Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Private Conversation

Myself : Hi, after a long time..yea?
Me : Yes glad to see you again, wanted to talk to you actually.
Myself: Okay. But why are you alone today?
Me : Ron is in college and I, as usual, am bored with studies, classes et all.
Myself: So how do feel being alone after such a long time? And thats why you are able to see me... I am always there but you can never find me when you are NOT ALONE!
Me: Alone? what do you mean? Many a times I am alone, what do you mean by after such a long time? My friends hardly accompany me to my house and mom dad also returns late these days... so most of the time I am alone only. Why dont I see you then?
Myself: hmm... get the right meaning of being alone at first place, then you'll undertsand yourself.
Me: (in deep thought)
Myself: Don't think too much, its simple. You see me only when you want to, only when you want to spend some time with yourself, only when you want to see your own faults, only when you want to praise yourself. Precisely you see me when you introspect!
You don't have to tell me your worries, I know all o' them.
Me: I am .....
Myself: No, never be envious. Envy and jealousy are like parasites which dwell in you just to take all the good things away from you and leaves you when you are no better than a green-yucky-creature!
Me: What should I...
Myself: Talk to me, try to find your own faults and loopholes. Trust me, the best way to fight those two parasites is to make yourself more strong and to have unperturbed determination.
Me: I want...
Myself: Then you should study with all your might. Give your best effort. Never look at the peak of the mountain when you climb. You will demoralise yourself and end up unfinished. Always take the next step cautiously and sincerely then you'll see that you have already reached the peak!
Me: Thankyou...
Myself: Never forget talking to me when you are angry and envious! Take Care...

Friday, January 25, 2008


Lovely sunsets, beautiful colours, lots of shopping, hell lot of a journey and desh raag! It was the land of sand dunes and forts that I went to, for a break in my "urban" busy life!
It was not the usual tourist-fascinating spots and sites that touched my heart but it was the most unnoticeable and unappealing regular things that hardly anyone could perceive amidst the beauty.
Forts and havelis always have their own part of it but I have never seen that lakes i.e. mere inland water bodies can ever be an integral part of the “sight-seeing”. Why is it so, this I think will be obvious at the end of my post.
The first word that struck me when I landed in Rajastan was “helplessness”. The poor are not of lower caste instead they belong to Rajputs, who once upon a time used to be the richest and now their extravagance have dragged their successors into a single storied, clay-made houses with small-scale handicraft as their livelihood. The forts which were their own houses are now either tourist preys or they are converted into 5 star hotels for the riches where the once residents are somehow managing with sukhi roti and achar as there is no (mind you, NO) vegetation which the poor ones can afford. The very little vegetation that is available is consumed by the “higher strata” and they do not drip down to the “lower” ones even a drop! SO, in the 45 degree heat in daytime they hunch for water and in the -10 degree cold at night they shiver with a coarse chaddar and no-sleep! Such is the most crowded tourist attraction of India. Cities like Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur are budding townships with middle class who seems to be millionaires in contrast to their fellow residents. So you will not see helplessness anywhere. There are artificial farms, exports which really do not make the residents feel that they are staying in the desert-land. But in cities like Bikaner and Jaisalmer, people are not only preys of poverty but also are deprived of their basic needs. They are mere preys of nature. Hot sands, no vegetation, no water ….. Could there be anything more?

Peeking in the city called Jaisalmer:

This is Rakshi; he belongs to the Patwon, a family who used to be the closest of kins of the Chauhans during their rule. The photo above is inside Patwon ki haveli which was made of yellow stone, the most expensive in country and the bedroom used to have beds with gold carvings. Rakshi, the doll maker, belongs to this very family. He said “ Virasat me toh kamra mil gaya hai haveli mein par pet bharne ke liye kuch toh karna parega, haveli ka sara samaan waisehi para hai lekin tijori puri ki puri khali hai” [I have got a room in the haveli by the virtue of my legacy but there is no money, all the things are in tact but the treasure box is empty. So I have to do something to earn]

Zooming into the real picture :

This is a village near the city rather better called as the ruins. The structures you see there are the houses. Around 20 people stay here, in the middle of no where. This village is named as Kannoi.

Taking a look if the city, you will notice that no house is double storied. This is because they cannot afford. Moreover all the houses are either painted white or blue so that they can radiate the heat. The far away windmills are the only weapons they have. Nature has gifted them only with winds be it as hot as steam or freezing, the windmills keep on working somehow and so their lives. Yet the Fort stands to witness all the extravagance turn into misery.

If you see this with an eye of a tourist the word is “Wow” but if you see this with an eye of its people the word is “Why Me??” We went there at 3 in the noon. The purpose was Sunset in the Sands. The vehicles that took us were Camels.

This was the camel that carried me to the spot. It was around a kilometer. I was on the Camel looking here and there before I noticed the person directing the Camel. He was barefoot and bare-stomached. Walking in the hot sand to fill his stomach or who knows for some other and more serious a reason may be!
The Camel was named Babloo and all the camel – men revered their camels as gods who provide them with food. In misery also there was compassion.

This is Vikram, a school-going boy who walks 25 kilometers from his village to this spot to sell his stuff so that he can earn for his entire family. He pays for his own education. He is saving for his elder sisters wedding. He was selling a 10 rupee Lay’s Chips packet for 12 bucks. Other people, who could spent thousands of bucks buying Zardausi Saris found it too difiicult to give 2 bucks extra for this boy!

Music is in their blood. With legacy, wealth can get eroded but who could snatch the talents away from them. Amit, the little boy has never seen school yet he is desperate to go to one. His father, again a Rajput successor, is now playing a small instrument called Mhor with his son playing the gypsy. After 5 minutes of creating music they are paid 5 bucks. Music which was not supported by extravagant lyrics or high quality mixer and woofers. Music that was in prompt to, straight from the heart and minute to minute creation. We pay hundreds of bucks to listen to singers on stage but never had the heart to appreciate ( forget about paying) these composers and maestros in their own ways.

When it was around 5:30 I hurried up a hill to see the sunset. Some sand went inside my snickers and then tears did not stop rolling down my eyes. The sand was hot as if it had been burned in fire. And then I looked around. All the camel-men, the roaming sellers, the music players and don’t know how many of them were BAREFOOT.

They are staying there with misery beyond measure and yet if you ask them why don’t you move to other villages that is out of this Thar Desert, they would say “apna hi to des hai aur yeh reth apni mitti ! “
Loads n Loads of salutes to these victors of Life……