Saturday, October 26, 2019

Canopy for your everyday living

How about looking to the world through canopies? Kaleidoscope laughs silently, it's only possible once in a while when he gets to travel to places where there are trees. It's nearly impossible for an urban dweller to avail such a luxury to see through the canopies. 

It can only be the distant dream of an early retirement that Kaleidoscope used to plan with his much loved supervisor. There will be books, coffee, good alcohol and canopies, happy ending of a life. His supervisor, by the way has successfully perked himself in the institute campus and then got a place to stay nearby too to accommodate his family. He is now the proud owner of seven lakes and numerous trees and a palacial quarter. That calls for a quality of life Kaleido, Kaleidoscope often thinks. But then comes the responsibilities in the office that allows barely a moment to even look at the lakes and trees. 

What could be the alternative? Kaleidoscope kept thinking. Meanwhile his employee declared a 65 year for retirement age... It won't let Kaleidoscope go easily, he thought. What is left in a life if the work life ends in 65... That too long... Injustice may be. Kaleidoscope thought, where is the justice? Nowhere may be. 

Here comes the solution, Kaleidoscope planted trees that can outgrow his window and encroaches his balcony. Much loved canopy view now comes with flowers. 

...and it looks something like this.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Detention camp museums: The future of the present

Kaleidoscope in 2007 had the opportunity to stay inside a Jail in Orissa for the whole day. Yes, inside the jail with the inmates talking on the most forbidden issue of his country - sex, that too Men having Sex with Men (MSM). He visited cells, their kitchen, their garden and never failed to witness the 'end of the world' not very far! The world there had a wall, a brick coloured one which almost touched the sky.

It was one of the most unique experiences he thought even a few years back - who having the life course of Kaleidoscope can even imagine being inside of a Jail.

The paragraph above, can be the prelude of a book written in a detention camp that are being set up in tax payers (both direct and indirect) money at different corners of Kaleidoscope's country.

People interfaced - an anecdote:

There is this medicine shop owned by a family originally belonging to the East Bengal (now Bangladesh) where Kaleidoscope often makes a visit. Kaleidoscope by the way is loosing friends and acquaintances at an astronomical pace ever since the public sphere of his world is divided in to Hindu/Muslim, India/Pakistan, Nationalist/Antinational, etc., is quite conscious on the choice of his words, and place of engaging in debates. He lost it all when the shop owner was speaking to one of the custmers and referring to Gujarat riot as a fantastic payback to the Muslim community who killed "thousands of Hindu pilgrims" in Godhra. Kaleidoscope tried to give him some statistics but as usual was informed that the statistics was wrong. Kaleidoscope wanted to give them the statistics of lynching (98% by the way happened after 2014, if one takes the data set from 2010 to 2019), but they labelled him as Pro-terrorist, Pro-Pakistani. One thing, Kaleidoscope thought that he had to stop going to that shop again in near future because he fear lynching! On the other hand the shopkeeper was loosing his customer. Lets talk about NRC then, Kaleidoscope thought. Knowing them to belong to a family which came to India much after independence they might be afraid of it! The response was like this "If requires we can live in detention camp" but we wholeheartedly support Modi-Shah because they will drive away the Muslims! It might have been incomprehensibly deep sense of jingoism and hatred that people like that shopkeeper is ready to even sacrifice their own comfort in the name of ethnic cleansing - Kaleidoscope thought! 

So the prison house is not to be feared - if it is detention camp then it might be better than prison house - at least that is what these people might have in their mind. Or does it have something to do with the "assurance" from the home minister that apart from the Muslims the rest of the people will get citizenship. Even if that happens there will be different classes of citizenship - Kaleidoscope knows, but who cares. 

No one:

Perhaps the most easy to use phrase is "no one." No one cares to what is happening (who cares are either jailed or are silently executed in one way or the other), and to the people whom these things are happening are no one! There is a dreaded indifference to the matters involving civil liberties and violations of fundamental rights - the prime example is of course the Kashmir. If the Kashmir is what can happen to Kaleidoscope and his fellow citizens, the amendment of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by enabling it to designate individuals as terrorists without following any procedure and by providing the accused no effective means of redress is the instrument through which it can happen. On the one hand Kaleidoscope's fellow citizens have the example (Kashmir) and they can check with UAPA but they have other important things to do or celebrate the possible imprisonment of their fellow citizens. 

In so far as Kaleidoscope lives in a world where 'no one' cares for 'no one' there will be a rising number of 'no ones' until the country is completely dismantled. May be Kaleidoscope will have a dying wish inside/outside a detention camp that he would like to see in some future time. When those detention camps will become well maintained Museum objects at display with narratives for the future generations about what should not have been done

Meanwhile his society still has a chance of not doing it!