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What if God was one of us

Haste on wheels, alacrity with spurts of shocks and shrieks,

Feet that halt and accelerate, ceaseless search for an occurrence of space,

Bumps and Scratches, anger dispatches

Dust in the eyes, exasperated breath,

To travel on these roads, needs courage…

And amidst the paranoia was none other than God Himself!

Image- Poornima Sardana

Image- Poornima Sardana

Image- Poornima Sardana

Image- Poornima Sardana

In a world where chasing time seems to matter more than life itself, where the most basic instinct of hunting (for space) is at its peek, God had little option but to slide from one side to another, as the vehicle carrying Him  fought its way through the blinding smut,  carving a labyrinthine path in the man made disarray.

That effigy of God symbolized what each one us must have fought with in our daily struggles, a state of  helplessness, an event wherein you surrender. For those strangling moments on that rugged path, it did become one of us.

To walk fearless on the streets

I cannot remember the last time I did that, to have walked fearless on the streets. I am not even talking about evenings and nights where we seem to have very quietly and unabashedly accepted the frequent hostilities and harassment with a numbness that is exasperating, I am talking about say any time of the day.

I cannot even recall the last time I really trusted a stranger, especially men. I eye them with both fear and suspicion, checking for any rude gesture or harmful material. If someone stands uncomfortably close I become stiff and get my elbows ready if needed to hit, as if by default. In fact when I was much younger I used to also carry stones and a pocket knife to be able to protect myself from the then rampant chain snatchers. In my teenage I carried my badminton racket in the bicycle basket for reasons more than just play. I have had opportunities to use these safety measures as well and unfortunately not just once or twice. I carried a pepper spray for all the four years in Delhi and recently I have felt the need in the otherwise safer Gujarat also. Travelling in a bus from Delhi to my hometown would require spending a lot of time in choosing which bus to sit in. This is no exaggeration. I do not know how many others maintain silence over such exacerbating experiences but a perverse gaze disturbs me, perturbs me, angers me and suffocates me. I do not wish to tolerate it or have any one else face it either. At times I imagine myself rising in air like a superhero and beating up those pests, howsoever I know I might land in further trouble. Because people can follow you upto your home, they can find out your phone number, they can collect more pests and hurt not just you but also your loved ones, who knows someone close to you might get hurt and as in a recent case, brutally murdered! So what does this lead to?

Police is generally of not much help. In fact they can be so perverse and brutal in their own approach that it can only further exploit someone who is already disturbed. I hope the current campaigning brings about a change, but until and unless this awareness and this resentment begins from homes, schools and all sections, rather than those who later get marginalized, it won’t change. Because change requires the evolution of the system in its entirety, to the very core of it.

Its a shame that most of the people my age have such disproportionate perceptions of sexuality, righteousness and duty, that they barely live and mostly follow. Those who dare to be themselves are attacked with one fear after another till the dart hits the bull’s eye.

I do not feel free, I hate the fact that I do nurture fear as part of an already traumatized society and I feel angry. I would do what I can, I hope we all do our bit.

 

 

चाय

मुझे  चाय  बनाना  इस  दुनिया  के  सबसे  कठिन  और  अहम्  कार्यों   में  से  एक  लगता  है . अब चाय बनाना कोई खेल थोड़े ही है . इसके लिए जिस  कुशलता और विज्ञान की आवश्यकता है, उसे समझने में सालों साल लग जाते हैं!

यूँ तो फर्ज़ी  चाय  कोई भी तैयार कर ले और कोई गैर ज़िम्मेदार उसे पी कर संतुष्ट भी हो जाये, पर जिन्हें असली और बढ़िया चाय की पहचान हो, वो उसे बनता देख ही पीने से इनकार कर देंगे ! और अगर, कभी मजबूरी में, पीनी भी पडे, तो उनके चेहरे पर उनकी तकलीफ साफ़ झलकेगी.

इसीलिए मैं अच्छी चाय बनाने वालों का  बहुत आदर  करती हूँ, क्यूंकि वे मेरी नज़रों में महान हैं और सच्चे समाज सेवक हैं.

कितनी बीमारियाँ, सर दर्द, दुःख इत्यादि का तोड़ है चाय! बस जाइये, इत्मिनान से दूध , इलाइची और अदरक को चाय पत्ती संग उबलते देखिये, ग्लास में परोसने तक सब्र कीजिये और फिर एक एक घूँट आँखें बंद कर के लीजिये. आप सब कष्ट भूल जायेंगे, गाने गुनगुनायेंगे और बेहतरीन अविष्कार कर दिखलायेंगे. यूँ तो चाय अपने आप में ही इतनी नायाब है कि किसी और चीज़ की ज़रुरत नहीं पर आप चाहें तो साथ में फेनी, बन आदि भी  खा सकते हैं, और बरसात हो तो पकोड़े. पर अगर चाय ही न हो तो फिर भला उनका अकेले क्या मज़ा?

मुझे तो ऐसा लगता है कि बहुत सी खूबसूरत यादें चाय के ही इर्द गिर्द बसी हैं. दोस्तों के साथ, अपने खास  चाय के गल्ले पर दुनिया बदलने की रोजाना प्लानिंग, सुबह सुबह परांठे के साथ माँ की बनाई हुई मीठी चाय , ऑफिस के बाहर वाली अच्छी चाय तो ट्रिप पर रास्ते में ढाबे की चाय. गर्मियों की चाय, सर्दियों की चाय, बरसात की चाय या रात की चाय. चाय तो चाय है जनाब उसकी जगह कोई नहीं ले सकता. और याद रखियेगा, चाय से बढती है दोस्ती, चाय से जगता है संसार, क्यूंकि चाय में मिला है चाय बनाने वाले का प्यार.

चाय बनाने वालों को धन्यवाद करना कभी न भूलें, यकीन मानिये यह हर किसी के बस की बात नहीं.