August 28, 2010


The clouds in the sky begin to take on mysterious forms as night approaches. I love watching them with my head leaning against the cold steel of the jaali in my bedroom window. Not a soul is in sight, and the only sounds that reach my ears are the whirring of the ceiling fan, the occasional car smoothly negotiating the road outside, the unrestrained howling of the wind, and the soft whispering of the trees in the garden. The trees are eerie enough to prompt me to glance furtively around my room at the slightest sound or movement, for their crooked branches and broad leaves silhouetted against the silver gleam of the moon cast bizarre shadows on the walls.

The night air and the silence do wonders for the headaches I suffer from on a regular basis. The shadows of the jaali paint dark patterns on my skin, contrasting with the pallor of the moonlight. I pause to puzzle over what the shadowy figure walking past the gate could possibly be doing at 2 AM. I could sit here forever, but my eyes and brain eventually succumb to the tempting allure of sleep, and I drift away, not with a basket full of worries and a bevy of worthless thoughts cluttering my head with their unnecessary static, but with a delightful sense of peace and tranquility.

Never mind that I stayed up half the night to do this, and I will probably grumble my way through school the next day. At any rate, neend eludes me these days, unless I stay awake until the clock strikes an ungodly hour.

August 25, 2010

What do you do when the things you dread the most start happening in front of your very eyes? What do you do when, all in a flash, the hopes and dreams that you've been building right from the time you were able to think are washed away? When the rose-tinted glasses with which you viewed the world are shattered?

What do you do when the accumulated bitterness of several long years finally breaks the restraining forces of reason? When the truth gives you a slap in the face, forcing you to see things as they are, disbelieving the little voice in your head that eternally screams optimism?

What do you do when you're forced to hate they very people who've brought you up because of what they've put you through?

August 15, 2010

Empty Promises

Happy 63rd, India.

Another Independence Day is upon us. I remember how we used to look forward to the 15th of August every single year when we were kids. We were taught to wear our patriotism on our sleeves, quite literally. And we'd believe every word they said about 'progress', 'liberty', 'tolerance', 'equality'. Words that showed up every now and then in our year four Social Studies textbooks. Words that we were required to learn and write down in tests, but never quite understood.

And then, we grew up. And opened our eyes to the world in front of us. We learned to tell the good from the bad. And the bad from the ugly. And we began to wonder, what do we have to be proud about?

India is burning. Nearly every corner of the country is in flames. We're nothing more than a tangle of differences, our unity waiting to collapse, the common fabric that makes us Hindustani ready to tear into a million pieces, at the slightest provocation. Whatever happened to unity in diversity?

We say we're proud of being the largest democracy in the world. And yet, we refuse to do something as simple as casting a vote. Last April was a mess. Where were you, Bombay? Where was all your anger? With all the enthusiasm you were building up before D-Day, all you could manage was a measly 42% voter turnout?

We talk about non-violence. Of tolerance. Of human rights and equality. Justice. And yet, we calmly instruct our army jawans to take innocent lives. We shield serial offenders from the normal course of the law. We deny our own citizens the process of justice.

We watch, unaffected, as the corrupt politicians who run the country make mistake after mistake. Fatal blunder after fatal blunder. We turn away from their incompetence. We'd rather stay blind than take action.

We continue to live our lives, cosily closeted in luxury, just because we're fortunate enough to have money. We toss around words of sympathy for the victims of the unfortunate disasters that hold our country ransom every now and them. And then, they're forgotten; they remain as long-lost memories in the dark recesses of our minds, gathering dust. We choose not to care. Yahan sab kuch chalta hai. We believe that we're somehow above the process of reforming our motherland. We wait patiently, in the hope that someday, someone who thinks along the same lines that we do arrives to set things right. But that day never comes.

63 years, and we're nothing but a land of empty promises.

August 10, 2010

I'm counting the days.

Three down.

Seven to go.

The 20th is such a long way off. Sigh.