The Infidels!!


Gustave_Doré_-_The_Baptism_of_Infidels

After months of feud with Pashtuns in northern most barren regions of Afghanistan, finally there was peace for some couple of days. At least, I thought so. But others in my regiment believed that hide and seek of bloodshed will soon begin.

Nevertheless, I continued being a soldier. A tough one who was trained to witness the atrocities around him without believing into any sort of classifications between life and dream. For sure I was never a demon however I pretended to be the one in the field, but there was a slogan “Allah ho Akbar”  in particular often used by those murderers which made me hate them much like a demon.

I wanted to cut every throat which dared to speak those words while holding the gun or assault rifles into their hands. And I did it. On third peaceful night, they came back unleashing hell on us. They attacked us with rocket launchers and mortars. I took the position with howitzer gun, but my hand reached out to my army knife hearing the enchanting of “Allah ho Akbar”. My commanding officer saw me with the knife,” Are you going to counter those motherfuckers with that knife?”

“I will slit their throats half and will make them bleed slowly like they torture other beings on this earth. Let them reach to us and I assure you that not a single son of those Muslim bitches will see the dawning today.”

“Look son, we are not here to hate an entire race or religion. We are here to spread a message that no one has been able to find a safe heaven in this world after attacking Americans. Your motives look sordid to me and your words are actually giving me shiver.”

I partially heard what he said in between the heavy noise of artillery. In those peaceful three days, we fixed the barbs to ambush them. Everything was going as per the plan as they were slowly approaching our camp. Our sensor tracked total 60 of them. Our commanding officer executed a blast to create a shock as soon as all of them assembled within our premises considering us dead. And there I was, catching each one of them to slit their throats off. Within few minutes of it I was able to create several mini fountains of blood out of their necks. I kicked their bodies, laughed out loudly and mocked them by saying, “Allah ho Akbar”. Nobody in my unit could believe their eyes.

“What are you trying to demonstrate son?”, asked the unit head.

“Whoever is out there in the woods watching us, should know that there is no existence of Allah, Christ or any damn fucking god for these soon to be dying monsters.”

That night no one spoke to me and soon backup force was there to cover us up. We had to start in next couple of hours to change our base location. We got orders to reach to a nearby Pakistan’s border and wait for the next set of instructions. Our convoy started heading to Torkham from Jalalabad. By noon we reached somewhere near to Goshta where we decided to have our meals which obviously was nothing more than kebab.

Just 18 KMs before we could reach the small town of Torkham, a launcher came and struck to the vehicle ahead of mine. Surprisingly, such a heavy army vehicle toppled 4 times in the air before sliding down into the valley. Similar was the fate of the one I was riding along with 7 fellow commandos, but we were out by that time. It was blissful to see the sky full of fire from every direction and the target was our convoy. We took the cover behind the rocks on that hilly route. I was running out of the time as sun was about to set and that made me assemble my sniper rifle in less than 50 seconds. We were total 13 by now and so I instructed vehicles that followed us to abort their journey and ask for backup. After that I took my position with my rifle from behind a rock which provided me with a natural camouflage due to yellow light of sun. Once again, I was on killing spree.

Within 7 minutes of time, I executed and neutralized more than 12 militants over the hill who were bombing us with RPG. The copper rain of bullets was stopped quickly after that. We waited there for some more time and then slowly started marching ahead at the very first sign of the darkness. It was one of the biggest risks of our lives. A single flashlight in the air could have revealed our positions on the rocky street and we still had 17 KMs to cover before reaching the base camp of Torkham. We were running like marathon guys covering each other.

Soon we crossed the dangerous arena of hilly terrain, but now we had to run for almost 6 miles in the middle of a dense forest. Our radio stopped working due to canopy of trees and using the satellite phone could have led to us in vulnerable situation. So, we decided to proceed without letting anyone know about the coordinates in between the howl of dangerous wild animals. Through my night vision glasses I could see them, but luckily none of them chose to enhance our trouble. Within an hour we were close to the base and our radio signals were back, but fate had something else reserved for me.

As soon as I came out of the wood, a bullet came piercing my right leg. I signaled my team to back off and stay within the cover of forest, but I was trapped from the two directions. Going back into the woods was not a choice I was left with. They wanted to capture me alive for some reasons. Finally, I chose to jump off the cliff on the left side of me. God alone knows how many bones were broken out of that action of mine. All I could remember is that heavy package of my body and armors were rolling up while sliding through the rocky terrains in sheer darkness. And thousands of bullets followed me up, but none of it reached anywhere closer to me. I do not have any remembrance of when and where I lost my consciousness.

On fourth day, I woke up carrying an extreme pain on the left part of my body particularly in leg which seemed to be plastered using some primitive techniques. After several attempt to bear that pain, I finally gave up and screamed my heart out. An old lady came from nowhere and kept the conical tip of an unfiltered hookah stuffed with opium in between my lips and signaled to smoke it off. It worked magically as I felt the relief after just having few puffs from it.

“Initially we thought you are dead, but my son did not give up on you and forced me to listen your half-hidden heartbeats. Trust me it’s the benevolence of an eight-year aged guy that you are still alive.”

I turned my head towards the right to see the person who spoke those words. It was a tall muscular figure dressed much like those filthy Pashtuns whom I was slaughtering few days back. His name was Abdullah and he was the head of that village tribe. I greeted him like I was trained to. He came closer to me and sat on a woven chair next to my cot and took my hand in his hands and gently kissed it. Soon, a boy came out from another hut and sat on Abdullah’s lap.

“He is my son Zabir. He is the one who spotted you lying in those thorny bushes and informed us. Your left leg was badly mutilated. It took around 7 hours for us to take out all the bullets from your leg. Your main femur bone, tibia and fibula has got 6 fractures all together and it may take another 45 days for you to recover completely. I hope you understand that. We saved your life because I know you American soldiers are risking your lives to free this land from Taliban.”

“Are you from northern alliance?”, I asked with serious weakness in my voice.

“Yes, I am. I am also guardian of this village and you are safe here till the time you don’t do anything stupid. Be our guest for couple of months. Help our kids to learn some English.”, saying that he got up with two heavy assault rifles on his heavy shoulders and left with few other armed men.

In between Zabir came with a burqa clad woman. She said something in her language which I certainly did not understand but through gesture I thought it was a way to greet. She brought some food in a bone china plate. Since I was not strong enough to get up from the cot all by myself, few boys came to assist me to provide a semi-sleeping position. Her face was covered and so I could only see her eyes through that veil.

She wrapped some kebab into a piece of wheat bread and fed me. With first bite itself I cursed, “Is there anything else to eat in this god forbidden country apart from kebabs?”

She got little petrified, but I requested her through sign language to feed me more as I was hungry like hell. She gave me something to drink. Not sure what it was but it did the job to quench my thirst. I thanked her and tried to start some conversation.

“My name is Allen. What’s your name my dear lady?”

She quickly got up from her place and rushed back into the hut without saying anything. Obviously, she did not understand English. All this time Zabir was looking at me in puzzle. I asked him to come closer to me.

“Who is she? Your Mother?”, I asked while giving him some comfort. He nodded in no.

“Alright. Then she must be your Sister I guess.” This time he nodded into yes.

“So, what’s her name? I mean like you are Zabir, I am Allen. What’s her name?”, I somehow tried to make his understand what I was trying to say. He looked puzzled but then he said, “Alia! Her name is Alia.”

“Oh, that’s such a beautiful name.”, I then requested him to get my bag which was way too heavy for an eight-year aged kid. Still, he managed to bring to me. I took out a pouch which had some chocolates and energy bars. I gave some to him and the kids around there. Then I took out a bigger one and asked Zabir to give it to Alia. He went inside the hut singing something. I guess she was standing right there behind the curtain watching everything.

Days started to pass, and I slowly got comfortable with their language. I heard them sloganeering “Allah ho Akbar” at many instances but never felt threatened or found it scary. So, what was different between those Pashtuns and this tribe? Both were having the same religion and god. I tried capturing the moments through the lens of my camera, but women were very shy to come closer to it. Alia fed me two times during the daytime in the absence of any village men. One day I clicked the picture of her beautiful eyes with her permission.

I tried talking to her at multiple instances, but she never replied and preferred to watch me talking to kids and old women from behind the curtain. She looked at every equipment of mine with utter delight and one day I gifted my expensive watch to her. After a lot of resistance, she finally wore it over her left wrist. In those days I fixed many primitive electronic equipment they had like radios, television and transistors but none of my devices were working which could establish the contact with my unit. I requested Abdullah at many occasions to inform the headquarters about me being alive. Somehow, they will evict me out from there. He said it could be dangerous if the information about giving shelter to an American soldier spreads around as his village was constantly under the attack by Talibs.

On fourth week I was mostly cured but still had to use the crutches to walk. Thankfully, both my hands started to work to the extent when I could use my heavy weapons and the army knife. I woke up hearing someone screaming loudly with his gun pointed at me. Abdullah and others were flexing their muscles with that man. I quickly got down from the cot and aimed my 9 mm pistol at him.

“Put it down you fool.”, said Abdullah signalling me to put down my gun. I followed his instructions considering gravity of the situation. Soon that man left with furious anger. He spit on the ground and promised to return with hundreds of mujahids.

Zabir came closer to me and hugged me tightly. I asked him, “Who is that guy? And why is he aiming his gun at me?”

“He is among Talib. Every month he comes to patrol our village to ensure that we follow the Saria law as stated in Hadith. He is angry to find that we are protecting an infidel. He has threatened that every man and boy of this village will be slaughtered, and women will be taken away as sex slaves if we do not handover you to them.”, He started crying while saying all that.

I hugged him and said, “Do not worry. Nothing will happen to you or Alia.”

“Did you really mock Allah like that man was saying? He said that giving shelter to an infidel will bring anger from Allah to this village and we all will die of plague.”

“Yes, I did mock the god because of a very less understanding about it. I never thought there was any humanitarian side associated to it as well while reciting his name. Before coming to this village, I always heard the name of Allah by those monsters.”, I said that with brutal honesty. Entire village was gathered to hear me out and make their own assessment about an infidel.

“Allah is above all. He is the only forgiving force to those sinners and that is why it is even more important for those murderers to recite his name. We will have to shift you somewhere else as it is no way safer for you to stay here. Those Talibs can come anytime now after knowing your presence in this village.”, Abdullah came in rescue of mine seeing the mood of the villagers.

“What’s going on Abdullah? I told you to inform the US army base in Torkham. Look, now everyone is in trouble because of me.”

“I did so. They will also be coming but you never know who is going to be the first.”, replied Abdullah.

I decided to walk with them, but they put me on a donkey along with other stuffs and shifted me to a safe house outside the village. It was a small one room hut with a tin roof in between the campus of a small school which they termed as Madrassa. Next day Alia came with some eatables to me all alone and kept staring at me from behind the veil while I was having the food. I gathered all my courage and took the hold of her hands. In all those 26 days I fell in love with her without even seeing her face. She did not resist me and lifted her veil from the face.

“Oh dear! You are so beautiful!! Nothing can be more generous towards an infidel to see your face before leaving this world.”, I said looking at her blissful eyes and slowly kept her hands over my chest. We kept kissing each other for hours. It appeared like time has stopped there relentlessly. My life was changed, and I was no more a soldier. She took me back into my childhood when it was difficult to differentiate between life and dream.

Next day I spoke to Abdullah and shared my ideas with him. “I wish to take both Zabir and Alia with me to America after I am done here. Your country is a beautiful place but it’s war conflicted. I want to marry Alia and give her a new life far away from those gunshots.”

He did not reply to me instantly but after few moments took my hand and kissed it gently. “You are a noble soul indeed and I am sure I can never provide a better future to Zabir and Alia here. Who will look after them if something happens to me?”

It’s been a week since I shifted to this place and it’s constantly raining from last couple of days. Alia also did not turn up today. Around 3 PM I heard an attack from rocket launcher. I took the position with my rifle, but the village was beyond the range of it. Walking through the barren land till the village gate could be suicidal. I was worried about Alia who took my knife yesterday. With every sound of a gunshot my heart started to pound badly.

The rain is relentless. I hear it thrumming on the metal roof and running down the broken pipe into the mud, and I moisten my cracked lips with my tongue. I wonder if they’ll bring me food and water. I wonder if they’re coming at all…

 

                                                                     The End

The Deceit


It was monsoon on the streets of Mumbai, and I was waiting for her at the famous Oberoi Cafe near Malad flyover. At last, she turned up after making me wait for almost 15 minutes. She accompanied by two of her assistants, who seemed to be a kind of identical crooks. I had the table reserved, which made it easier for her to spot me. She shook my hands with utter firmness.

The-Deceit-photography-520673

“My apologies for being late Mr. Shyam as I got caught up in a traffic jam due to heavy downpour near Goregoan signal. I am Prabha Tiwari, your appointed attorney and these two gentlemen are here to assist me in documenting our conversation to prepare a case.”

I never understand the fact that why women lawyers are so hyped about, especially those who have rusty guys with heavy mustache as their assistants. I had the initial hesitation to discuss a case related to divorce to another woman because I always believed that they have a kind of prejudice against all the men. Somehow, she sensed it with another over hyped sixth sense of her.

“So, tell me all about your marriage without hiding any facts and nuances related to it. Has your wife been cynically lunatic, medically unfit or is she cheating upon you in some or other way? I had done my little research on your life and found that it was quite a love marriage without having love at first sight, which is good. I admire such concepts of life where things are based on facts rather than instincts but was not really able to relate it to a stockbroker.” She said that many things breathlessly with a witch kind of smile over her broad face.

I decided to tell her everything about it right from the inception of my relationship with my wife. She switched on a recording device before I could start.

“Back in year 2014, when everything seems to be falling apart in my life, a woman appeared from nowhere and held my hands firmly. It was the time when I thought of giving up on myself and anything associated to me. But she ignited that flame and brought me back into the game, which I almost lost few weeks back. I incurred so much of loss to my organization that they were about to show pink slip to me, but some members from the board of directors were still having faith in me. They appointed her as my personal secretory.”

I got into stock market again, did my research thoroughly and made some smart investments and all that turned the wheel of fortune towards me. I became the star once again, got rid of any overhead liabilities on me, went to meet my parents and brought them back from their world of sorrow and agony. They agreed to come and stay with me at my new flat here at Versova.

After few days of success and celebration, I finally acquired the courage to propose her to marry me near the bank of river Ganga during one of our vacations in Uttarkashi. She seemed to be skeptical initially but later had to trust me after I made her hear out my heartbeat.

She asked me to light a cigarette for her and after having few puffs from it, she said “Yes, let’s get married and settle down. Our association has been favorable from quite some time, so let’s make best out of it.” And then she winked at me with a pretty smile over her face. River Ganga never appeared so serene to me before. Such was the bliss seeing her around me.

We got married in the month of July and went to Paris for honeymoon. Soon after the trip, we resumed back to our work. She continued to be my personal secretory and did all the financial assessment for all that transactions I did in those days. I must tell you that she was an unmatched analyst in terms of risk assessment of any financial deals we made. Not a single anticipation of her went in vein. Many a times I felt that she was way smarter than me and deserved to be on my chair as Managing Director of the company. My obsession increased for her with every passing day and one evening while having coffee on our terrace garden I said, “I love you Issica and I can never imagine a life without you even for a moment”.

She looked at me in dismay, which gave a shiver to me from inside. I wondered what went wrong. She said, “I love you too, but please do not say things which you don’t really mean. Such words from men are very likely to be a kind of sweeping statement, which are often said metaphorically.”

That night I hugged her tight on bed in a way to cast her all over my chest. She too curled up like a baby in my arms and kissed my forehead. I asked her gently, “Why did you choose to marry me? You could have said no there in Uttarkashi. I mean just look at you. You are beautiful, educated and quite an achiever. You must be having a lot of choices to make. There were bunch of younger souls than me in office, who were dying to seek your attention even for a second.”

She looked straight into my eyes and said, “I know where all this is coming from. So, let me clear your doubts. The day I was appointed as a personal secretory of yours, I realized that I needed you more than you needed me. I saw you struggling to make time to speak to your parents and friends despite so much of pressure at work, which showed that you truly value relationships. Your marriage proposal might have been in heist, but that certainly was an opportunity for me to have a wonderful husband like you in my life. On top of it you are a marketing genius with a golden heart. You treat people with respect irrespective of their social stature and such a trait is rare to find these days.”

“I felt little peace with myself like a typical male chauvinist after hearing her out, but somehow that insecurity was already instilled in me.” I took a pause and asked the waiter to serve another round of coffee.

“So, how did you end up suspecting your wife for infidelity despite having such a romantic chemistry between you two?” asked the lawyer.

“Nothing starts suddenly. First, she stopped cooking the breakfast for me, which she did out of passion every morning. Initially, I thought it’s just the burden of work, so I hired a cook and instructed him to follow her orders. Then she stopped travelling to office with me and preferred to drive herself.”

“Did you try to speak to her or met anyone from her family like parents?”

“Yes, I did. She never answered me for any of my questions. She says that she had been orphaned when she was 22 in age. In last 5 years of our marriage, I haven’t seen anyone in her life whom she could refer to as a friend of her.”

“How did you find out that she is cheating upon you? I mean is this just a kind of speculation or do you really have any evidence to prove that?” asked the lawyer.

“I have a reason to believe so. Couple of months back, she took few days of leave from office citing health conditions. One day it was bit late for me at work, so I decided to have my dinner at a famous Irani Cafe near to my house.” I said.

“So, what happened there?”

There was a couple sitting in the cafe when I walked in. As the light was low, I didn’t know who they were until the woman turned around, and I saw it was my wife.

“So, you mean all this which you call infidelity started from there?”, Ms. Prabha asked.

That caused some sort of irritation in me and I said, “I wonder how they call you a prestigious lawyer because I see you as a person full of prejudice. Do you really believe that I can simply declare her a cheat by mere seeing her sharing a table with another man?”

“My job is to suspect everyone including my clients because most of them lie to me shamelessly and expect me to win the case for them. I really don’t care who you are personally till the time you are paying up my bills. Anyways, shall we continue to this as I am not left with much of the time. You wanted us to file the case tomorrow. Right?”

Even I wanted to get rid of narrating a story. So, I continued, “The issue was not seeing her with someone over there at Cafe rather it was the way I saw her. She never appeared that happy to me before. She was holding the hand of the person with poise and everything looked like a perfect romantic date. She was wearing the same red dress that I bought her during our honeymoon trip in Paris”

“Did you recognize the person she was dating with?”, the lawyer.

“No, I told you before that due to low light I was not able to see the face of that person. But I believe it was one of my colleagues Amar as he was in tremendous love with her before we got married. He continued flirting with her even after our marriage.”

“Did you take any kind of photograph to prove that your wife is actually seeing someone known or unknown to you? I mean we must convince the judge not to let you go under serious counselling, which is very likely to happen if we simply go with hypothesis without anything to prove”, She said while making few notes.

“I did try to do so, but not sure what went wrong with the camera of my mobile phone. Everything came so clearly except her new boyfriend. In fact, I took the service of a detective agency as well.”

She looked at me suspiciously and frowned. “You hired a detective agency against your wife!! And what did they come up with?”

“They simply wasted my money. They deployed one dedicated person behind my wife for around a month and they found nothing against her. They saw her in that Cafe multiple times, but all alone.”

“In short, we do not have anything against her to prove the betrayal, which is okay. Did you ever tell your wife that you want to separate out from her?” She was still frowning.

“I did say that to her but never had the courage to mention the reason for it. Somehow, I didn’t want to offend her. She asked whether I have found someone else to live with. I felt like laughing at, but then I saw her weeping for long throughout the night. I still wonder why she cried?”

Ms. Prabha looked at one of her assistants and he nodded about something in ‘Yes’ to her. She asked, “Where is she staying now a days? I am sure she is not staying with you anymore.”

“Yes, you are actually right about it. After couple of days when I came back from office, a note from her was lying at the door. She has mentioned that she has rented a house in a nearby locality and she was fine. Same day I received her resignation.”

Finally, one of the lawyer’s assistant spoke, “Can you please take a day off tomorrow? I need you at my clinic for around 3 to 4 hours to have some important sessions. Trust me this is serious!”

“And by the way who are you Sir?”, I asked gently to the gentleman.

“I am Dr.Mhatre, a clinical psychiatrist. An expert in such cases. Many lawyers seek my services in a matter like this.”

I did not understand what he meant, but before I could say anything, they were gone leaving me puzzled.

Next day, I went to see the psychiatrist. Ms. Prabha was also sitting there. She greeted me with generosity and guided me to a well decorated room. I was offered a glass of wine. “So, what is this about?” I said to her.

“Alright. Let me be very straight to you. Based on our discussion we feel that you had a kind of delusion. We feel that you are being mistaken someone else with your wife. You might have seen some other lady wearing a similar kind of red gown that you bought for your wife in Paris.”

I was literally pissed off and wanted to break that glass of wine over her head. “You mean I am being illusion ed by considering some random woman as my wife in café. You must be joking.”

“No, she is not!!”, said Dr. Mhatre from behind. I did not see him coming.

He further continued, “And I can prove that to you. Let me ask you a question. Why do you think that detective agency failed to get anything about her in 30 days even after deploying their best men behind her? If she is having a perfect romantic relationship as you said and witnessed, then why others are not seeing it?”

For the first time in my life, I was not having answers to so many questions. I felt perplexed by all his questions. Anticipating my reactions, he pointed towards the projected screen. It displayed the CCTV footage of same Irani Cafe near to my house where I saw my wife dating someone.

“I have gathered those footage from the Cafe you mentioned yesterday specially for all those days when you felt your wife’s presence over there.”

“Felt?”, I failed to control my obvious reaction to his words.

“Yes, my friend. Because half the time she was not even there. Coincidentally, she went there two to three times on the dates mentioned by you, but just look at footage about what it says.”

The CCTV footage was showing her having coffee all by herself at a corner without accompanying anyone. Nonetheless, she was not wearing red gown in any of those footage.

One thing was getting clearer that my wife was not seeing anyone as per the available records, but the fact remained same that I saw her with my own eyes holding someone’s hand in that Cafe.

“Okay. Let’s do a virtual reality session. It’s simple. Please wear this head device. We are going to create a simulation to recreate the cafe’s situation. Let’s see what we can find through this. You will be able to hear me throughout this session and let me know wherever you find it uncomfortable.”

He handed a kind of heavy mobile device to me with head gear and bands associated to it. I was not knowing what was going around me, but I wore that device which totally covered my eyes and area around it. He switched on something and once again I found myself standing in the same Irani Café. It was an evening time and there were couples mostly students having coffee and chattering their hearts out.

“Did you see her?”

“Not yet!!”, I replied.

I took a corner seat in the cafe and ordered my favorite late and continued rolling my eyes at every corner of it. And there she was. I smiled to find her in the same red gown, and someone was sitting opposite to her. She was holding his hand exactly the way I saw her the other day.

“What do you see now?”

“I see her sitting with her boyfriend.”

“How does she look?”

“Stunning like she always been.”

“How do you feel?”

“I feel totally in love with her. I want to tell her that how much I love her and cannot live without her even for a moment.”

“Whom she is sharing the table with?”

That I was not sure of once again due to low light.

“Then why don’t you go bit closer and see it by yourself. In that way we may have some evidence against her. Right?”, This time it was Ms. Prabha and hearing those words from her scared me to the core. Now, I had no intentions to gather any evidence against my wife. I had nothing in me except love for her and it felt so ecstatic. Still, I decided to go.

Every step of mine towards her was taking my breath away and I was feeling numbness in my legs. My lips were getting dried up. And there I was, just behind her. I could smell the perfume she was smearing on.

“Now, can you please kneel down a bit and see the person she is dating with?”, It was a mixed voice of two three people.

I slowly knelled and saw who it was for the first time in last six months. I felt the gush in my adrenaline.

“What happen Mr. Shyam? Tell us who was it?”, asked Mhatre impatiently.

I wanted to tell them but fell short of words which made me to cry inconsolably. He took away that VR (Virtual Reality) device from my head and asked me to relax but I wept for next half an hour.

“Hope you are feeling better now!!”, asked the lawyer.

“Yes.”

“Can you please share with us about what you saw there? I mean if you are comfortable then only.”

I gathered all my strength and said, “It was me!! All this time I was seeing the romantic part of me sharing the table with her in that cafe.”

 

The End

 

 

 

 

 

हम आज की आवाज हैं


jnu

हम वो हैं जो कभी पदमावती के नाम पे,
स्कूली बच्जों के बसों पर पत्थर मारते हैं।
और हम वो भी हैं जो सौ रूपये कि खातिर,
भ्रष्ट नेताओं के संग मुल्क बेचते हैं।
कोई हमे वामपंथी कहता तो कोई कहे फासीवाद है,
हाँ!शायद हम आज की ही आवाज़ हैं।

हमने ही घाटीयों मे पंडितों को मारा था,
और हमने ही रेलगाड़ी के डिब्बे जलाये थे।
फिर हमारे जटावों से गंगा निकली,
और हमारे भुजाओं से ही कत्लेआम मचा।
कोई कहता कट्टरपंथ है तो कोई कहे राष्ट्रवाद है,
हाँ!शायद हम आज की ही आवाज़ हैं।

हमने ही कभी आदीवासीयों को बेघर कर दिया,
फिर हम ही नकसल बनकर बनदूकें चलाई।
पर जाने मुल्क के किस मुहब्बत ने,
हमे उन शहीदों के मजार पे पहुंचा दिया।
जिनकी शहादत के हम आज भी कर्जदार हैं,
हाँ! हम उन शहीदों की भी एक आवाज हैं।

द्वारा : निलेश रंजन

Imported democracy of West Bengal!!


Yesterday, I woke up with a kind of news that deserves a special place in the history of republic India. A famous actor Ferdous Ahmed from Bangladesh was seen campaigning for TMC’s Raiganj Lok Sabha candidate Kanhaiya Lal Agarwal in North Dinajpur district along with Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamta Banerjee. I don’t know whether it is a violation of model code of conduct by election commission or not like BJP leaders are shouting during their campaign, but certainly the lady has got the guts to challenge every democratic system that prevails in India.

MB2.jpg

Few months back, she got CBI team in scuffle with local police administration and that was also an unprecedented event in itself. It has never happened before. Even Narendra Modi had to face inquiry by central agencies during his tenure as the Chief Minister of Gujrat, but there is no such record of those officers being harassed by state police. The situation deteriorated to an extent where Supreme Court of India had to do the mediation between CBI and Mamta Banerjee. So, basically she germinated a new sort of power play in politics which should not be ignored because on a similar trend Chandrababu Naidu stopped CBI to enter his state Andhra Pradesh seeking inspiration from her. How infectious and difficult it could be?

Not more than five days ago, supreme court had to say that something terribly wrong is going on in West Bengal after some custom officials were reportedly harassed by TMC’s goons on the instructions of Mamta Banerjee because they were checking the luggage of wife of a TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee(who is also nephew of Mamta Banerjee). The supreme court has also mentioned “We cannot ignore what is going on in West Bengal. If required we can ourselves take suo motu cognizance of the events and get to the bottom of the issue”. It appears like Mamta Banerjee has setup a kind of infrastructure of impunity for herself in Bengal, but how long such a thing can last in democracy.

MB1.jpg

If we go by the media report then it is quite evident that apart from Prime Minister Modi there are very few leaders from BJP or Congress(any party which is not in alliance with Didi) who can be certain about the permissions to land their choppers in West Bengal for any public meeting. Many leaders has been denied entry through air route in Bengal. Yogi Adityanath and Rahul Gandhi are few names in that list. On top of it she has the modesty to say,”Nation is in extreme danger due to fascist powers like BJP and I will not allow them to destroy the constitution of India”. I truly salute her for the kind of confidence she displays after all the demonic acts of her in public. She has taken a vow to protect the democracy of India :-). Isn’t that funny? It is like predators in jungle are promising security to preys.

If I quote both the television and print media all together then it won’t be wrong to say that normal residents of West Bengal are even scared of casting their votes as there are serious threats to their lives if anyone of them are found voting against TMC. Such a terror cannot even be seen in Pakistan these days. All the election workers have threatened to boycott the election duties if central forces are not deployed during the elections in Bengal. Somehow, election commission has shown the much required spine to transfer all the loyalist police officers of Mamta Banerjee, to which she is again foul crying and making the baseless allegations like EC has taken such actions in order to appease Narendra Modi.

I personally feel that Mamta Banerjee should be applauded for achieving things which even left parties were not able to achieve during their prolonged governance in the state for around 30 years. They were never been able to instill that kind of fear among the common mango people. But, end of the day they are reaping what they sowed during their rule. It was communist party of India, which made the elections as bloody game in West Bengal and as a result all the political workers in the state are turning into zombies. Currently, most of the goons of TMC are having strong background of serving as party cadre of CPI before. They cannot stay without the support of ruling government and government cannot run without those goons.

I wish someday Mamta Banerjee meets the fate she deserves for ruining the spirit of democracy by calling Bangladeshi actors to lure the illegal migrants in Bengal. I wish someday she is haunted by the ghosts of all those innocent people, who were slaughtered by her goons in an effort to terrorize any remaining soul who dare to speak against her. It is my personal request to every voters of West Bengal to vote against her or anyone associated to her to set the toughest example in the history of Indian democracy, so that no such blood thirsty politician should even think of taking birth on our holy lands again. Jai Hind Jai Bharat!!

By: Nileshh Ranjan

 

Why Kanhaiya Kumar is required in Indian Politics?


I know I am going to touch a burning issue this time, but would like to request all my readers not to jump to any such conclusions which make me look like supporter of left ideology. I personally feel that we need to debate all the necessary ideologies and the associated challenges and threats it imposes to a healthy democracy. We should also not overlook the opportunities that comes with any political believe.

kanhaiya-kumar-1555166555

Right from the beginning of the official declaration of 2019 general elections in India, a major segment of media can be seen harboring aroung Begusarai district of Bihar. And the reason is well known to everyone that Kanhaiya Kumar has been fielded as CPI (Communist Party of India) candidate from that loksabha constituency. Kanhaiya has been a prominent face of student politics and got the glamour due to seer interference of BJP government inside JNU premises in 2016.

By doing so they stirred a political force that went beyond the control of BJP government. This nation has got a rich  history of such imprudence by students, which was quite evident during the JP movement against Indira Gandhi in 70s. Even the iron lady like Indira Gandhi had to bow down in front of such forces. Narendra Modi, Nitish Kumar , Lalu Yadav ,etc. are living examples of that movement. I am not talking about the ideological disarray here, but we cannot rule out the fact that Kanhaiyya is doing exactly what those politicians of yesterday were doing during the era of emergency against Congress rule. He is trying to make his voice of dissent heard with greater energy and now has become one of the prominent faces of opposition against BJP.

Personally, I am against any left or communist ideologies because I have seen the kind of governance they have provided in states like West Bengal and Kerala. That ideology particularly talks about the social equality and harmony, but the kind of political murders or violence often seen on the streets of Kerala or West Bengal mocks the ideology to the core. So, association of Kanhaiya to such an ideology is a joke in itself. Undoubtedly, he is an excellent orator and all his questions related to the political discourse are valid, but what identity he was able to create for himself. A major segment in this country strongly believes that he is traitor after he was found celebrating death anniversary of a terrorist named Afzal Guru, who was guilty of planning the attack on the parliament.

That is where Kanhaiya is absolutely wrong!! He is free to continue to his faith that freedom of speech gives him the authority to design a poster which says “The country without a post office”(Originally written in context of Kashmir) or supporting slogans like “Bharat tere tukde honge, Insha allah insha allah”, but nation doesn’t function like that. If he strongly believes that Afzal Guru was not a terrorist and the attack on parliament was just a way to raise the voice of dissent then he should also be ready not be consider people like Nathu Ram Godse as murderer because he also shot at Mahatma Gandhi because of ideological differences. So, basically Kanhaiya is nothing but a byproduct of hypocrisy and communism, who himself is not sure about his future in Indian politics specially by walking the roads of CPI.

And that is very unfortunate for this nation because we need people like Kanhaiya to maintain the political balance in this country, who can raise the unheard voice of people from poor, marginalized  and suppressed segment of the society. But, not on the cost of nation and the sovereignty of it. I would like to conclude by wishing Kanhaiya all the best for upcoming elections.

By: Nileshh Ranjan

 

Leniency of being a Hindu during upcoming elections!!


Looks like election is overhead as the vulture journalists like Ravish Kumar, Rajdeep Sardesayi are back to devilish business of manipulating the voters with their venomous articles and narratives particularly against Narendra Modi or in short against everyone who doesn’t align with their personal benefit. Congress is back with the list of unimplementable promises and pro-Pakistan agendas.

rahul_temple_tripps

Am I talking like a freaking Hindu fanatics, just because I am against the idiotic electoral promises of congress? Well, I guess that;s exactly what I intend to do here, because we have suffered a lot for being a lenient Hindu all this time. We as a nation have had enough of congress in true sense. I will not go back to Nehru or Indira’s era like BJP leaders because it actually doesn’t make difference to me. My political awareness started from the general elections of 1996, when Late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was struggling to provided a stable alternative of a non-congress government to this nation and Congress did every possible bid to devastate it.

Couple of days back I was watching interviews of many political and non-political personalities. And to my surprise for the very first time I saw Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur being called on the stage by anchor. I genuinely do not prefer to watch anything related to people wearing saffron robes. But, somehow I was not able to resist myself from watching her interview which lasted for say around 30 minutes. I was aware of her background that she was a leader of ABVP and then became a Sannyasi. I also knew that she was named as one of the prime accused in Malegaon bomb blast by Congress government and stayed around a decade behind the bars before being acquitted by NIA court recently.

But, what I did not know was something that shocked me to the core. During her conversation with anchor, she mentioned about the dark phase of her life when she was brutally tortured by interrogating officers during 23 days of her interrogation under Police custody. She did mention about a familiar name Late Shri Hemant Karkare, who achieved martyrdom during terrorist attack on Mumbai in 2008, was most ruthless among all the torturers. After watching her interview I felt that even if half of all what she was saying is true then I really wonder about her being alive and active.

So, what actually congress was trying to achieve by targeting people like Pragya Singh Thakur. They came up with a concept of Bhagwa Atankwad(Hindu Terrorism) and did their level best to prove that such a thing exists in India to prove their secular credentials to minority communities without even knowing that someday it will backfire all of them up to an extent where top leaders of Congress party will found to be begging at different temples of India,so that public should start considering them as Hindus. The worst thing is that no-one still knows about the real culprits of Malegaon blast. Someone has truly mentioned that Karma is indeed a bitch!!

I personally believe that Congress party is surviving only because a major population of India is still struggling to cope up with the basic necessities of life and so even a small announcements like loan waiver or freebies force them to vote parties like Congress. Hunger can make you vote anyone or can make you adopt any religion or ideology like it was mentioned in one of a boring Hindi cinema “Ye bhookh ki maari janta hai, 2 roti ka vaada kar doa fir ye kisi bhi rang ka jhanda utha legi”. But, there is one mysterious thing that I have observed in all the media coverage from last 10 days that public is not showing the kind of enthusiasm they were showing in 2014.

One important reason could be the anti-incumbency factor in 2014 against Congress party or may be public don’t want to open up in front of media due to the kind of conduct media has shown in last five years. Yes, I am talking about the kind of division media has done in itself like associating themselves to BJP or non-BJP camps, which is not at all a good symbol for democracy.

Now, to summarize it constructively I would like to request my fellow citizens to follow Hinduism like it has been mentioned in Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta in its raw format, which largely talks about the Karma(your duties) and Dharma(being righteous). So, during elections please vote as a good citizen because that is your duty towards the nation and choose your representatives wisely(without caring about his caste, race and religion) because that is what takes the nation on the path of righteousness.

By: Nilesh Ranjan

 

 

 

Curse of a motherland!!


toxic people.jpg

Somewhere between the years 2012 to 2014, I had my stay in Chicago due to my work at Sears Holdings Corporation. I had my time over there with series of experiences and one of them was with fellow Indians who felt joy by saying bad things about their motherland among the colleagues from different nations. I still do not find a convincing reason for them to do something mean like that. May be they always felt ashamed of their motherland and were looking for an opportunity to disgrace it and going to countries like America, UK or Australia provided them the platform they needed. At the same time I did not find a single American,European or even Pakistanis doing the same against their nations. Literally none. It was done only by Indians which was insane.

It was fine till the time none of those criticizers of India were my friends, but gradually I found one such friend infected with similar kind of disease. Last to last year he shifted to Australia and started to malign this country from there itself. Recently, he stirred a debate going one step ahead by trending a campaign to rename India as ‘Nautankistaan’. He even requested me to sign the petition, which I did to protect his democratic rights. I did so because in this country I saw an entire set of intellectual left activists, lawyers ad journalists protecting the democratic rights of some university students who termed India as a nation without postal address.

Surprisingly, when some of my friends tried to reason with the one who felt that staying in India is like staying inside the sewage then I heard him saying that motherland is nothing other than a piece of land and all of us were getting unnecessarily emotional about it. Ironically, same friend of mine came down to India last year to avail cheaper dental treatment. My question will remain to such people that why do they need to come down to sewage to have medical treatments because doctors produced out of a sewage can no how be better than the one who practices in US or Australia?

Going to a different city, state or country for better opportunities are perfectly fine to have better professional exposure and earning, but why do you have to disgrace your native country? What exactly a person can achieve by doing something like that? For me they are no way better than Syed Ali Shah Geelani of Hurriyat Conference in Kashmir who praise Pakistan to get financial aid to run his shop and uses India passport to enjoy his vacations abroad. I will not term such friends of mine as traitors  rather it should be a bunch of opportunists who can sell anyone or anything to buy their future. I won’t hesitate to say that our motherland looks like cursed to have such people taking birth on her soil.

By: Nilesh Ranjan

 

 

My first blind date with life!!


December, 2011, I was not doing well at any front of life with anything. It can be termed as a kind of rough phase of life when even things known to you for a long time suddenly started appearing to be unknown and strange. So, I decided to run away like I always did in that part of my life without thinking much about after effect of such an approach towards life.

Sunset

At 2 0 clock early in the morning, I started my bike and simply hit the road taking the first exit to Nagar Road which was around 3 Km from my residence. Due to almost zero traffic, I quickly reached to Pune- Mumbai highway and my first stop to have a cup of tea was at Satara. All this time I failed to realize that I drove for almost 5 hours without taking a break. What was wrong with me? Was I being possessed by some kind of ghost or whether I was out of my mind? Nevertheless, it was a blissful morning and the surroundings was perfected due to sheer presence of windmills, in fact a lot of them. I bet nothing could be more charming than a place like that to have a cup of tea.

Even at that moment of time I was not sure where I was heading to. Left part of my brain was compelling me to return back to Pune from there itself and the right was insisting on taking the road to Goa. I swear to god that till the last sip of tea I had no answer to my own questions. Anyways, I thanked the tea shop owner for that wonderful cup of tea and the unmatched freshness of it. I started my Royal En-field in the direction which shown Goa over the green board.

Because of winter, sun appeared little friendly and sunlight made it like a blessing all the way. Around 11 0 clock, I felt like all my bones were cursing me to make them starve for more than 15 hours. So, I decided to have some meal at a small rustic line hotel. The freshness of tea was still there and I was in no mood to ruin the feel of it by swallowing any other form of food, but my body was not supporting my spirit. I managed to make myself comfortable at a corner on a dusty cot woven by coconut coir ropes. To my surprise it was way more comfortable than any of the couch I used so far even at any five star hotel. I got no idea when I actually fall asleep. When I finally woke up, my entire body was lurching on that poor cot. And a mid aged woman was standing there with a bottle of mineral water. She immediately passed it to me seeing me awake.

“How long had I been sleeping here?”, I said checking my cell phone for time.

“Almost 45 minutes.”, She replied in pure accent of Kolhapur. She then brought a small sheet of paper which I correctly guessed for being a menu card.

“You can give me anything which you find good. I am very hungry right now and got no strength left to make a choice.”

She instructed a teenager boy to get some kind of rice plate. And then she turned to me and asked, “Where are you coming from and where actually are you heading to?”

And that was something difficult to answer, but then she was waiting for me to say something. Finally I cooked up a story and said,”I am coming from Pune and going to meet a friend in Kolhapur.”

She did not seem to be convinced and went inside to check on another customer, who was shouting his lungs out for late arrival of food that he ordered. Lady went to calm him down and to my surprise his entire mood changed and he started flirting with her.

She came back to me after 10 minutes with a plate which had chapati, rice and some real spiced vegetable curries kept in it. She then said,”You better be knowing the place you are heading to . I suggest you visit the small Bhavani temple down the lane which is hardly 5 km from here.”

“What is so special about that temple?”, I still regret about asking that question.

“For you it is not going to be just a temple.”, I could see the flair in her eyes and that stopped me from asking any further questions to her. I quickly finished up my food and reached out to her for paying up for it. She took it and returned me the change.

I was in no mood to visit a temple at that hour of time. My body was tired and it was asking for a bed to spread upon, but somehow my bike automatically turned to that lane. It was a village road with lot of blind curves. From a distance I could see a small temple standing tall in between a stream of water. I parked my bike at a flower shop. A small girl insisted me to buy some flowers for deity. I bought some from her and also requested her to take care of my bag.

Before taking the first step on the stair case, I left my shoes. After climbing the final step, I realized that temple was actually surrounded by a kind of mysterious river with mild current of flow. One was supposed to cross that stream of water to reach the main door of temple. The priest over the main gate signaled me that water was just knee deep and so nothing to worry about. So, I did not bother to open my shirt and set my foot in water. The moment I reached in the middle of it, the level of water reached to my shoulders and I was struggling to keep my walking steady because of the current. I decided to swim across it to reach the temple, but thought of taking a dip first. So, I took off my shirt and threw it towards the stair case.

And there she was standing with her generous toothless smile beneath the water. Yes, I could easily recognize her. It was my grandmother who died almost a year ago in 2010. I took another dip and this time I saw the lady whom I met at the rusty hotel, the lady who asked me to visit the temple. She too smiled at me. Out of fear I immediately came out breathing heavily. But, then I decided to take a third plunge into the water defying the fear and that was the time I saw a young lady in yellow sari and black cardigan sweater. Her face was bright and was shining miraculously under the water and her smile was infectious.

I came out and started swimming towards the main door to worship the deity. The priest looked at me and I gave a smile to him because that was all I was left with. He laughed out loudly like he knew everything I experienced underwater. He marked my head with red and white vermilion and guided me towards the sanctum. No way it was an idol inside because it looked like a kind of living goddess was residing inside. It was shining golden from top to bottom with eyes closed.

“Why the eyes of deity are closed?”, I asked the priest.

He smiled and said,”No, its not closed. Go little closer and see again.”

I went little closer and looked again. Slowly, the pair of eyes started to open up and within seconds it was wide open and looked straight to me. This time I saw that only girl in my life whom I called “bitch” once out of anger after a heated argument some 5 years back. I fell down on my knees, sobbed inconsolably and begged for mercy and forgiveness.

“You are forgiven now Son”, said the priest from behind.

I turned to him with folded hands. He came closer to me and kept his hands over my forehead and enchanted some mantras in Sanskrit.

“Blessed is the one who gets to see the deity in her original form and blessed is the one who get a chance to realize their mistakes. Take a resolution today that you will not insult or humiliate any women in your life again.”

I did not say anything and started walking back towards the river. It was all dried up and there was not even a drop of water left. I reached at the shop where the little girl was holding my bag with utmost care. I gave her the money for the flowers I bought and said,”All the flowers got washed away in the river when I was taking the dip. I did not get the chance to offer it to goddess.”

“That is how goddess accept those flowers. Here is your bag.”

I gave 50 rupees to her before I started my bike and drove back to Pune. That was my first date with life and I still cherish every moment of it.

By: Nilesh Ranjan

Is happiness really a choice?


1-happiness

Yesterday I was watching an offbeat Bollywood cinema “Tum Milo to Sahi” starred by acclaimed actors like Nana Patekar, Dimple Kapadia and Sunil Shetty. Film smoothly captured many quests that we Indians struggle with on day to day basis. The one which I liked personally was “Do we really need to compromise the happiness of present day for the sake of future?” . Answer lies within the question itself but let’s discuss it widely.

It happens very often that our personal ambition which initially starts with the very basic need of survival in a cut throat competition subsequently takes us away from all those small factors of joy that kept us charged up and motivated. Like I wanted to buy a branded watch for my father since the first day at my first job because I saw him managing with one that was gifted to him by his in laws during his marriage in 1980. I also wanted to buy a digital camera for my mother who always had an urge to capture the moments of happiness. Yes, I bought all of it which had place in my list and had my own moments with tiny sense of accomplishments.

When I talk to some of my friends from school time, college time and from different offices that I worked  then I find one thing very common. They all(mostly boys) cherish and remember the moments which are already gone years ago and had been well spent. They give reference to the time when none of us were well paid as per the standard of a metropolitan city, but still managed to embrace and support each other(of course sometimes under the influence of alcohol). So, why they are not happy now or does the  lack of smile and laughter has become new symbol of happiness or all the happiness got restricted up to facebook and whatsapp? I mean they all earn very well now and has been able conquer the things which were pending in their lists.

I decided to do some research over it and I came across some of the astonishing facts which are listed below:

  1. Most of them are always afraid of losing what they have earned(more importantly money).
  2. They have stopped exploring new pending items in their lists mostly because they feel they have already accomplished the important stuffs like car, home, etc.
  3. Parents are aged and so no more luxury of living a carefree life as most of the time they are down with some or other complexities.
  4. People specially working in IT sector feels that the technologies they are working are outdated and they will succumb to the changing dynamics of the market.

But,  none of the above mentioned points has anything to do with truth because it lies in the fact that all the pending items in our lists were related to our childhood dreams like falling in love with a beautiful girl, marrying the person we were in love with, having a drink in a premium resort beside the pool, taking parents for pilgrimage ,etc. And that is the reason behind the sudden vacuum created in our lives because we are done with all of it. We are not living any new dreams or in fact our mid age crisis has stopped us completely from dreaming any further. We have started living in fear about the future which obviously will take away the joy of present day.

Let me share some of the very precious experiences of my life. Like many parents in Bihar having girl child, my parents were also worried about the expenses they had to bear during my sister’s marriage(specially dowry part which can be termed as wedding gift for making it look like less complaining) as they had very low savings for it. And truly speaking they were worried about it years before she actually got married. Time came and everything got managed so effortlessly and she is well settled in her life. That was the time I realized that my parents actually wasted some of the very precious moments of happiness behind worrying about something which was well taken care in future. So, in short life takes care of it in its own way.

I personally feel worried to see pair of sad eyes on happy faces around me. Even during my engineering days I made friends for lifetime and lived my life with full zeal and enthusiasm. The only thing that I regret is foolishly getting attracted towards something which I misunderstood as love and secondly kept my head burning by constantly thinking about the education loan for my studies which got multiplied up to an amount three times of my first annual salary. That stress led to my failure in 12 consecutive interview during campus placement. Gradually in next few years after college I repaid all the loan amount to the bank with ease and I made a promise to myself that whatever happens I will not let any such factors drive me away from life which is meant to experience and observe the beauty that lies around all of us.

By: Nilesh Ranjan

 

Scrapping of Section 377 by Supreme Court of India: Right to love freely and fearlessly..


delhi-s-10th-queer-pride-march

6th of September,18 was a kind of day which can be considered as full of gay(primarily that meant cheerful or carefree 🙂 ) for LGBTQ community in India as their long term dream came true. They won their battle against the hatred and prejudice by majority of the race who considered the LGBTQ community as abnormal and their sexual choices as unnatural. But, like Chief Justice of India Deepak Mishra has quoted yesterday while delivering the judgement that “How can one decide what is natural and unnatural in such matters?” and so its high time for the nation to come out of the hypocrisy or policy of personal comfort which gives the very undesirable right to the mass of illiterates to form a group to lynch and hate anyone and everyone whom they consider unnatural based on their own version of society and the norms for it.

I am personally delighted like many other citizens or netizens that at least there is a constitutional body in this country which kept the idea of India burning, alive and glowing. Once again the supreme court has been successfully able to crush the ideologies of the religious fundamentalists who believed that they can hijack the judiciary by force of blind folded fools and followers. I am happy that finally people of LGBTQ community can live like humans and they don’t have to be afraid for being bullied or attacked. Many of them are openly admitting now that majority of the times they even feared going to police stations to report any incidences of manhandling or assault due to social discrimination.

Also I was overwhelmed by the fact that youngsters of this country never had kind of discriminating beliefs about the community like previous generations. They might have taken the terminologies like homosexuality or lesbian as a matter of fun but on a serious notes I do not feel that they have any sort of hatred for people with different sexual orientation. I have personally asked many people about it and what they feel about the verdict by Supreme Court of India and to my surprise I did not find a single educated person who has condemned the verdict like many self declared protectors of religion. I would love to see the time when we as a nation will get over such burdens of hatred and discrimination based on caste, language or region.

Even for LGBTQ community the game is not completely over in their favor just because supreme believes for the preservation of their human rights. It will truly be joyful when people from every segment from our society willfully accepts it. But still any journey begins with a single step and they should be celebrating that legally they are free to love anyone as per their choice.

By : Nilesh Ranjan