Saturday, September 14, 2002

Some of you already know that I picked up this blog writing thing after seeing Niki's blog. Its been about a couple of weeks since I started but I never realised that I was the chosen one. Well to make things more clear, let me tell you about my dream last night.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Gandalf the Grey (yes the wizard from Lord of Rings) paid me a visit. As we were talking I mentioned that I had recently started blogging and told him how happy I was with this blogger stuff which lets me express my feelings freely and also let my dear friends comment on it. He looked pertrubed and asked if he could see my blog. And so I logged on to the net and when he saw my blog he uttered some spell and to my astonishment and distress my PC was on fire!! I was upset because my blog had become precious to me, but he said: 'Do not worry, it is unharmed.' After a few minutes he put out the fire and asked me to take a close look at it. To my surprise the PC and the screen were quite cold and it seemed to have become shinier and brighter than before. At first I could not see anything, but on the edge of the my blog I saw an inscription, in lines finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:

0101 010101010 01011110 01010111 010101 010101010
01010 0101010101 0110111 010101101 1011010101 010

'I cannot read the fiery letters,' I said.

'No,' he said, 'but I can. The letters are binary, of an ancient mode, but the language is that which exists behind all blogs, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:'

One blog to rule them all, One blog to find them,
One blog to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Broadband access to news
Broadband access to chat
Broadband access to gossip
Broadband access to recipes
Broadband access to directions
Broadband access to advice
Broadband access to old stories
Broadband access to mood changes
Broadband access to movies
Broadband access to health tips
Broadband access to fashion
Broadband access to colognes
Broadband access to advise on finance
Broadband access to measure my IQ
Broadband access to everything in life

Without you Mom, what would I do? Thanks a million :-)

Thursday, September 12, 2002

A few days back, I was talking to a colleague of mine, a Mr Horton, about the impending arrival of the new baby in his home. He got all chirpy and this being his first child, it was quite natural. In the course of the chat I asked him what he was going to name him. He just shrugged his shoulders and said he was still searching for a good one.

Yesterday he stopped by at my desk and said he had finally decided on the name. And when I raised my eyebrows, he continued. "I have decided to call him Mark". It goes without saying that I was not fully amused and so I said "That shouldn't have taken you so long!". To which he replied "Yes. But I wanted to make sure that was available before I named him. I just registered that website name for my son". He was beaming from ear to ear while on the other hand my head was spinning.

Notice how we are getting so dot-commish now-a-days? Anyways I thought I would log on to the net and share this with you all.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

I have decided that I would like to accept the responsibilities of a 6 year old again. I want to go to road side dhaba and think that it's a four star restaurant. I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples with rocks.

I want to think Parle's orange peppermints are better than money, because you can eat them. I want to play gulli-danda during recess and paint with watercolors in art. I want to lie under a big banyan tree and go to sleep. I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all I knew were colors, addition tables and simple nursery rhymes, but that didn't bother me, because I didn't know what I didn't know and I didn't care.

When all I knew was to be happy because I didn't know all the things that should make me worried and upset. I want to think that the world is fair. That everyone in it is honest and good. I want to believe that anything is possible.

What happened to the time when I thought that everyone would live forever, because I didn't grasp the concept of death? When I thought the worst thing in the world was if someone took my skipping rope from me or picked me last for the cricket that we played during recess.

I want to be oblivious to the complexity of life and be overly excited by little things once again. I remember being naive and thinking that everyone was happy because I was. I would walk by the lake near our fields and only think of the sand between my toes or the prettiest round stone that I could find. I would spend my afternoons climbing trees or riding my bike.

I want to be 6 year old again. That's the kind of superpower that I would love to have. Always be a tiny-tot. :-)

Tuesday, September 10, 2002

I'm sure we all have our own instances in life when we just 'click'; that is something deep within us instantly changes us for the rest of our lives. In my life there were two such instances and both of them had to do with girls. One of them was little cute girl and the other was Anjana. I stopped speaking with Anjana nearly two years back and have never got back to her and I don't think I ever will. One sentence that she spoke changed my view on her forever. But leave that aside and the story that I narrate now is about this circa ten year old girl, whose name I confess I don't know.

A very early morning sometime in December 1995, when I used to regularly practice basketball with my friends, I headed towards the town stadium. No one in my family were particularly happy with my habits or my daily go-abouts because of my performance at college. My parents had spent a fortune to give me good schooling and had packed me off to Kodaikanal, but now I had returned to my small town to do B.Com. I had passed the first year with only 10 marks credit, followed by an even more dismal performance in the second year when I passed by just one mark in a crucial subject. Despite this I used to spend more time at the canteens and movies with my friends, than at the study desk.

That morning, the clouds were spitting. As I dribbled the basketball towards the stadium, the spitting turned into a slight drizzle. I continued to head towards the stadium and half way through the drizzle eventually became light rain. I realised they were passing clouds and that rains would stop eventually. As I took shelter under a large tree I noticed a young girl, a rag-picker by profession, sitting in a pile of garbage along with her mother. In her hand she held a broken slate (the kind the kindergarten kids use) and a piece of wet chalk. As her mother sieved through the garbage for valuables, the girl was learning to write by copying the headlines of a discarded local newspaper. She gave scarce attention to the rain or for the fact that her writing was being erased by the constantly dripping water. She just wanted to learn how to write.

I played basketball half heartedly that morning. For the rest of the day the image of that poor girl trying to learn to write kept haunting me. Something inside me told me how lucky I was to be born in a well-to-do family where I didn't have to worry about where my next square meal would come from; that to be educated was a gift and not something to be taken granted. Few days later I told my friends I will no longer be playing basketball. I had missed lots of classes and hence had to catch up by myself by using the library and so I did. Months passed, exams were over and when one day the prinicipal of the college called my parents to tell them that I had scored highest marks for the University, I thanked that little girl, whom I had never spoken to, for changing my life.
* Why is it that when Americans or Brits die, it is a tragedy but when dozens of Israelis / Palestenians / Kashmiris / Pakistanis die, it is back page news?

* Will America and Britain go to war everytime they don't like certain regime?

* If the permanent members of UN can have weapons of mass destruction, why can't Iraq or any other country have it?

* How long will everyone tolerate American attempts to police this world?

* If America is so much enthusiastic about 'democracy' in Iraq against the present dictator Saddam, why does it have Musharaf as an ally?

* Or for that matter why is America silent over Mugabe's rule in Zimbabwe or the army's brutal rule in Burma for last 40 years?

Though my prayers go out to families and friends of those affected by Sept 11 tragedy, I think its high time US had a rethought on its international policy. Or for that matter other countries had a rethought on their policy towards US.

Monday, September 09, 2002

Do you know what the biggest sin in life is? It's being born coloured. This whole damn world judges you by your colour. Blacks are shit, whites are cool, brown is only worthy to be stepped upon. God-dammit. Why can't they just let us be? It's not like I have a choice in that do I? I mean, I can't choose what colour I want to be and all. Given a choice, I would like to have pink polka dots all over me but no, I am brown in colour. Yeah brown! The fella up there must have had a poor colour palette when he painted this world. So there I was one day basking in the sun with my friends. Out pops these few 'gora' guys. After looking at me one of them whines:

"Look what we got here... some fine brown shit". There you go... once again being pointed by your colour. Im sick of this. He picked me up and dropped me back down. Ouch that hurt but you can't really pick on these guys. They have weapons that can rip us apart in minutes. And we are not all that strong to be honest.

"Alright, lets take as much as we can" said the guy who had just shoved me. So they just dug into us like as if we were there for cherry picking. Not that you should pick cherries or anything... but as the saying goes... you know.

They loaded us into the trucks and there was hardly any space for us to move. They drove for quite some time before we came to this house on the outskirts of a village and they shoved us off the truck. An old man came by and ran his hands over us. "A fine booty" he said. He paid the truck guys some money and now we were his property. Now that those 'sellers' had gone, he started to divide us into groups and sub groups. He ordered a few of his servants to get some water going. He was going to clean us. He heaved us into a large basin that was being filled with water. His servants were stepping all over us in a bid to get the dirt out. "Get going, we need to finish this lot before nightfall" the old man kept screaming.

By nightfall gallons of water had gone through us and the whole lot of us had been squelched. We were now 'supple' as the old man put it. He now put us into small tin confinements as if we were going to escape. We were closely packed and sometimes beaten to accommodate everyone within the tight space. That night there was no air. It was as if all the air had been sucked dry. I had slowly settled into a position that I could spend comfortably and so did most others. As dawn broke we were shoved out of those tins and exposed to scorching sun. We were still stuck together as if we had been glued. Some of the others tried to break up, only to be shoved back into those tin caves and beaten up. You see, black guys among us are more tough. They rebel more and cut loose more. We brownies are more 'mellow' and so we are the easy targets.

That evening another truck came. Those of us who had behaved properly were loaded in the back of this truck and driven off. We travelled all night and next morning we were carefully taken off and shown our new quarters. It was still being built or rather we were there to complete that task. But for now I was to rest in one corner and the only thing that they gave me was some cool water. They said water hardens us up. Two days later I was picked up. I was taken to the top of that building and before I knew I was shoved on some wet cement. I couldn't move. Those guys kept talking as that cement dried around me. This was going to be my home.

My freedom? Well, it will come - many years from now when all my fellow bricks age with me and we all collapse with no strength to hold onto our own weights. On that day, I will be that brown mud that I once was - and be free to fly the crimson sky.

Sunday, September 08, 2002

It was early morning. I had just woken up but I could see no one else in the family had slept. Everyone looked scared and I didn’t know why. Ma told me that some people with swords and sickles were killing people because a train had been burnt three days back. I still didn’t understand fully. She said don’t go out. So I went to the backyard and picked up my puppy.

I was hungry. Ma usually bathes me and gets me breakfast by this time but today no one even talked to me. They were all busy talking to themselves. I went back inside and sat on Ma’s lap. My uncle picked me up and said “Don’t sit on her lap, you will hurt her tummy. See your brother is inside her tummy”. My mummy’s tummy was like an egg. She would let me talk to my brother inside her once in a while. She never told me how he got in there in the first place. Or what he was doing in there. Uncle gave me an apple to eat while they talked. I shared the apple with my puppy.

I don’t know when I had dozed off but I was suddenly woken up by lot of noise. There was someone banging on the door heavily. People were shouting outside our house. Mummy was hugging my grandma. I wanted to cry but was too scared to do that. Suddenly the door broke open and lot of people came screaming in. Everyone was shouting his own thing. My uncles were not to be seen. Only my Ma and Grandma were there.

“Please leave us… we have done nothing”. Ma said. Grandma was crying and was sitting on the floor.
“Who cares whether you have done anything or not. We don’t want you or your kind in this place. And we know only one way to get you out of here”. Many were laughing while they threw everything down. Some were smashing the tv, glass case, tables…

I hugged my Ma’s leg as I stood by her.

They pulled my grandma and started thrashing her by hand. Ma went to help grandma but she fell back when one of them kicked her in the tummy. Ma got up crying. I don’t know why but she started to run out of the house. I followed her crying. She was faster than me but there were others who were chasing her. One of them hit her leg with an iron thing he was carrying. Ma fell down. Before I could reach her someone picked me up. I kept kicking.

Ma was screaming and so was I. Someone hit Ma again on the tummy. Ma was dragging herself on the ground. I could see her saree had turned red. Someone picked up a small red thing from floor. It looked like little baby. Ma was still screaming in pain. He threw the baby back on floor and within a minute it was on fire. People were telling my mother… we will burn you like this as well. They threw something like water on her. I was too tired to kick around now. I just cried. My mother was on fire.

The person holding me held be my head. My feet were dangling in air. He was pressing my head hard and I couldn’t even scream. His fingers were pushing against my eyes. It was hurting me a lot. I felt some warm liquid come out of my eyes. He let go of me. Suddenly there was no pain, but I couldn’t see. I tried to open my eyes…

It has been months since this happened. Everyday I sit near the window sill hoping that one day I will see something again. Maybe I will see when my mother comes and feeds me from her hand. Or when she lets me talk to my brother in her tummy. But I have not seen her since that day. Uncle told me she won’t come back. She has gone far away. But I know she will come back. She loves me. At seven years of age, what more do I want? I only want my mummy.

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