Monday, February 06, 2012


Today morning I looked at faces on the way to work.
Its interesting when you look at faces. Most of the faces on the streets are closed books, pinched into masks of intense concentration.
Concentration on what..? I wouldnt know that.. maybe on thoughts, maybe nothing.

But its very rewarding when you scan faces and find a couple of books that are open for the time being.

I passed an ubiquitous temple.
I could look over the wall inside the temple compound. It was a very plain temple, not a very fancy God... unlike the big wigs at tirupati and madurai.
A common God for common problems.. Thats funny, sounds a little bit like the Government.

I saw two women.

One of them was sitting on the floor in front of the sanctum,
And the other standing a fair way back - as if afraid to approach any closer.

She had a look on her face.

She was pleading the God to intervene with her current problems.
Was it faith, or hopelessness?

I couldn't tell..

She looked like there was nowhere else she needed to be at this point of time.
With the commute traffic roaring by, it presented a contrast.
Two women in a temple while traffic and pollution roar outside.

A while later I saw a bum.
A ragpicker, I think. He had a huge sack on his cart.
Full of garbage, or what we privileged in this country call garbage any way.
He was sitting next to his cart. His head in his hands. He was dressed in white, dark skin and white hair.
An old man, probably someone's grandfather.
He was muttering to himself, and wringing his head in his hands in utter despair.
His face was contorted, agony etched in the many wrinkles.

I wondered for a moment, what could it be that made him so unhappy, that he had to stop his work, sit on the pavement and writhe?
Did the Government take away his ragpicker license?
Did his grandchild ask him for something he cannot give, like food,
Or worse, contracted some horrible illness and/or died?
Was he not well? Had he some terrible disease, that made him a vegetable for a moment?
I used to have grandparents, who did.

I couldn't tell..

Am I being too sensitive? After all I see this everyday, and pass by in air conditioned comfort without a thought.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Live together, die alone

Is how the saying goes, right? Its part of what makes everybody so afraid of death. The loneliness on the other side.
But what if it were not so....?If all the people you love, people who have been important to your life (and you to theirs) can just agree to sit down together, and move on. To the next stage. Then it would be so scary now would it? It would be like that vacation to Rishikesh, a long train journey through the countryside... No, it would then be something you looked at like a trip you know you have to undertake in the distance. The creators of the massively appreciated TV show Lost try to convince us that this can be the case, death need not be faced alone. They do make a convincing argument.

But at the back of your mind, you know this isnt true. Jack was right all along, even though Lost conspires to give us a happy ending that a TV series must have.