Saturday, March 31, 2007

The Forgotten

(Tried a non-linear narrative. Try to visualize as much as possible)

March 31, 2007 (in Black and white)
"5000 Now. Another 5000 after the job is done". He accepted the money gleefully and thrust it in his pocket. This was indeed easy money than the job that he was doing. He never understood why politicians needed to carry out Bandhs, Processions, and burn effigies and so on. May be it was a part of their 'How-to-become-an-evil-and-successful' politician curriculum. Who cares? There is a bandh today, so everything will come to standstill. The working class people could take this opportunity to have a break and stay at house. No tuition for the kids. Only the poor get affected. But hey, didn’t they promise on TV that the bandh was for the oppressed and depressed? Ha...Even they know that it’s a lie to get hold of their vote banks. So as the streets get deserted, he was supposed to carry out his mission.

March 23, 1931(in color)
He was reading a book. There was no sign of any anxiety or fear on his face. As usual he smiled at the guards who came to pick him up. The warden appeared softer than usual. "You know that you can still avert it." Why don’t these people understand? They also know that he would never do that. Maybe they thought that in the last moment he would become afraid and would chicken out. He laughed as if the warden had told him a joke. He kept his book on the shelf and walked towards them.
"Let’s go Sir". He knew no fear.


In the political language a Bandh becomes successful only when there are riots. Some buses have to be burnt, some people should be injured and must be admitted to the hospital so that they can be shown on television as the "victims" of the bandh. Today his job was to collect some people and do some damage in the nearby areas. He had already picked his gang members and they had also chosen a spot. It would be the market in their nearby locality where a few shops would be broken and ransacked. The public and central government should remember this bandh...at least for some time.

As he walked past the corridor he could hear his fellow prisoners murmuring. Inspite of the fact that the timing was preponed, it seemed as if everyone expected it. Some of them raised slogans to hail him but he never approved of it. For him the nation was always greater than any individual. The guard accompanying him was surprised by the huge confident strides he made as if he were going collect some reward. Of course it was a reward for him and his patriotism. As he often used to quote "It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas ". He was confident that his ideas would remain immortal.

He had never believed in caste. In fact in his colonies all the caste people lived together in harmony...until any riots took place. They all looked different people. The hands that distributed sweets on their respective festivals were now wielding guns and weapons to kill each another. At the age of 14 it was a hard truth for him to digest and understand. In fact even after these years he could not understand the real reason. It just reminded him that behind the facade of every ordinary man lay a savage who could go to any limits when provoked. Even this useless bandh was targeting the same emotions. Half of the protestors shouting on the streets didn’t even understand the real divide it would cause if the reservations were made for one strata of people. Then another group would ask for a share....then another group....and it would go on to break the country into a million little pieces.

Everyone thought that he would walk away from the scene of crime or run away from the jail, but he didn’t. He survived 63 days of hunger strike in prison, the British officer’s wrath and merciless beating but his fight won equal rights for Indian prisoners. There were protests condemning the British's decision to hang him, but that was not what he wanted. He wanted thousands of young men to up rise when he went down. He chose to die young and be inspiring rather than die old and having lived as just-someone. He saw his two friends join him and they were also smiling at him. How fortunate he was to have found such like minded friends? He used to say that dying in their company was an honor in itself. He looked proudly at the officer who was astonished with his resolve and pride.

There should be reservation based the economic strata instead of caste and religion. But then...who would bell the cat? Well....they opened some of the shops and broke the glasses. Some vehicles standing outside were burnt. Mission accomplished. Sometimes he questioned his conscience about rights and wrongs. He used to watch movies and laugh when the bad guys lost in the end to the good ones. It happened rarely. If that was the case then why were there communal fights? Why almost all the 500 odd MPs were corrupt to the core? Why a peon in the Government office demanded Rs 20 bribe for even the simplest query? Reality Bites. He walked towards his home when he heard the siren far away. As he ran, he saw a poster of a guy with the words Shaheed printed in bold. He didn’t bother to find out what his name was. He was looking forward to collect his remaining 5000 Rs on the next day.

What would a person facing death think about? About his family? Loved ones? Friends? Sweetheart? Happy Memories? He thought about his parents but didn’t shed any tears for them. They would not be bereaved but proud of him. His last thoughts were about his country. He dreamt of a country where one person's joy would be distributed as smiles among all and their sorrows would be divided in small drops of tears. He dreamt of a country which would be the shrine of peace and unity. He dreamt of a country where tradition and innovation would walk hand-in-hand. He dreamt of a country where the youth would resent against any injustice. With these thoughts he closed his eyes and thought about his mother...and motherland. Proudly he kissed the hangman's noose as if it was a garland and shouted for the last time his favorite cry, "Down with British imperialism...Bharath Maata ki Jai."

They thought that they killed him as he was hanged to death. Wrong. Just go and check yourself in the mirror. You can see his legacy in your eyes....in the freedom that you enjoy. As Shaheed Bhagath Singh said "It is easy to kill individuals but you cannot kill the ideas". Amen.

46 comments:

Nivi said...

I loved the narration. The non linear style. It got a few moments to get used to it. But oncei got comfortable with it .. amazing..
The topic has a lot of relevance today. We see such bandhs called for no reason watsoever just a show of strength totally disruptinf people's lives. Is the guy justified in buring shops and beating up people. i guess you can never answer that. Its his freedom. To him thats the result of bhagat singh struggle. But when he questions his conscience he would find it be a despicable act. The best thing about this post is that aside the fantastic narration it makes one think. Is this what our great leaders fought for?

Maybe yes and Maybe no. Yes because no other country enjoys the kind of freedom that we do. NO because ,like everything, with good comes a lot of bad. Its up to us to stand up for what we believe is right.Because if we do i am sure we can bring up a better change like the people did in waking up the judiciary.

Contrary to what a lot of people might think, i think if bhagat singh, Azad and others were to look down upon us today they will still be proud , we have come a long way and we will go a long way too!!!
All in all a thought provoking post harish. Excellent job!!! Loved it to the T.

Nivi said...

" His last thoughts were about his country. He dreamt of a country where one person's joy would be distributed as smiles among all and their sorrows would be divided in small drops of tears"

Loved this line.relished it :-)

Nithya said...

Now THIS is what i call an ode to a man, in whose dictionary never existed a word called "fear".You could have elaborated a little more on that 'present' part..I feel it hasn't been given much importance The post is on Bhagat Singh and freedom, yes..But u culd've written more on how exactly, in India, freedom is being misused..

The penultimate paragraph was awesome..Kudos !!

Aparna said...

Excellent!
//He dreamt of a country one person's joy would be distributed as smiles among all and their sorrows would be divided in small drops of tears//
I too loved this line :)

Hell's Angel said...

wow...simply superb.. i think i like this one.. u know seriously better than my favorite i think.. i ws jus wondering if u can send this to any local newspaper in india to publish.. it ws truly inspirational..one line that was simply mind-numbing is "it is easy to kill individuals but u cannot kill the ideas..wahhh.. way to go..

Ganesh Ranganathan said...

the contrast has been brought out beautifully....

And you have handled the non-conventional writing style very nicely...

Ms.Congeniality said...

as usual excellent narration..ending is very nice
and the you tube video is soooooooooooooooooo cute :)

Serendipity said...

nice narration. n the black n white for the present is apt

Dreamzz said...

Wow! that wasa novel way & idea!

Dreamzz said...

//He dreamt of a country where tradition and innovation would walk hand-in-hand. He dreamt of a country where the youth would resent against any injustice. With these thoughts he closed his eyes and thought about his mother...and motherland//

wow! nice lines

thanks harish!

Ponnarasi Kothandaraman said...

Yabba epdi epdi epdi ipdi ellam? :D

Awesome concept! Great descriptive narration :) Keep writing..

Konjam late'a vanthu comment'ren Chorry! :D

prithz said...

Total scene (as usual).. but politics ah vandhirthaaa.. so me slightly :-|

SKM said...

amazing!!the way you convey your thoughts...
poonaiku mani katturadhu...who can?but you ...youngesters.
according to me the reservation in education should go with the merits they have earned.Voters bank poidumae politicians ku.padichavanga politics ku poganum.This year for the local election, the turn out is very less.Local politician ku support pannalaiya, your names will be deleted from the voters list.Idhu yenga oorla nadakira kadhai.yenga poi muttikiradhu?

david santos said...

great work an great narration. thank you
have a good week

Vidya said...

I wanted to leave this comment here about the you tube video that you had on the side bar - about kids smiling and crying !! It brought a smile to my lips !!

And now I will go back and read your actual post !

Vidya

Vidya said...

Now to comment about the post itself, very well written ! Different style. As Tagore rightly said " ...Into that heaven of Freedom, my Father , let my country awake "

Good job !

G3 said...

Aaha.. eppavum pola asathals :-)

//He dreamt of a country one person's joy would be distributed as smiles among all and their sorrows would be divided in small drops of tears//
My fav lines :-)

Harish said...

@Nivi
As you said we indeed have come a long way. But didnt we dream to go miles ahead...and aint our potential also big?

@Nithya
I just took this issue of bandh and tried to elaborate on it. If I had added more issues maybe I could have jumbled a lot. So avoided it.

Harish said...

@Aparna
Thanks a ton yaar...

@Brindha
DO magazines publish stuff from blogs? If yes...then maybe I would love to send it.

@Ganesh
I tried my best yaar

Harish said...

@Ms C
I would have loved to make a short video about this. Since I lack resources...I had to manage with my imagination.

@Serendipity
That was an ode to Hey Raam

@Dreamzz
For long I wanted to write a non linear story. This time I got a plot for the same.

Harish said...

@Ponnarasi
Thanks a ton yaar....

@Prithz
Some time later I will write a non linear story without politics. Maybe U will love that...

@SKM
"padichavanga politics ku poganum."
Correcta soneenga. Point is...WHO?

Harish said...

@David
Welcome Sir. Nice to learn that you loved it.

@Vidya
Its great to learn that you loved it. The Tagore lines are too good....

@G3
Tried my best yaar.... :D

Sat said...

hey hey....that was a la rang de basanti...nice one there man

but i must confess i cant help seeing that you tube vdo again :)

Sat said...

romba tarantino padam paathutiyo?...non linear narrative ellam kalakifying :P

Padma said...

hmmm... unmaiya sollanum na enakku onnume purila except for tht the italics are history and ordianry ones state current affairs:).. engeyo edho miss ara madhiri erukku.. anyway nice try:)

kuttichuvaru said...

excellent piece buddy..... u really got the skills!!

Arunkumar said...

rang de basanthi style super.
excellent narration with some gr8 words to beautify it !!!

Awesome talent Harish.

SKM said...

Anniku paadhi post ku comment podum bodhu vera velai varavum poitten. Ippo too late nu thonudhu.

Anyway you are always too good in expressing your views.

shimmer said...

cool narration...keep bloggging! ;;)

Lavs said...

I am impressed and how?! Awesome story. As one of the fellow bloggers commented,
you should send this story to some magazine/newspaper. You have talent to link current
happenings and history and write an awe inspiring and thought provoking story. When we
apply for jobs in companies, they see our 12th/10th score, our college marks, our extra
curricular activites etc etc. But who checks these so-called politicians skills?? Apart from
Dr.Manmohan Singh and Sir Abdul Kalam, I do not think that our present day politicians have
any skills needed to shape and spear head a nation's victory.
They survive because 2/3rds of our nation's population is in rural areas. They have limited
resources and education. So when politicians visit them, they feel important enough to vote.
Moreover they are pampered with gifts like colour tv, land, loans, gold, silver etc. We,
youngsters, should actively participate in an important democratic process called election
to show what India really needs.

Anonymous said...

epdi epdi epdi ipdilaam? adikkadi naan onnuthukum laayak illai nu ninaivu paduthitte irukkingleppa! avvvvvvvvvvvv :(

-porkodi

ambi said...

//He chose to die young and be inspiring rather than die old and having lived as just-someone//

wow! excellant writing!nu naanum ethanai thadava thaan ore commenta podarathu! :)

*ahem, ithuku yaaru castingaa podalaam..?

Contented said...

Very well written as ever...:)

Anything is less said about bhagat singh!!

How have you been??

Hell's Angel said...

sir u have seriously missed one big point i mentioned earlier.. i said i like this one better than all the other posts!!!!!this is amazing..

Heidi Kris said...

i finished reading your post with tears in my eyes!

Karthik B.S. said...

thala jooperappu!!!

aprom i have updated my blog! :)

Syam said...

first 2007 and 1931 konjam kanpees agiduchu...konja neram atchu puriya...post ku post soober ah iruku harish...ithu konjam touching ah vera pochu:-)

Padmapriya said...

Just loved the way u wrote and the concept too.

Harish said...

@Sat
Konjam correct. But mainly I was inspired by Nolan's Memento and Prestige.

@Padma
Adutta dadavai ida tirutta try pandren.

@Koushik
Thanks man. This is what keeps me going.

Harish said...

@Arun
Thanks yaar. So nice to hear this...

@SKM
Vaara vaaram salikaama naan podra mokkai post padikara aalungal la neengalum onnu. Ur encouragemnt means so much to me...

@Shimmer
Thanks yaar. Will try my best.

Harish said...

@Lavs
Whether we stand in elections or not..even if we vote for the right persons...half the job will be done.

@Porkodi
Ippadi ellam udane kaala vaara koodadu..

@Ambi
Inda casting velai ellam neenga daan jora panreenga. Unga taste unconventional...but perfect

Harish said...

@Contented
Long time...no see...Life has been good. How abt u?

@Brindha
Woooh...at last. Now i gotta better ur opinion again :-)

@Heidi
Truly...Bhagath Singh was an amazing human being.

Harish said...

@BKS
Maapu..naanga Bday vaazhtu sonnom illa...

@Naataamai
Nandri Thalai...enna...ungala kadai pakkame kaanum...


@PadmaPriya
Thanks yaar. Will try to post another non linear story some time :D

Dushti said...

An awesome narration. Good job !

Harish said...

@Dushti
Thanks a ton yaar :-)

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