When I walked out of the airport,the sun looked brighter and chirpier than the place I had visited for couple of weeks. The melancholy and the heavy weight of silence that we worked around with at the refugee camps was now replaced by bright lights and window shopping. Outside the airport, families were greeting their loved ones as they assembled ……no one was doing a head count of their family members…what if someone had gone missing…..but then I told myself…..that happens in the ‘other world’…where every day a mother has to rejoice to see that all her children are still around her…..where all of them made it safe across the border to the refugee camp.
I meet my dad at home….I am grateful to him that he doesn’t ask me about my experiences but makes dinner for me and sits by my side. Later, I soak myself in the bath and hope to start afresh…hope to wash away the stench of disenchantment, disappointment,loss and non-existence from my body which I had collected from the trip. As I walk out of the bathroom,I refuse to switch on the lights…..it felt like an artificial source for seeing things in a projected way.
I sit by the window and pull the heavy curtains to restrict the street lights which were trying to sneak in my room. As the darkness prevailed,my breathing grew calmer and softer,I don’t know why I used to think that darkness is for a evil and sick mind…why did I buy the ready-made perceptions of others. I enjoy darkness and its certainty…that it will be around for days to come and that it never challenges the flashes of light that comes along, in fact darkness is the platform for light………………….I rest my back to the wall and listen to the silence and feel the same certainty that I felt back in the place I was visiting…. that no matter where you go the comfort of deeply enchanting darkness will always prevail…….
I draw a circle on the ocean floor
and write few words
beautiful aquatic life
question my sanity
I promise them that the words would come alive
today as I sit on the shore
waiting for those words to bob on the surface of the ocean
I wish I never had wished for those words…………
“I know its so sad…..but what can we do..”
“Look where the world is going today….”
“Those were the good old days when such incidents were unheard of…..”
“What Happened to her was so inhuman..anyway so what’s for dinner?”
“I want to do something about this one day……….”
“Activism is part of youth…”
“Things like this never happens in my neighborhood…”
are the many words we keep telling ourselves and choose to ignore those for whom we need to stand up because we can!
I have grown up believing that shelter,food,water and sanitation are the basic rights and need of every human being.However last Friday this belief of mine was questioned when I had the opportunity to visit a village near very modern bustling metropolitan city of Pune.
The villagers until the year 2012 were defecating in the open.I wondered if it was out of compulsion or choice or one of those things which is low on our long list of material priorities…..As most of the houses in the village had cable t.v.,electricity,mobile phones and motor bikes,etc.
I was part of the team which was trying to capture the change in lifestyle of the villagers who were using the new sanitation facilities made available to them since the year 2012.It was quite intriguing to notice the villagers with their various set of prejudices,conservative customs and ignorance were very keen on spreading the need for sanitation to others.
I reckon in the end we all humans do understand our basic rights and needs.Just that,sometimes we need to show the way to others who think otherwise or as in this case show the need to sanitation.
Note: I assisted a team which works for a young German organisation called Guts for Change which raised funds and build dry toilets for the village of Darewadi where they face problem of water scarcity.
What to do when one’s mind is over-pouring with thoughts and then thinking becomes a chore!I usually take that as a cue for me to pack my bags and travel to some place new…
I traveled to a small town in a southern state of India(even though I did try to extract some so called ‘official’ work there).The uncomfortable Indian roads and the journey of eighteen hours broke my back but fixed my thoughts.I am thankful to
-the strange co-commuter who gave me warm smiles thought out the road trip.
– to the beautiful contrasting landscapes
– to the loud conductor of the bus
– to my cellphone service provider for not providing any signal to my phone
– to the quiet starlit sky
– to those sweet songs played by someone in the bus whose meaning I am not aware of…..
and Of-course to the small town which embraced the prejudiced me without any inhibitions.
I hiked up to a small hill on my recent holiday at a beach…….clouded with thoughts and doubts……with semi-purpose and optical illusions all around…..well all I mean by my above mambo-jumbo is that…I was disoriented with my insecurities and wanted some perspective.
And then when I reached the small rocky hill’s top….The Sun was setting….as I saw one of the most commonly viewed spectacles of the earth….a new dawn set in my mind…all my clouded thoughts and doubts were gone and I had a new perspective.
I guess sometimes we just need to watch the Sunset to get some perspective………
That’s the picture of the Sunset I was watching the other day…………………………………………………………………………….>>>
I believe most of us get a bit retrospective as the end of the year approaches.I usually get retrospective about the year in the month of September(I guess its also because its the month which brings in my birthday……and lets keep the drama that evolves around my birthday separate).I don’t want to stress that I get all gloomy and determined as I analyse my personal goals for the year…………………………………..anyway I should resist from the temptation of blurting out my in-competencies.
Even though India is a land of numerous Gods(106 and counting…) and festivals;most of the major festivals in India happen in the end of year….Starting from the month of September to early January….people in India look forward to various festivals.Some of the festivals are like carnivals…where there is lot of color and pomp……………the best part is that even if one is stranger to this country..they don’t need a tour guide to tell them that there is festival;most of the festivals are celebrated outdoors.So, one is not surprised if you see a small group of people dressed in bright shiny clothes dancing to popular Bollywood songs on a busy street on a Monday morning
Now, let me join the dots……where I get retrospective about the year.Today is the first day of the festival of Ganesha-the Elephant God…so the hustle bustle and revelry triggered my thoughts…that…here comes the festivals and the end of year.I reckon I should shred the gloom and join the festivities…………………