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What is life? I often find myself asking this question.
Is it one, is it many?
Is it the infant born in a reputed hospital, or is it the one born on the streets?
Is it in music, or is it dance?
Is in in the unforgettable past, is it in the eagerly awaited future?
What is life then?!
I realise that I do spend a good amount of time pondering on such fundamental questions of life. I think, to a large extent, that my experiences make me think, question. I feel, life is the present that originates in the glorious past and stretches far and wide into the horizon of our future. Life is till the time the quest to be happy is still on. Darkness does not imply the end of sunlight. The Sun is life, bright and illuminating!
The other day, I saw a small kitten die on the streets when a car ran over its little neck. The look of excruciating pain with its eyes tightly shut will haunt me till my last breath. I did, silently, shed a tear or two mourning the end of a life, grieving just how unimportant the kitten’s end was for so many people!
But, today, when I see cats in college scavenging for food in dustbins, it reminds me of that same kitten and I become aware of the fact that its life had not ended, but just begun. It was to live the life of a stray, untended cat just for a few months and then get free.
Hence, life is eternal…
Bheeg jaane do khud ko aaj is baarish mein
Bhula do sab kuch iski madhoshi mein
Na roko ab apne mann ko tum
Na khincho apne dil ki lagaam ko itni zor se
Ek baar chup hoke sunlo iski bhi do baat
Azaad ho tum jaan lo ye
Todhke sab bedhiyan aaj udh jao tum khule gagan mein
Bheeg jao tum is barsaat mein
As a kid from Jaipur, I was in awe of the city. Every year, as soon as the summer breaks would start, I’d run to my grandparents’ place in Indraprastha & spend the 2 months there. The smallest things about living in Delhi like the trend of living in flats instead of bungalows, the drives with ice-creams around India Gate, the small market that came up every Wednesday in front of the flats & the tiny cafés selling the best chicken rolls I’ve ever tasted; all really charmed their way into my heart making Delhi, the most charming city for me.
As I grew up, I got more & more fascinated by the city despite of the media reports of rising rape cases in the city. I just wanted to come here & be one of the many “cool and independent” college students that we so often see in Bollywood films.
And, my dream came true! I got into DU. My grandparents moved out of the city. In short, there it was! My gateway to being a free bird! I got into LSR for an honors degree in Economics & shifted in with my best friend from school. I had everything I wanted, friends, college and DELHI! The idea of being in Delhi made me ecstatic! I think the idea of being able to visit Khan Market more often was the dominant factor, though.
The city however, does take its toll on you. It’s not the Dilliwalas who do that, it’s the outside people, the migrants who’re umm…, not so dilwala! The first year’s turbulent. Apart from the confusion about what image the movies portray of college life & what it actually turns out to be, the biggest confusion that people like me face is the lack of honesty & sincerity in people. The best friends that I’ve made in college are all Delhi-ites. The rest, well, they’re unworthy of even a mention here.
Looking back in time, I realize that Delhi isn’t just what I imagined it to be, there’s much, much more to it. It’s not just about being black or white, the gray always lurks somewhere close by. The city teaches you so much. In these two years, not only has Delhi stimulated my tastebuds with its seasoned variety of food, from the roadside momo stalls to the high-end, posh restaurants, but it has also developed me as a person, made me stronger, more mature and more independent.
From the tiniest things that form a part of your daily life like washing your own clothes & taking care of your own meals to the bigger things like making career choices & giving entrances like JNU, D School etc; it is this life that makes me what I am today.
Delhi teaches you the value of money. From sky high rents to the food costs, the city will definitely make a BIG hole in your wallet but, the experience is worth it! The days when you’re broke, when you have to walk in the unbearable cold of the winters & heat of the summers, making your way through the many stray dogs that go mad in the heat and the innumerable rickshaws that are never on the right side of the road, are the days when you appreciate how blessed & protected your time at home was & at the same time, get amazed at the fact that how independent you’ve become.
The most interesting thing about Delhi is that not only is the city modern but, it also has the flavor of history. From the Baha’i temple, Humayun’s Tomb to the Qutab Minar & the ‘khooni jheel’ near the university campus, Delhi has ample scope for couples, who’re low on budget, to go for a date to these places where nobody’s interested in going nowadays as they prefer ‘The Big Chill’ to them and thus, one finds walls covered with graffiti that reads “Babli loves (complete heart with the arrow through it) Ramesh” and the sorts!
In the end, all I can say is that with good people or bad, cheap food or expensive, monuments or no monuments,
“ye dilli hai mere yaar,
bas ishq mohabbat pyaar.”
Its a path seldom crossed
But it feels right.
This is the time
To let go
To be free
To be me.
I got to be happy
No matter what
Won’t listen anymore
Won’t follow anymore
I gotta follow my heart now
I gotta be me.
I just got one lifetime
No point wasting it
Its okay if they’re disappointed
They’ll understand some day
They’ll have to.
Have nothing with me
All I got is my heart
And I know that’ll suffice.
By the end of the day
I’ll have it all.
I’ll have it all coz
I sing my song.
And no one can take it away from me
Its my call now.
The world’s a stage
And that stage’s mine now!
Fly, little bird, fly
This world’s not your nest
You belong somewhere higher.
The dealings of this world are too cruel for you
The clear stream of your heart shall flow in some place cleaner.
The little time that you spent here, with us
Was a lesson
A lesson, to teach every one of your friends & family
That life beyond things still exists
That there still is love.
Your time’s up
There’s no more to do
You had to go away, leaving your friends in tears,
But all I can say is
Fly, little bird, fly
To a world of peace & happiness.
~~ Everyday is thus, a reason to smile.
Every aspect of the existent problems in the society, everywhere, is linked to the problem of implementation. There is a very urgent need for government to be able to make the existent laws comprehensive so that the nation sees a much stronger n more efficient implementation of these.
All of us have read about monkeys in nursery n the primary classes. What do we take them to be? What, according to us, should these monkeys be doing? I know, these questions seem to be very, very irrelevant with what I just said above but, they’re not. The basuc things that we’ve learnt are that monkeys live on trees, in jungles and can swing on the branches of trees jumping form one to another. However, like the bear, the monkeys also are in a very sorry n vulnerable state today. Its sad to see that they’re are taken out of their natural homes/habitats anmd brought to cities, taken here n there, made to walk on roads in scorching summers by illiterate madaris.
I had heard about these madaris earlier and known that they make monkeys dance but, its always when you see things like these happening that you realise how bad they are. The other day while going on to college, I saw a madari in the colony with two monkeys walking with him. The one thing that horrified me was the way in which the monkeys’ faces were painted with make-up. It was shocking for me to see that and saddening too! :(
However, this behavior of ignorance and misuse of the animals by an illiterate man is still understandable for me. He was poor, so he went into the jungles, caught two monkeys, trained them somehow and now makes them dance here n there to earn a living. He might even love them n tend for them. But, the wort part is the ignorance and lack of compassion in the so- called richer and more educated sections of the society.
Technically, as I came to know about enquiring about whether all this is legal or not from ‘Friendicoes’, keeping monkeys as pets is illegal & so is using them to put up shows by the madaris.
Upon hearing this, I got excited n asked them to help me save those monkeys. But, here comes the downer. They said, that the laws in Indian are so weak that the madari can easily get away from it all by poducing fake ownership papers. Also, even if they are taken to the police stations n reprimanded n the monkeys taken into shelter; these greedy men will again go n get a new pair of monkeys to earn a living for them hence, forming a vicious cycle.
Worse than all this is the attitude of the rich residents of this colony! They encourage the madaris by requesting them to perform n hurriedly calling their kids to watch the show where one of the monkeys is called ‘Rani Mukerji’. :P
I just wanted to ask those stupid, senseless, stinking rich n so-called educated people, what the heck are they teaching their own kids! All I can do is just write about it here n hope that people like those will stop encouraging the misuse of animals for entertainment.
It is a sincere request to all who read this, Please do nto let humans exploit any animal for enteratinment. It is our duty to protect the misused animals and to bring a change in the way people think!
Let go of the pain,
Let go of the strain,
Let go of the past.
Let it be,
Don’t try too hard,
It’ll all be okay,
You know that in your heart.
So brace yourself,
For the path ahead,
Coz life without challenges doesn’t exist.