Rottarpur Diaries

Episode 3: The Angel – A wretched detour

The pregnant clouds hovered over the congestion that was Rottarpur, threatening to unleash their fury on the city and wash away the filth and grime off its streets and buildings. But there was nothing that could rinse the bogged streets and bogged buildings of the festering population. Elsewhere in the State, the rains would have been welcomed with much jubilation or many curses, but here in Rottarpur it was part of the background, always Continue reading

Colours of Choice

I watched in fascination and repulsion as the tiny drop of sweat traced a faint line across my glasses and balanced on the bottom of my lens. It seemed to take forever to fall off the edge and onto the dry pavement beneath my feet. But it finally did and I removed my glasses to wipe away that little trail of salt and water. My sweat stained, saturated handkerchief refused to dry the lens. All I got for my vigorous efforts was a foggy pair of spectacles, worse now than before. But I didn’t care. I didn’t really care to see the world in all its glory and marvel at its intricate and beautiful details, so I put those blurry glasses on and stuffed the wet cloth back into my pant pocket. The intense Continue reading

A Beggarly Monologue

I have traveled to quite a few places over the years and in all my travels, I have met a wide variety of people. But very few of them have had any impact on my life and amongst those select few are the beggars who haunt the railway stations and bus stations. At these places, people embark on  different journeys that take them not only to new destinations but also new opportunities. Many of them would hardly throw a glance towards those begging hands, in their urgency to board. Others search in their pockets for loose change, irritated but at the same time wanting to be humane. I have belonged to both these categories during various points in time. Sometimes spurning them away and at other times, dropping a coin or two with a smile. And I have come to realize that although there is a method inherent in their begging, each has his or her own identity. So I decided to Continue reading

A drop in the ocean of time

Hari Badrinath took a deep breath. The candles in front of him were reflected on his glasses and as the flames swayed and danced, his eyes gleamed with forgotten youthfulness and one could almost see the years drown in those shining pools. When he blew, the candles flickered and died. For a brief moment he had felt young again. As the crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday’, he beckoned his grand-daughter Shweta to help him cut the cake. With his gnarled and knotted fingers over her small and dainty ones, he cut Continue reading

Fall of Giants

I came across an article in the Frontline magazine, written by Venkitesh Ramakrishnan, that talks about the rise and fall of BJP in general and Narendra Modi in particular. The author of the article puts forward and discusses various opinions for the waning support for the BJP government in India. It has been 1 year since his election, but Modi is yet deliver much of what was promised in his campaigns, although I feel that 1 year is too short a time to expect anything big from him. The article probes some lesser known causes for the depleting support for the Government and the widening gulf between the BJP party workers and the trio at the top – Jaitley, Modi and Shah. The article is an interesting read and good report on why the Modi machine has slowed down. Here is the article –

http://www.frontline.in/cover-story/the-big-letdown/article7243854.ece?ref=thc

Any comments and opinions are welcome.

A Fair Obsession

A pretty lady appears on the screen with a frown on her lovely face. She has a tennis match in an hour and she is worried. It appears to be a major event in her sporting career and naturally, pre-game jitters are to be expected. However, instead of having doubts about her serving techniques, the condition of play or even the large crowd gathered, we are told by a mellifluous voice that she is worried about her dark, tanned skin. She looks at herself in the mirror and is nearly in tears as she touches her face; wondering aloud Continue reading

Rottarpur Diaries

Episode 2 : The Master – Another day at the office

“I can understand the position you are in Mishraji and I sympathize with you. Truly I know how hard it is for a man with a large family such as yours to vacate your home. You had told me three weeks ago that you were searching for new establishments and I accepted that it would be a week or ten days to find one. But you haven’t been returning my calls Mishraji and that puts me in a difficult position. I don’t like sending a man over to your house at this hour to remind you. What is it? You have found one, good! I’m happy that you have finally found a new place to settle down. I feel that I must repay your favour for letting me know by helping you move into your new house. No, No I insist on bearing the movers charges. What are a few rupees between friends eh! Alright I’ll send my boys over to help you move your furniture tomorrow. Good night and sleep well Mishraji. And please tell Yusuf that he can go home.”

The phone clicked and the hand withdrew to its place on the armrest. The fingers drummed rhythmically while its owner meditated. Smoke from a crushed cigarette trailed lazily Continue reading