Tuesday, May 16, 2017

From Shopping Malls to Kashmir Valley: Narratives of Ignorance

Image result for stone throwing in kashmir
Taken from http://kashmirpost.org/2017/05/08/no-stone-pelting-without-veil-hizb-to-girl-students/

Kaleidoscope belongs to a generation which has seen the development of surveillance society as they grow up. The question of security has become part of his everyday life. So, when he leaves the house he knows he is being watched at the CCTV camera near the traffic signals. He knows, he will be asked to scan his bags before he enters into the metro railway. He is okay (not quite comfortable though) with the nature of frisking that he has to face before entering into a shopping mall - which is nothing but an extended high priced capitalist market. Seat back and relax this write up has nothing to do with nagging cry of a half hearted communist who would complain about hegemony and false consciousness. It has nothing to do with prison notebooks!

Frisking and irritations:

Kaleidoscope knows that everybody knows what one is supposed to face while entering into a shopping mall. He also knows what many people think when they enter into a multiplex within a shopping mall. Yes, dear reader we are scanned twice and isn't it often irritating? Kaleidoscope has seen people showing irritations in making passing comments.

"uff! these checking are nonsense!"

"How many times do they have to check?"

"Do we look like a terrorist?"

"Do they really check? does their instruments work at all?"

During his IIMC days Kaleidoscope made several visits to North-Eastern India - you know the foreign land. People whom Kaleidoscope's 'main land' people love to call chinky, or Chinese! Yes, those places. Kaleidoscope used to roam around in villages doing ethnographic fieldwork! Kaleidoscope had to carry his voter identity card which he had to show every now and then at different check points. People there always carry one identity proof or the other to prove that they belong to this great country - I   N   D   I   A.
Now, these frisking, checking of luggages and demand for identity proof is part of everyday life of one part of Kaleidoscope's country. Its going on for a very long period of time - since independence. In several villages villagers were amazed to know that you really don't need to carry an identity proof wile roaming around different places in the 'mainland' India.

Identity and ignorance:

The question precisely lies here. Just think about you are facing checking etc. at every five kilometres of your way to office everyday. What would you think about yourself? Would you think its okay? Or would you think this is an intrusion? Kaleidoscope would definitely think it to be an intrusion.

Now, think about the sentiment that you would have about the country and the system which is so blatantly bias towards you and others! Like you, my readers, Kaleidoscope knows nothing about killing of Burhan Wani and subsequent unrest in a zone which was declared as militancy free zone in 2008. Kaleidoscope doesn't know about the families who have lost their loved ones in fake encounter which ensured promotion of a few personnel and subsequent violence and killing of about 120 civilians!

Yes, Kaleidoscope is also ignorant about the fact that many among the stone throwers prepare for football games to be played as part of India and not as part of anything else which is puzzling when one sees the poll percentage in Srinagar bi-election (the famous 7%).

Its okay if Kaleidoscope remains unaware. Nothing really matters to the policy if people with whom Kaleidoscope talks, think of a strict military solution, but it really matters if the great India fails to empathise and only put newer bans on their freedom, like they did with curtailing social media. However, it also matters if the society in which Kaleidoscope lives, fails to relate their little interface with security personnel and their disgust! You really need to multiply that disgust with at least a crore times to have a miniscule idea about what might have been happening in Kashmir. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Letting go 13 - defining maturity

Like a falling leaf carrying ages of scripts, a flower that is over with its blooming moments, like a tree that dries with all its memories - patterns do change. No one knows when is the time to learn that its over for the old pattern and the beginning of something new! Time does not come in neatly bounded boxes, or does it? Like we know all major lifecycle events present life in chapters!

What happens when you know you have to wait for something to happen? You know you have smashed the keys, missed the final train, and you know those roads are no longer accessible and you are yet to start the 'new chapter'. When the rules of thumb dont apply anymore and like a wild fire the forest is burning!

You try to pull the poor self away from the forest of memories through the sleepless night and day. Laughing at you loud is your failure. You become entangled, cling with memories and dragged by the flow of time.

Like all that is lost  - the key, the roads and the final train, something continues,no matter how entangled, dragged and torn apart. Like frameless heads with endless possibilities you drift away. Being nowhere and everywhere.

Now that's what they call maturing - the series of letting goes. Yes kaleidoscope grows so does the world!