Friday, December 16, 2011

Winter Reminiscences- Words To Touch & Feel

Ashutosh, from Indiblogger, flattered me with his review of my blog. Of the many sane and humbling things he wrote, one was that I should include social topics in my writings. I pondered for a while, and thought which is the immediate issue which grazes my mindscape as soon as I start thinking about social concerns. Lots of things came to mind. I've spent the past two years in college working diligently in the area of women upliftment, voicing out concerns of gender based discrimination, yet not subscribing to the conventional 'feminist' outlook. I've joined hands with Mr. Sanjeev Sachdeva and done my bit to sensitize general public about issues of accessibility. I've felt passionately about wanting to work in the field of education as soon as I find myself able enough.

However, none of the above rang a bell so strong in my head for me to feel attached with. When it comes to writing, attachment with my thoughts and expressions is an absolute necessity to churn out any decent post. I then resigned myself to the pages of my journal to feel the power of some poetic gems I had collected for myself  from various sources in the past year over my mind and soul. Many amazing poems from contemporary writers, and literary legends, in English, Hindi, Urdu, Sanksrit and Punjabi were strewn across my journal with each single one summoning a distinct event from memory right in front of my eyes. I could pick out two as my finds of the year. The first one is called Jo Beet Gayi So Baat Gayi, by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and is already mentioned elsewhere on my blog. Its the second one which moistened my eyes yet again as I read it. For me it is the most brilliant poetic compositions of Kaifi Azmi, who is reckoned as one of the greatest shayars of the 20th century. Giving due credit to Winnie Saghan, my most interesting yet least discovered friend from college, who introduced me to this poem, I would like to share these priceless words from the great shayar with my blog readers. The poem is called 'Doosra Banwaas'. Read on to find out why.


Ram banwaas se jab laut ke ghar mein aaye,
Yaad jangal bahut aaya jo nagar mein aaye,
Raqsse deewangee aangan mein jo dekha hoga,
6 december ko Shri Ram ne socha hoga,
Itne deewane kahan se mere ghar mein aaye?

Jagmagate the jahan Ram key qadmon ke nishaan,
Piyaar kee kahkashan leti thi angdayee jahan,
Mod nafrat ke usee rah guzar mein aaye,
Dharam kya unka hae, kya zaat hae, yeh janta kaun?
Ghar na jalta tau unhe raat mein pehchanta kaun,
Ghar jalane ko mera, log jo ghar mein aaye,
Shakahari hae mere dost tumahara khanjar.

Tumne Babar kee taraf pheke thhe saare patthar
Hae mere sar ki khata zakhm jo sar mein aaye,
Paun Sarjoo mein aabhi Ram ne dhoye bhee na thhe
Ke nazar aaye wahan khoon ke gehre dhabbe,
Paun dhoye bina Sarjoo ke kinare se uthe,
Ram yeh kehte hue aapne dwaare se uthe,
Rajdhani kee fiza aayee nahin raas mujhe,
6 December ko mila doosra banwaas mujhe.

So, this was a priceless jewel from the quill of Kaifi Azmi, written remembering 6th December 1992- the black day which cast a shameful shadow over the hypocrisy of our secularism. To be honest, I feel we have come a long way since the fundamental elements dictated the course of our day to day lives.This was evident in the calm which accompanied the Ram Janmbhoomi verdict which came out last year, almost 20 years after the ignominious incident. We were almost a generation ahead in time, and today's generation chose not to attach any uncalled for hysteria with the verdict. Good.

However, the fact that strong communal identities are on the path of dissolution is nothing but a delusion which overtly optimistic people like me foolishly want to believe in. I wanted to believe in it because if I did not, I stood the danger of losing something valuable in my life. My optimism has been replaced with mute resignation now. Banners against perpetrators of communal crimes might be flying high, but almost nothing has changed as far as common man's religious mindedness is concerned. May be our generation has moved on, but in parts we're still controlled by the one which chooses to stay where it is- in glory of its own, and in rejection and contempt of the other.

A lot of you might not associate closely or personally with what I have written above, but I have a reason for all this stifling acrimony against fatal caste/communal loyalties which exist in our society. The reason is that I  have already lost something precious because of them and their subtler manifestations in my life, or may be just in our collective psyche.

And that is all I have to say.


  1. Good to know that you are able to distinguish woman empowerment from feminism.

  2. I chanced upon your blog from a link on a book review you did on Book Reviews.. Glad I found such a great space. Cheers

  3. @Gopan
    Good to know I have fellow smart people who understand that. With whatever stint I had in the women empowerment area, refusing the tag of 'feminist' was always a daunting task.

  4. @Jyoti
    Thank you so much! I feel so encouraged. I saw your comment on Book Reviews also, but did not get time to reply. I will, soon! You keep reading, and keep giving me your feedback.

  5. @Saumya, I have seen a tendency of people to tag everything under the term Feminism. I am not against feminists but that is surely not a synonym for woman empowerment.

    I know the difference between action and speech. If you are doing something good for the fellow beings, just continue doing it. don't waste your time in removing the tag, you will loose a lot of time :-)

  6. @Gopan
    Thanks a lot for sharing your views. It helps reinforce my own beliefs. And the key here is to support and stand for what you feel is write. Tags or no tags. I've spoken for the rights of the third gender, even false application of dowry laws during my stint as the President of a women empowerment society. Feminism, I do not know. It sounds too rigid to make me comfortable.

  7. I all the more get the essence of this post now Saumya. And yes I deeply agree, no mater how westernised wem ight have become, how global our platforms are, for the major part of the youth it is more like a defense of Denial that nothing communal affects them, but the truth comes burning in front of the face when something personal hits them. Thank u for this post and sharing the poetry:)

  8. You're one of the only who can understand how personal this post is. Its not so much about the agony caused by society and its inconsistencies, but about the intimate impact they leave on my life.

    Glad you're back here to read. Thanks!