Wednesday, January 30, 2008
In The Park
The green grass is parted in places to reveal the upturned moist brown soil, where it had been pulled out by unseeing hands.
The tree in the corner is swaying to its own rhythm, swinging its arms around, shaking its head from side to side like one of those stoned standing babas of Shantaram's Mumbai.
The isolation of the small triangular area within its cream, cracked, vine-covered walls, mounted with green grills, is almost complete.
The sound of drills and the shouts of workers pierces the wind which carries it, and yet, in its own way, the silence here feels undisturbed. Moments ago it had seemed almost oppressive, but now it has grown to being a silent companion.
The sun is like a big lamp wrapped in white fleece, so that its light is coming out in a warm glow rather than a piercing stare. Its rays feel like a friend wrapping himself around you in a comforting hug, drawing out your heart's sorrow with each passing minute and destroying it with the warmth of the embrace.
The wind is not freezing, in fact it is a little too warm for a cold winter day, playing with hair, twirling a stray black strand around its playful finger, chasing a few more out of the already loose braid.
The bags strewn in little heaps on the ground are an indicator of intruders that have been and soon would be again.
The empty bottle of Pepsi lying like an alien on the grass is a quiet reminder of the game of truth-truth played there a few minutes ago...aaah truth.. a phenomenon often a lot trickier than its infamous counterpart.. a lie.
The bottle was a witness to the games people had played, games far deeper than the apparent children's play they had been making. It had felt the emotions that had been like the acrid smell of burning plastic in the serenity of that park, had tasted the sour taste of concealed hostility and silent attacks.. had smelled the bittersweet stink of politics...
There are voices calling out.. the intruders are back.."bache.. chal uth wahin khate hain paranthe yahan uthake lane padenge"... "kiddo, we'll have the paranthas there itself, else we'll have to carry them to this place"
time to pick the backpack.. say a hasty goodbye to my silent companion, as the sounds from without strangle it again.. put the mask back in place.. flash that false smile.. and loose honesty amidst the everyday pretense of life..