The Stare

As Bisman and Soohab slipped into a slumber, I stopped serenading them with my rendition of Channa Mereya. I got down on the wobbly sofa-bed mattress on the floor with Harpreet. And we stared at the ceiling. 

I know it sounds cliched, but she asked me.. what are you thinking? I said I am imagining that there is no ceiling, but we are out in the open and looking at the stars. Instead of floor, we were on lying on the grass. Maybe it was the lawn near NSIT canteen. She laughed. And then without a warning, she fell asleep. 

Truth be told, I wasn’t thinking about the stars. It was just the ceiling. When am aware of it, I look at its familiar pattern at the edges. I can see the marks where the cement was flattened out using a beam. The room has changed, yet it is the same ceiling I have been staring at since 23 years. 

We have removed the chandelier like fan as it induced a fan-fall phobia in me. If that didn’t cure it completely, mom’s shifting of our bed totally against the wall helped. As I write, Bisman turned and rested her back against me. I noticed they look like salt-pepper shakers from behind. Lol.

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Breakups

And it really does come down to a really simple rule of life, which is when you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. The second rule, you don’t go over to their house and drive by to see what they’re doing. The third one is you don’t show up at their coffee shop or the thing … you just say: nope, gone, history — I’m moving forward… Every time you do something like that, you’re opening the wound again, and it just makes it harder for you. You have to put it behind you, and it’s a very, very, very hard thing to do. But you have to just cut it off and say okay, end of ball game. I got to move on. And everything in your body says, don’t, you can’t — and these are my kids.

– Lucas

Time Is A Flat Circle

This could be one of my favorite scenes from True Detective season 1 (until we start discussing others!). But when I see the can being flattened by Rust, I don’t see just time. I see that can full of consciences, thoughts and minds of all the people who have ever lived across time.

And with one smash, it all has been flattened! That means every one is aware of everyone else, and their thoughts from past, present and future. For me that is scary.

Closed Door

My sister, Ajinder Kaur, is wheelchair bound. She was left paralysed after a haemorrhage at the age of 19 and has slowly gained some mobility. I can’t begin to explain to you how all the things we take for granted are a struggle for someone in a wheelchair. Getting around, using public facilities is a feat that requires effort and planning. But despite this Ajinder has worked 7 day weeks for the last 3 years to create a Sikh ethos School in Wolverhampton. This school opened its doors on Monday.

Ajinder went to the local Gurdwara to do a short prayer of gratitude called an Ardaas. As she was about to enter the Prayer hall she was stopped by a gentleman who said that she was not allowed in.

After having worked tirelessly for the community with no expectation of reward (Seva) Ajinder was turned away from an institution that calls itself the doorway to the Guru (Gurdwara) but this door appears to be closed to the disabled.

Ajinder did her Ardaas outside and left.

1984 Kalyanpuri

KalyanThe mobs had started descending on Sikh families in Kalyanpuri. Little did they know, that many Sikhs had licensed weapons with. Shots were fired and the mobs went scrambling away. The deliverers of justice arrived. Police took away the weapons, saying you won’t need them now, we will be guarding the periphery of the colony.

The cops went and alerted the waiting mobs, saying that it was clear for them to go. So again the mobs went for the blood of Sikhs. Many Sikhs were metallurgy workers and picked up tools of their trade to fight back the mob. Again the mob got scared and people retreated for the fear of their life.

This time the police made arrests. Oh, they didn’t arrest people from the mob. They took 25 men from Sikh families who had licensed weapons. They also arrested other young Sikh men who were showing resistance to the mob. Why do so, it was their day to die.

This time the mob had free hand. They burnt the shops, destroyed Sikh property, looted and of course, butchered whomsoever they could lay their hands on.

Tale of Two Kashmirs

kashmir064

The trip was well planned. But a few days before our flight, we were thinking.. is it a good idea? There had been so many ‘incidents’ and then some people shared their worry that.. you know. Kashmir was nothing like we had known in those 1970’s movies. Times had changed and valley was known for ‘bloodshed’ and ‘violence’. Our flight landed on time and we got out of the airport. There was an air of dread. Too much security, like something was going to happen that very moment. We relaxed when got away from those blockades.

Kashmir is really a heaven on earth. And now we know why it so much ‘sought’ after. The valley is surrounded by beauty on all sides. The mountains in between, with some snow on the top. And when we took a driver, we talked.. about the sad reality of Kashmir. The borders near Gulmerg LoC are really porous. During winter, when there is snow and fog all around, it is very hard to track who is walking those mountain sides. Thus the militants have had a free hand in the valley. And they have led people against ‘occupation’ by India, though people remember Indian army ‘came’ there to prevent annexation by Pakistan.

Most people want ‘azadi’ for Kashmir and in this ‘lost’ cause many families were broken and devastated. We all know that story. Every Kashmiri family probably lost a son. But most importantly, Kashmir has lost its future. It is a state surviving solely on tourism and some farming. There is no ‘plan’ for Kashmir. Probably the Kashmiris don’t have a plan for themselves. They want to be ‘azad’ first. As long as there are poster boys for ISI in Kashmir, the people will live their lives in a ‘hung’ state. Some of them hate ‘Indian’ presence there.

The people were very welcoming and are known for their hospitality. They value their guests very much and go out of their way to make the visit memorable. I don’t think anyone born in Kashmir wants to leave their land. Nor they like going anywhere else to earn their livelihood. They are staying there.. hoping for a better tomorrow. Peace would be a good road to that better tomorrow.