“She turned to say it once again: ‘Naaley’.
A Tomorrow which never comes, but passes off every time in the hide of dirty, murky Today.
It was their birthday. Of all of them. Thirty years ago, they all had taken birth. Together. At the same time. Same second of the same hour. They all opened their eyes to the marvels and evils of world together. Under the guiding auspices of Capricorn, they all uttered their first cry together. And entered this daily war with pain and happiness.
~ Quote: Sir Salman Rushdie: Shalimar the Clown (2005):
“There is earth and there are planets. Earth is not a planet. It’s a grabee. All the other planets grab it and mould its destiny.”
They too were the grabee’s of this world. Only they didn’t knew how all of them shared each others lives…
Mohan spat with all his might. He spat at the world, which had denied him and made him struggle at each point of his life. A world which took his father with happiness and happiness from his mother. A world which was rich and left him poor. A world which made his wife barren. A world which shirked away from him, considered him an outsider, a migrant. This city, which regarded many foreigners as their own, but refused to give shelter, one small cramped space on its map to a helpless, poor North-Indian.
He was a liftman of a skyscraper. And presently was on its terrace.
Mohan spat to celebrate his destiny, to see himself avenged, to see the world shamed with the filth of his spit, just as they made him feel ashamed each moment for his poverty.
And this way, at the hour of his birth, he celebrated his misery.
Saifee boarded the 12.42 local from platform number two of Dadar station. He was carrying with him a big black bag.
When he took his seat, he accidentally stepped on the foot of the man sitting in front. The man yelped and looked up at him. And saw his black bag.
The man eyed Saifee suspiciously thereafter. Time and again he looked up at the bag and then looked at him, as if to ask him what he was carrying.
After a few stations, he casually remarked to his friend;
“This city is so unsafe these days, I tell you. You never know what happens here. For all you know, somebody might just come and leave a bag here, and let us be blasted to pieces! And then they pray to the great Allah, for peace to be upon him! And we useless humans deserve only bombs… This country is going to dog’s I say…”
Saifee remained silent. He could not have done anything except for remaining silent. What could he have said? He was himself out of answers… For why things happen, and what people think. He was just living… With the daily reminder of the sin of his birth.
And that’s how he celebrated his birthday… Repenting his very existence.
Girish was half blind.
No he wasn’t born blind. He didn’t even meet an accident. When you say he didn’t meet an accident, it is to say that his whole life itself was a big accident. A series of crises and problems without any denouement. An endless chain of disappointments. So he was blind, not by chance or luck. He was blind, because that was the only thing he knew to be.
From past twenty years he had been working in a three foot high, five foot wide loft in a tiny hovel in the Dharavi slums. And all these twenty years he had been working day in and day out on one single object.
The gold embroidery on clothes.
For twenty years on all types of clothes using all types of decorative strings and materials, for all types of customers, Girish had done embroidery of gold. And now, in the dim light of a two watt bulb in his loft, with an impaired vision, he still was doing embroidery.
Because that’s what was left to him.
You see, his wings were crippled.
Someone tore away his legs. And god took away his parents.
Only inheritance he had was self-respect. Blind self respect. Sorry, blinding self-respect.
And taking another step into, death, darkness and oblivion, he celebrated his birthday.
Rishi laughed aloud. And threw away the half burnt papers.
They soared in the air for sometime before settling down on the sea.
After sometime they were gone.
Those papers were the thousand page manuscript of his third novel.
And they went to the same place as the first two had gone.
Rishi could just feel an empty, dark comfort in seeing his hard work of three years drown like that…
But why did he burn it out?
Because he could not stand his own mediocrity. Because he was sick of comparing himself with his fellow friends. Because he was sick of failing to satiate his expectations. Because he was tired of trying to create something.
Every word of that manuscript was copied.
It was copied from all the lives and people he had seen, including himself.
And he was frustrated with himself at not being able to ‘create a single paragraph ’ on his own.
Hence, laughing at his own destruction he celebrated his birthday.
And there were many more…
Rashmi; A call center employee who was nearing the period where she no longer was fit to work in a call center…
Megha; A fashion model, well past her beauty and charm…
Ramesh; A computer geek stuck to manual labor of desktop publishing…
Hemant; A good for nothing, rich-spoilt brat, roaming like a rudderless boat…
Nisha; A housewife, bored with the lethargy of her life…
Satish; a middle level manager of an MNC stuck in his job which didn’t seem to move upwards anymore…
Yogender; A chaiwallah, aspiring to own a hotel of his own, while struggling with his two square meals…
Naina; Who was stuck in a wrong marriage into an extra orthodox family…
And then, there is You, and Me…
Who are bound to forget all of this after reading it… Just like sand slips away from the hand…
All of us have one thing in common.
We are all The Gods Of Large Things…
Worrying a fretting each second. While hordes of Gods Of Small Things pass by.
There ain’t no right, There ain’t no wrong…
There is a birth, and there will be death…
And ‘Twixt them are the rituals of Joy and Pain…
For the Gods Of Large Things,
And Of the Small Ones too…
Which one do you prefer?