Dreams of Saki

Today you came in my dream.

It had been quite some time. And like every other time, this time too you came without a warning. And hit me hard somewhere within.

I saw I met you. There was some reason for me coming, but I can’t remember it. It was probably an excuse anyway, as everything else with you is. I met you, among other people, talked among other people, and soon the time came for me to go. Like every other time, so many unformed emotions rushed to the head, but I kept on working with leaden mind. At last I came to you. You were writing something for me, and I was watching you from a distance. It was something sweet, and restrained. As you turned the same restraint was in your eyes. As you came to me to hand over the parting gift, the heady rush of those thoughts was rocking my brain heavily. I don’t know if it was only me, or I could observe the same storm on your face too. As I took your hand, instead of taking the gift, the dams suddenly burst open, and with alarming clarity, intensity, and penetration, I pierced through your defenses, forced open your gateway of decorum with those passionate, and metallic words, and dived headfirst in the storm.

The storm broke loose. The next second your arms were around my neck, and you were sobbing violently. The two storms had become one. You were sobbing, shaking violently, saying only one thing: “Why did you let me go?” I had no answer to the question, as did you. Everything was meaningless. Only the instant remained, and the embrace, and your heart beating with mine in sobs. “Why did you let me go?” Why did I let you go?….

I don’t know how long the embrace lasted. It was long. I knew but couldn’t let go, because I knew this was for the first and the last time. Finally the storm subsided and you let go of me. Lastly I remember writing something to you, something faded attempts of saying all those things over again, to see the storm inside of you once again. But I knew it was shut out, forever. I take a look at the thing you wrote for me, and set out packing my things again, it was time to go.

These dreams will never let go of me completely, however far I may come from you. You are my Muse, I will always get visions of you…

The embrace, the sobbing, that beating of two hearts, still remains…

Devaluation of IITs- A short note

Life has begun again. This time as a fourth, and final, year student of IIT Kanpur.

Ever since we’ve come here, we’ve been witnessing a constant flurry of changes being made to the Indian higher educational system by the HRD Ministry of UPA Government. While the changes have been too wide and far-reaching for me to make any singular judgement right now  upon the whole thing, witnessing a constant devaluation of Indian Institutes of Technology has certainly been a painful process. The number of IITs has become just stats rather than an imperious 7, and the names, and the ranks of student do not matter now as they used to in the past.

Yesterday witnessed another cruel reminder of such mongrelization of education. As the senior-most, and rightfully feared, batch of the college, we took it upon ourself to interact with the freshmen coming this year. As a side note, even ragging has been completely and brutally wiped out throughout India, which is quite a sad affair, but lets not talk about it. What was really appalling to watch was the ranks of the loadful of students we cornered from the big herd to interact. Not a single one of them had a three digit rank, and more than 15 out of 20 had ranks between 5000-8000! They all had a glazed look in their eyes, as if they themselves had no idea how they had come here, that particular feeling of getting something much more than you worked for and not knowing how that had happened. That was so different from our times…

I can visualize the scene 20 year henceforth now a little bit. The IITs will be brought down from their high pedestal to the common ground, and will be raped by the system just as brutally as every private and mediocre government college is raped. They will become truly ‘Indian’ then, as they want it to be.

Waiting for the Rains…

कब से खड़ा है निशब्द क्यों
हर पल बारिश का इंतज़ार क्यों
इशारा समझ कर लौट जा ऐ अजनबी
यहाँ आने को बहुत दूर हैं बादल अभी…

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(These beautiful four lines were written by my very close friend Atul Jaiswal, from whom it was least expected of all, in a moment of poetic fervor)

An intellectual deficit in Indian Society

I am rather troubled in this moment. All around, I see tremendous rigidity and an inability to learn. Be it something like the slutwalk, or a political problem in Kashmir… we have lost the ability to discuss. Television discussions take the form of a patchwork of individual interviews conducted si

Every thinking Indian should read it

Sahara

Dust get in my eyes,
And sand in my shoes;
As I try to find my way,
Among these torrid ruins.

Wandering through the desert,
Looking at the sun;
Wind burns my eyelids,
Yet pain, I know of none.

My muse, she calls me
Down, far in the south
In the heart of Sahara,
I feel her calling me out.

Sahara, O mighty Sahara,
I can feel your heartbeat
In the air burning my cheeks,
In the sands beneath my feet.

She waits for me far south,
With comforts and shade,
Yet it’s the swelter of Sahara,
That strengthens me to go ahead.

I’ll reach my sweetheart,
Enjoy the green shades,
Yet in my deepest heart,
The magic of Sahara never fades…

Ancient Hatreds

While on the Kolkata trip during this summer, I came across a very shocking thing which blasted any notions I had about communal harmony in India.

While we were traversing through a very crowded market in the Esplanade and going towards Chandni Chowk, we crossed the road to enter a Muslim populated area. There was a mosque there, and in a wide area in front of it, there was a market for mutton and chicken. There, by the side of the road, in the full view of the whole market across the street, was hanging a wide pamphlet a few meters up in the air, which read:

Insult to Koran is intolerable. The American Pastor and his family should be burnt eternally in hell.

Another vista of the hatred, intolerance simmering in the heart of Muslims. After that, we went through the dense gullies of Muslim-inhabited area, where the stench of meat, shoddy houses, poverty was everywhere. There walking through all that, I was thinking. It’s all the same everywhere. Everywhere, in most of the ordinary or the big cities of India, it’s the same scene everywhere. Every city has an area predominantly inhabited by Muslims. And all such areas are the same. Poverty, poor sanitation, illiteracy, congestion, poor living condition and most of all, the rotten odor of religion lurking in the air.

I have seen such areas in Kanpur, Gwalior, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Ujjain, Bharatpur and Agra. I talked to my friends about it, and I got to know that all of them have seen such areas in their respective cities and all of them have got the same feeling while passing through them. Moreover, while passing through such areas, I always get a feeling that these are the dark pits where riots are fomented. The air itself is in such a explosive, dynamite-like state that a single misguided or misplaces sentence alluding to religion will explode the entire surrounding.

Why? Why is that so? Whenever I think of such things my head swarms with a multitude of questions. Questions which I know the answers to, but it’s of no use as they have turned a blind eye to the answers. Why this poverty? Why this illiteracy? Why this intolerance? It’s all the curse of religion. Why are madarasas even allowed to exist? Why do they have to think only and solely about the religion, the concept of religion whose perception differs as widely as the depth of human thoughts across the dimensions of space and time? Why don’t they think about removing poverty, getting educated, living comfortably, enjoying life? Money, education, comfort, their children, their parents, that’s what they should think about. Instead, religion stands atop as the prime-most concern of living beings. Is getting all worked up upon an insult of your holy book by some inconsequential Christian fanatic thousands of miles away justified, when your children are hungry, illiterate and resorting to illegal means to get money?

Phew…I would just like to add few last things.

My head is so full of antipathy towards the very concept of religion that I have loads and loads to say about it. I meant this post to be short and pithy, but it has stretched out to such a bloat :(. It’s by no means covers the whole of my ideas about religion, just the thoughts and feelings I had when I saw that banner and passed through that area.

Secondly, this whole impassioned blabbering is not complete. It was written with lot of anger over the issue. Obviously it’s just one side of the coin. There is the other, and equally dark side with it’s sinister forces, other than the forces of religion. The role of the Hindus, US and the Christians’ hateful attitude (all over the world, that is), vote-bank communal politics of India. This is just one piece of a huge jigsaw puzzle which is yet to be solved. But still, at the center of all of this is religion. The banner flew in the face of the secular nation…

Karl Marx stated one of the darkest and truest sentences of this world:

Religion is the opium of the masses.

No less true is what Robert M. Pirsig said:

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion it is called a Religion.

A Change is gonna come :)

It’s been exactly 5 months and 3 days….
And I’ve arrived at a crucial juncture in my blogging journey.

25 posts. 5 months. Up to now the journey was better than what I had not expected even in my dreams. But now, the otherwise straight up-to-now road has come to a serious bend.

Finally, after literally months of vacillation, I’ve decided to switch my blog over to WordPress. I’ve been weighing the odds on either side since a very long time, and I always knew in my mind that the odds favored wordpress, well for me anyway. But then vacillation came, and reluctance to part with those sweet increasing pageviews 😀 (Believe me, I was deeply obsessed with them for a brief period). That, and the other things which look so attractive, and are the mainstay of Blogger, ‘followers’, made the choice even more difficult to materialize.

Now you’d say it would have been better to make the choice as early as possible. I know. And I didn’t. Better make it now, in such case :). Coz I know I’m not going to leave this passion anytime soon, and I also got inspired from a friend of mine, a veteran blogger, who switched over to wordpress after blogging for more than 3 years on blogger (for the record, she has been blogging for a whopping 9 years). So here I am, on WordPress :).

A new road starts :). The journey continues…

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Mitostargazer