Story telling – Bhole Firangi

I have been writing stories for a while now but its so much fun to have an audience who would want to hear your stories! Here the link of my story telling

Race and Face

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Kesar केसर

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My papa is a policeman and my maa is a Schoolteacher

I am not sure how exciting or uninteresting it might be for the people out there, but I have always respected my papa for being a policeman. I used to think and still do that he is not a great father, as he was hardly there when my siblings and me needed him, but he was always on duty, adorning his khaki uniform. I have no memory of a holiday, spent with my papa, but I remember some days when I used to come back from school and papa would have cooked delicious lunch, this used to happen only when he would be working on the night shifts. He is one of those people who will not talk much when sober, but after few pegs he used to talk about anything and everything under the sun.

I never realized that the police job is so tough until that day. I was away for my higher studies, of-course on loan because I am the daughter of a policeman and I belong to the general category. One fine day I got a late night call from my mother saying that papa is hospitalized and he has lost his memory. For a brief moment, I was did not understand how to react and then I just could not control my tears until the next day, I reached home. I did not cry in front of my mother and my sister. My brother was on his way. It was wintertime and the hospital was colder and quieter. I was preparing myself to meet my papa, and I was not sure what to expect.

I had left, a 5 feet 11 inch tall, strong and good-looking man hiding his tears behind photo chromatic glasses, when I had left home for further studies. What I saw in the ICU room was a frail, thin man with half paralyzed body and no senses at all. I did not know who he was, all I knew that the job of a policeman had eaten him up.

Now let me tell you about my mother. Like many other middle class women of our country, my mother is my hero. She is a born warrior, because she has been fighting with circumstances since she was a kid. She fought with her parents for her right to be educated. She fought with her husband for the right to be on job (she is a school teacher), and right now she is fighting with the Education Department for her right to be transferred in her home district so that she can take care of her ailing husband.

Being a daughter of a policeman and a schoolteacher, I realized that both my parents are from the most hated and at the same time respected categories of the Indian Government Service. In a way they belong to the lower cadre of government jobs. I have seen my mother going door to door for pulse polio mission and sitting for entire day for voting duties. I mean, any kind of new policy that has to be launched by the government, can only be succeeded because primary school teachers are there to work on holidays and vacations.

And if it’s non-government work, then policemen have to be there. Any social occasion like festivals, or visits of some political leader or Sabha of some religious leader or road accident, murder, theft or even Bollywood celebrities visiting to temples, the policeman has to be alert.

Having said that I was happy for both my hardworking parents. They gave and still are giving their 100% to the government but I feel sad and sorry for them because when government has to pay back to their employees, it’s just bureaucracy and paper works and politics and bribery and god knows what all! So when a policeman who is trying to fight for his life, because he got paralyzed on duty, due to odd hours of work and immense pressure from everywhere, a government schoolteacher is fighting for her right to teach as well as take care of her ailing husband. And I as a daughter of these two government servants feel utterly helpless to be able to do anything for my maa and papa!

The city myth

We all live in myths, some created by recent people and others created by ancient mythical people.

Mumbai rains are beautiful… but sometime it can get on your nerves.
I was coming back from work and could not find any auto rickshaw, after walking few meters, finally I found one and started for home. The road to my home was so busy that the auto driver requested for a U-turn, I agreed and told him to drop me at next U-turn. The U-turn came, I was about to get down, when a 10-11 yr old student asked Autodriver for Jogeshwari (a place ahead from my home but on the same route), Auto driver looked at me, it was clear that he wanted this passenger, (and just now he wanted a U-turn! pfff…) I told him to drop me ahead and let this kid also come in, since he was going to the same direction. The kid happily sat into the auto (must be waiting for a long time!), without even looking at me, he said, “Thank you aunty”. I felt something… (exactly! we all do, right!!!) but I smiled and told him that it’s alright ‘brother’. My stop came and I got down from the auto, now the kid looked at me and said, “Thank you didi”, he was kind of embarrassed. I smiled again and said, it’s okay.

I happily came home thinking of the incident. While sipping on my tea, I thought about the myth of age, and relations. In the small town’s of this country it is disrespectful to call some one by name, people prefer to be called by their relationship, for example brother, uncle, grandma etc. But as we move to metros or big cities, people are scared of words like brother, uncle and aunty… Have you ever wondered why? I mean, If one does not believe in these relationships then why to find them offensive…
I met many people in Mumbai, who even stopped me by using ‘Aap'(a hindi word for You, used for elders or with respect) while I address them, they told me that they are not so old to addressed with “aap”. 

Now lets look at it like this, let’s go back to where it all started. Human made society to form groups and survive together, as other animals were much more powerful than humans, but we had a little more brain than those and of course common sense, otherwise we used to live like monkeys in stone age. This has made  our life easier and their’s difficult. We have formed such big social groups that we have taken over the planet earth, literally apart from the natural calamities, we are controlling everything and everybody. And why can’t we take over the nature, because it’s real, no myth.

Yes, meaning of life also comes from creating myths, we create myths, to add value to our life, to survive.
Just take an example of a leader, we start believing someone is powerful and thus he becomes the leader, the mythical leader I must say. Same way we create families by following various rituals and giving names to relations, these all relations are actually mythical. We as human follow myth one after the other, so that we can set up a social structure and live longer, nothing else.

While doing this process, groups became villages, from villages we graduated to cities and from cities we graduated to metros and all this while the myth of family, leader, job, boss, wife and society kept us going. But why this thing fails after reaching to the pinnacle of its “so-called development state”. Suddenly these things becomes narrow-mindedness and small town mentality, and people start creating more myths, myths about age and success. The myth of success and money is quite old. But myth of age and success is new to me. People want to look young and more than that youngly successful. 

People, in metro cities ver easily say, that they do not believe in the old school nature of social respect. They would not want to called by any relation, because as I just said, they do not believe in so-called respect. Respect can not be given to anyone by calling them uncle, brother, sir or any other title. It comes from ones work or portfolio or money, right? But just think about it… by not accepting these titles, one is not denying to them but accepting their power and what harm they can do to ones image. No bachelor wants to be called brother or uncle and same goes with women, come to Mumbai and you will see how much they hate the word uncle-aunty. So that means these mythical title are actually affecting the cool-metro-crowd. Because they know the titles exists as alive as the human themselves. 

 

Minority

Long ago, when I have not seen land beyond Dehradun, I met this girl who has traveled beyond Dehradun. While talking to her she mentioned that she would want to marry a guy who is a minority, so that her kids can enjoy reservation. I was shocked because minority means, low cast or Dalit. Everyone used to say that they are not educated people and they do menial work so I (from a higher cast) was not even allowed to eat with them, forget about marrying. Time changed I moved out from my comfort zone and traveled beyond Dehradun. I learnt many things about cast and religion. I realize that a person named Matthew could be dark-skinned and can have a heavy malayali accent and know more about Indian Politics then any one else around him. I realize there is a community of Muslims called Bohri, who are much more sophisticated and wealthy then any other community and they do not know Urdu but they know Gujrati. I started making sense out of things and forming my own opinion. My opinion is that minority should be on economical grounds and not over cast. Then I came to know that everyone including my close relatives are dying to be in minority list. They are ready to sacrifices their brahminism over reservation. That was still acceptable as they come from a place where mother Nature is not quite motherly. Geographical conditions are hard. Then recently, I got to know that Jain community also fought for minority and they got it. Now I am really confused. Jainism is a baby of Hindu religion. Jain community is mostly traders so they are way beyond well to do. they do not live in far of mountain or dry deserts. So why reservation? If I turn 100% vegetarian, will I be entitled to reservation? Or if i convert into vegan. Or do they feel that business is not going to do well in future? Whatever the reason is, people can change their ethics for power and money. The day is not far when every single person will be pioneer of his own religion.

The witnesses of making of History

The internet phenomenon or precisely calling it, facebook phenomenon has given wings to many people and their world. We are able to know beyond the books. Information is not just restricted to certain privileged ones. Everyone is able to be famous and show there interest area. But with the boon comes the responsibility to use it wisely. FB is bombarded with information. I have started switching on the “I don’t want to see this” option for many posts. It was tiring to see so many beautiful places, where I would not be able to go, so many nicely designed objects, which I will never be able to own, such delicious food, which I will never be able to taste. It was just tiring to look at beautiful images. I even “un-followed” certain people who kept sharing some, makemytrip travel sales etc. I was fed up with the requests of “like my page”. If I like something I would press the button myself. I do not celebrate my birthday as such so it is annoying to have requests of Birthday Calenders. We all are running to be famous or celebrities. However, I did notice a good change through social media. Awareness. Options. Truth. Everyone is able to put their comment forward. A country where two teenage girls went to jail for just writing few words about a politician, where big politician still talking about woman as breeding cow, where having gods with various sexuality we look down upon someones sexual preference. In that country anyone is able to put forward their statement, have a conversation over a politician and more then anything we all are talking politics. How did it happen? Surely someone tried to make a difference and used social media as a platform. We realized that people are not just interested in Bollywood and Brands. We do care about poors and farmers. We do want to change the country and the its situation. We are tired of bureaucracy. First time in the history on Independent India there is a 12% increase in voting. It did not happen during Operation Blue Star or Godhara. We are the witnesses of making of  History in India. We have shown that the power is with people and it will remain with people only. We are ready to change our life, country and situation from our very own hand.