Tag Archives: humanity

Unfinished Thoughts: Part 1.

Soulmates at opposite ends of a barbed wire
Ancestors’ decision to war gave them bullet holes while looking for love

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Rust and stardust at the beginings and the ends
And everything in between a void of empty expectations and hopeless misery.

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A heart shaped face everyone appreciated
But her eyes were vacant.

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Stardust, hope miracle, wonder
His eyes tell a million beautiful stories
But his poker face was the only defence against the rest of the universe

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Fire ablaze in the neighborhood street
Scarlet limbs, hot tempers, loud chants
Did not stop him from laughing at his failed attempts to flirt.
Innocence had not yet been torn appart.

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As the midnight oil burnt through her window
Her love lay colder than her metal heart.

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Best Friends, Love, Marriage, Children, House
His dreams were numerous
Her heart couldn’t take it anymore
But it was he who was left bleeding.
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The letters danced in front of his eyes
Big words, complicated phrases,
And God forbid them pragmatics
Dancing is not the first step towards falling in love everytime.

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Dependant on father, brother, husband, son
She moves through life overprotected
The diagnosis said Dependant Personality Disorder
In India she was just another woman.
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A solitary man in a movie theatre
Now he can laugh with a snort
And hysterically sob, as loudly as he can.

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Have exams starting tomorrow. What best way to procrastinate?

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Begining of the End

On what Khushwant Singh’s death makes me painfully aware of, and what his writing has taught me.

It’s begining. Slowly.
You read some works as you were growing up, but most of them were Dead White Europeans, who were considered classic writers-Shakespeare, Austen, and the like. But you knew they are long dead and gone.
Slowly, you get to know contemporary writers. You read for pleasure. You read for broader vision. And slowly you get acquainted about contemporary writers. And somehow, they change you. They stir your soul, because it’s exactly your world they write about.
John Green, not so much about cancer, but resonance to being a nerdy teenager with exploding fangirl.
JKR because growing up.
Suzanne Collins because we all have a revolutionary within us.

It was after a particularly challenging exam, that I sat on the internet before I saw a friend’s post about how much he meant to her. And my heart skipped a beat. How can it be?
A quick Google Search sufficed. It was clearly written in blue bold. Khushwant Singh, aged 99, dies.
Suddenly, I feel helpless and empty. A pit in my stomach. My throat aches, and I want to cry. But I don’t.

Khushwant Singh is not my favorite author. But he has inspired me. Perhaps one of the only writers of realism that I truly admire. I had planned to read A train to Pakistan for a long time, but when it was put on the reading lists for Partition writers, I was overjoyed. Between Manto and him, I had to choose, and I chose him. And I am glad I did.

Train to Pakistan was easily a brilliant read. His usage of symbolism was as brilliant as his critique on what freedom meant to the poor-nothing. They were to be treated in the same way by Indians as they were by the Raj. They could live on without knowing that India gained Independence. And it was true.

I wouldn’t say Train to Pakistan is my favorite book, or Khushwant Singh my favorite writer. But I would say it opened my eyes into what I wouldn’t have thought of. While the horrors of Partition has been brilliantly chronicled  through photographs and history text book essays, nothing I have ever read made me think of the hypocrisy in the system- a mere passing down of power from one race to another, from one Empire to another. The people still remain.
What Langston Hughes said about the African Americans stands true for marginalized Indians too-

The free?

Who said the free?
Not me? Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike? The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

Because freedom was not freedom to those who toiled and made the country what it is today. And that is what Singh taught me.

And his death? It is making me realize how these authors, who I long to meet, might die too. I have become aware of the fact that slowly each of my favourite authors will die, leaving behind a legacy, and the memories of my childhood would be all that remains. And I can picture this-
I am in a car, and it is raining, returning home from work. The radio plays my favourite songs, and suddenly a news is broadcast- that one of my favourite authors have demised. I stop the car, and let my tears get intermingled with the falling rain, a testimony to the brilliance of this dead author, that as in the books they have written, the Universe chose pathetic fallacy to mourn for their death, as they had for our favourite characters.
And I would be, as millions of others, inconsolable.

And as to Khushwant Singh, I only hope he stays timeless, as he deserves to be: A reminder that our ancestors are very much responsible for violence and destruction, unlike what they portray it to be- We were better than you.
And may the horrors of history serve as a warning for the fallacy of humanity we like to wear on our sleeves.
May he stay a legend, and rest in peace.


The SHINY NEW TOY Vs. The BABY

I was fourteen and at the top of the world and then, my mom decided to go back to India. I didn’t see the point then, when she announced that. I had two more years, after which, I’d be in college! And this decision did change my life, and the life of a couple of others, as expected.

The first day at school was… weird. They’d expected me, it seemed. “You’re Nessie, right?” Nessie, already! “We’ve been waiting for you. Welcome to India.” I was shocked and surprised and embarrassed at their over-friendliness. It was the last thing I’d wanted: to be the centre of their attraction. As I’d entered, every eye turned to look at me-that was fine, expected, but then, they’d started staring at me. I smiled at them, in general direction-towards the walls and the corners and then looked down and made my way to the last bench. Some of them chuckled. The girl I sat next to gave me a warm smile and I suddenly felt at home.

I’d never believed in fairytales: all that crap about how, in the end, somehow, everything is just wonderful! My dad, the night before he slept in heavenly peace, had told me that I was his princess and he’d watch over me-nothing would come in my way! I’d believed in him till two months after I’d turned fourteen. Till she walked into the class and the boys went, “Oooh”. And as if to its response, she smiled-very sweetly, so, and looked down and sat next to Anne. The guys and the girls were staring at her. I’d hated her-I was sure she was the demon sent from hell-sent to break the promise my guardian angel had made!

I’d asked Jay what he thought of her. He’d replied, ‘She’s hot, man! Every guy in the class- every guy-juniors, seniors and even certain teachers, included, want to be hers- and could do whatever for that!’ I felt sick at the pit of my stomach, when I heard that one. “And me?” I asked. He replied, to that: “You? You are our baby. The baby of every teacher. We all love you, and adore you. You are everyone’s baby sister” Oh, wow!

Every guy wanted to be hers and every guy wanted her as their sister. I’d seen how Keah had spread rumors about Nessie. Poor soul, she was new to the society, and she’s human. She’d confided in me how very sad she was-how shocked she was-that her life had given her everything she’d wanted, and more, with the price of dignity! And Ness had never done anything wrong. She’d treated us all, even though she held the second highest position at the students’ council, a position Keah had fought for, she’d been good to all. And we all knew she was doing well, better than Keah herself, who would have imposed duties on us all, while she chattered away. They’d all tolerated her; she was the one without a dad, whom she loved so dearly. But rumors of this magnitude? I don’t know why the tolerate her! Even now!

And then, as the years passed, Ness never dreamt wrong about her. And now, they are in the same college, the same class. Keah never stopped plotting against her, throughout school years. And now, when, when I went to Nessie’s house, I see Keah with her. All the time.

I wonder what happened to Keah. Had she lost her might? Or had she flipped over to the better side. Or was that just a peace before a storm?

I do not know. And I wouldn’t know until it’s happened. I do wish Keah has really changed. And I wish Ness the best of her luck! God protect her, and her innocence.