Saturday, June 14, 2008

The promised Land

Why is it that we are drawn to our home country with such a fervour? Why even when we think there is nothing left in there , we still want to get back to it? Why do people leave their comfort , security , pleasure and peace to go back to their own country?
I recently finished reading A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseni ( read it fully at Lanmark :D) . Great book , showed the turmoil which Afghanistan went through through the years of wars ad its impact on the lives of women in the country. In the book the female protagonist - Laila returns back to Afghanistan after the war is war. I wondered what pulls her back to the country which denied her freedom ,took away her family , where she was tortured and where she was made a mere puppet in the hands of gun yielding mullahs.
Then it struck me No matter how comfortable you are , no matter how peaceful you might feel , you will always be an OUTSIDER. An outsider who will always try to fit in . An outsider who will always be looked at with suspicion. Your own country will always accept you with open arms. The place where you will feel a sense of belonging.
Nobody wants to become a refugee. Nobody wants to leave its own country. And worst of all nobody wants to be uninvited when you are thrown out of your land. When your land is snatched away from you due to some mindless politics of some war mongers. My ancestors belong to Lahore and Peshawar. I can never associate with these two places because i have never been there and those places are not home for me. My home is Delhi , Bombay and plethora of other Indian cities i have lived in . But after reading the book i cannot help but think the plight of my grandparents , who will never be able to visit the place of their birth because of some lines on paper drawn by people sitting in conference rooms.
Sometimes i wonder what might have been if the partition wouldn't have taken place. But then that is what would have been ..... Coming back to the topic and thinking about the refugees. I cannot help but feel sorry for the Tibetans in India. While our left communists are happy being a bed side mistress to the Chinese government - forcing our government to make policies more pro China than pro India, the Tibetans are holding silent protests to demand for what is rightfully theirs- their homeland.
This post is dedicated to thousand of young Tibetans who have never seen the land described to them through tell tales of their parents. May one day they room the beautiful plateaus of Tibet.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Every man kills the thing he loves

" Yet Each man kills the thing he loves
By each let this be heard
Some do it with a bitter look
Some with a flattering word
The coward does it with a kiss
The brave man does it with a sword! "
The ballad of Reading Gaol
This is a strange thing which most of us have experienced at some point or the other in our lives. Why do we destroy the things we love the most? The desire to be the last person to be the owner or the person to experience the thing last. We hear of honour killings ... dictators destroying their palaces, destroying their countries before leaving. Even not so grave examples their would be times when we would have become so possessive about something in our life that we wold not want anybody else to be a part of it , even though in reality the thing would be of no purpose to us now.
Probably we destroy the thing we love because we want to end at a high. To remember the good times and not the downward curve.The above lines to me point to the latest Arushi controversy. Though it is still not known who killed her. But according to the media speculation that a father could have killed a daughter as an honor killing , i wonder what honour is greater than a person's life. In this case that of your own daughter. About the case , i feel their is a Pandora box which is still to be opened. I think i cannot bring myself to think the father as the accused ... but as somebody said ... if we dwell into the depths of the human mind some chilling dark truths may come out.
Thinking about the bigger issue at hand. Even after writing so much . I cannot find answer to the question by which i began this post. This trait of human beings. About me personally , yes i have been self destructive sometimes about the things which i have loved. Sometimes unknowingly ..... sometimes with my full conscience. Moving away from people i loved. Moving away from projects which were close to me. But one pattern i have noticed with all of this is that all this comes when something is at its peak. Peak of friendship , peak of closeness to someone, peak of accomplishing something great in the project. Perhaps we want to sign off at a high.
It is funny how a quote or a couplet can ring back so many memories and emotions which were hiding in some corner of your mind back in firm perspective. Something like that had happened when i read the above mentioned lines.