MY MEMORIES OF BEING COMMUNAL
Yes my memories of being communal. Why all of a sudden this urge to write this?
May be it is the effect of “The Great Indian Novel” which by the way is great indeed. The way it dares to show different colors (dare I say true) of the revered figures of our freedom fighters. Despite being awestruck by the author a lot of times I would not fully agree with it. But one thing is for sure, we being the part of this great country where we believe in larger than life figures, we surely have developed intolerance towards some issues, our freedom fighters especially. We call them mahatma and chacha etc etc and what not. How it has compared Mahatma with Bhishma and the riots happening across the country as the bed of arrows on which Bhishma once died (immortalized). Borders on being brilliant at times despite being lengthy and tedious on occasions.
Well I shall not deviate away from the main thing I am trying to write. Another post. Another response. Another communal death. And we give those looks of disgust to such incidents. We talk midst the securities of our homes or dormitories about how people like them destroys the concept of one nation. Yes they do. But do we look among ourselves. NO. Holier than thou shall I dare.
So I shall recall my memories. I remember the day in 8th standard. I was sitting with this new guy, unaware of his name, caste, religion. (Some Ahmed if I recall correctly and son of a maulana) So the class got over. We went for our lunch breaks with the usual gang of friends. And suddenly this question, what the hell you were doing with him. Hi or hello is good but do not go close to them? As per those friends, these guys celebrate when Pakistan wins. Really. But who I was? No body. I was not aware of such thing. I shall not pretend to be the innocent guy. NO. That’s why I am the part of the problem. When we were communal. Were or still are. Again class 10th Board exams. We were returning. I got this advice. Hide your neck thing. It had some fairly innocuous stuff. Being a Brahmin child is not easy. We do not take fresh oxygen in the morning but holy smoke for crying out loud. Purity of souls and rooms. Stand against it and you shall be dead. So I wondered why? Then again I got this advice. They might harm you. As if they will search my neck and then kill me in broad sunlight. They will do so without even looking. Those angry witless twats. Move ahead class 12th. We had a new flat mate. We were relieved that we will not have to pay for the empty room. The landlord would not care that someone had vacated the room. He had every right to ask for money. So we found this new guy. He appeared all right. His father started shifting his stuff. So I went to class and when I return it was chaos everywhere. Like someone had died. So I ask my saffron obsessed friend (yes no exaggeration) as to what happened. He says, he is not one of us. We cannot share our toilets. I was trying to get away from the issue being the escapist I have been. I had a separate toilet for myself in my more luxurious and more expensive room . But why risk the fury of my friend(s)? So I let that happen. But he and his father did not kill us. They did not torch us to death while we were sleeping. Then in the morning they were gone. My noble blooded (saffron I believe) friend had found a new room just for them. He even skipped his classes. But who I am to criticize them. The guy from the school. The guy who went to board exams with me. The guy who will not share toilet. All those time I was silent. Why? May be we all are. We do not want to face such questions when face to face with reality. Even though I would admit those were the day when I was unaware. Yes unaware of issue when I was 14 or 16 or 18. It was an age when were kids. So it is excusable. Why not. I was uneducated. No body taught me to not be communal. May be it is an excuse. But I deserve this. Probably so that I shall not allow them once again. Or at least try reasoning when there is nothing at stake, least of all your life.