Thursday, 13 October 2005

Back in India

I arrived on 10 October, three days ago. Explaining the way to the taxi driver, a young man who has come recently from Bhagalpur in Bihar, made me realise that my memories of Delhi are getting rusted. I was confused between Vasant Kunj and Vasant Vihar. As the taxi passed through the Mehrauli road, it was clear that if India is indeed shining, its light has yet to reach certain parts of the capital. May be cellphones and satellite TV and digital cameras have arrived even here but the signs of old smelly confusion, narrow roads, shops encroaching on the streets, heaps of garbage, wandering cows, horn blaring traffic, brash and aggressive car drivers, poor asking for alms, etc. are all still there. Mahipal Pur, the village where I used to come for my preventive and social medicine posting in the village health centre in 1976, is now an unending length of houses, shops and traffic.

As the taxi turned towards Munirka and the flyovers of the outer Ring Road, it was good to feel the changing face of urban India, even if the quality of roads, pavements and railings over the new flyovers seemed to be bad. The two Indias, the shining one and the one still in the dark, live close to each other, at times mixing together.

While people in Tamilnadu have forced actress Khushboo to apologise for her "insult to the Tamil womanhood" by talking about pre-marital sex, on the TV screens a girl shows her backside, moves it seductively and then slowly enlarges her buttocks with her hands while singing a remix version of the old Rishi Kapoor-Jayapradha song, "Daphliwale, daphli baja..", and I am flabbergasted by this unexpected meaning to the old song. How naive I must have been not to see the dirty meaning of the song before! Or perhaps, all songs are dirty, all words can be bent to give them another meaning. Every thing is about sex!

The promos of a new film are even more shocking. It is a new film by K-lady Ekta Kapoor, the lady who makes all the serials about Bhartiya sabhyta like "Kyonki saas bhi kabhi bahu thi" kind of serials. The promos have yesteryears' star Jeetandra's face spashed on them. One scene has the hero, Aftab Shivdasani, standing up with his bleeding finger held in front of his crotch being licked by a girl on her knees, another girl looks at them from behind and thinks that the girl is sucking something else. This promo is repeated about 15 times during the day, without any warning that it is for adults or any such thing.

The sexually liberated India coexists with Bajrangdal-Shivsena-controlled "no sex please, we are Indians" kind of India.

There are pandals every where for Durgapuja. For Dushehra, big Ravans are standing in each park, full of loud crackers, waiting to be burnt. In one park, I curiously watch the puja being performed at the feet of Ravan's effigy and at the end, people take turns to touch Ravan's feet and hold their hands in prayer in front of it.

I have been to Ramleelas all my life and I had never realised that there is a puja in front of the Ravan also and people ask blessings to it before burning it!

Isn't Ravan the bad one, why are you touching his feet, I want to ask but then I stop myself. May be that is the American or western way of thinking. We know that Ravan was a great vidwan, perhaps, it is good to pray to him and then burn him to glory?



  1. Sono proprio contenta di trovarti qui!!! :-)))))))))))))
    Come stai?
    Scrivi qualcosa anche in italiano ... divento scema per cercare di capire quello che scrivi in inglese!!! :-)))
    Però in Hindi mi sarebbe stato proprio impossibile .... quindi: grazie! :-)))
    Ho creato un indirizzo su gmail è il mio nome punto cognome.
    Torna presto.
    Ciaoooo dalla tua lettrice italiana
    Un abbraccio

  2. Curious to know what's written above.Please translate it into English.


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