Sunday, July 19, 2009
Things donot change. We do.
I dragged myself home from school and I looked like I had aged by five years since the beginning of the new session. Even today my cheeks were tear stained, eyes watery and red. My parents had passed away in an unfortunate accident when I was very young. I now live with my grandma. She is old and weak, but much too strong at heart to admit it. She isn’t much educated but is a lady of vast knowledge and wisdom. I quietly sat across her waiting for her to ask me what had gone wrong today, so I could shout at her and tell her how I hate going to school and how lonely I feel, but instead she sat me in her lap and thus began.. “Do you know why you cry so often?” I silently shrugged. “It is because you expect too much from people. Do you not see changes around you? Times have changed, things have changed, atmosphere has changed, surroundings have changed and my child so should you! Do you know that love is the noblest frailty that enchants the mind and wisdom is love that sings in the mind and if we could enchant man’s heart and at the same time sing in his mind, then in reality he would live in the shadow of God? But today he has come a long way to achieve his dreams, so much so that he doesn’t even remember who his creator is, doesn’t know how to love, doesn’t know how to respect things that never was his and doesn’t know that glory follows wisdom and virtue like its shadow but ultimately leads to grave and perhaps won’t ever resign to the fact that He is incorporeal, infinite, supreme and He is love, life and the only truth earth holds in its bosom.” I looked completely lost and I had no idea where all this was leading, but nonetheless whatever she said was captivating and so I decided to keep mum and listen to her. “I wish men today knew that we live only to discover beauty. Beauty of a tender heart, beauty of the soul sacrificing one’s pleasure for other’s sake, beauty of that human being’s life who lived, only so he could give life to others and I wish men knew that all else is a form of longing. All materialistic gains, successes, dreams are a form of waiting and no longing or waiting remains unfulfilled. Today we see sky scrappers kissing that once blue, sapphire sky, in which birds still dream to soar high and free but which now has sadly turned to a bitter shade of grey. We see factories erected here and there with their chemical effluents polluting water bodies making their once pure, cold, sparkling water unfit for any further usage. The suffocating dust and smoke of the cities having disastrous effects on our health and wither flora and fauna at the site of emission, the horrifying sight of hills denuded of greenery, the patches of white colored soil all point to the greediness, changing mentality and deteriorating environment around us. Trees that were once thought of as poems the earth writes upon the sky are felled down to clear space and are used to make paper and journals in which we record our emptiness. Today the souls of the children of the lesser god are parched with thirst. Our most considerate selves have left them to rodents to perish and die. It isn’t that those children carry bowls that He did not bless or dreamt dreams that weren’t showered with generous benedictions that He bestowed upon us, but its us-the slightly luckier ones, who out of sheer habit step on other’s dreams, crush them to death, mutilate the innocence of childhood, the purity of the soul to quench our thirsts; exploit the wisdom of the aged, passion of manhood, vulnerable youthfulness of nubile women to earn bread to fill our already filled selves. Such drastic happenings are being recorded and brought to light everyday and so now people who used to be firm believers of God, now doubt his very existence. Hey Ram, if there exists a Ram, save their souls, if they have a soul!” This line made me sit up straight and look into her eyes. There was wistfulness and some strange feeling of remorse and guilt in them which sent a chill down my spine. I did not dare interrupt her. Talking more to herself than me she mused out loud,” Why have people become so self-centered? Why are they pursuing worldly pleasures when they know that everything meets its sad yet much awaited end? Be it a relationship, money, fame, success or physical beauty, nothing is forever! In old days the song that used to silently lie in the heart of the mother was sung by the child…such was the bond, but today mothers sings lullabies so she herself may sleep. Earlier the mothers-to-be were at par with Almighty for they are the bows from which whole new lives as arrows are sent forth. Now all that the mothers know is the pain and agony of childbirth and bearing. Earlier the mothers used to be up the whole night to see her child peacefully sleeping and now all you can see is the anguish of the mother wrestling with the sleep in her eyes, cursing her child and longing even more for the sleep she craves. So much has changed in so little a time my child and you talk about your friends not being nice to you? Mope and whine not because they don’t return your affection but rather be all smiles for they at least acknowledge your presence unlike God’s who created us all and who’s name has been long forgotten.” I was touched by her deep thoughts. I hadn’t understood much because later I recorded my emptiness in my journal but whatever she said was sure something of a jewel. Grandma had set the wheels of my mind in motion. I started thinking about things she’d just said and thinking is the stumbling stone to poetry. He is above us all; above my personal grievances, your messy love life, his family problems and above her painful marital affairs, and so I decided to write something dedicated to Him which I vaguely remember. Here’s the emptiness I recorded in my journal that day. The colorful fly and the rainbow alike The softness of the silk and the petals alike. The toughness of the rocks and the strength of the wind, The fury of the storm and the rage of the waves Does give me goose pimples and take my breath away all over again And makes me realize that it’s a world too apart to be a equated to loss or gain..