Friday, September 05, 2008

Unaccustomed Earth

Zaheer: "And that is how the tortoise beat the hare in a race. Now, tell me Abraham, what do you learn from this?"

Abraham: "That you should not sleep during the race. Either way once you win the race, they give you enough money to buy an AC and a house."

Zaheer: "Where do you people learn this stuff?"

Abraham: "What did you derive from the story Zaheer uncle when you were a kid?"

Z: When I was 7 years old as you are now? I dozed off halfway as teacher was explaining it. Atleast you are focused.

A: And what is your age now?

Z: Well, you have to add 22 years more to yours. That makes it?

A: (thinks for a while) 29. Correct?

Z: Wow. Terrific. You must be first rank in your class?

A: In LKG and UKG, I got first rank 2 times.

Z: 2 times. WOWWWWWWW. In 1st standard?

A: In my class 1st standard F section, I got first rank in half-yearly and annual exam. Now I am in Second standard, E section.

Z: You are so brilliant. Did mummy daddy always ask you to keep studying?

A: Dad was cool about it. He always told me that I was very brilliant. My mom used to pester me a lot.

Z: Let me guess. She didnt allow you to play cricket. Correct?

A: Not just cricket. No gilli danda,no lukka chuppi, no video games.

Z: Oh. Do you hate her for that?

A: No. I love her. She makes me such delicious food every day. Where are mummy- daddy now?

Z: They will come soon. So, who was your best friend in school?

A: RajKumar. He lived 2 streets away. His uncle used to come to our house. He used to buy me chocolates.

Z: Oh wow. What chocolate do you like?

A: Milky Bar. My mom used to give me one every time I finished my homework.

Z: Ok. Lets have a deal. If you finish your dinner without further questions and asking stories, I will get you a milky bar.

A: I will wait for my parents and eat with them.

Z: They will come. You finish your dinner. Otherwise they will scold poor Zaheer uncle that he did not feed their cute son. Will they or wont?

A: (thinks for a while) My parents don’t scold. They are very friendly. We have so many friends in our neighborhood.

Z: Still, they might scold you. So you be a good boy and finish the dinner. Zaheer uncle will go and get you your Milky Bar. Done deal?

A: Done deal. Thanks

 

Zaheer rushed to the nearest departmental store outside the hospital and got 2 Milky Bar packets. He walked back to the reception and gave a quizzing look at the receptionist Ms. Latha.

 

Latha: "Sorry Dr.Zaheer. We still don’t have any information regarding his relatives."

Zaheer: "Come on Latha. There must be someone. Some uncle, aunty, cousin...someone."

Latha: "Most of them lived in the same neighborhood when the incident happened. So the chances are...practically slim."

Zaheer: "Damn it. Did the police arrest anyone?"

Latha looked at him with a look which meant "Don’t-you-know-it-wont-happen".

Zaheer: "Wow. Hail democracy. Some mad men decide to kill people, burn their houses, ransack their life and they walk freely. How can someone be so cruel to burn an orphanage? Have people in this country pawned their hearts?"

Latha: "Cool down Doctor."

Zaheer: "Cool Down? You want me to cool down? Go and try telling that innocent kid, that his parents have been murdered by the very people who lived next Street to him. Go try telling him that his world was darkened and will remain so when he was sleeping on that fateful night. If not for the neighboring injured Gurkha who found him asleep, he might have been dead as well."

Latha: "Did you tell him about his parents?"

Zaheer: "I find it hard to tell demise news to elders. He is a kid for god’s sake. I...don’t know how to tell him. Everytime I look deep into his innocent brown eyes, I feel like breaking down. Don’t know how long I can keep him distracted with Milky bars."

Latha remained silent.

Zaheer: “Childhood is all about hope in life. This news will bring his world crashing down and he will lose hope in entire mankind. All that will remain would be pieces. His, mine and all ours.”

 

Zaheer walked back to the room where Abraham was finishing his dinner.

Zaheer: "Hey little champ. Here is my part of bargain. Milky baaaaaaaaar."

Abraham: "Thanks Zaheer Uncle. Uncle, can you tell me something."

Zaheer: "Try me."

Abraham: "When I woke up yesterday, there was blood on my hands. Can you tell me why?"

Zaheer: "Unfortunately we all have in ours as well Abraham. It’s just that you see it and we don’t."

 

It would take some years for Abraham to understand what Dr. Zaheer really meant.

P.S: Partially inspired from this article

Donno how many of you remember this video posted below. Some of you might have seen it as kids in Doordarshan. Guess we need such Jingoism as Americans do :)



17 comments:

dilip said...

Hmmm...Very well written and a perfect ending..

nivi30 said...

wow wow wow wow!
This truly struck a chord with me.

This was exactly what I was thinking yesterday.

I would like to believe that justice in some form is truly metted out to them.

Dimplicious said...

That's indeed terrible!!!Cant believe how inhumane ppl turn out nowadays!!!Cant generalize on ppl nw..I shd appreciate Rajani, the care taker though..Her sense of humanity cost her life!!Hmmm..short and sensitive post!!!Good work

Suchitra said...

Hard hitting. Awesome! The dialogue type posts somehow make the theme come alive.

Syam said...

so sad to read...cudn't watch video..really don't know when these guys stop these type of atrocities..

gils said...

hmm.../Unfortunately we all have in ours as well Abraham. It’s just that you see it and we don’t//
maniratnam padam paatha effect.. :)

Ramya Ramani said...

Hmm really disheartening incident. Nicely brought out.

Clearly conveyes the essence of the thoughts.

Priya Iyer said...

nice, thought provoking post... as usual, well written...it is really a sad thing..

aditya said...

I guess that you get a lot of "Well done-s and terrifics". I am not going to bother with that.
My question is two fold. What gives one the right to take away my right to live, if any one does have that right? Two is in the event that you have given yourself the right to take mine, does that not give the right for someone else to take yours? If that be true, what is holding us back from killing each other and ending what is the human race?
The reason I ask this is somewhere along the line of thought, logic seems to break. Logic tells us that vengeance is sought after by those wronged. What makes one not want to attain that vengeance? What gives them the maturity to understand and empathize?
I have not found the answer still!

Zanychild said...

Thts really sad!
There so many such things happening today tht innocent children are left victims!

super post!

Sat said...

Nice story....and at one point, I could see Zaheer talking the same way that you do :P
Possessed...hehehe...r.eally, when you really feel for something, and blurt out your thoughts, it comes out oddly out of place, it seems like ppl around you don't care about it anymore...may be they too once did but have now given up on it
BTW, this video...wow, nostalgic stuff
i still sing it sometimes, thanks to you tube
bachpan yaad aa gaya!

Sat said...

// What gives one the right to take away my right to live, if any one does have that right? Two is in the event that you have given yourself the right to take mine, does that not give the right for someone else to take yours? If that be true, what is holding us back from killing each other and ending what is the human race?
The reason I ask this is somewhere along the line of thought, logic seems to break. Logic tells us that vengeance is sought after by those wronged. What makes one not want to attain that vengeance? What gives them the maturity to understand and empathize?
//
well, truth is nobody has the right to take away anything that is rightfully yours, be it your life, your material possessions, anything. And if they still do, they simply violate it, not earn the right to do so. So that does not give someone else the right to treat them likewise. Two wrongs never make a right. But then these are situations that defy all reasons, we are talking about men who know nothing but madness. Can you reason with a mad man? nope! And those who seek revenge for this deed, are they truly satisfied, we may never know. But we can guess that the answer is no, and that if some part of them is still human, their act will continue to haunt them and make them wish they never had sought for that payback.

Karthik B.S. said...

very nicely written.. hope justice is done in the end.

Harish said...

@dilip
Thanks man :)

@Nivi
I wish it does :(

@Dimplicious
There r many people as such who do such atrocious things and some who do such amazing charity work.
Trouble is....only one lasts longer. And you know who it is :)

@Suchi
Tried my best :)

Harish said...

@Syam
WIsh they did. Back after a long time boss :)

@Gils
Hee hee. Tried something as such :)
I call it Nolan Effect :)

@Ramya
It causes great anger. Wish could become hulk and hurt the wrong people :(

@Priya Iyer
It is indeed.

Harish said...

@Aditya
"What gives one the right to take away my right to live, if any one does have that right?"

A very heavy comment.

Truthfully, we all are animals. We evolved from them and we all have those instincts. Its just that under the hood of sanity and sophistication, we supress it and mellow down.

No one has the right to end others life. And Vengeance is a strong emotion. That is when the animal instincts get aroused and the lines of logic and morality fades in the backdrop of anger and revenge.

The wise ones who know that we cant get the dead back to life, prefer to let it go and curse in their hearts. The people who yearn for momentary satisfaction, perform the gruesome act and repent on way or other for the rest of their life.

But then, we are all not the same. Who knows? People who talk so sane as such might behave differently when under stress. Something as depicted beautifully in Hey Ram.

Harish said...

@ZanyChild
The bastards who committed such gruesome act should be burned till death.

@Sat
Hee hee. Apparently every writer somewhere or other leaves his traces.
yeah. Loved this video.

And yeah. Thanks for answering Aditya :)

@BSK
Hopefully...every wrong person will be punished for his sins :)