Saturday, 22 August 2015

Question No. 1

Sir, my question is that so much has happened but still nothing has happened….

Huh!? What do you mean by so much has happened but still nothing has happened? Why are you beating around the bush?

Sir what I wanted to say is that….

Then why didn’t you begin with what you wanted to say?

Sir I… all the students… we, we have a question….

Instead of answering the questions, you want to ask one? Good-good!

The freedom of speech and expression….

Okay! Okay! What is the question? Get to the point.

Question no.1 is that can a question be raised without - placing it in a “waste of time” box or labeling it as an “inappropriate demand” or cementing it to a “preconceived notion” or jumping to an “ordered and stamped conclusion” or worrying about the “grand and cushy chair” or tracing it as an “outdated endeavor” or blaming the question for its relation to any “upset, unresolved history” or entering it in a “silly strike and stupid rebels” file or showing a fake concern by saying “I understand but” or highlighting the “strict consequences” or giving a “practiced performance” cunningly or postponing the talk to a more “suitable and auspicious day” or making fun of it and then calling the police to “handle the hooligans”?

Sir, this is 21st century and our generation….

Well, thank you for telling me that it is the 21st century and now let me inform you that rules apply for everyone, including your generation.

Agreed! But Sir, there is a difference between rules and conservative, bigoted ideas.

Listen! Your time is up. We’ll continue tomorrow, please leave.

But Sir, we want an answer… an answer to the question that you haven’t even listened yet.

Please! Don’t force me to….

Sir, just one question….

Oh-ho! It’s 5:10. I am a family man, why don’t you understand? Move!

Question no.1 has changed now but has become only complex, still without an answer. It is-  why are they afraid of the questions to such an extent that – they have started living a dishonest life; they blame and blame and blame and hide and hide and hide; they have prepared a “counter questions” list to attack the questions aimed at them; they blindly believe that others are 10 to the power 9 times wrong and only their version is the right one; they have sold their listening ears and sensitive heart to buy praises and positions; they would rather keep quiet and tolerate till the question knocks on their door; they have accepted the half read stories before reading the end; they have twisted the already twisted report just to save the trophy in their hall; they have murdered the truth and planted plastic flowers on its grave; they live in constant terror and false belief that they are safe.

It is funny that the question is yet not addressed, though an unceasing hullabaloo exists as if in fashion, that too from ages. Maybe the answer is not inconceivable, only if the question is at least heard.


What now? Oh! I give you five minutes to speak but you cannot raise any questions or demand any answers. Okay?

Then Sir it’ll be better if we continue tomorrow. You may leave.

(Also read - )

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Sweet Like Sitting In The Sun In Winters

Dear Diary

Today in the attic, while I was rummaging for something I don’t remember what anymore, I ended up meeting my old memories. My lovely old memories… without my knowing, the past has become sweet like sitting in the sun in winters.

Turning pages after pages of my notebook that I have still not parted with, I felt how crazy I was. I doodled a lot. Mad designs picked from books, paintings, comics, magazines… registered half in my mind. Up and down, criss cross, darkening the line, circling round and round, a flower, going zigzag boldly… all of this, especially in Mr. Gosh’s class.

I found some cards and letters and read all of them, once again. It was so overwhelming that I thought of calling Naro. It has been so long. Years fly by silently with celebration of two or three festivals, an unplanned trip to some place and a quiet acceptance of a lesson learned.

I always think that we change with time and we do change, but we actually remain the same, changing slightly…. Oh! A paradox!

Anyways, I just emailed Naro. I think she is using the same email id. No, I am not going to wait for an instant reply. But why didn’t I call her? Tricky time, have mercy on me.

Almost forgot! Before I left the attic, I found Rabindranath Tagore in one of my notebooks. I copied him from a book in the library. A kind of sketch… some lines, running here and there, curving and darkening a bit… and there he was, Rabindranath Tagore, in my notebook. What a magical human being!

Whatever he wrote feels so alive as if he inked his soul in every word, every line, every character. He is like music to me, grand, subtle, heartwarming, serene and timeless. That’s the word for him… timeless.

I guess we all become timeless in some way for someone, but only a few remain timeless forever for everyone.



The beach was audible to her in intervals. She walked bare feet on the sand and still didn’t smile. Rhea had muffled thoughts, a cluster ...