There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
To reach to you each day.
This bridge remains invisible
In the world governed by reality
Glad that it is non-existent!
In a world marred by evil eyes
It remains invisible to naked eyes
In love with concrete images
And I did the right
By not giving it a shape
To a bridge I travel across
Each day to reach to you.
Had it been built by me
Surely it would have collapsed
Facing every passing moment
The rays of eyes dipped in
Evil and falsehood, treachery and crime,
And I would have lost something
Which sustains my earthly existence
There exists a bridge between
You and I
And I travel across it
Through the realities of visible world
To reach to you each day
In every passing moment
To arrive at a world
Where no one exists
Other than you and I.
I have noticed few very discouraging trend patterns in our times. Firstly, the moment we notice rise of some good human being in any arena, one dares not to appreciate and honour that person. On the contrary, many negative forces come into operation to tarnish his/ her image. It appears being bad is honourable and glorious in our times! The same society raises hue and cry that we don’t have right people to deal with pertinent issues. But the moment someone makes a valiant attempt to change the corrupt scenario all types of negative forces gather on one platform to paint that individual in wrong colours. This tendency is not only baffling but also discouraging for development of better prospects.
Secondly, the great attempt is made to make such daring individual realize that you are no different than us: corrupt and rotten from inside. That way a greater lot in the society feels that it did a fine job by coercing that individual to have such great realization! If we look back into past we realize that good souls never got true recognition in their lifetime. It’s only after their death, they got elevated to sainthood sort of status. Instead of paving the path of such conscious individual with glorious possibilities, the path gets filled with chosen obstacles. Amazingly, this all happens in a society which always complains about lack of positive changes in society. Meet young or old, man or woman, all will complain about disorder and lawlessness in the society. However, the same lot is not interested in promoting right developments the right way.
That’s the reason I hate taming of good people. Taming is crime in my eyes, and so I am not at all fascinated by taming business. Why should those man/woman be tamed who dare to think differently, who dare to introduce new ways of thinking in a society? Why should these exceptional souls be made on par with same level of distorted thinking which dominates the common masses? However, we do expect values like sincerity, real love, honesty and etc. from each other. I will surely allow my friends a desired freedom but shall not tolerate that they make mockery of it by indulging in atrocious and absurd behaviour. Liberty should not be mistaken as license to behave in contemptuous way. Sadly, for a modern man/woman freedom/liberty means mental corruptness and unaccountability. Anyway, I hope that modern society learns to honour exceptional souls instead of entering in regressive attitude to tame such souls so as to reduce their impact! A society interested in better changes should have something better to offer such agents of change instead of subjecting them to coercive attempts to make them feel ordinary.
The Indian democracy is said to be governed by the will of people. It’s not the entire truth. In reality, it’s governed by chosen contradictions. They make us sad, frustrated and gloomy. This time I would not enter into any sort of complicated analysis. Just presenting two news items side-by-side. That would be suffice to make Indians realize that not all is well with this country. The first news item is related with Saheed Capt. Amit Bhardwaj’s birth anniversary. The second news item is related with murder of a Deputy Superintendent of police, Zia ul Haq in Deoria, in Uttar Pradesh.
By means of contrast I wish to know are our soldiers sacrificing their lives for such rulers who appear to be no better than murderers? And secondly, do our citizens, which include judges and bureaucrats too, have no other option other than to live under shadow of such criminals posing as rulers? Anyway, RIP Kargil Saheed Capt. Amit Bhardwaj/Zia ul Haq. We shall always remain indebted to your glorious sacrifice. And for such rulers, it’s better that they get punished instead of making an attempt to define their worth.
Now the mother of all questions: If that’s the fate of high ranked police officials, how can the judiciary expect a common man to act as whistle blower? Any answers?
Capt. Amit Bhardwaj was leading the reinforcement column of 35 men when they were ambushed en route by Pakistani soldiers armed with light & medium weaponry. With the help of Havildar Rajbir Singh, he decided to divert the attention of the enemy & ordered his Second-in-Command to get the men out of the battle area. The two gallant men were killed, the others survived, though all were wounded. Capt. Bharadwaj saved nearly 30 of his men and killed more than 10 infiltrators, though he himself was hit twice fighting till the last breath. His body lay in deep valley of Himalayas, till it was retrieved on July 13, 1999. The bodies of Captain Bhardwaj and Havildar Singh 57 days later.
“I demand that the Chief Minister come here and resolve this issue. I demand Raja Bhaiya be subject to a police investigation, and the CBI should also intervene. If the CM does not come here I will not bury my husband. He will have to come or I will commit suicide…….He was under a lot of pressure. He was constantly being threatened and didn’t want to stay here. If justice is not served then I will go to Akhilesh Yadav’s house and kill myself,” ( Wife of murdered police officer)
And who is Raja Bhaiyya? A ruling Minister in UP’s present government against whom 48 criminal cases are pending.
“But this is not the first time that Raja Bhaiya is finding himself under scrutiny for death of a policeman. In 2007, DSP Ram Shiromani Pandey, the investigating officer in the POTA case against Raja Bhaiya, died in a road accident on the eve of his approaching the Allahabad high court seeking action against him. Questions were raised, but nothing could be proven and Raja Bhaiya remained as powerful as ever.”
It’s indicative of dark age when righteousness gets marginalized and the glory of real people gets eclipsed by the gestures of fake people. It’s often too late when truth comes to make its presence felt. Often the picture is quite murkier when truth strikes its authority. Let’s realize that promotion of good values cannot take place if we have nothing substantial to offer people dealing in virtues. The customary gestures are not suffice to ensure the survival of good souls. How come people with bad reputation emerge as kingmaker while the people with clean reputation remain trapped in ironies of life as sufferers ? I am going to narrate two grim episodes which highlight this aspect.
The previous week I took short break from my writing, making myself get lost in the beauty of nature. The Ghats of Ganges, the long stretches of fields occupied with wheat crop ready to be harvested, the touch of cool wave flowing under the huge Peepal tree, the smiles of naughty village kids and the scent of green mangoes which fills inside the nostrils as we pass through the mango-laden branches are some of the fascinating scenes still moving inside the corridors of my mind. However, something unwanted happened which tainted the blissful episodes which occurred in short break.
Some kids who were playing on Ghat close to my place of stay in Chunar-my maternal grandmother’s town famous for its ancient fort built by Maharaja Vikrmaditya the King of Ujjain- somehow slipped into the deep waters of Ganges in an attempt to get hold of the cricket ball which had fallen in the river. It was noon time so the Ghat bore a deserted look. When three of them started crying for help once they found themselves trapped and started drowning it was obvious that their cries failed to evoke response. It was sheer luck that one person appeared on the scene and he dared to jump into the deep waters. He made his best efforts to save all the three kids but in the end all he could manage was to save one child from drowning. Two children went deep inside the waters becoming untraceable. When the news spread like wild fire, the Ghat was filled with sea of people in grip of sorrow. The administration acted in swift manner but all in vain. The high police officials and other senior officials were quick in making their presence felt but other than entering in face saving gestures they were no better than mute spectators.
They were supposed to arrive on the scene with proper net to locate the dead bodies. However, they arrived on the scene without any rescue material. They manged to find a fishing net but it was pretty insufficient to trace the dead bodies. Meanwhile, the evening came closer, making tracing of the bodies a remote possibility. The next day swollen dead bodies of the kids were found floating on the surface of the water. The print media like always reported this incident the way it does, mentioning the lackadaisical role of administration and gathered some interviews so that city section does not remain vacant!! Ironically, the dead bodies when reached to the mortuary, the doctors were found missing. The whole scenario is enough to suggest the role which government machinery comes to play in wake of a tragedy. It acts in same heartless manner the way it acted decades ago. We have new generation in the administration but call it design they prefer to act like their worn out predecessors. They find it safe to be coloured in deceptive traits of their previous officers.
Now let me state the actual reason which made me write this article. I didn’t write it to highlight poor administration which is something so commonplace in India. I was really hurt on noticing that man named Ram Bilas who saved life of one the children drowning did’t get any credit for this heroic gesture. What’s worse, he was accused by the relatives of the drowned children that he didn’t make proper efforts in saving life of other two kids. The reality was that this man made valiant efforts to save all the kids even as he found himself trapped in strong currents. One of the kids came to hold him so tightly that he himself started drowning. Meanwhile, the other two kids lost their grip amidst this dangerous struggle for survival. Both media and administration neither bothered to mention the role of Ram Bilas nor they seemed interested in offering him suitable reward. Is that’s the way to honour the saviour?
Look at the flow of money in IPL. Huge money is being distributed as prize money each day. However, we have no money to give to our real hero Ram Bilas who saved precious human life by putting at stake his own life. It really hurts that our real heroes on most occasions remain unsung heroes. And as I end this write-up I need to highlight another gross misrepresentation on part of media. One of the small scale factories operating in my locality caught fire. That made all the residents of my locality took all possible steps to control the fire. Someone promptly informed both fire brigade and police but like always they arrived when we had already nearly extinguished the fire. Media persons also arrived on the scene to click the perfect images. In fact, some of them were frustrated on not arriving on time to get sensational image of huge flames!!!
Anyway, next day the news items in this regard reported that fire brigade officials after battling with flames for few hours managed to extinguish it totally. The role of localites went altogether missing. Doesn’t it raise doubt about the credibility of media ? After this incident, it became very clear to me that media is far away from the truth in our times. It depicts what sells not what really matters. It’s not interested in truth but only crass sensationalism.
I am in love with Radio since childhood. It’s my first love. That’s because it remained above the distortions that hit the silver screen /idiot box with passage of time, providing healthy entertainment, besides keeping me in touch with changes taking place in the world. The other two mediums gave way to skin show but radio kept its virginity intact for long. However, very recently I discovered that it has too given way to vulgarity and obscenity. This time vulgarity entered not through the eyes but through the ears in form of sound waves.
It took me by surprise when I found one of the very young female listeners shrieking out loudly on radio that she enjoys uninterrupted “Sex and the city” and others can also have same quality experience like her if they come to own a particular brand of set top box! It appeared to me that society has really progressed- a belief that did not stay for long. That probably also explains why we have so many late night programmes on radio, often hosted by female presentators with remarkable confidence. That makes me feel pretty awkward within as how come being a male I lack the same confidence? Anyway, the arrival of songs like “ Ooh la la“, “ Chikni Chameli“, ” Bhaag DK Bose” and “ Jalebi Bai“, to name a few, on radio wiped out whatever little respectability radio had so painfully preserved in all these ears.
Anyway, it gave me some sort of satisfaction that bombardment of such songs and programmes is indicative of growing maturity in society- something also in tune with supply and demand theory. I mean I felt when young generation can so boldly discuss and share their experiences on radio, television and online portals I have no reason to assume that times have not really changed, in which people like me owning a great degree of shyness in such matters are like great black patch on clean white plain clothe. Have a look at our teenage days. We had just morning shows at theaters delivering “Gupt Gyana” (secret knowledge), which was rarely watched by guys and gals from decent homes and then there were magazines like “Playboy” which few could afford and some Hindi books- poor versions of foreign magazines. To discuss such matters was considered taboo and television after much consideration started showing late night movies in late 80s, which none watched.
Look at our times. We have helpline numbers that deal with queries related with post marriage worries !! There is growing awareness about sex education, more than need of moral education- to such an extent that talks about moral education seems to be regressive! Well, my eyes were wide opened when some months ago next door young boy,studying in good school and belonging to a good family, asked me ,” Do I own CD of Murder-2 ?” My response in negative made him give me a strange stare and he was virtually annoyed when I asked why he has so much interest in movie having bold scenes-based on theme revolving around extra marital affairs? He smiled and said I am not in sync with recent trends!! I found merit in his response , after all, how come I forgot that all national magazines carry out sex surveys, which has details of intimate moments ? These are easily available low priced magazines which anyone can afford!! Gone are the days when “ Roop tera Mastana” or “ Julie I love you” aesthetically picturized songs, evoked unheard sensations. It’s a different world wherein explicit details in normal conversations are commonplace and sexting has killed all scope for unheard sensations.
The point is do these signs are indicative of the fact that society is on right track after having become comfortable with sex related issues? The answer is a big “No”! Just now I signed a petition that will serve as a memorandum to Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, compelling him to take note of “Gang-rapes, sexual assaults, victim blaming, shameful rape trials” which have terribly hit Delhi/NCR. It reported the highest number of ‘rape’ cases (414) in 2010, leading it to earn dubious distinction of being rape capital of India. The other cities are also not that safe. In Calcutta a woman was raped by five youths when they were offered lift by her in middle of the night. In Gurgaon, a woman pub employee was allegedly gang-raped by six youth in a flat in the city. The sensational rape case of a BPO employee at Dhaula Kuan is still fresh in our memories.
After such incidents males are cursed, viewing rapes in narrow perspective as subordination of females in patriarchal society a way via which males prove their superiority over females. The feminists and intellectuals speak about ways and means to prevent rapes the way this petition talks about like better promotion of ‘women helplines, monitoring through CCTV’s, sexual assault prevention and redressal policy, state and police sensitivity towards women, workplace safety and awareness campaigns. However, the big picture is often ignored. At this point it would be not be out of place to suggest that the United States has the world’s highest rape rate. A country that has high level of transparency in sexual affairs with a great freedom to indulge in sexual experimentation. Let’s also remember it’s a society highly feminist in nature. “1 of 6 U.S. women and 1 of 33 U.S. men have experienced an attempted or completed rape” states one of the reports published several years back.
Let me state that this issue has many complex facet. The same society that proclaims about freedom of sexual preferences and about attainment of maturity has utterly failed to address some of the key questions related with sexuality. The same society also deals with serious issues in biased manner as its more interested in vilification of men community and sharp polarization of society for vested interests. It boasts of sexual freedom but it loves to highlight important issues related with men and women in stereotypical way. That’s one of the greatest paradox in our times. It’s because more women in offices means greater consumption of material goods and so none of the countries including India can dare to ignore demands associated with women as they play a great role in stabilization of nation’s economy.
However, this has led to another problem. The market oriented global society has utilized women’s efficiency not only as qualified labour but also used her sexuality to great extent in selling of the products as well which these women are producing. Nokia sets are made in some remote part of India with the help of over burdened male and female staff and these very phones are launched at glittering ceremony, wherein one notices gorgeous male/female star accompanied by good looking females! Notice how sexuality is also being promoted along with new Nokia set!!
The problem arises here: Youth can buy a Nokia set but how and where will they unleash their sexual energy? That’s why it’s also promoted that we are now a country which allows many sexual preferences, enabling girls to boast “why should boys have all the fun? ” A certain sexual tension is gradually built. Want to buy a soap? Buy one which impresses girls easily or buy one which sexy Katrina Kaif uses over her long legs!! Want to buy a toothpaste? Use one which leads to freshness of breath so that it’s easier to attract kiss of a beautiful girl? If you use certain cream you attain a great glow to attract young girls and if female is using such a cream glow of her face is sure to get her a job!! It’s not enough to see the ball reaching the boundary. See how semi naked cheer girls express their joy when ball races towards boundary! You buy something and the woman cashier at counter, being impressed by the mobile you carry, offers you condom to compensate for lack of change!!
That sort of sexual impressions are being constantly generated. These are false images. But they are powerful enough to shatter into pieces better values. They lead to dangerous conditioning of mind. As a result right people from both the sexes suffer. If you are not allowing healthy release of sexual energy even as the the mind gets hammered with sexual images of all the types will it not lead to perversions of all types? Will it not lead to rapists and sexual offenders? Why are only men being vilified? Why not the system in its entirety being targeted? Will tough laws that seem to punish all the men and laws which view rest of the men as potential rapists serve the purpose? I think these are not preventive measures but methods to end the human society for forever.
Now let’s talk about love as well. The same Indian society which gives the impression that it has evolved to great extent is still comprised of people having more closed mind than people living in stone age. On the one hand, we find one reputed female editor finding extra marital affairs good for keeping marriage lively and, on the other hand, we have societies which hang to death boy and girl for loving each other just because they belonged to different caste. One real love story gives gives rises to many problems in India. Angry parents, shocked relatives, red-faced friends and hostile law authorities all make the life of lovers no less than living hell. No wonder the path of true love is never easy.
It’s quite ironical that casual sex has so many takers if one takes into account growing number of teenage pregnancies or sex at the call centers or growing number of educated girls from good families joining prostitution to earn good money in short time but the same society is not yet ready to embrace the lovers with open arms. That reminds me of middle class morality, which finds its appearance in dramas written by G B Shaw. A stiff resistance often greets lovers, who not only have to face hostile law authorities but also be face-to-face with shrewd moves of deceptive friends and relatives. Deceptive friends? Tell any friend that you are in love with some girl and you are bound to hear anyone passing this great information that she has slept with him too!! A lobby of bad friends gets in action side by side good ones, leading to dominance of half truths. True lovers get above such traps but not all are that great willed and so most love stories end up on tragic note.
So it’s okay to be fake lovers, in which there is display of money but no real emotions. Just the way a new movie get released every Friday, a new girlfriend or boyfriend appears in life of such lovers. It’s okay to be a couple, who have no respect for each other but they are in relationship to keep the society happy or , for that matter, to keep the honour of family intact. Often such couples are involved in serious clashes and some even come to murder their partners. However, the Indian society has place for all such incidents. It treats them as part and parcel of drama called human life. What really baffles is that these same block heads who endorse all ills of societies in name of growth of society are so harsh towards lovers seriously in love with each other!! The custodians of morality still issue death warrants to them all in name of religion, caste, language and status.
Let’s hope that Indian society which is so eager to convey the impression that it has evolved and in tune with better sensibilities makes way for right people, create room for healthy relationships and removes chosen contradictions. At present, it’s in cusp which is neither modern nor ancient. I prefer not to treat it as a society trapped in transition. It’s probably moving away from its core: The core made up of ancient wisdom which treated even insentient objects worthy of admiration.
Look at present age. We are murdering our own kids-only because they fail to fulfill our expectations. We believed that husband and wife are each other’s reflection. Today we find that most of them are living in dead relationship. We treated women as object of worship. Today she is some ‘chikni chameli’ or, if that’s not the case, she is promoting some mobile or deodorant via the charm of her body !! Our wise present age intellectuals call prostitution the oldest profession. They forget that we have produced women who have set high precedents. Let’s not glorify trash even as we come to make way for trash to make the life attain full circle.