Thursday, June 22, 2006

Necklace Road - Seetafalmandi

The old eyes watched the expanse of waste land that one could usually see while returning back from the MMTS local train in Hyderabad. The piles of garbage, the motley of dirty, filthy houses, rags covering the thatched roofs everything might have been so much home to the old lady sitting in front of me, with a huge bag of her entire world, her tired, dry hands clutching to the bag, had a story of hard work and suffering. The train crawled on to a much filthier space ahead, a serpentine drain, with the city’s bourgeoisie dump, had the stench I or anybody my age generally associate with utter poverty and grime. With all the fellow faces contorting from the rotten smell, I saw the old woman remained with the same expression, placid and calm. Her eyes had this still, sad look that had seen so much filth that, this present muck made no difference to her. These eyes seemed so withdrawn from the whole world, ready to face anything that life could possibly bring with it. I engrossed in the life around me, could not understand the depth these old soul had experienced. I with my urban, affluent experiences of life could perhaps never understand that life meant living for her, food meant survival for her, and home meant the world for her.

I did not know how she lived her life, how did her hands become so rough that she could no more caress the little child her daughter might have given birth to. I did not know how her feet had become so parched that it hurt to continue walking or perhaps the blood seeping out of the cracks did not bother her of the marks it left on her torn, fragile sari. It did not bother her that people in the compartment preferred standing than sitting next to her. But it bothered me with my urban, educated mentality, seeing her sitting alone, aloof from the whole world. But my presence added nothing to her comfort, perhaps she was used to such pitiful, friendly gestures, which only made her feel more degraded. I realized that her eyes did not complain of the life she had lived. Perhaps I had got it all wrong, I perceived her to be sad, and perhaps she wasn’t all that sad after all. Her eyes did not have sad tales to narrate for her grandchildren; they will be stories of the king who lived a long, lavish life, of the princess who fell in love with a young, poor guy. My station was arriving and I looked more intently at her trying to decipher more of her life and suddenly the train stopped with a jolt, the cannonading sound stopped and a small packet fell out from the old woman’s tattered sari. A cheap green, transparent polythene packet, with a small new plastic elephant in it. Perhaps for the new born grand daughter, she picked it up and wiped the little dirt that had collected on one side of the packet, from one end of her sari. Nestling it safely to where it was, she for once looked up at me and smiled meanwhile the train had reached where I had to get down. Walking back to my hostel room, I no more gave a look of pity to the people living in the slums just opposite the huge gate of my institute.

27 comments:

Amalendu said...

very well said dear...
Iloved the way it is growing...
very interesting use like"fellow faces contorting from the rotten smell"...
Love you dear...

serendipiduous said...

wat a sigh inducing piece that was...muaaaah

serendipiduous said...

i love the fact that u end it witch such urban matter of factness...

wasted said...

thanks people!

mizfit said...

nicely written... :)

wasted said...

hey thanks mizfit! you wont believe but me n my brother were just talking bout u.

Time Killer said...

Well written !
Atlast we agree on something .
Reminds of my days in Mumbai and was witness to two extremes - Poverty and affluence within 1 km of road stretch.

wasted said...

yah n thats the irony India is.
I tried to visit your blog but then the page was not found.

Siddharth said...

now this is why I say at times ...you make me proud

GOOD WORD - NESTLING
BAD WORD - URBAN

Chandan Kumar said...

sigh !!

Wild Reeds said...

Dear Solan,
You write very well. Enjoyed your blog.

uglygirl said...

i love you you know.
i think you act out what i only am concious of. and...i never contort my face at that face. my school was on the banks of that naalaa next to hussain sagr, and that vulgar smell only brings back memories.

wasted said...

@wildreeds hey thanks for spending time reading my blog...your welcome!

@ UG yah I remember your telling me once, while you me and premankur had come down to lifestyle and I was supposed to visit my brother...remember..sigh!

mizfit said...

Solan~
so now i have, 100 saal ki lambi umaar? (sorry, but hindi was alwaysz a lil tung for me)

wasted said...

@ mizfit yah i guess and hindi was fine only

Träum said...

Alle schreiben gut, aber niemand macht etwas !!

wasted said...

@Träum :Danke Gut, aber schreiben ist auch sehr wichtig,weil mit schreiben kÖnnen wir diskutieren und informieren andere Über diese sachen. Und "schreiben" ist nicht nur ein passiv Activitat, es ist aber sehr activ und viel leuten reagienren und denken nur nach sie haben etwas zum lesen.
tut mir leid, mein deutsch isnt nicht so gut, aber ich hoffe, dass ich meine punkt klar gesagt habe.

Träum said...

bitte verärgern Sie nicht. Nach meiner Meinung werden alle Leute diese Artikel schnell vergessen. Wenn Sie morgen eine neue Artikel haben, werden alle dann an diese Interessieren. Sie haben die Kraft oder die Energie, wenn Sie möchten, diese zu ändern.

Sie können einfach eine gute Wohlfahrtseinrichtung finden and die Bevölkerung zur Gaben aufrufen. Nur meine Meinung, bitte stören Sie sich nicht viel.

Träum said...

Und Sie haben über deine Arbeit noch nicht erklären !! Welche Firma? Was machen Sie, wie finden Sie Ihre Arbeit?

wasted said...

danke gut über was alles sie haben geschrieben.
über meine Arbeit, sie geht gut. Jetzt arbeite ich bei eine Firma "NetElixir". Die arbeit ist so lala. Aber ich will im vier tagen, die Arbeit wechseln, und Ich bin nicht sicher was mache ich
nächst.

wasted said...

Ah! kÖnnst du mir sagen, wer bist du?

Time Killer said...

che chi jaan lukhmut . bi chus bud khosh.agar chi chak ni me hakan parzanavit , bi chus choon chun bem!!

wasted said...

ok got your point timekiller, but you want me to give the only chance of me writing german...think bout it

Time Killer said...

What was written by me was Kashmiri ... what you commented on it is beyond me . Also , I wanted to prove that I can write english in any Language:)..think about it

wasted said...

thats what I meant dear timekiller when i said got your point, and i knew that was kashmiri. Why the hell do you get so defensive all the time.
my point in replying in german was,
1. somebody wrote sth for me n asked me few things in german n I replied in the same language.
2. I never let go of an opportunity where I can speak/write/listen to german, as i hardly get exposure to the language n I really wanna improve it.

wanda1234 said...

thanks for sharing....


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Rahul said...

Well written. I could see the lady sit next to you as I read this :)