Saturday, April 30, 2011

the Shylock

Now that the coup has failed, am back again. And by God's grace its still not '12' in my part of the country.

This is the day before the Trial of Antonia Vs Shylock was to begin. Shylock in his chamber was deep in thoughts. Neither of the vile accusations of his cruel-self were reflected on his calm visage. As he pondered in the dim-lights of the room, one of his page arrived. Not an ordinary page, he was the man Shylock respected, as would any Wise man respect a Man-of-honor.

Page knew, his master was at the brink of a remarkable chapter in the History of displaced Jews. He was about to get justice from the Ruler court, against one of the Highly-esteemed Citizens of Venice. This was not a mean feat. His master was not wrong, as the entire Citizenry believed. His, was a clear written-deal understood well by the Party and duly signed. The deal was broken and the bond had to be paid. And yet! Pound of Flesh of Antonio's heart was not something anybody could wish for.

Carefully as he approached his master, he wished to submerge in Shylock's thoughts and be a mute audience to the chaos within.
Contrary to what he exopected, Shylock looked calm and content. He knew even if the renowned Court of Justice imparted an impartial judgment, life will not be easy for Shylock thereafter.

Slight sway of kind ageing-eyes and Shylock saw his Man. He stood up to greet him. And to a mild surprise of the Page, covered him in a warm hug. It was an embrace of relief. Page sent a silent prayer to thank God. He could again be with his master when he needed him.

Shylock - 'Avaid, my brother my friend! Though the marts recognize you as a humble Merchant, for me you have always been a brother born to another mother. As dear is your counsel to me, so pleasing is your presence around. I have no idea why you still think you are my page, though it has been two Decades since you were released of your bondage. And yet I thank that thread which makes you still stick to me. More so now when the entire citizenry is all daggers against the brutish Shylock!'

Avaid - 'Master, you call me your brother and still 'think' this thread is what binds me. I am as much in awe of You as I am of your Noble eart. Not a single Merchant or Lord has ever released his Pages and ensured them social respect. Our entire community thinks of you as a Noble man with a Kind heart. And so do the locals, just they are too proud to admit it. This recent event is an opportunity for you to give back to the Christians, what we have been enduring since ages.
However mean it may sound, but even if you let go of Antonio they will still stamp it a victory of Them versus Us. Though I would like to hear what your sagely countenance suggests.'

Shylock - 'I suggest nothing. Neither have I chanced on something spectacular to prove 'Eternal Justice' at the Court tomorrow. I do not have a Say in dictating the Destiny. And yet I am clear on the role am about to play. I can see your bafflement Avaid. And I cannot explain it to you in clear terms. But let me tell you what ails me.

You are not wary to our fate as we displaced from our Holy Land to strife and struggle in foreign places. But tell me Avaid what is a Foreign Land?
Half of these locals were born someplace else. While most of ours grandfathers saw Venetian Sun from their mother's womb. They marry anywhere and pour-and-procure money from different kingdoms. While we lend our hard-earned money to the needy for the City Treasure. Yes, we do charge Interest, which these upright Christians so look-down-upon. But then we are the money-lenders. We are not church!

Can they trade without credit? And who lends money to those creditors?
Some of our brothers in their lands. We cycle their money and get paid for our money-lending decisions.
Do they trade for no-profit?
Why would they? What is the point of trading when there is no gain?
So how do they expect us to lend without interest? How would we run our lives, if we do not?
Farce! They know it all so well.

We are a peace-loving race. We know they were kind enough to let our forefathers take shelter here. Their laws gave us equal rights and let us trade without discrimination. That was the view of a Just Ruler, must have been somebody. We worked hard. Afterall money and wisdom is in our blood. We survived and toiled to reach where the best of Venetians, breathe.
We always keep a check on any flaring of our tempers. Marry within our own community. Give favors to anyone who asks, before they request.
And yet! they do not like our ways. They squirm at us and loathe inside. They ask for money from us and taunt our practices. They just hate us for we are not them.
Do ask! who or what is 'Them'? They cannot answer unless they twist it in a verse. Verses baffle me! Damn!

Antonio, the apostle of Christian grace! calls me a Cur(dog) in the mart, spits at me and comes to my door to lend money from me. He would not look at my face when he does so. He looks up at the farther-Heaven like a Greek God, while asking for alms from a lowly man.
And he asks without interest!
What does he ask, tell me? Without interest or guarantee does he not become a beggar? I tried to help him save his integrity and he says I am dishonest.
It pierced my heart with a warm dagger! And God forbid in my devilish-wit I asked him the Bond. I asked a pound of Flesh of his heart, as he had been hurting mine ever since. It is just a bond. And as I utter he dons the mask of a martyr!
And there I decided, after asking for my Lord's mercy, that if this Mask of a man fails the deal, I am sure to extract a Pound of Flesh of his noble Christian heart!'

Avaid - 'I have never seen you that agitated master. Though I believe Antonio is partial to our lot and specially you. But he has a kind heart and Name in the city. He has never harmed a soul. And yet sometimes such a Name, is expected to outshine other mortals around and he never spares such an opportunity.
He helps all and sundry and let it be known too. But then master, man has his follies. Judge the better ones and shun the evil. They who curse you, do not know your mercy and love for them. They are naive.'

Shylock - 'What you say is right, Avaid. But there is more to it. It is not me or you. We understand them as the physician knows the nerve and can manipulate them too. But what about our brothers? And generations to come. Would this keep on? Forever?
Now that we are here, we are not going back to our Holy Land ever. We belong here as much as they. We need to be accepted!

My daughter ran off with the christian boy. And they rejoice in my grief. Only because I am a Jew. Had I been one of them, they would have visited for condolence and shared grief. They laugh because they think we are low and not sharp.
I care for my people but I cannot do anything. Tomorrow when I go to Court, either I will win or lose. If I lose, they will jeer me and say my devilish intentions did not get paid. They will fine me. If I win, I can cut open Antonio's heart. And swear to God, I will! Or maybe I will not. My empathy will tell me then.
But.
This Trial will make them aware that our vile-intentions can turn into actions. We can harm if wronged, course their own law. We will be a little more Them at the End of it.
Our people., whom I have abundant faith-in have immense humility, but this will restore faith in them. Faith! in the law of the land they live-in.'

Avaid - 'Master, I do not believe what I hear. It sounds like The Moses is come back.'

Shylock - 'No no Avaid, do not shame me with such a thought. I have love of my people in my mind when I say that, but also the memories of taunt and bad-tongue I had to bear. Jessica's elopement, showing no faith in his father made it pressing more. Now I have nothing to do; other than becoming a martyr, like my dear Antonio!'

Avaid - 'You jest, master!'

Shylock - 'Antonio? Yes. But in rest I am not fickle. I wish to become a villain to let them see Us as good or bad as Them. I have made-up my mind. And I am content. If I think of mercy, I will lose my determined-air in the Court. So mercy will come at the right hour, if it has to come.
Now I just pray to My Lord to make me carry all the filth we received, to show Them how Ugly it shews.
Avaid, I needed a listener in you to hear me, and for me to believe what I said.'

Avaid - 'I have been your listener. I do not have any words to express what I feel and I know they are not needed. Please tell me if there is anything else I can do to help you.'

Shylock - 'Just promise me! You will take care that our people would maintain the calm and humility we have-been-with since ages, irrespective of my fate.
Let them see what I tried to tell you. But if this flares them, make me a Devil. This is all what I want of thee.'

Avaid-'I promise master. I swear on my God.'

And they parted with an embrace of faith. Faith on each other, on their conduct thereon.



Note: It is a piece of fiction. Etched inside Merchant of Venice. These are solely my views on part-Play and part-Fictional characters. It does not intend to hurt any religious or community sentiments.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Should I or Should I not

For the record - It is going to be 2 AM, in next 4 minutes by my notebook clock.

So as I feared my yesterday's post-12 post did not make any sense when I read it in the morning.
Not just the content and flow but also the title. It was completely irrelevant. But then title has always been my weakest link.
Whenever I write a stupendous piece (again, as per my perception), my imagination goes for a toss looking for the title. And mostly I end-up picking one of the most stressed-word from the content as the Head-word.

Though sometimes I do start with an impressive title, but then fail to stick to the subject in the content. Self-inspired-bad-writer's problems!

Surprisingly, when I again read it post-12 today, it made all the sense and more. The case of post-12 conscious!
Though let alone my country I do not even expect my society people to be reading this, still I want it to be atleast my own time-zone comprehendable.
ehh what did I hear friends? Who or what friends?
Friends are just meant to be visited on their blogs, read and commented.

But!
but but but but...

But I feel so horrid today and needed a big push of almost an hour to get back here. Been reading some spectacular stuff around. And as I cherished their writings, I loathed my own. It has given me a HUGE complex.
By 9, I had one story ready to be posted today. Then I decided to take a detour, sort of warmup and THAT was my folly! The warm up induced such a self ill-will that I decided never never to write ever.
After much coaxing and cajoling decided to be here, to atleast pen down the reason for my pre-mature retirement.

And now that it has been penned-down already, am liking it. As in the process of penning the drunk thoughts onto viral rush of words. It makes sense. Atleast post-12.
So, if I actually want to asses my writing and my will to write I need to start onto the Holy business during sane hours.

Now the eyes would barely open, let me sum it up...
zzzz zzzzzz zz zzz

One more point, I wish to write in Hindi. But! but but but but...
Again that will be as fake as my English is. Because that is not entirely how I think or write in the language.
Though as I recall, I yesterday wrote the Spoken and Written language were different. So! Now its getting too complex for my own understanding. Tomorrow being an off, will try to re-read this and understand and think and decide... *thud*

zzzz zz zzzzzzz zzz

Thursday, April 28, 2011

hacked!

My account has been hacked! - I panicked as I tried thrice logging in my blog-spot account.
Fourth time, when I was just mid-way scanning data of probable miscreants, it gave in. It was part-relief and part-disappointment. Disappointment because not everybody gets hacked, it is a sign of social (or any other ..el) popularity.

So as I digressed. The reason behind my failed attempts was 12'o'clock logging-in. This is not a regular phenomenon. Rarely I have written anything beyond 12. And if I have ever done so, it either must have been some creepy message or pieces even I wont EVER read again. Concluding, I am not much of a late night writer or typer (just invented - please remove the red bar).

Then why am I here at this unearthly hour?
This is because, since some time my chain of thoughts is getting multi-fangled, mangled and juxtaposed and writing it out seemed to be the best possible step towards clarity.
So, here I am writing at 20 minutes past 12, hence need benefit of grammar / logic / vocabulary / spelling / etc etc.. deviants.

I write in the hope that it will get better by day and more-so by night.

I love to believe that I was a good (rather a very good) writer during my hey-days(school!). Though it could be, that I was just better amongst the lot. While now, as I read my own writing, I find it lacking in flow, too pompous and inspired by various writers I have been reading but only in parts.
And all these incoherent parts, merge to form a complex flow of my multifarious mind. Producing a completely uninspiring and uninteresting piece of writing which is too much to muddle with.

I know, rather am quite sure, this wont get better any soon. This is because I write what I think and try to say. The way one talks and writes are little different, as various pauses in speech give clarity to the long sentence. While in writing there are no pauses or stressed-words. Therefore a long sentence loses all meaning and logic. Long sentences have always been my Achilles heel(even in school). Probably writing is my weak point and strength is logic and imagination.
And this led me to believe I write well.
Whatever!

Considering I do not have much to do nowadays, let me work on one of my perceived strengths to make it workable atleast. And maybe I can start enjoying my own write-ups. That would be some satisfaction :)

And as I digressed again, 12 '0' clock was mentioned to get a waiver on any (ok all) mistakes here. Or did I talk about that already ?
*scratching head* zz zzzz zzz zz....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

भीष्म-परशुराम

Introduction : This is an attempt at writing Ballad.
It is from one of the sub-stories mentioned in Mahabharat.
Amba(a princess) rejected by her affianced and Bhishma's step-brother, requests Bhishma to accept her as his wife. Bhishma who had sworn to remain a bachelor, rejects her request. She then goes to Parshuram who was Bhishma's teacher, to seek revenge from him on her behalf. Who then challenges Bhishma to a duel, to decide the fate of Amba.

This led to one of the most beautiful duel of the times between the mighty warriors.. as the story follows..



भीष्म परशुराम का
द्वन्द फिर चलता रहा
परशु और तलवार से खन-खन-खना बजता रहा
लढते रहे
भिढ़ते रहे
वायु जल सर्वत्र में जोहर नए करते रहे

परशु की टंकार से हर तरफ हाहाकार था
भीष्म की तलवार भी इन्द्र-वज्र
समान थी

देव-यम-नक्षत्र सब आकाश से थे देखते
इस नृत्य
समान युद्ध के तांडव-इया पेंतरे

रक्त-सागर नेत्र थे
अंगों में दौढे दामिनी
वायु डरे पीछे खड़ा
कौशल दिखाते महारथी

युद्ध-दो क्षत्रियों का
युद्ध-था सिद्धांत का
धर्म दोनों पुरुषो का
स्व-धर्म को रखना बचा

दिन गए
रात्रि प्रहार , युद्ध ऊर्जा से प्रज्जवलित

युद्ध-मद में चूर
क्षत्रियो में, परास्त करने का जुनून

हर खण पे तण
खं-नन्न ता-ननं
वार- चक्कर - वार फिर
वार तल, तलवार का
फलांगना
धरती-विहीन ही धावना

मन शुन्य था
तर्क - वितर्क विहीन था
हम क्युं भिढ़े
कैसे लढ़े, उस विषय से अन्भिज्ञ था

बाहू! मेरा ह्रदय है
तलवार! मेरी जीव-श्वास
जब तक ये-मेरे दास हैं
शत्रु! नहीं आएगा पास

परशु मेरा मित्र है
ये युद्ध-बंधु है मेरा
कर वार पे हर वार तू
बचने ना पाए धड़ वहां

थे घाव हर एक अंग पे
शस्त्र भी चीत्कारते
पर युद्ध-मद में चूर योद्धा
हर दिन-पहर थे गाजते

हर-पहर, दिन, बढ़ गए
उन्नीस बीस
इक्कीस बाईस..

सहन-शक्ति, उन्मुक्तता
इंधन यही था बस बचा
और फिर हुआ तेईसव़ा..

जब मन कहीं सुशुप्त सा
लेने लगा अंग-ढईया..
कुछ सोच-विचार
लघु-भर किया

देवताओं के विघ्न से
युद्ध, पढ़ा फिर छोढ्ना


तर्क तो बलवान था
और भीष्म योद्धा महान था
पर युद्ध की उस अग्नि
से
देह! अब-भी सुलग रहा

वो द्वन्द मेरा आखिरी
जिस फूँक से शुरू हुआ
युद्धाग्नि में जलते-जलते
तर्क ही विलुप्त हुआ

वो था-ना कोई धर्मं-युद्ध
ना-ही कोई रावण वहां
सूक्ति ना-थी उसमे कोई
ना ज्ञान उसका अंत था

जब हो खढे बाहू-बलि
कौशल तू देख द्वन्द का
जब वो लढ़े, जो ना रुके
धरती - गगन - वायु थमे
होते ना रावण - राम वो
वो भीष्म परशुराम हैं


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brainwave - Anti Corruption

Lets start from the beginning as in the way it began for me..
an ex-collegue who is a neo-activist on various issues ranging from - environment, literacy campaigns, outings for under-privileged, started *it* as a tweet on DandiMarch.

It was to be held in Bangalore and me being in NCR was free to get missing-it excuse though that was one thing I earnestly wanted to be a part of.

Confession: (I can shout it from the officetops too, for that is where I actually talk in open voice).. moreover I confess because I can defend it and convince too.
Ok, now for the actual confession : Am a Gandhi fan or a Gandhian or .. any similar term which implies I agree with Gandhiji's methods or rather I love them.
Another confession : I have used them successfully in my daily life (including professional).

And. I am proud and rightfully accept Gandhiji as The Father of the Nation and not just because it has been declared so.

Therefore Dandi March was like a date-with-SRK for SRK fan or egyption-mummy-rondavu for an archeologist... (dont mind spellings, cudnt waste time googling..). In all what I could have wished for, to be a part of my yester-years Hero!

And then mildly the rumor heard, its going to be organised in NCR too. But by then domestic callings were too severe to answer the romantic calling..

Then that apostle of Activism(ex-collegue.. yes he is friend too) propagated another plug on #Apr5 fast. It mentioned some lokpal bill and some assumption was made. It is meant for betterment of villages and their daily rozgaar.. (cant help it.. lokpal implied all things desi..) tried reading it. But was utterly boring and could not even reach THE WORD - #corruption, when I abandoned.

and now its going on n on n on.. seems I wont reach the actual point today..

And then it started being randomly tweeted by different people in different veins. And as I dont read newspapers nowadays, this was the only place where I heard it.

Anna Hazaare was mentioned. Knew he is a reliable and respected figure. Gandhian - more respect. Freedom fighter - even more. But then the question popped - why just the Bill? Why not complete whitewash or accountability of government .. and other strong words.

What is the ultimate aim? Remove the #chors (ya thats the best or worst I can call them as..) But the opposition is not ready.. n blah blah blah.. I have Arundhati Roy types essay for them.

back

I believe in clear-Ends not Means. Fast / Morcha / Candlelights / ... all non-violent means and I believe in them. Because :
1) They are easier to follow for non-trained and physically easy people.
2) They are better at garnering masses.
3) Being a poor and rozi-roti mattering more country, are cheaper.
There could be many more points.

But the End was not clear. Therefore I was not convinced too. It will fizzle out as it will not convince the intelligentsia (not me not me.. others..) and is actually not showing The Son of God, as a vision too.

and it goes on.. please bear..

Then I saw some sane people sanely being a part of it. They did not have convincing arguments. But there was something because of which they decided to be with it.

lot of other psychological analysis.. but would leave it here..

Read the bill finally. Both. Ok not in detail, but as much as I needed to form an opinion. Whatever my issues were initially, now sound too trivial to quote here. But may do it in future.

There was a thought-process which convinced me to support it. Those points may again get trivialised or refined in future. But as of now I have faith in what it would achieve.

Here is the so-called jist :
Current is a corrupt Govt.. We all know irrespective of the parties we have been voting for or the ideologies we follow.
Reason being, not an accountable or strong leader at the helm of affairs.
Ministers are creating opportunites and stealing and on being questioned passing on bucks to non-existent entities. Experts can define it even better..

Common man who works hard and earns well too, is not directly affected by it as of now. But the enormity and frequency of surfacing scams do give a loud thump to cholestroled hearts.

Educated and history read masses know what our future could be if this carries on. Parallel solution - we will vote next time. To whom? We will see then.
Can we do anything else? Moreover personally we are not suffering financially etc.. etc..
So leave it at that.

Some other pricking questions discouraging participation.
Are we clean ourselves?
Have we never indulged in act of corruption? bribing etc..
Are we ready to forsake all convinience for the sake of morals/ethics?

In the mind.. Yes we are ready to change. But would others change?
Maybe!

Maybe the bill wont pass. It has some doubtful clauses already.
Maybe it'll get recharted to each of billion indians satisfaction.
Maybe it will get passed but those semi-hated people would chair it (reason for the feelings am still not clear about)
Maybe .....

But one thing am sure of, whoever will participate will atleast change him/her self .. They will be convinced of non-corruption and will not let their future generations be comfortable with the practice.

Secondly, government is comprised of people. Weak and selfish people. Rollbacks were introduced to counter mass's dissatisfaction and reduce vote loss.

And such a mass-movement will compel them to behave. Behave better. Not just them but any khadi-khaaki..

A mass movement shows the collective spirit and strength of intentions. Sincere intentions.

I am with it as I believe in the strength of numbers. Means irrespective.. Ways irrespective..

I support eradication of Corruption! I support our new Gandhi baba!!

think and decide..