Worst, for the best of us

A phone call is all it takes, to change lives forever. Sometimes it pushes you in an ocean of scary uncertainty with statements like “Kohli, Navneet ko kuchh hua hai, koi kuchh bata nai raha” (Kohli, something has happened to Navneet, no one is telling me anything).

Other times, the voices from the other side are calm and composed. They silently throw you into emptiness. They just state the fact as they are. They can be as simple as “nahi” (no)  when you desperately shout to the other person, “is he alive or not!?”.

Last year, it was a dear friend. This time, on the first anniversary of that friend, is a senior. The times when you are forced to believe that the worst happens to the best of us, you are consumed by both despair and fearlessness. You stop believing in everything you thought to be obvious till now. Suddenly, lung cancer and smoking seem completely unrelated. Drinking and driving start causing deaths to innocents rather than the culprits.

The fond memories of laughter, discussions, let downs, guidance do remain with us, but the reality of God’s cruelty haunts the heart in nights. 

Navneet and Sagar, wherever you are, hope you keep making lives of others beautiful like you did with us 🙂

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The intriguing canopy

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It is as easy as it is difficult to draw meanings from thoughts which intermingle to form a complex network.
A network that looks beautiful only when one fails to feel the never ending struggle of branches in pursuit of light.
The darkness of branches and their stems make the superficial view look bathed in vibrant colours.
However, looks like the sun is rising. Heard that its light travels many light years, it shouldn’t  be long when it reaches under the confused canopy…

The dark road

The road dazzled with lights moving
A broken divider lay in the dark
Words few hung from it
Covered with dusty dreams and salty water

Scared, I checked for mine in my ears
Different these were, completely alien
I Picked up the carefree smirk, that never left
A cold wind blows, a warm assurance brought

A familiar voice, the naughty laughter
A split second, the deafening silence.
A thousand ifs, the merciless truth
A rode dazzled, the divider broke

Eyes and suitcase

With a few thudds of a relatively newer cloth
The dust cloud flew before the anticipating eyes
Pin drop silence broken by the zzziping sound
The suitcase was opened after decades.

Black and white photographs
Brought colourful nostalgia
In the sparkling eyes
The suitcase was opened after decades.

A college degree of two of those eyes
The laughing echo of the past in present
Tears for the loving and caring deceased
His suitcase was opened after decades.

Our memories turned to my precious
Our childhood to my good days
All but dust was divided among shameless eyes
The suitcase was happily closed for decades.

Free speech – an opinion or an insult?

tft-34-p-22-a-600x400About a month back, I read a news article that the Supreme Court of India has said that Freedom of Speech cannot be absolute. Unable to decide if it was a right decision or not, my mind raced to the Charlie Hebdo attack. A few days after the attack, a local leader who looked frustrated by the world clamouring for an unknown bird called the freedom of speech, stated on television that there is a thin line between expressing an opinion and insulting an opinion and that line has to be respected.

Unable to believe myself, I was able to find some sense in both the above statements given by the apex court which has to be obeyed and the leader who makes his ends meet by playing the communal card.

Somewhere in between these two incidents, a funny thing happened in Indian entertainment industry. A ‘roast’ video was released by an Indian channel on YouTube. This was a genre very new to the Indian audience and though the inexperience of the makers was visible, the effort was praised by the masses for doing something new. However, the funny thing was that the “comic video made to make people laugh” was banned and taken down from the internet. The reason given by the authorities was that it had hateful, sexist, racist and obscene content. I emphasize here that I saw the complete video and yes it had abusive words but if X jokes about Y in front of Y and Y laughs it off, how can Z have a problem with that? This was the time when I realized that being a little creative can turn out to be disastrous in the world’s largest democracy.

Freedom_of_Speech

I learnt to live with this fact and was at peace with the system when 2 notorious speeches by 2 notorious religious leaders came to my notice. In one of them, a leader of the minority challenged the Prime Minister to keep the police away for 15 minutes and then see how the minority shows that they are the real men. He continued by saying that the majority has given to this nation nothing but obscenity, refering to the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and erotic sculptures of Khajuraho.

The second video was the reply to this speech by the leader of a rival group who while addressing scores of people, found everything amusing and recalled the results of previous instances when the police was removed communal riots when thousands of innocent people from the minority were slaughtered.

Well, both of these videos are available on YouTube and all other websites and their views increase everyday and so is the hatred among the illiterate. I have a question from the unbiased government, the justice provider Supreme Court and all other guardians of peace and culture. I want to know where they are. How a comic video spread so many big negative words but hate speeches by influential people are totally acceptable? I also want to ask that gentleman who pointed out the difference between an insult and an opinion if he ever reads the newspaper. Each issue is filled with cartoons mocking our politicians. In which category does he put those cartoons? Or those speeches in the Parliament when opposition leaders call the former Prime Minister a ‘thief’. Are those “opinions” because his belief is not the one being talked about? Who is the one to decide if it is an insult or an opinion?

In a country where a teenager is arrested because of a Facebook update expressing remorse after the death of a politician because the roads would be jammed for his funeral, and a student body of IIT Madras (one of the finest institutes of the country) gets banned for publishing an article criticizing the Prime Minister; I have to think how is democracy different from dictatorship.

Is absoluteness of freedom of speech necessary for its survival or it is safe even with limits? This is the question whose answer I really need to know from everyone reading this post. Tell me what do you think.

This came in response to the Quote Challenge given by the wonderful blogger Kritika whose poetry and photography say much more than I could say here.

Ants – Inspiring people since childhood

IMG_0356This is created by ants? Really? Those small points who can’t even move without colliding with each other? And I am not able to meet that target assigned to me? I ask myself what’s my excuse. Clearly ‘feasibility’ is something that even an ant doesn’t believe in.

On having a closer look at this ant-hill, I realized that I, being probably a million times bigger than those engineers and workers who built it, cannot make something as fascinating as this with sand. This intrigued me and I asked Google for help. What a fascinating creature the ant is!

This structure is made by hundreds of millions of worker ants by taking one grain of sand at a time while making their underground ant-colonies. The biggest of them in Japan, extends for 670 acres! God, even the Japanese ants overtake the collective hard work of Indians.

So what do humans do when they spot a such a masterpiece? We do what we do the best – destruction. Have a look at this amazing and cruel video.

One grain at a time she took
Heavier than herself, she climbed
Up the heights and measured the depths
Tired, but unfazed; Hurt, but alive

These facts reminded me of that story today when a king who had lost everything sat staring on the wall, waiting for his death. There, he noticed a small ant trying to climb up the wall. For the first time, if fell down after climbing just a couple of inches. Next time, a couple of inches more, and so on. It took him the whole day, but he proved that impossible is certainly not a word in the dictionary of the ants. Kudoz to everyone who is believed to be worthless. Only you have the potential to shock the world.

This came to you on Day 4 of the Five photos, five stories challenge with special thanks to the lovely Prajakta who gave me this push to know and share.

I now nominate Izza, one of the earliest friends I found on wordpress, who with her breathtaking way with words, is habitual to create masterpieces. Do check and familiarize with her awesome blog before she changes its theme again. 😛
The challenge is – “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge”

The Pensieve

Sometimes while lying on my bed, I look outside the window and stare into the infinite blue canvas. I never know when it ceases to be a blank canvas and transforms into a Pensieve, filled with memories appearing like motion pictures in high definition.

The clouds dissolve to form faces, and the rustling of leaves in the background changes to meaningful words which if had been spoken, could have changed the course of life. The incidents associated with the most extreme emotions, buried for years, come alive again. No matter how they make you feel now, it is definitely exhilarating to analyze the situation and others’ expression at that time, as a third person.

But sometimes while making sense of something that probably has no meaning, might not be even true, my gaze stops at that person who stands there, unaware of being watched so closely, having no idea how this moment will change his life. Yes, that ‘me’. The more I see into his eyes, more determined they look to keep those memories safe inside them, forever. And at this moment a scary thought engulfs my mind. ‘No one knows any of us’. No matter how much extrovert you are, how much public attention you get, there is a huge part of you visible only to you. Sometimes its so ugly that we try to ignore it and convince ourselves that it doesn’t exist. Other times, it is too beautiful to be fathomed by others. But there is always a second face that we all have, visible only to us in the pensieve. And that’s why I love gazing at the bright sky, removing my eyes from it only when the water coming from them starts tickling my cheeks and the universe for this disclosed face gets the spotlight again.