Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Another Afternoon, Another Time

Should've posted this more than a week ago...

He hasn't made even a brief appearance in this weblog/chronicles, so I guess it's about time. (But then, isn't it always time?) Vous ĂȘtes un bon ami, Mr. Kubrik, not to mention an intermittent partner-in-crime, benefactor, and deliverer across the seven seas, of specially borrowed books and legally acquired goods.

While chatting on MSN a few days ago, the conversation turned to the possibility of their being in (all of) us, certain recurrent behavioural patterns since childhood. (No, I'm not trying to pull the "habituated-to-such-and-such" defence for myself, but sometimes I really really wonder, can we change?) Probably the only detail from that conversation that can be revealed was my mentioning that at age 3, I had ideas of wanting to become a Sikh militant. A terrorist, actually, in search for revenge. Bizarre, I knows, in in the original arabic usage of the term.

A decade later, we were visiting a book fair at the Pragati Maidan (a very name, because while 'pragati' means progress in hindi, a joke in our family is of 'maidan' meaning (going for) ablutions. Get the link/sarcasm? ;-) Anyway, as parking is always big trouble in that part of and time for the city, we'd left our 800 somewhere near the Puraana Quila, and were walking towards the Fair. Suddenly, my sister exclaimed, "Amma, dekho! kabootron ki BJP!" (trans: "Ma, look! Pigeons doing a BJP")

This was February 1993, and she must've just turned 6. Two months prior, the demolition of the Babri Masjib, was brought to us in the form of hazy Newstrack footage (the coming of age of VCR's in India?) and headlining photos in newspapers and magazines. Of the saffron bandana clad army of destructionists clambering like ants over police barricades and assaulting the monument.

Pigeons sunning on the dome of one of the monuments opposite the Puraana Quila, on a slow winter weekend afternoon. Maybe, just (maybe) a few seconds after her words, they flew away... the flock swarming to some other spot.

What if, when warmth is space, the search can only be for another sun?


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