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Aside

An Open Letter to the “Gormint”

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Dear Gormint,

First of all, I would like to put this clearly that I don’t belong to any political party. I have absolutely no political/ideological stand as I am just a tripod, struggling to stand myself. But I just couldn’t stop myself talking about it, as I am also the part of the system.

Today, I read the news about GST, I didn’t care about other things much but it shook me to the core that 18% rate is slapped on the most common, massively consumed by poor population of the country and the safest and nutritious biscuits to even feed babies and sick people, The Glucose Biscuits.

I wish if Swiggy could pick-up food from Sansad Bhawan Canteen and deliver it to us. Even if Swiggy delivery guy takes an Uber, a lot of people will be happy because faster delivery and the bill would still be lighter because you get Mutton Biryani for Rs. 60, chapati for Rs. 2 and Dal for Rs. 5 in your canteen. You should thank us someday, to have one meal in the cheapest restaurant, we pay more in tax than your complete meal Dear Gormint. Swiggy, bro please correct me if I am wrong.

I fail to understand why the policy makers of India can’t see what is so wrong about it, Don’t they know for the fact despite no major marketing, or makeover Parle-G is India’s biggest selling biscuits since Independence. It is a life saviour for millions of families living below poverty line, and not just them but almost all middle-class families have it in their house, and common men working their aff off can quickly have it with Chai to survive the day. Ask any Chaiwala if you don’t trust me. There is no need of obvious numbers and graphs to be thrown about it.

Well, I want you to listen to the person who gave you a “Vote”. I hope it still matters to you. As we can see, read, deduce, have an opinion and live in 21st century unlike you people sitting in Sansad Bhawan. it’s true that you are the majority in Parliament House, that doesn’t necessarily mean you represent the majority of India.

We kept quite for a long time when you made huge promises to the country and formed a government in 2014. But in last 3 years, all you did is to start controlling what we cook in our kitchen, judged us on the basis of what part of the face we shave, your pet underdogs lynched us on streets, kept us standing in ATM lines for hours for our own hard earned money. I can just go on but that’s not going to help. Because now you also know how SEO works very well. It’s not so hard to murder the truth and fabricate a whole new propaganda. Your algorithm is opensource:

First: Create content that subtly masks the truth.
Second: Shape that content into something people will share.
Third: Make it identical, and make a ton of it.
Fourth: Flood the internet with that content.
Fifth: Flood the internet with that content.
Six: Flood the Ducking internet with that content.

Source: https://www.pastemagazine.com/

So Dear Gormint, please STOP before we take this in our hand. But it’s just we are too busy filing taxes, applying for Aadhar cards, filing RTIs, waiting for media to make sense for a change and what not. Sometimes it’s okay to listen to someone else’s “Mann Ki Baat”. And if not us, try listening to the mother who can’t afford to buy cereal so she crashes a few Parle-G in milk and feed her baby.

Regards.

P.S. Sorry for typos, blame the autocorrect.

parle-g-glucose-biscuit-18-percent-tax-what-is-wrong-with-government

Baby Parle-G added later: “I can’t even count till 18, I got only 10 fingers”

 

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Carry That Weight

When you climb up the mountains,
the fear of leaving everything behind follows you.
The burden of this feeling gets heavier as you rise.
The moment you find your head above the cloud,
The past behind you dissolves in the thick fog.
There is no way further up he shouts in his head.
“But I still have a bloody lots to shed”
You are left with no choice.
but to settle down with what you still carrying in the right pocket.
A beautiful satisfactory compromise.
And you count

The shoes, slightly ripped still can help find the way ahead.
The precious piece of the ground. The Shiny thing you kicked in the rubble,
The memory rock it turns out, you always kept in your backpack.
The old book you carried along but you didn’t open even once to read it.
The thin layer of dust is the new hardback binding.
You got it.
The smell of gradual breakdown of cellulose and lignin on the back of her neck.
The wrong turns you took, have reached to an end.
The End, Put a knot on this one, light up the other, swirl the ground.
The fool on the hill found he was the odd one out.

You look down the valley that you left behind, the trail just disappeared.
You ask yourself where did it go?
“It doesn’t matter” said the seed who just discovered a new life.
Rising it’s head above the ground to see the sun for the very first time.
It’s dark down there do you know.
I took a sip of something cold.
The soil tastes sour, I did take a bite.
That’s how I found my way out here, Ain’t it nice?

Doesn’t it really matter to you at all,
what happened down there in your very own ground?
So we made our way up here just to see the sun go down?
The Lovers and the Friends and the Insignificant I met in the last town.
Now I only have the photographs. I just forgot to count.

The seed who grew up a bit more older and wiser,
Smiles and begins to sing.
Boy you’re going to carry that weight, carry that weight a long time.

-O-

Kibber (Spiti valley)

 

It was a freezing morning of winters in Kaza, the sun was trying hard to warm up Kaza but clouds are being mischievous. As a result bone chilling wind pierce through your skin. As soon as you enter the town, on the left side of the road down the slope there is a Bus and Taxi stop surrounded by a moderately busy market lane. Locals and Tourist hang out here for food, daily necessities and sometimes aimlessly.

Tripod was told if it goes uphill, there’s a village called Kibber and it’s beautiful. You must be very lucky if can find a ride to Kibber right now. Indeed I was the lucky one.

It was about 7 in the morning in a sleepy town. The smoke was rising up from one of those carefully crafted mud-houses, Surely someone is making Tea.

No one is rushing, no one’s getting late for work, No one missed the last night TV show because they stuck in traffic. Wait! Traffic? No there is no traffic, There is no ‘crowd’, There is no electricity either. They’ll wake up when they feel like, they’ll go to work if they need to and whenever they want to.

An old man in his 70s named Namgyal (every third person have the same name though) just came out of the house to observe the surroundings. He looks up and around, then he looks at the me standing there aimlessly.

“Julley!”

The exchange of smile and the old man invited me inside the house, as if I was an old friend. He insisted that the Tripod should warm up a bit in the Kitchen.  The kitchen is the Living room in winters, the Stove is in the middle of the Kitchen, sitting arrangements 3 sides of it, Neatly arranged, all the utensils are kept carefully in a certain order. Front of the Stove is like the control panel of the kitchen and is reserved for the Namgyal’s wife, she owns it and patiently spend hours in here to prepares some delicious food for the family everyday.

A few picture of Dalai lama along with the Dry Day calendar. The dry days are declared on the Full Moon, Half and the New moon in Ladakh. He must have got this from Ladakh only but then Namgyal’s wife pointed out no one drinks in the entire family so doesn’t really matter, Later she added, even the Sundays don’t.

The Butter Tea is churned in Ghur-Ghur and ready to be serve. The tripod just found a good enough reason to be here in Kibber.

The Underestimated Lifeline

A morning in Darjeeling. The Travelling Tripod stumbled upon something, A train of thoughts arrived.

We take things for granted, It’s in human nature. We often fail to appreciate the value of something which is easily available. Even if in future, we setup the housekeeping on Mars, we need to recreate the things we take for granted often, such as Patatos and the Sun. (You’ve heard it right) We rarely stop to see those Atmospheric Optics.  It’s like the booting process of the computer which makes everything in that machine operable. It triggers a rapid changes in the pace of life of each and every [non]carbon based life forms. I guess that’s why we call it a new day.

It‘s very lucky , The Tripod is the instrument to capture the light better by standing still and catching photons that causes a molecule of retinal to react by change from Cis to trans isomer. Now there is a star, 149.6 million km away making life possible on our planet. Why not just stop everything for a while and pay the due respect it deserves.

The Conception

“You look at where you’re going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back at where you’ve been and a pattern seems to emerge.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into

Tripods travel, though seldom alone.

The travelling tripod isn’t just about the travels of T, the tripod or I, the man. Together, it is about discovering and exploring. It says T is the better half and I completely agree. I cannot go anywhere without T, and neither can T.

I found T in the early winters of 2001, in Manipur. Where it learnt to walk like how everyone else already had. Manipur survived its own battles, with the British and the Japs, and so did it.

It saw this city of childhood fantasies. Toy trains, running over train tracks. Train tracks wrapped around mountains, like a snake around a branch.  Branches that dropped from windows, growing flowers among the green. Green, like the tea leaves, the city was famed for.

“Darjeeling”

 .. and life wasn’t the same anymore.