Anandbazar Patrika, The Telegraph, The Statesman, Bartaman are some of the names that I have adopted over the years to inform the rest- yet remaining obscure. Lurking behind the tree, suspended from the fence, leaning against the wall – I see those eyes, read the lips and follow the finger. Residing undercover, I see it all and that, is my curse.
At the same time today, his footsteps were heard faintly. The eyes peeped, the glass door swayed, the heads turned anxiously, as one carrier replaced the other. Leaving us with a few sighs, he disappeared again without a trace. Was this how it was meant to be - he would serve us all, but never appear in front of us?
Three brothers, separated at birth, raised in different localities are connected only by a single thread – the railway track. Each have grown up leading different lives; developing their own unique personality. However, every day, at specific intervals, for few minutes, they synchronise for a musical. A musical, so engaging, that no resident can ignore, but is drawn to follow suit.
Amidst clinking and bustling sounds is a Man in disguise, shifting swiftly, pouring healing potion that brings to life relations, conversations, memories, creative thoughts and what not! Providing hope amidst gloom, He preserves and curates everyone who comes under His big yet humble umbrella. Whenever the world is in despair, He takes different forms to cater the humanity.
Once you have taken the red pill, you become part of the algorithm. Irrespective of one’s background, immediate conditioning, individual pace or personal taste, one cannot escape the behavioural coding. The code reads this way: pay, stand, choose, take, eat, drink and leave. Unfortunately, no one can be told what this is, one will need to feed oneself to know!
Amaa miyan aap bhi kamaal ho!! Jisse aap kitaabon aur lafzon mein dhoond rahe hai, gaur se dekhiye woh toh aap ke nason mein basa hai!! Huzoor, Ghalib chale gaye, aur chale gaye Goya, reh gaya to yeh sheher jiske har andaaz hai bas adab aur nazaakat ka ek mushaira. Yeh sheher shayaron ka nahi, yeh sheher hi shayari hai!
Today, it stands somewhat altered. Surroundings changed, function modified, few parts replaced; others decayed, some unnoticed and few renamed. What then is its real identity? The one that they built, the one that they occupied, the one that you see or one that they will get to know? Whose recognition does then one conserve? Which legacy does then one inherit?
A landmark with many motives –an opportunity for recreation; an epicenter for communities, a pitstop for travels and even a ground for experimentation. For some it is an engineering marvel, for a few a source of living, for one an obstruction, for the rest a place of amusement but till date for many, a structure associated with disaster and deprivation.
Around the corner, lies the shop; with high ceiling fans, wooden tables, and marble top. With white teacups serving thick cream chai, complimented with nankhatai; it was a place that everyone would occupy. Voices of all poured in, to the sound of the record on a spin. Though now, only a few last; saali boti, still serves the rich past.