Saturday, December 18, 2010


The nomad in me is waiting to be granted freedom. It's been surprisingly patient, especially with taking it in its stride the cancellation of my trips by myslef to Singapore and Malaysia last October, and then the Sunderbans expedition this winter. Cancellation thanks to my paranoid parents.
Of late, the people I meet and the websites I'm coming across are fuelling the patience and undying hope of this traveller in me. Especially last night, after meeting the fiesty traveller Shirin from Singapore whose courage and enthusiasm I'm totally in awe of at the moment.That's not surprising...the more hopeful we are about something, the more patient we are till we get it. Perseverence is the word, I guess. I'm still watching TLC and taking notes at a manic pace, with my mom and brother stealing glances wondering about what I'm upto.
Here's what's serving as an inspiration for me at the moment. Backpacking across the length and breadth of India is a Herculean task, but there's someone who's dared to make an attempt. Others soon shall follow suit, I guess. Maybe I will too...someday :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Khel rahein hain jee jaan se

I woke up this morning searching for just one image in the papers. I got the news from a friend yesterday that a 19-year-old was caught in the crossfire between the student wings of two political parties. The people last evening was so blinded by rage that they were hurling bricks aimlessly, one of which hit this teen accidentally. Accidents can be forgive, true, but someone's life has been almost ruined forever. His eye has been smashed and it's needless to say, he's been handicapped for life.
This brings the reason for the protest to the forefront. What was it? Some students from a so-called reputed college on Kolkata wanted to enter Mamata Banerjee's house. Why? I hope they knew the reason themselves. No, the boy with the smashed eye didn't want to know. I hope the guy who was responsible for hurling that particular ill-fated brick knew so he can live his life justifying his action to himself.

When I was watching Khelein hum jee jaan sey two weeks back, a thought kept echoing in my mind. For 200 years, all the illuminaries of our country tried to awaken the masses against the atrocities of the British. 63 years later, the firebrand hasn't died down. It keeps burning like the eternal fire the Zoroastrians worship. We're so used to screaming and shouting and protesting, we've become blind and we've literally blinded everyone else by hurling bricks at them too. The result? Like kids who sometimes cry for no reason, we cry and fight and burn down places, following diligently in our forefathers' footsteps and hurl bricks. So blind are we, that we can't see the reason. We just fight because the images looked so glamorous to us. A poor chap set fire to himself sometime in the 90's for the world to see how far he can go for a cause. He just died and remains forgotten.