Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Acts of Faith: PART 1

Acts of Faith: Eric Segal
Chapter 28

Deborah averted her eyes and nervously plucked at blades of grass. At last she spoke.
"I've really been through a lot since.....that night."
She told him about her servitude in Mea Sherim and her flight to freedom.
"You were very brave.: he murmured.
"My father didn't exactly see it that way."
"I'll bet," he acknowledged. "He's a very strong-willed person."
"So am I. I'm his daughter after all," she said. "Besides, I've done a lot of growing up. I'm nearly twenty now."
"Yes," he responded, gazing at her face, "and very beautiful."
"That's not what I meant," she said shyly.
"I know. I was just changing the subject to something more important."
"Don't you want to know the rest of my story?" she asked uneasily.
"Some other time." He moved within a arms length of her, still not touching.
"I'd like to hear about how it was in the seminary," she said.
"No, you wouldn't," he whispered. "Not this minute anyway."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Deborah," he persisted, "I can read your thoughts. You're feeling scared and guilty."
She lowered her head, clenched her fists, and said, "Yes, you're right--I am. But its natural to be scared. I don't know why I feel so guilty."
He held out his hand and raised her face to look at his. "You're afraid its wrong," he murmured. "But it isn't, Deborah. believe me, there is nothing wrong with the way we feel about each other."
His hand was moving gently down her shoulder.
"Tim, what's going to happen to us?"
"Today? Tomorrow? Next week? I don't know Deborah, and I don't care. I just know I'm with you now. I love you, and I won't let you go."

Their faces were inches apart. It was as if she was on the edge of a precipice for the three aching years they had been separated.
And the Deborah suddenly let go.
She put her arms around his neck and kissed him.
She remembered how it had been with Avi.
And now she knew the difference.
As they held each other tightly, Tim whispered, "Deborah, I can't believe this is a sin."
She nodded wordlessy as they embraced.
Both were nervous, yet niether was afraid. Though completely innocent, they knew intricacies of the act of love.
It was yet another sign that they were doing what was meant to be.
And so, in a wooded coener near the Sea of Galilee, the future priest and the rabbi's daughter consummated the passion that had begun one Sabbath eve so long ago.

Acts of Faith: PART 2

Acts of Faith: By Eric Segal
Chapter 29: Timothy
"They parted at the Jerusalem bus station. As Deborah climbed onto the first step, he impulsively pulled her back for one last embrace.
He could not let her go. He loved her with a fire so intense it would have burnt all his resolve had Deborah allowed it.
"we shouldn't do this," she protested weakly. "Your friends, I mean the ones who saw us--"
"I don't care--I don't care about anything but you."
"That's not true--"
"I swear to God. Ilove you more."
"No, Tim, you really don't know how you feel."
"What makes you so sure?"
"Because I don't know myself."
She tried to break away, not only because his priesthood was at risk but because, for her own sake, she had to leave now or never. And she did not want him to remember her face streaming with tears.
Yet as they stood in one another's arm, she could feel the sob he, too, was struggling to supress.
Their parting words were the same--and spoken almost in unision. Each told the other, "God bless you."
And turned away.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


When asked to imagine children between the age-group of 3 to 10 yrs, the image that crosses our minds is that of robust and healthy children bubbling with energy in their carefree lives, without any tensions of the outside world. But there exists reality outside out imagination, which we all are aware of but hardly pay any attention to.
Welcome to the world of Street Performers!! While on one hand we crib about being stuck in traffic jams and caught up on traffic lights in our air-conditioned cars, there are those on the other hand whose daily breads depends on there sessions. Dozens of children armed with miniature dholes and sticks flock Siri Fort crossing right from 10 in the morning till 5 in the evening, displaying their ‘talents’ in front of any interested onlooker. They come from as far as Patel Nagar and commute using buses and local trains. They have been in this business for the past 4-5 years, although they themselves are just 7-8 yrs old!
Kalpana(3yrs) and Chand (7yrs) have grown up to follow the footsteps of their elder brothers and accompany them each day to work. Originally inhabitants of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh, they have migrated to Delhi and resumed life at a pace different from that of their parents, who work as farmers back in the villages. They are not concerned with education and studies never interested them, although these opportunities are not denied to them. “Mera chhota bhai Arjun 4 saal ka hai. Woh gaaon mei padh raha hai” (my younger brother Arjun, 4 years old, is studying in the village.)- informs Sajju, an 8year old who knows nothing except of performing on streets and enjoys the freedom he gets in this ‘profession’. In their growing up years when children need maximum nourishment, these kids survive on a packet of fruits that they carry with them each day. The money that they earn (roughly Rs.100 to Rs.150 per day is the combined earning) goes mainly into sustaining them and purchasing food.
They are often chased by policemen to vacate the place, but they resume their work as soon as the uniformed men are out of vicinity. On one occasion, several of them had been kept in the police station for a whole day but were released in the evening, without any demand for money.
These children do this without even thinking about it. Performing on streets comes as naturally to them as breathing. This is their way of life, and this is their childhood- lost according to us, new found according to them!
Compiled By:
Mishika Singh and Ishita Dasgupta

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The World as We See It!!

“Once upon a time, there was a very powerful king (let us call him the ‘good king’ for convenience sake) in the kingdom of Tapi. He was immensely popular among his subjects and was respected and loved by them. Because of this, the king (the ‘bad king’- again for convenience sake) of the neighboring kingdom really envied him. He was always plotting some or the other game plan against the good king. One day, the bad king came across a witch who was known to enchant even the mightiest of all under her spell. It so happened that this witch, following the orders of the bad king, cast a spell on the biggest well in the good king’s kingdom. Whoever drank water from that well went absolutely crazy. Within no time, the whole kingdom, except the good king and his queen, was under the spell. When the king tried to control the chaotic situation by issuing orders, his men ridiculed and criticized him. The wish of the bad king had finally come true.
The good king contemplated a lot about this difficulty and finally came to a conclusion. He and his queen went to the village well and drank the water. Now, they too were insane. The subjects, who previously thought that the king had gone lunatic, were very pleased to have him back. Harmony was restored in the kingdom of Tapi once again.”

Friday, August 15, 2008

We Know But We Don't Understand

I should have written about this incident last week only when I was thoroughly under its impact but somehow I didn’t get time. I’ll still try to put in plain words what I felt, even though the feelings have gone astray in this one week only.

Our whole batch had been invited by our comm. theory teacher to a film festival which was screening some films on the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bomb blasts. We all (thought we) knew about it, and were least interested in attending it, but just for attendance sake all twenty of us reached the destination just in time for the show to begin. We entered a small auditorium and waited for the screening to begin (or rather end). The first movie was about the birth of earth. Needless to day, we all had already started whispering about our plans for after the session.

What followed next shook us completely from within. It was a documentary on blast victims (Hiroshima and Nagasaki), who had survived to put up with the anguish of all that they had lost. Their tales were painful and the reconstructions hurt even more. One actually needs to sit through that eyesore experience to understand the plight of those who survived. There were scenes which refused to leave our minds even after the movie was over- the boy with a burnt back, tufts of hair falling due to radiations produced in the body, a completely charred man walking 5 km in search of water but finally losing the battle of life- and somehow made us realize the threats nuclear weapons posed for us. Words like agony, sorrow, torment, pain, suffering, distress, grief made much more sense now. There were facts and figures which made us think again and again about India’s nuclear deal and if it really is all that essential, and they made us become conscious of how much we are losing, and how little are we gaining out of it.

“You know, but you don’t understand.” I have used this line n number of times on my friends. It’s only now that I have realized how aptly it applies to all of us in a much more severe way. We all thought we knew about these blasts and the negatives of nuclear weapons, but this 20 minute experience really worked as an eye-opener for all of us. It was wonderful see how uncomfortable we all were after the screening ended. It would be apt to say that it made us think, but the shameful part is that it made us JUST think. None of us are actually doing anything about it because we don’t know what we can do (if at all there is something) and how to go about it.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

On the Path of Self- Realisation:

On the Path of Self- Realisation:

I take the same route to college and back everyday. For the past few months, I have noticed a very troubled looking woman living on the pavement in a miserably shabby condition and tattered clothes. She sits alone all day, I have come to know from the nearby vendors, and is continuously talking and smiling to herself. Onlookers call her crazy and maybe a witch, while children from the nearby slums derive enormous pleasure out of this ‘entertainment package’. Last week, I noticed a huge crowd around her on my way back. I stopped the rickshaw and got down to find about what had happened. On enquiring, I was told that this was all due to some trivial fight which sort of went out of hand. They were accusing the ‘mad woman’ of throwing stones as passerby’s.
This incident really bothered me for a long time. I finally decided to go and find out about how she became what she had. When I proposed this in front of people who had seen her, I was ridiculed and made fun off. I had seen this coming and therefore took no offence. There were others who told me to be careful and that she could be dangerous, but no one offered to come along.
I went on a week later. In fact I just stopped on my way back from college. Once I was there, I thought I was being rather foolish, standing there without informing anyone but before I could let my thoughts pull me out of this, I waved and smiled at the lady. She smiled back, but did not wave. I took this as a signal to go and sit besides her. I tried talking to her but words, that made sense, just refused to come out of her mouth. She was constantly blabbering without making any sense! I strived for around half an hour but finally gave up. I was about to leave when she spoke some word that made me stop and take my place again. I can’t quote what she said because her speech was broken but I’ll try to put it in my own words without losing the essence.

“I lost my girl when she was two. I have no family. They left me on the roads because I was mad. I have no one to live for. I live alone over here but somehow these people want me to react to everything. I don’t want to.” When I asked her about what had happened previously, she said “ladka patthar maar raha tha. Maine bhi maar diya.” (The boy pelted stones at me, so I hit him back).

I left at that moment, because she refused to speak after that and continued with her smiles and laughs and her talks with herself. “How insensitive can people be?” This was the only question I have been asking myself after that brief encounter. We don’t want to accept the fact but it is true that many of us derive sadistic pleasure out of hurting the innocent, or people who cannot do anything. We thrive for ‘entertainment’ from such insensitive acts and it hurts immensely when u see something like this happening, yet cant do anything about it.

Friday, August 01, 2008

guilt pangs

"when the wish and the fear are exactly the same, we call the dream a nightmare."

i read this line is a book(shantaram) i was reading a few months back, and suddenly its making a lot more sense to me than it did.

but what i am still not able to accept and make sense out of is the fact that dreams are what we consciously refrain from wishing for but unconsciously want. I'm having the same dream (or nightmare if u wish to call it so) since quite some time now, but when i think about it in broad daylight, i fail to make out why I'm indulging in such thoughts. they're not anything to be ashamed of but consciously when i think about it, i realise i don't what it to happen the way my dreams project it every now and then. and very frankly, my life would become miserable if it really does happen. in a way, it'll complete full circle.

there are people i despise, and i despise thinking about them to0. but they visit me in my thoughts quite often and leave me thinking for the days that follow. there are these other set of people i like to think about. i like to think about us being together, but they also cross my mind in the form of most disturbing of thoughts. I'm sort of stuck with this whole cycle of thinking about people i don't want to, and thinking differently about these other people i like having as a part of my life. n I've been trying very hard but don't find any solution to it. since this is the first time I'm talking about it, i really don't know if its common and prevalent amongst all people. but if its not, then i think i have a good reason to be worried about.

or maybe I'm still not clear on what i want and how i want it, and just being very passive and taking things as "magic bullets" without any questions.

whatever it is, my quest is still on..!