Monday, June 13, 2011

Delhi- The village I started knowing

I had a dream I, stood beneath an orange sky...with my brother standing by.

The kaleidoscope is much clearer and boisterous when you actually squat there like other living entities and be a part of the whole experience. On a nice lazy Sunday evening, when there are chances of you might getting  few drops of rain, you see it as an opportunity to beat the heat, rather thrash it into the puddle.  
So I went out, rather my legs took me wherever they liked; I basically surrendered to my 6th sense. As I moved along the road near my house, the alleys became narrower and after a point of time I could see lesser human habitation and more of downtrodden houses and shambles of trees, but interestingly longer farms and other forms of settlement that included birds, insects and fishes.
It just seemed like a rural village in the midst of city. And then my mind took its leap, and I started thinking about a thousand of these urban villages. As I moved along a narrowed road, like the ones we have in remotest hill stations, I saw a trail of sunflowers and then my sight widened into a field of short grass, and an orchard where there were fruit trees of diverse varieties. It felt like I was in a very different state or I hadn’t seen this part of my city.  

I could see a bridge cum (linking two worlds) gate in front. It is called “Kheri Baba Pul” where Pul is for bridge. Its name reminded me of something amusing. There were people selling Fish, Corn, Cigarettes. I could hear loud noise of water somewhere around me. My brother said it’s a River. Though my geography was never at its peak, I couldn't imagine a river flowing anywhere near Dwarka. I asked a local if it’s some drain and he replied affirmatively. In any case there is hardly any difference between a drain and river. The pollution levels have shot up their limits. Locals are forced to take bath, wash clothes, utensils and even catch fishes which become a slightest part of their livelihood. There I saw few men wearing lungis and children running criss cross over mud and moving cycle tyres with the help of little sticks. People were looking at the drain where few men were collecting fishes. It was a great source of entertainment option for these people, in a way revenue source too.  There was a single government school in the whole of godknowshowmuch kilometres and looking at it a something struck my mind “Berlin Wall”.

On the other side of the bridge, I could not see anything. I was blinded by the dust storm. After it all settled down, I could see there wasn’t proper road or I should say any road on the other side. There were all sorts of animals cows, buffaloes, Horses. There were cow dung cakes being dried up on the walls. All of a sudden I saw 2 Pajero’s vrooming past me. Crowd didn’t care much for that, their interests were sidelined by Drain fishing game or run thy rubber competition. 

It was as if the people, their lives were a maze, all jumbled up. Their faces were coherent, almost inescapable to any naked human eye. They were like human magnets that could attract any life in vicinity. My mind raced amongst those running tyres and I started thinking, “What does this kind of living mean to them, what all they expect out of this mess?”  Then I looked at the eye spying clouds that had totally lost their charm for me for they had started disappearing out of ignorance, I guess and all I saw was orange sky above my head.

I squat there like others and started, glaring at it and other events happening around, slowly even I settled down and I kept on looking at the mighty orange coloured sky and I never cared for my answer after that.