future isn't going to be any easier than what it is today, is it? Our fields and farms will make way for buildings, hideous monstrosities of glass and steel, that vie with another to become landmarks of prestige and architectural aesthetics. Our trees would have long been felled to feed endless reams of paper into those fancy devices in your snazzy offices. Rivers and streams would have long been destroyed. Of those left, water would hardly be considered potable. Perhaps, you could consider stocking up your favorite brands of aerated fizz!

What would become of my tribe then, would you ask? As they say 'dead as a Dodo, of course!'

Oh, i know a thing or two that will remain though. Your colossal egos that are dismissive of realities, and your repugnant sense of avarice!


Written in the backdrop of the prevailing drought in Maharashtra

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Lost words found again!

Often, there comes a spell, like passing clouds in a sky.
These moments, how they call emphatically.
For they define, though only for a moment, a state of being.

When the dust settles, one discerns that times have changed,
and life is anew. It is, perhaps, in such passing that
journeys begin, and dreams are forged.

All of life is an endeavour to see afresh, joyful hope to seek
and comprehend. Many moons shall pass, and so will those sights.
Only perspectives change leaving realities untainted.

Wanderers we are, of ephemeral nature.
In our moments we shall only accomplish rapture.
It is to ourselves that we shall bring wonder,
should our minds be a passage to the inner.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Goodbye Bombay!

Bombay is not a city. It is a spirit, something of a cult status, perhaps even an extremely personal feeling that has grown from deep within due to the inimitable sights and sounds of a very unique being; a world that cannot exist in parallel. It is not home to people, but to countless dreams that oscillate with fervour and passion in the minds of its beholders prompting them to relentlessly engage in an enduring pursuit called life. It is, perhaps, the single largest importer of dreams, which it permits to be endlessly bartered with the most powerful currency that exists, the currency of hope! But, it may not be a destination as many choose to see it, for it has its bias, like any other - between building and breaking, as often as it will. Of which side it has its tilt towards, one can never actually tell.

The sea that almost surrounds it is not merely an expansive body of water. It can metaphorically be likened to the mind that is constantly engulfed in waves, rattling a person between perpetually definitive states of action and lifeless inertia. While it is regarded as an incomparable beacon of life, it is also mercilessly adept in taking away the living breath, startling its subjects, never offering even so much as a requiem for the departed. Bombay is in many ways synonymous to time, to life itself.

To many, it tenders spectacular offerings of transformation, with promises that are eclectic, irreversible and soaring, not unlike the innumerable skyscrapers that imposingly tower into the skies, seemingly blurring the distance between earth and the heavens. Several others aren't so fortunate. They find themselves in constant trepidation, inundated by woes and demands of life, fallen dreams and squalor of sorts. But, it is home nevertheless. Feeding and sheltering, in varied ways, its dwellers, among which are the bipedal, four-legged, legless and many more vastly and differently constituted.

They say Bombay has only two kinds of people; Those who visit, certain to leave and the others who arrive to remain for generations. So, by that account, i would regard myself to be a traveller who was swept by time with a prearranged interlude of passage. And, in that pause, this tutor extraordinaire would have left in me deep and indelible marks of a life so unique, promises so divine, possibilities so real, people so distinct and experiences so full. And then, it was time to move on.

I shall forever be thankful to it for the wonderful times, brilliant friendships, endless treats to history, and soulful memories that have made life worth celebrating. From the quaint streets of Colaba, to the bustling seaside of Bandra, the resplendent Fort and the iconic Marine Drive, and the stretches from Juhu to Borivali, some reminiscences are eternal.

So as i bid adieu to this mighty megapolis, a place where everything matters, and yet nothing does, a place which was home for what seemed eternity and yet only for an instant, hues of many scintillating moments are now etched deep within.

And, i will forever remember its most valuable teaching - that survival is not an option; it is life itself!


Written in aftermath