Sunday, December 9, 2012

Saturday's dog and a squirrel

We get two days of holidays in a week to balance the rest 5 days of work (Few of us get one). Quantitatively its not a healthy work-life balance of days but then one can't help it.

"We trudge on each day, carried in our mini transporters to the zoo of caged workers typing away the black into the white and cribbing on a daily basis. The zoo keeper has not fed us enough, the zoo management does not treat us well, we feed their mouths- who will feed ours?! The banalities of life have taken over again. Time to break the curse and be free again..."- Woman with Parasol (RB)

Usually I attempt to escape Delhi on the two days alone with my camera, a ruck sack of necessities and some set of books.

“The first duty of the novelist is to entertain. It is a moral duty. People who read your books are sick, sad, traveling, in the hospital waiting room while someone is dying. Books are written by the alone for the alone”  Donna Tartt

But this saturday, I stayed in Delhi because some old friends were supposed to visit me. By the way I have a pretty decent house with an awesome balcony where we get an honest sunshine to savour the winters of delhi. There are some flowerpots in the balcony where lately some roses and  some beautiful yellow flowers (whose name I am not aware of) have blossomed and added to the splendor of my balcony. So you can visualise that even if I am not traveling I ensure that I lie in my balcony in the sun and switch between activities of reading and sleeping..

However, this saturday our balcony was unavailable because our neighbors had asked to set up a halwai for their son's wedding. So I decided to pick up my book and do the same act of switching between sleep and books in the  lawns of India Gate.

"He realized obscurely that the sense of loneliness was too precious to be shared, and finally incommunicable, that men were, ultimately, islands; each had his own universe, immense only to himself, far beyond the grasp or the interest of others."- English August

I just bought some eatables (groundnuts, chips etc.) and a bottle of water and inhabited a good spot in the lawns near India Gate in the sun. There were not many people around (just some couples gnawing necks  and swallowing faces of each other and some workers taking rest after setting up seats for Republic day parade). I just swung between my siesta and my book (title: Short stories of Manto). I even made friends with a squirrel and a dog. Dog is an easy friend to make but squirrels are tough ones. I used that easy technique of putting ground nut at a distance and then another one closer and next one further closer and final one in my hands as a feed for squirrel. Finally a perfect symbiotic relationship between me and squirrel was developed. Squirrel for its food and me for my lonesomeness. But this broke when some other squirrels arrived and my friend had to leave a human being company for its fellow rodents.

Well, dogs are effortless friends. This dog came and sat next to me obeying its very nature of being a trustworthy species. I fed him with some chips I had bought. Then I read my Manto's stories out loud to him. Manto is one writer who slaps, kicks, pummels the society through his writing. Well Manto's stories are provocative, outrageous, blasphemous and leaves you with goosebumps at the shallowness of the society we are a part ofAnyways I read it to the dog and he seemed to follow me, would nod his head. And at the end of every story, he seemed to carry two expressions: one of praise for the author I was reading and other one had a smirk on his face as an Urdu author was stripping the already naked society.

“Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies. Be it gash or gold, it will not come again in this identical guise”. ~Gwendolyn Brooks

And then finally the sun set in the background of the beautiful Lutyen's Rashtrapati Bhavan and I wrapped up my book, bought some bhel puri for the dog as a parting gift and drove my car back to home.

Ek mahal ki aad se nikla vo peela maahtaab (mehtaab=moon)
Jaise mullah ka amaama, jaise banye ki kitaab (amaama=cap)
Jaise muflis ki jawaani, jaise bewa ka shabaab (muflis=poor, bewa=widow, shabaab=beauty)
Ai gham-e dil kya karoon, ai vahshat-e dil kya karoon
I felt


GKK said...

Hope some day we will be fortunate to read a novel authored by you :)

Zlaek said...

You sound well-adjusted.

DEXTER said...

As usual an amazing read... the vagabond-quotient of urs makes each word so appealing.

shalini said...

Simple yet beautiful ..

mikimbizi said...

I second Zlaek's words, you sound well-adjusted (in an eerie, nonchalant way)

nP said...

Post is authentic as usual (though engenders pity in an inexplicable way), but the 4 lines at the end, coming from you, surprise me man.