Thursday, 1 October 2009

Delhi 6 - A perspective

And I landed at Kashmiri gate ISBT. Climate being comparatively cooler in the early morning , I planned to take a stroll around. Very soon I was standing in front of LalQuila, which appeared more of a black quila, and the chain of history began flowing in. At this place, the fate of my country was chosen. At this place my country took birth. I wished to salute it, but eccentricity is mostly reserved for blogs and thus I dropped the idea. There were stream of visitors moving around that place, perhaps visiting the place for the first time in their life. I wondered, how many really understood the idea of nation state, or did I myself understand it? Philosophical indulgence in hot Delhi sun could be harmful for health,however, and thus I moved on.

Next in line was Chandini Chowk, a place as crowded as ever. People all around, whether you turn your eyes or not. Your eyes will never be empty of their sight. Shops on both side of street, and brokers persuading you to get into their shops. In the hot humid climate of Delhi, you don't wish to have such a vast swathe of people around you. All of them appeared to be in a hurry, tackling life or death questions may be. And I started getting agoraphobic. How the hell do they live? Are they not humans ? How can they make such a mess of humanity ? Who made it? I felt a deep hatred and anger towards humans , including myself.
What am I? A nameless face in this crowd. An worthless insect in this bunch of filth. How could man claim his greatness if he still is part of this crowded civilization. There is no meaning to humans here. Just numbers. Mother earth bears the pain relentlessly, but nature would take revenge one day and exhume them all. Why , if there are so little resources available, should people make it all the more crowded. Why should poor wretched produce so many , when they cant do anything more than defiling this beautiful earth and country? Why not a big lot be exhumed so that the ones left could lead a life of worth and dignity. As of now, none do.Nihilism is the only way left.

Frustration of hot sun couldn't have had asked for a better fuel than this sight. However, just then, while moving, I saw a Gurudwara on my left. It was crowded at the entrance. A Sikh person was offering water to every passerby, relentlessly, with no sign of strain on his face. I was touched by the contrast between my thought and his act. He, for whatever reason, was not averse to mankind, instead, trying his bit to save it, help it, preserve it. And I , Nihilistic as I had grown was ready to exhume the entire bulk of wasted humanity. To establish goodness in less and pathos in more.

I was awestruck by this thought. I realized that what I was thinking, was what Hitler used as his propaganda against whoever. If there is a sense of crowded helplessness into my mind, its because I have always seen the world from that narrow perspective of self. There is a world outside of me. It was for all , and all were for it. There is no crowd, just our perception of self traducing others right to life. I belonged to world and world to me. When I was in this cauldron , how could have I thought of something out of it. Given a moment's thought, I found that this narrowed view of self , is what has served as the seed of parochialism and crass nationalism, disregarding one set of peoples over another. When placed here , on this land, with this set of rights, and belongings, I should know, that its the world that has been given to me. This universe, this entire crowd set, and all of Delhi-6 and I were one.

Embarrassed at my own thoughts few moments ago, I moved ahead, to eat jalebi, at a crowded stall. Well, Shahjehan selected this place for his quila and I , out of serendipity, for my knowledge. How Similar!

1 comment:

Aashish said...

Similar things occurred to me when i first reached Mumbai. I felt I was the only one with disgusted face cursing humidity and the rush, where as many others were carrying out their work with a charm on their face..