A well-meaning close relative once remarked, “You shouldn’t look at sunsets for too long. They bring on dark, negative thoughts which lead you into black, bottomless spaces of destruction.”
This is very good advice indeed, But being a poet, my heart wins over my mind and I choose to ignore it.
As soon as I step out of office in the evenings, my eyes instinctively search for the setting sun. That’s when something snaps within me and I feel absolutely free. Liberated from tight deadlines, politically correct atmosphere, made-up faces, and artificial smiles, my thoughts become mine alone as I head towards home, sweet home…
While the clouds play with the sun and create their own paintings with different hues of yellow, orange, blue, and black, my thoughts turn into characters of a drama in the backdrop of those divine paintings in the sky; together, they create sagas of their own…
This pic reminded me of an old Hindi film made in 1959, “Dhool Ka Phool,” starring Rajender Kumar, Mala Sinha, Nanda, Ashok Kumar, Jeevan, and Leela Chitnis…The title ‘Dhool Ka Phool’ means the downtrodden flower. The film revolves around 3 main ideas, viz.,a woman’s status in the Indian society, illegitimacy, and secularism.
Thankfully, a lot of things have changed since then. In urban India, at least. With more and more women focused on building strong careers and being able to take care of themselves, single motherhood is no longer such a taboo thing. Being a single parent is not easy and a bit unnatural, but it’s a matter of choice, just like live-in relationships.
I am personally against pre-marital sex and live-in relationships and I strongly believe that the best environment for a child is one in which the parents are married and care for each other and their kids.
But I also feel that in a democratic country individuals ought to have enough freedom to be able to live peacefully the way they want to without being harassed.
In case an unmarried woman becomes pregnant and she doesn’t want the baby, she should be allowed to abort it and get on with her life. If abortion is not possible, she still deserves all the support she needs from her family and society.
For the sake of humanity, we just can’t be judgemental because we are all victims of our circumstances and individual destinies. Why should an innocent child be labelled as illegitimate and punished for being born out of wedlock? A child is a child is a child. That’s it. Plain and simple. A representative of God.
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 it was a Sunday and their main audience, the little children, were at home, enjoying their weekly off. 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.
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.
A little group of adults also gathered around the performers. They were not aware that a wild monkey sitting on one of the balconies was also part of the audience!
Ten minutes later, the show ended. Some children gave money and 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.
At that very 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 and disappeared.
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 would be a slave…