We are.. Who we are..

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It rained today… . Uncertainly. “The weather is somewhat positive”, my thoughts as I got ready. Drizzling. Tiny droplets of silver. As they float and sway in the wind before falling. Mystical and beautiful. A good day to start. A good mood to move ahead.

I reached metro and found a safe seat to find solitude and lose myself in the electric voice of Nina Simone.. Feeling good.. . Generally I don’t pay heed to the people around. But there was this person who was holding a hand bag which was feminine. He himself was having a feminine persona. Confident. Dressed sharp with a scarf around his neck. Suave. The way he stood while reading a small novella, radiated the I-Don’t-Give-a-FUCK attitude. As I returned my attention back to the melodic excellence of Nina Simone (god bless her soul), I noticed the rest of the people in the coach. Watching him. Every individual thinks in a different manner and thus everyone had a different look in their eyes. Judgmental looks, smirks on the faces, possible innuendos and comments ringing in their heads. I even saw two adult grown men whispering in hush hush voices and snickering while looking disgustingly at him. The fact he didn’t say or do anything to these judgmental, rather expressive people at a personal level; got me thinking.

Our society judges,discriminates and what not, based on the self-expressions of an individual; based on appearance (and this is only one aspect of our explicitly judgmental society). The decision of an individual to live his/her life as he/she wants somehow affects out society at a level where the existence of individual entity is dictated by a set of rules which are considered to be “obvious”. A woman should act like a “woman”, and same goes for the man. These dictating “obvious rules” ranges from the type and style of apparel you wear (rather how to wear); to the way you should behave in society.

As children, most of us has been dressed as the opposite gender by our parents for fun. At that stage it is not considered “bad”. Why? Because children are innocent! They are pure at hearts! But when some of us grow up to dress as we please, it suddenly becomes “bad”. Why? Because a male should dress in a “manly” fashion! A female should keep her femininity by dressing in “appropriate” cloths! The fact that our actions and our karma are not considered enough to be acknowledged as good individuals, in a society which has an Epic written on Karma, is hypocritical.

I too once was homophobic like many in our society. But as I matured as an individual , who respect people for who they are rather then their actions and appearances, I understood. I actually saw and understood the difficulties people face when in such situations. As I ponder upon this, there might be a number of individuals who might be forced to live under the said “norms” of our society. Who might be closing their real self into some dark deep vault and pretending to be someone else. Just to be recognized as the respectable citizen in our society. Just because there are norms set by society, followed by our parents, family and friends.

A friend, who belongs to the LGBT community, likes to wear tee shirts, shirts and jeans. She despises all the apparel considered feminine by the society. She works with an NGO from time to time. She has adopted a child and bear the expanses of his education. She is a staunch supporter of gender equality and she believes in making positive changes around her to create a better society. But when she embraced who she really is and came out as her real self, phenomenal changes was their in people’s attitude. The goodness in her and her actions were neglected just because of the fact that she accepted herself as she is. Before that the same people, the same society cheered her for the work she does. Now they despise her and see her with the same judgmental looks, people gave to that guy in metro today.

I asked, “Don’t you hate it when people look at you like that..?”. She said, “No I don’t. It used to bother me before… now I am habitual. People will throw anything at you.. You don’t have to catch it all the time.. you have to let go of some. One time a relative shrugged away from me when I tried to give a hug. Most of the time it is the people who are close to you who behave as strangers. I don’t regret any thing that I have done s far and accepting who I am is better than pretending to be someone I was not.”

The purpose of society and the code it follows were to create a sense of discipline and reduce the random chaos in the masses. To have order and to make the masses more productive and less aggressive. Our society, with this code has stood the tests of time throughout the history of the Indian subcontinent. I do not hold grudges against our society, but I do towards the out rightly orthodox views which forbid individuals to embrace their true self and forcefully want them to behave and act in manners they cannot. To know one and to live as oneself.. this is what all individuals strive for. Live and Let Live. This has been one of the primary teachings since the ages. The progression of society encompass the growth and expansion of the intellectual horizons which accepts individuals in their true self.

The word “being” which is used in conjuncture to “human”, while describing ourselves, holds a deeper meaning. The state of awareness of one’s existence and the state where one knows who he/she is. People are coming out to the world. Declaring to world. Embracing their true nature and self. The need is for us to stand with them. They are our brothers, our sisters, our friends, our acquaintances, our neighbors. People.

 

 

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Gen Y

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India Power Outage

8.30 in the morning, and you can see students and college youth with all sorts of backpacks to all styles of handbags. And there is one thing that is common among them…i.e. “Earphones”. Listening to some favorite song of theirs (choice varies from person to person) and totally oblivious to what is going around them. Fingers moving so fast on their smartphones (aka ‘cell’) that even the Ninjas of Shaolin will fell their ninja chops to be slower; moving with snail speed. The frequent careless glances here and there, and again back to business i.e. Texting!!! Apart from texting; some of them (especially girls) have another time pass. Closing their eyes and pretending to sleep when actually they aren’t (sans The earphones). Fascinating…!!
The other day I boarded from Rohini East. There was this girl; with her eyes closed. Her head on the glass support, to her left. I was mistaking her to be sleeping. So were the other passengers. Two boys boarded the Metro at Inderlok Station. They found the spot next to this girl, so very enchanting.so they stood next to her. After about a minute or two; there was a cracking sound and the two boys left for the next coach. The source of the sound was unknown to most of the passengers. Except for few (including me).Apparently the “Desperate Duo” had some exchange of comments between themselves, about the girl. Unable to interpret and understand the nature of the apparent stance maintained by the female; they said something that was loud enough to reach the auditory sensors of the girl. The moment she heard what was being said. Her eyes opened with fire and rage in them. Filled with anger and looking at the “Desperate Duo” as to burn them down with her single gaze.

She was no Lord Shiva, the god of destruction; so they weren’t burnt to ashes. But, the wrath of her fury struck one of them. She allowed her palm to make contact with one of the cheek of one of the “Desperate Duo”. But it was supported by a firm force fueled by her anger, which resulted in the cracking sound. To save themselves from further humiliation and confrontations the “Desperate Duo”, desperately left for the next coach. Delhi Daredevil Girl won again….:). MORAL–Looks can be deceptive!!! So be-aware.

For past two week there was this examination season. Everywhere I looked, there were books, xeroxed notes. The ignited minds; by the fire of exams. You walk to any station in the morning and you can see boys and girls trying to cram up things in their heads. Revising out loud, so that the sexagenarian sitting next to them too gets hold of some things from the modern education system (totally different from what he/she might had).The other day there was this shabby, bearded guy. Trying to memorize some of his left out syllabus; as if he was teaching the whole coach. The guy next to him literally got up and stood by the exit door (the uncanny power of a student!!). I have seen people fall when the Metro stops. Because they had notes in both their hands .I have seen people boarding out at wrong stations. Because they are so engrossed revising the syllabus. Exam fever is one hell of an intoxication.

Every now and then a group of friends board the Metro at some station or the other and become the head turner of the crowd. They move in groups. As a “Wolf Pack”. Hunting….. For the best place to hang out. And whenever any such pack of “Wolves” enters the Metro, one can see the excitement. The rush of adrenalin. The cheerfulness. And a lot of other things, which a person forgets as he/she progresses in age. Seeing the “WOLVES” leads to a certain feeling of nostalgia. When I used to be like that. When I used to enjoy the company of my friends and give a damn to what people think about me. Yeah they make me nostalgic, but not sad. These “Wolves” are so entwined into one another that they don’t have to think twice before reacting to one another. As if they have that sixth sense and the innate ability to sense and feel the other of their kind. Their proximity can be felt. Their instincts can be intuited. They are so absorbed among themselves .Living every moment…every damn moment of togetherness. And they shout out loud, silently…..WE ARE A WOLF PACK!!!

A large portion of the population traveling through Metro is the “GEN Y” .Diverse, intense, zealous and advance in all aspects of modern world. While I travel I see all kind of people. I came across some genuine people, who do care about making their surrounding a better place and the people around them more comfortable. I also came across few people who are so self-centered and insensitive, that they prefer to sit when a 60+ person is standing near them hoping that they might offer them their seat. I have seen people do this and I think-why? India has the largest number of youth when compared to any other country. That means we have more power. THE YOUTH POWER. Someone rightly said,”Youth has got tremendous power and potential. But they actually don’t know their own strength, what they are capable of doing”. When I travel through Metro, I am able to see that power. That potential. When out of 60 people treading down from the escalator, 40 are youth. I see that power. That is YOUTH…..

I feel it…

The Station Crowd

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Vishwavidyalaya or University Metro Station. Presumably the most sought out landmark to tell people about your whereabouts and the most common point for the students (be it school going teenagers to the college youth) to meet and plan out the day. It is very interesting to see how people pass the time, while waiting for the train. There are numerous ways to define and categorize the kind of people one comes across at the station while waiting for the train. I tried to define some:

1) Most of the “Clairvoyants” keep staring towards the tracks from where “The Great Delhi Metro Train” will appear. And it seems as they are hoping for it to burst out into the tracks out of thin air. Their concentration in doing so is so immense and so strong that not even their own cell phone ring can’t break that trance. Though they always fail to materialize the train on track, but they do increase the no. of missed calls on their cell phones

2) Some “Patience-Less Souls” keep strolling back and forth; believing that there doing so will make the time run faster. They are so desperate; if allowed, they themselves can start running on the track. They are easily spotted by the anxiety and the body language with frequent looks at their watches or the cell phones.

3) Then there are the “Deep Thinkers”. In their own world of oblivion. Thinking deeply and looking into the thin air. Mostly standing in such an awkward stance; that you will wonder, and praise the dynamic and flexible human psyche. Nothing more can be said about them as it is really fascinating to see them being in their own world that the outer world can’t make any other observations.

4) The “Talkers” are the ones which can be seen and found on every station. The source of the most sought out question – “Bhaiyya!! yeh train Kashmere Gate jaegi kya? (Brother!! Will this train go to Kashmere gate?)”. You answer their question and they will throw another at you to answers. And it continues until the train arrives.

5) Except the “Talkers”, you may or may not find the other special categories around you. But you will always be accompanied by the “Watchers”. They have a peculiar tendency to look at people; irrespective of the fact that the other person is looking back at them with surprise. They are provoked by any little noise made by anyone and are known to be efficient in the art of listening the talks between two individuals. They have high probability to be found near a fashionably correct individual aka “The Delhi University Girl”.

6) The most interesting and the most mysterious of them all. “The Delhi University Girl”. She will be engrossed in her text conversation while listening to her playlist. Erstwhile, making mental notes of the apparels and clothing of her fellow passengers on the station. Attracts every single being of the opposite sex but the coldness in her face leaves no space for them to even come near her. Shrouded in a self-created false mystery, she elude them as an enigma. The dream of all. So close; but yet so far. More precisely speaking – ‘way out of the league’.

7) At times there is that one “Newbie” who you can easily recognize. The desperate look of self-consciousness. That checking of the information panel every time the announcement about the coming station is made. Constantly moving eyes, trying to find something to concentrate to; without getting any eye contact with anyone. Shy, naive and with lot of insecurity. Yes that’s our own Mister or Miss “Newbie”.

8) Time and again you find that a political debate ensues among the fellow passengers. And among them is one individual who has the answer and counter question and aggressive approach to be deemed as the “Political Hound”. No matter where they will be . they can smell any political discussion and it becomes their liability to give direction to the said discussion. They have a nasty habit of proving everyone wrong and they don’t believe in a light discussion. They feel the politics. they live it.

9) Then there are “The First One(s)”. They want to be the first to set foot inside the pristine and virgin metro as she reach the platform. They don’t wait for people to de-board. They don’t wait if you are falling in their way. They have the ‘eye of the tiger’. fixated and focused on one and only one thing. The SEAT.

The list continues. With each and every station. With every new person joining the crowd which makes the spirit of Delhi. Which makes Delhi special. Adding that extra flavor to it. Its own flavor of ‘Curry’…with a different fragrance and a spicy taste.