Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Hours

I know that is impratical to be humane when India is shining and there is a spirit of progress in the air, in a pub at Khan Market that has Happy Hours till 10 PM on a Saturday Night.
It is a bit like being a spoil sport no? IT is as if your best friend had to choose to die of cancer just when you started dating a hot rich guy with a lamborghini.
Arundhati Roy has her bullshit moments but her writing breaks up our careful layers of pretensions for me so beautifully. I just finished reading the whole of her famous essay about the ''maoist infestation'' .
I will not be academic or even factual.That is not my strength right now.
I will just try and tell a story that I invented in my head. I will try to be helpless against the the state.
Because, the first time I realised that we ( of the blogspot class) can expect anything from the state was when a Sri Lankan friend told me their state schools were excellent and free unlike ours.
You and I probably live in a house in Bombay or Bangalore or any other citadel of flickering shimmer.Any city, in any case which has supermarkets that stock deodarants or where you can get Instant Sicilian pasta sauce.
Let us say that in our apartments, the electricity fails. The bill however arrives as predictably as being burnt on a summer afternoon spent shopping for cheap export rejects in Delhi.
You can choose to not pay the bill which didn’t light up your life, you say. Remember that the Collector Sahib , friend of Chief Justice will hack your head off .
Candle lit dinners are it then.
Supermarkets open on even months for three days. Corporate employees get preference over journalists and by the time it is your turn ,most of the products are sold and you go back home with a packet of haldi , an overpriced can of Chinese stir fry sauce and a bag of jowar which by the way you don’t know how to cook.
Your job as a newspaper reporter hasn’t paid you in three months because the Minister for purification is hunting down the intellectuals and he shut the newspaper offices down so that no body will know.
The plumbing system collapses and you use your toilet to store stolen food.
You are forced to shit on the streets, your bum bared to the collector’s daughters smooth stilletoed legs.
The stench is all pervasive, it piles on top of fresh piles , sashays around your dirty stinking laundry and returns to your morning jowar dosa (or something like it) with a smirk.
You tried to complain to the Plumbing Authorities but they said that when their CEO was having a heart attack and needed medical care, all you could think of was a toilet to crap in.
They raped your sister in anger.
You’d really just like some cheese toast. There is a block of mouldy non blue amul cheese in the fridge and the cows died of an epidemic. Your brother gets prefential treatment because he is older so he eats most of the cheese.You get to eat as much as the amount of ointment needed for your pinky finger.
Imagine that your mother , grandmother, great grandmother and her mother lived this way.
Multiply the hardships and the helplessness by the biggest number you know.Add random acts of injustice liberally like balsamic vinegar in your salad.Build walls where there are questions. Clog holes with bombs that go off at the smell of rebellion.
Kill thought. Recruit compliance. Impose cultures. Flush ancestral heritage and place a steel plant.

Are you going to ask me what the point of this was? Nothing. I just wanted to break your world
a little bit. Break my world. To imagine what it takes for the poorest of the poor to be lured by a violent war against a shining new foetal super power . That's all.

4 comments:

dev said...

:) Keep writing.

oof ya! said...

thank you for verbalising my angst

swati roy said...

hey... have been following your blog for some time now and in all these times that i have known you or have had "serious" conversations with you... this period (when you have been posting your experiences here) seems to me your most creative ones... it's like you are on a 'brain-storming trip'... enjoy and learn from your journeys... keep the thought processes going on...

Ujwala said...

Thank you for bringing this home so effectively. It's so easy for us to ask 'them' to 'adjust' and 'sacrifice for the greater good' as AR said once. When it's our turn -- havoc if Barista is closed!