It has become a trend these days to “Write an Open Letter”. I too stand guilty. There might be good reasons behind but I find it a service in self glorification. I’ll tell you why.
Firstly these Open Letters serve no purpose of a letter. To whom they are addressed to, never (or next to never) reads them. It’s nothing but a fake letter. 99% of the time, it’s criticism of one or the other things about a person, suggesting him/her to do this or that; this way or that way. It’s nothing more than a barrage of harsh words. A façade is created just to sound interesting.
Mostly it is written to a person who is well known. Writer feels to piggyback. Editors of newspapers/new-channels also write them. Why? I ask. You could easily interview that person. Or write a normal article about him/her. Why the Open letter. I just don’t get it. Which can also prove me plain silly, if others get it.
I have tried Open Sandwich; Not good, Open Bus: It rained, Open Day at School; Got an earful, Open House Interviews; Thrown out, Open Relationship suggestion; Got slapped, Open top car; Bee attack, Opened a Company; Went near bankrupt.
So much of Opens have screwed me over and over again. It might also be the source of my hatred though I suspect not.
Just for my sake, next time you write a Letter, be sure to close it and post it. Don’t leave it open. Not good manners.
Once upon a time, three sisters lived in a jungle. Ana, Becky and Carli were born and brought up away from the society by their father, who was now no more. All three were virtuous and beautiful. They cared and looked after each other. Played around the whole day and picked fruits. Having grown up far from civilization, they knew no ill. They were three in one and one in three. If one got injured, other two felt the pain. So strong was the bond.
“Help me! Help me!” a cry for help broke the silence one fine day. Sisters rushed to the direction of sound. Smell of blood; someone seemed injured. They felt anxious. A human lay near the pond and a lion at a short distance. Both seemed lifeless. Ana reached out to the human, there was life. He was a young and handsome man. They carried him to the house and tended to his wounds. There was a sudden urgency and competition to care. Emotions were in the air.
None of the three slept that night, just sat beside him. For the first time they forgot to say Grace. Life was not the same. A week went by; the wound started healing, but still no consciousness. Ana and Becky quarreled over cleaning the room. Becky and Carli stopped talking to each other. As per Ana, Carli was trying to look after the man a bit too much.
No one tried to understand what was happening to them. Everything was so sudden. How a small discussion turned into a heated argument to a full-fledged fist fight was beyond understanding. Another week went by and he began to gain consciousness and was soon up on his feet.
All three were fighting for his attention. They even broke the last remembrance they had of their mother, a pearl necklace. Each one wanted to wear it for this special day. The man thanked them a lot. He was a hunter and was injured by the lion. He had passed out but not before shooting the lion.
He got worried knowing it’s been more than two weeks. He looked for his wallet. Opened it and kissed something. “What is it”, they enquired. Oh! My wife would be so terrified due to my absence. We love each other so much, you know.
वो ट्यूशन पढ़ने आती थी,
औ मन को मेरे भाती थी,
जरा जरा इठलाती थी,
कुछ ज्यादा ही इतराती थी।
मैं रहता था आगे बैठा,
वो पीछे बैठी हुई कहीं,
अपनी किस्मत से था चैंटा,
कि बात तो अबतक हुई नहीं।
घुंघराले बाल जो थे उसके,
कभी आँखों पे आ जाते थे,
कर दिए जाने कितने नुस्के,
शब्द हलक में ही रह जाते थे।
ऊब भरा एक दौर था वो,
दिमाग भी कुछ और था वो,
नंबर लाने में लगा रहा,
दिल से अपने ही दगा रहा।
हंसी कुछ उसकी वैसी थी,
कि तितली भी शर्मा जाए,
सुंदरता उसकी ऐसी थी,
नीरसता में बहार छाए।
कुर्ती उसकी जो रंग पीला,
मुझपे पक्का कुछ ऐसा चढ़ा,
आसमान फिर क्या नीला,
बुद्धि पे पत्थर जैसे पड़ा।
पहल नहीं पर मैंने करी,
कर्म में खुद को झौंक दिया,
चाहे फिर हो वो स्वप्न-परी,
दृढ़ प्रण कुछ ऐसा लिया।
पत्थर दिल पहुंचे कालेज ,
प्यार तो बस उससे ही था,
एक-दो दिन की देर थी बस,
किसी और पे जा अटका॥
A news item recently grabbed my attention. To counter the money menace around the parliament, men dressed as langurs were stationed in that area. It’s a known fact that monkeys fear langurs. Having grown up in a monkey abundant dwelling, I have a first hand experience of it.
Coming back to men dressed as langurs. This is one of the most ingenious inventions that I have come across; already falling out of my chair with laughter.
For one we could have gotten real langurs but given today’s age of political correctness, a law in Delhi bars this form of animal atrocity (but killing chicken is legal!). Fearing away monkeys is a glaring example of short sighted and quick fix mindset of our nation as a whole.
Better would have been to capture monkeys and relocate them to the jungles. But we are more concerned about chasing them away from VIP areas. One question, where will monkeys run to? You are right, areas where common population live. So we divert the menace from Parliament to other areas of the city. What an achievement!
Given the fact that I was attacked and taken away (long story for another time) by a monkey during my baby days (not funny), I embody some strong feelings.
What I would like my Govt. to do is to formulate a stringent nation wide policy w.r.t monkeys and stray dogs (similar problem). Not just Delhi centric. I have lived under the terror of monkeys all through my childhood and can safely say that it’s just not safe.
But with out lawmakers settling with shooing away the problem and turning the blind eye, I don’t expect much.
Indian Parliament is in grave danger. The very existence of our Neta’s is under threat. I am talking about bad quality of food in Parliament canteen. How can we expect the lawmakers to function without good food?
Gauging the graveness of the issue, Venkaiah Naidu promptly called an all party meet. There was a huge ruckus. “One at a time please. One at a time”, he pleaded.
Mamta Banerjee: No gooood fooood, areeee baba. This is a conspiracy by Govt. to suppress the voice of people. Ei no cholbe. Ei no cholbe.
Sushma Swaraj: Kaisa waktavya prastutt kiya hai? We also eat here. Blaming the Govt. is like not getting the pulse of the nation.
Mayawati (gate-crashing): Idhar aa tu. You are right we are not getting pulse but in canteen. Paani jaisi dal. Yeh manuwaadi log. Yeh manuwaadi mansikta.
Rahul Gandi (facing the wall): Only one voice is being heared in the canteen. The voice of the waiter from Centrefresh (kaisi jeeb laplapaayi) advt. I feel it. My mother feels it. My chauffeur feels it. My gym instructor feels it.
Sumitra Mahajan: Dekhiye, as Tai, I want to give everyone time to speak. However big or small. Manager or waiter. I will go by set precedents on it.
Rajiv Pratap Rudy: I did not become a minister. “Papa ki toh lag gayi“, my kids are made fun of. I make jokes on Congress just to soothe some pain. Congress wont be allowed scrambled eggs given they are scrambling for LoP. They just ate a humble pie. Aren’t they full. He He. Sigh!
Jayalalita: I don’t have the pull on NDA as in the yesteryear. But if Govt. awards me the canteen contract, I will side with them while deciding on dessert. My dream of Amma Canteen in the Capital.
Derek O’Brien: How long can I survive on Bournvita. I see hands of the cook dripping with gravy as he holds them up. But when food is served we get no gravy. “Where does the gravy go?” You have 30 secs to answer that question.
Mulayam Singh: We have been hit by inflation. Earlier we used to get bulk discount. Now we are just five. No discount. Ab per head jyada aata hai. Are these the acche din?
The argument went on for couple more hours. All that was agreed upon was the date of the next meeting.
Modi was seeing it all from spy cam. With a notorious smile he chugged at this laptop as he ordered a pizza. “Simple”.
लब पे लगा के मैखाने को,
झूमा मैं हर गली गली,
रखनी मुझको छुपा के थी पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।
ताश के पत्ते हाथ में आकर,
नोट की गड्डी खुली खुली,
अड्डा किसीको पता न था पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।
सुट्टे के धुएं के छल्ले,
निकले जैसे हो नली नली,
घर पहुंचा खुशबू लगा के था पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।
नाच गान औ मनोरंजन,
तोते संग थिरकी थी तितली,
पैसे बटोर वो चली गयी पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।
रात की बात रात के संग,
कैसे कैसे थे मन मचली,
उड़ गया मैं जैसे कटी पतंग पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।
गुम हुआ था ऐसी मस्ती में,
तसवीरें थीं सब हिली हिली,
इधर उधर कर देता मैं पर,
रात चली तो बात चली।।
Late again, he thought parking the car. As he managed his tired body out, the night clock at town square hit a dozen. “Where is the key?” he grumbled. A min later and turning all the pockets inside out, he bent down and fetched the emergency one from under the mat.
He lit a cigarette. It was a modest one bedroom apartment, with not much furniture to speak off. There was an old sofa, couple of chairs and some dusty books on the book-stand. Few shoes spread across the floor. As he washed his face, his eyes stopped at the mirror. Twisted eyebrows that once made him fancy to the gang, seems to be mocking him. Sagged cheeks, bulging belly, drooped frame. Who could say he was just thirty-five.
He touched the mark just below the neck; it looked like a bullet hole. He dismissed it and came out. It was another lifetime. He quickly ate the dinner and hit the bed. Tomorrow again the day will start early.
A familiar sound woke him up. “No it can’t be, maybe just a dream”, he thought half asleep. Again the same piercing sound. How can it be? He regained his thoughts and moved swiftly to the door. “I couldn’t be mistaken. I have lived too much through this to be confused. It’s definitely a gunshot”.
He took out the revolver taped under the shoe rack, Not for such a situation. With caution, he peeped outside. Nothing in the gallery. The elevator gate was trying to close but seemed stuck. He was too well aware what it meant. He could see a lifeless leg stuck in between. He went to the back window and saw someone rushing towards the North Exit.
He slid through the railings and swung in action. With light speed and tremendous flexibility he was on the ground in no time. Straight from the 10th floor. He chased the figure, trying not to lose the sight. There was no dramatic “Stop or I will shoot you”, as he knew too well that it rarely helped. Also he had no appetite to shoot. Not anymore.
He followed the person through the alley into an abandoned warehouse. He was panting. It would have been 5 kms run at least, and it has been 5 years. Shaking off the slumber, he kept the concentration on. There was a small door towards the left with a shadow coming out. “Gotcha!” No sooner had he stepped inside than he heard the door closing behind him. He knew just then, his life was about to change. Again.
“You are a hard man to find Mr. Dev. He looked through the bullet proof cage, as the man with the pointed nose spoke to him calmly. I got an assignment for you. Before you say anything, I must add that it concerns your daughter.
“What is he saying?” Dev showed emotion, after a very long time, after that torturous night 5 years ago.
“She is alive and so is your wife”, he said putting out the cigarette. That very moment Dev knew this was an assignment he couldn’t say no to.