Tag Archives: Damru

Slavery And Freedom

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One Sunday morning, Prithvi (name changed), wearing lungi, shirt, and running shoes, rode into our colony on a bicycle. He had 2 simian companions, Krishna (a male) and Radha (a female). They were here to earn their bread and butter for that day…

The day held out great promise, since their audience consists of mostly small children and on Sundays, they don’t go to school; they remain at home. As soon as he saw a group of children playing outside a house, he decided that that was where he would begin their day’s work.

 

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He parked his bicycle near that spot and sat down. He took out his damru and began playing it with his one free hand, the other holding on to the chained couple.  Krishna and Radha couple took their cue from him and, with a dazed look in their eyes, obediently performed all the acrobatic and mimicry acts as per his instructions. Radha’s performance was limited to only those acts where a female character was also required, like when Krishna gets married and his bride refuses to leave her parents’ home. All the performances were very smooth without any hiccup whatsoever.

It was pretty obvious that Prithvi was a very good trainer of monkeys. Not once did he raise his voice or hit them.

 

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A little group of people soon gathered around the performers. They were not aware that a wild monkey had also joined them and become part of the audience. He was watching from an adjoining balcony! Ten minutes later, the show ended. Some gave money and a few others gave bananas. A few children requested for a repeat performance. The man obliged and Krishna repeated some of his tricks while Radha peeped from behind Prithvi’s back.

Finally, when it was all over, Prithvi got up and slowly walked away with his bicycle. Radha jumped and perched herself on the rear seat while Krishna continued to walk.

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At that very while moment, the wild monkey came down from the balcony and began following them. Suddenly, he stopped  and watched wistfully, lost in thought, as their figures receded away…

 

It was a very painful moment…

Freedom is such a relative thing, isn’t it? It depends on what you want freedom from. If there were no hunger, everyone would be free and no one wold be a slave…

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DTC Bus Singer

This young street artist sang a bhajan today, 2 September 2015, in the DTC (Delhi Transport Corportation) bus (route no. 753) I was in on my way to office. One of the lines were, “Us baap ko kabhi mat dukh do jisne tumhe pala he…”(never make that father suffer who has brought you up…”) I was impressed with the sincerity with which he sang… I wish I had made a video as well. This is one of the charms of travelling in DTC buses.

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