Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Religion is beyond superstitions and political propagandas. 

It is that 5minutes of solace you find when you bow your head and breathe in the incense. The tinkle of the bell, the beads of the rosary, the momentary silence.

It reflects in the words written eons ago. Names of deities written with such painstaking love and beauty.
The reciting of scriptures that carry even deeper meanings (should one care to decipher them) and the relief (delusional as it may seem) one feels when one places oneself in the hands of something greater.

In the last pews of the church, religion sits between clasped hands. In the light of the dawn, it shivers with the wick of the lamp.

On one hand, it has been twisted by men over the ages. On the other, it has expanded it's folds to include millions who had nothing else to believe in. And kept them afloat.

Religion does not requires blind belief. It requires understanding.
- Akshay
'Aaj rang hai ri ..'

She could hear ammi's record player whirring to life as she stepped out gingerly. Her footsteps measured, her heart thumping, her breath taut with anticipation.

The very whiff of gulaal in the air made her shiver with excitement. Before she could breathe it all in, apa's bangle laden hand had dragged her away.
The distant drums that reverberated in the old lanes of the forgotten city. The air thick with shreiks of laughter, giggles and guffaws.

The hands that surrounded her. Soft, scented, wrinkled, rough, their palms submerged under the layers of colours upon them. Their fingers reeking of bhang. Their crudeness dissolved into mirth as they brushed layer upon layer on her.
She could count only so much. Her cheeks had been draped and coated, her hair suffused with dust, her clothes clinging to her threadbare frame, her ears itchy, her forehead smeared, her head reeling as she soaked it all in.

It wasn't until Ammi came running with her stick and dark glasses that she realised how long had she been standing there.

It was the one day of the year when she did not need those appendages. She had felt all that she needed to see.

'Aaj rang hai ri ma, rang hai ri
More khwaja ke ghar rang hai ri'
( They are playing rang at my Lord's house today)
Ammi's record had been crooning all this while.

- Akshay

It was in that tiny storeroom, that she conversed with her dead grandmother.

Everything about the house was unremarkable. Patched plastered walls, creaking gate, the toilet with the wobbbly latch and dimly lit interiors.
If you could make your way up to the dark little storeroom on the roof, you'd be sorely disappointed. Cobwebs, a large trunk, old tricycles, rusted cribs overloaded with junk. A huge pile of Lakshmi-Ganesh dumped unceremoniously on diwali, year after year.
Smiling, crumbling, blessing.

It was here that she took shelter. Shelter from the constant humming of the flies, the roar of the mixer grinder, her aunt's ear splitting burps, farts and snores. Her mother gossiping away with the neighbours, dragging skeletons back to life.

It was here that she had met her grandmother. Buried deep below the moth bitten sarees and boxes of glass bangles. In stacks of neatly lined, single ruled notebooks.

It was here that she discovered her grandfather, with his monstrous moustache and ivory spittoon. Her mother, cunning little notorious village brat ( not surprising ). The kitchen filled to bursting with activity and the cows that mooed to the chorus.

They talked for hours. They discussed village politics, period pains, demanding husbands, scheming neighbours, home brewed medicines and joint aches. They rode hand-in-hand through the village bazaar. They lay on the roof and chalked out the 'saptrishi'.

In that tiny little storeroom, they broke every barrier that existed. And talked.

- Akshay

She wondered how many other women celebrated their rape anniversary.

Fancy water sprinkled flowers, greeting cards, copy-pasted facebook replies and overseas skype calls with the rapist.

The night was as vivid as ever. Smudged mascara, cheeks taut with makeup, hennaed hands, millions of pins holding together an ensemble of fakeness. Fake jewellery, fake designer lehanga and above all, fake smiles throughout the night.

Mr. MNC from NYC was a myth. A blur of blurred HIs over LED screens and a balding hairline seen through the haze of that one coffee meet.
He appeared equally drained. The sweat glistening on his bulging cheeks. His breath heavy with the effort of tucking that tummy in the sherwani.

A touch, a grasp, an amateur forced kiss. Before she knew, his hands were everywhere. Unpinning, unwrapping, untwining.
Undoing. Undoing it all.

The moves were sloppy, his breath reeking of Old Monk and chicken tikka. He was soft and gentle. That was all she could say. Unmindful of her frigidity and weak tired whimpers.
Before she knew, it was all over. Forever.

He called now and then. And visited when he could. She lay with him. Pretended. Acted. Sighed. Endured.

She wondered how many other women celebrated their rape anniversary.

- Akshay
At 6PM, there was nothing beautiful about the red light area.

The very stench that hung in the air. Overflowing gutters, urine soaked walls, clothes dangling over the balconies, discarded jasmines, cheap air fresheners, sweat, and desperation.

Flimsy sarees, low cleavages, sequinned blouses, petticoats and nighties. Paan stained grins, hitched up lungis, scrawny kids, Runa Laila crooning over the radio, flickering street-lamps and boarded up windows.

At 6PM, two little chappal clad feet ran out of the house. There had been no customers that day. Ammi had no reason to throw her out. Still, she ran.

She ran past the lecherous men, dodging the eunuchs and the piles of dung instinctively. Her head towards the sky, her hair let loose, her grin wild. Waving and blowing kisses.

The passengers in the flight above, had no idea how beautiful they were.

- Akshay

In a world filled with discrimination, hatred, propagandas and bullying .. be a Dobby.

Be the smallest, most insignificant being. But wake up every day with determination in your heart. Suffer (until you can change the world), but do not let those sufferings break you.

Step out of the law. Do not care about the government or rules. If it is to save those who matter to you. Even though you might have to burn your hands or beat yourself for it. Be a Dobby.

Speak the truth. Even if you shiver with fright. Look them in the eye and tell them that they are cruel and wrong. Do not start a revolution or blindly follow whatever your entire species has been doing for ages.
Embrace who you are. And fight to get what you stand for. Even if the entire population tells you that you are not normal.
Fight until you get your sock. And wear it proudly. Be a Dobby.

Find yourself an ideal. And dedicate your life to it. Be courageous enough to take a dagger in your heart for it.

In a world where each one of us is struggling to 'belong'. In a world where it's comfortable to be a Winky or a Kreacher.... be a Dobby. 

He danced, the destroyer Himself !
She, the destruction he bespoke of

Grace, bliss, the very music in motion
Insanity, rage, the fire that won't be quenched

He moved to the rhythm of the cosmos
To the beats of his companions

She danced to the wails that erupted
The screams echoing in the wilderness beyond

He was the stone chiselled to life
She, the flames that erupted beneath

He radiated infinity, agile and ageless
She reeked of death, slow and surpassing

They danced to the very end
Or was it the same spoke of wheel
Turning over and over again?
Who could tell?

- Akshay