Friday, October 1, 2010

Ayodhya - the one without war...

Long long ago, when I was a little boy, I asked my Dad,
What exactly was this thing called partition, was it really bad?
He answered with a heavy voice, just imagine son
If the line was between Pune and Mumbai, wouldn't that be sad?
I was horrified. Coz Pune was where my grandma stayed
and Mumbai was where we changed trains every summer
I had wondered, could someone be so stupid?
To draw a line between two cities? So bad?
But then.... somebody had.

Many years later, when I still believed, naively,
that famous people just kind of passed away
I mean, just peacefully, you know, just like that
Till that one day when I saw
a Prime Minister become a crumpled heap of blood and guts
I couldn't believe that someone could be so mad
But then..... somebody had.

More years passed, and I thought
I was grown up to understand it enough
I believed that only capability mattered, not caste
And that stupid rules were a thing of the past
But then, I saw a student
must have been just about my age then
Who set himself ablaze, and
the frenzied mob did little to save him
I still thought, how could others be so bad?
But then... sombody had.

Some more years passed, and I thought all was OK.
For there was this young man who said to the world
"India is an old country and a young nation
and I am young, and I have a dream."
He seemed to set all things right,
when one day,
I saw him too being blown to small bits
So much that all they could find of him were his shoes
I had ALWAYS wondered, could anyone be so mad?
But then.... somebody had.

Even more years passed, at least by now I should have learnt
For my entire childhood was spent quite close to a mosque
That it didn't matter which God you bowed to
As long as you were humane to one and all
But I then saw a mindless mob tear down a mosque
Did they gain anything from it at all?
I wished nobody had
But then.... somebody had.

By then, i was sure I was old enough to understand
That night in a chowk in Pune
I was in that frenzied mob, all wide-eyed
Watching on a screen a horde climb those domes
Armed with crude weapons, deadly nevertheless
Shouting hoarse a name which I thought stood for integrity
But they showed none, were just proud to exhibit brutality
I still looked askance, how could anyone be so mad?
But then.... someone had.

Not too far back, some men simply sailed across the sea
And happily went around shooting anyone they could see
They went to those very places, where I had made friends
Some of my friends lay dead as I watched horrified
All I did was howled and cried
Yes, I too lit a candle, but
That wouldn't have brought my friends back
Really, how could someone be so mad?
But then ... someone had.

Many years have passed, and I have greyed now
Have long since stopped asking the question
How can anybody be so mad?
I was afraid I would have to ask it again today.
But then.....