26
Mar
16

What am I?

“There is a face behind this mask, but it isn’t me. I’m no more that face than I am the muscles beneath it, or the bones beneath that.” – Steve Moore, V for Vendetta

It has been an odd mixture of experiences these past few months….but then, what is new about it?

Something was whispered, nay pointed out. An epiphany!

And, I have no idea what I am writing?

*

I was asked as to how many ‘hits/views’ I get on my posts. My answer was, “Fifteenish.”

“Every day?” came the query.

“No,” said I, “Per week and all could be flukes.”

“Dude!” (I loathe this term), sniggered the individual, “You are not a blogger!”

True.

So, what am I?

*

And then over a period of time came other eye-openers, as it were.

I am a father but part of no family.

I am a son but part of no family.

I am a brother but part of no family.

I am an uncle but part of no family.

I am a nephew but part of no family.

I am a friend but part of no family.

I was a husband but that does not count except for the horns I have.

True.

So, what am I?

*

Someone I know told me about a sixteen years old young girl being engaged and nobody could do anything about it. How old is the person she is going to marry and how will he treat her and will it be slam-bang-thank-you-mam? Who knows how many other girls like her are forced into such situations? And, I can’t do anything about it.

So, what am I?

 *

I recently travelled to a place after thirteen years only to find that nothing had changed. Under the façade of development (read flyovers, pizza and branded items outlets, malls and glitzy plazas), the mediocrity and caste mentality is just below the putrefying scratchable surface and that includes educational institutions too.

The diarrhoeal backside of a buffalo would have had more stimulation than the collective minds of the teachers I had to connect with. And I knew that nothing I ‘taught’ would be retained or implemented except as an entry in the year book. But I did not leave because the money was desperately needed.

So, what am I?

*

I was at this road side slightly upmarket cafe, and they had a thin young boy cleaning the tables and serving. Not even twelve years old and don’t we have a notification banning the employment of children below the age of 14 as domestic servants and in the hospitality trade such as road-side dhabas and food outlets? Not to mention, this café was opposite a government building. Doesn’t this fall under the Child Labour Act? I questioned and was promptly surrounded by extremely ugly looking men; pushed and thumped out and told not to show my face again. Later, tried to lodge a complaint at the nearby police chowki and noticed two individuals in uniform. Both were part of the group that had roughed me up.  I couldn’t do anything.

So, what am I?

*

Communication from an extremely microscopic splinter group of people has helped (though not always), to get me out of my doom and dump – which seems to happen more frequently than it used to.

Still sporadic but more sporadic now – and that itself is a dichotomy. It catches me fully aware and it is this awareness that makes me question my very existence – creating a much larger and unstoppable cloud that constantly hovers around me.

So, what am I?

 *

I am often asked about my profession and I cannot hit upon an appropriate slot. I am not an activist, or doctor, or engineer, or chartered accountant, or chemist, or architect, or a designer; am not in the army (though people irritatingly address me as colonel, major, or kaptaan with the ubiquitous ‘sahib’ attached to it with some convinced that this is an image I have personally cultivated). I am not a hukum, a darbar, a pandit, or even a teacher. I am not a gardener; a sooth-sayer; pimp; a politician; a wildlife expert; an actor; a director; a carpenter; a shopkeeper; a broker; a pathologist; a musician nor a sanitary worker or bhishti (even though I have experience of cleaning toilets for over thirty years and carrying water containers and many other things)…………….the list can go on!

So, what am I?

 *

Age, ailment and other blemishes have caught up suddenly. Every bone creaks and the insane yearning to make money intensifies the twinges. I have to persuade myself to crawl towards that nimbus of respectability and power that wealth provides.

So, what am I?

Nothing can be done. No medical or life insurance. No pension of course. One just plods along looking for work; grabbing what is available and wondering about the next.

So, what am I?

*

Then there is this character imperfection of not being able to ignore the world around and telling people that it is not as ‘gati-sheel or shining’ as projected or believed.

So, what am I?

*

I have been crying silently a lot recently and that has practically cured my eye infection. So, something good can be said about these silently shed lonely tears.

But that is not really why I have been lamenting. The self-analyses are getting unbearable and I feel as if I will implode with my head exploding magnificently into a zillion pieces. My questions, as always, are presenting me with rather uncomfortable but predictable answers.

So, what am I?

 *

Behind each word and feeling

lurks the ominous presence

of the real world,

waiting like a hungry

beast to pounce and devour the

frescoed moments of my life, and I

like a gladiator move and fight

and

lunge and duck to survive in my callipered

bubble,

knowing my time is limited; for I

will have to touch dry ground

someday.

*

So, what am I?


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