Monday, July 8, 2013

And the eunuch danced again


                While we were dressing up for the marriage of our friend, a eunuch came in the shared common room and sat with her attires laid on the ground and started getting dressed up. I was dressed in costly party wear, a nice blazer, on a beautiful cotton rich fiber shirt and a nice denim pant. With me were my few friends. I looked at her as she was seriously trying concentrate on her getting dressed up despite us being there. I had a reason to respect her. She was poor, socially discarded but not helpless and begging. As I walked with friends along with the baaraat of our college day’s friend, I was struck by thoughts that made me very silent amidst the band-bazaa-baaraat hubbub. I looked around for a while and I asked, if after leaving my body I get a chance to meet God and he smiling asked me “Tell me son, what did you see there?” how would I paint the scene in words. I thought, I would tell Him that:
                “Dear father, I love you. I love your power smile and strength. I love thinking about you. I love all you have creatures. I love a blade of a grass with same tenderness as a child of a human being. As I know, you created the both with same care. But father I saw something which I could not understand. I saw, on a happy occasion of my friend’s marriage, I was silent and answerless amidst a dancing baaraat. My question father, was that why were few thin, malnourished, teenaged boys carrying electric lights on their shoulders and walking on the sides of the road? Why were they not smiling? Why it was the centre of the road was occupied by the well dressed baaraatees who were drunk and dancing? Father, my heart is filled with grief as I tell you, that I saw the sunken eyes of those boys, who probably never got to read any books and eat good meal. Boys, who were walking in discipline spreading light for everyone else so that they can eat some food and earn some money. I want to cry Father, at my feelings that I was having then. Feelings that were of pain and anguish. Also that of helplessness. I had no power to change any of the fact that day. I was a human being, walking with fellow creatures. All dressed up as per their economic statuses in the society of great divides created by them. I was with creatures whose nature was creating statuses. I was with men, who could enjoy and dance amidst poverty walking on the fringes not very far from their eyes.
                Abstraction hides truth so well, that I could not tell myself that below the dress, the skin and beneath the skin the blood and organs of my body and that of those poor fellows were no different. I walked with an air of pride of being able to see the divide and meaninglessness in the wild dance of drunken men. Then from behind came running the eunuch, now fully dressed and she started to dace. I man treated her like an animal and forced to dance with him. He was completely drunk and angry too. She kept dancing and smiling father. She got tired and tried to rest, and again she was pulled by that man. She danced again. We walked to the house of the bride and I silently sat to see all the proceeds and came back with an understanding about social cleavages. The lines that divide people - People who accept their identity and set expectations accordingly. I was not on any side and I am not. I don’t say the rich squeezed the blood of the poor, or the poor got deprived because they were weak. I do not get into the calculus of inequitable sharing and variability of life styles and fortunes from people to people for now. What I got to know was something not in I could not find in books, it was the power of hunger and the fear of death. Father, I knew it all, when she danced again, I saw it all in her smile. Smile of the fact that she needed food, for herself and her young child whom she loved and whom I had seen earlier that day with her playing with the pieces with were going to become her artificial breasts for the night.
                I could know that day emotions don’t change facts and such facts have their roots in history and they do not emerge instantaneously. I knew, I was not directly responsible for all that filled my heart with pain. I also, knew that by being at pain I was being no good to anyone. I smiled thus, and looked around again. I saw Father, a moment passing by. A moment of my small life. Walking on an unknown road, on which I never walked again and looking at the fields around, I could see never again. I became dead to the area the very next day as I never saw the place again and I existed no more for the place. One moment of my life, registered the memories that are still afresh – the dance, the smell, the air, the sound, the light and few friends around.
               

                Father, you sent me on the wrong planet. I have not smiled my whole human life, as I was too aware of those not smiling, not even at baaraats.

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