For a long time now, we have othered people basis their caste, religion, region, culture, and colour. This time our collective grief unites us; let's push for dignity in life and death.
For a long time now, we have othered people basis their caste, religion, region, culture, and colour. This time our collective grief unites us; let’s push for dignity in life and death.
My late father was a fan of Bhupen Hazarika; his baritone voice and poetic compositions made his songs ethereal. He introduced me to many of his songs in the mid-90s. Bhupen Hazarika was the reason my father adored the Rudali soundtrack. The song which my father would occasionally hum was ‘ek kali do pattiyaan’.
He was also the one who introduced me to the Hindi rendition of the Bengali song – ‘O Ganga bheti ho kyun?’ (O Ganga, how can you still flow?). Original Assamese song here.
In this song, Hazarika evokes Ganga and asks her why does she still flow. As people helplessly cry for help, as corruption takes over the human mind, why does Ganga shamelessly continue to flow?
I can’t help but correlate this song with the current times. As corpses after corpses are found in the Ganges or on her banks, how does Ganga manage to drift emotionless? Dainak Bhaskar’s front-page headline in one of its Delhi editions read, “In the proximity of just one-kilometre, uncountable corpses on the banks of the Ganga.”
Hazarika is pleading with Ganga to give power to the weak. To make the strong comply in front of the poor. I smile because I know that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it does bend, towards justice. Yet, it doesn’t happen on its own. It happens only because people pull it towards justice.
I wonder when will my pained nation realize that this suffering is optional? That accountability exists only if you ask questions. That those eroding the responsibility cannot be allowed to go scot-free in ‘lal batti’.
We the people of India are foodless, dying because we cannot arrange for medicines, hospital beds, and let us not forget oxygen. We the people of India are left to the mercy of God, unfortunately, we the people of India did not vote for God.
Are we even registering what is happening in this country? On phone calls, we ask our relatives if they are doing fine. In reality, we are asking them, are you still alive? Is this the outcome for which our ancestors toiled?
For once for the sake of our own lives, the lives of the people we love, we must ask ourselves whether we deserve this (mis)treatment? Whether we the people of India deserve to be mocked in misery and death?
Bhishma was Ganga’s son. But today Ganga has millions of sons and daughters. When they will realize that now is not the time to grieve but to ensure a dignified goodbye. This dignity in death can only come when we can love the living.
For a long time now, we have othered people basis their caste, religion, region, culture, and colour. This time our collective grief unites us. The responsible should be punished and the deaths should be accounted for. We should get what we rightly deserve – dignity in life and death.
We can invoke the invisible God a hundred times, we can invoke Ganga Maiyaa a hundred times, yet we shall be all but futile if we don’t invoke the dignity within. Hazarika’s song was a belief in Ganga, he thought of her as a Goddess who will wash away the corrupt and bring justice to the meek. I’ll wait to see how long it takes for the children of Ganga to find their voice and start asking the questions.
Image source: shylendrahoode from Getty Images Signature Free for CanvaPro
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This strange love story reminds me of Princess Diana when she gave an interview about Prince Charles - "There were three of us in this marriage!”
This love was flawed and broken the way only we humans know how to break things with our ego, pride, insecurity and complexities!
Where do I even begin to tell the story of how deep a love can be, how it transcends time, place and people. Perhaps this is a story about how women are their own worst enemies. Either way it is a story that tells us how frail, fragile and fraught we are as humans and how much we hurt each other.
This love story began when I was two years old. Growing up in India in a culture that wove love stories like Laila Majnu, Heer Ranjha and the epic symbol of love, the Taj Mahal, into the very fabric of our existence, love was always an integral part of our lives.
One such love story was of a boy and a girl who were neighbours. The boy, an athlete, artist and a poet, found his muse in this shy, thoughtful and in her own way poetic girl, who seemed to worship the very ground he walked on. Her face could be found in all the paintings he created, and her name in every poem he wrote. The girl called him Sagar, which means ocean, symbolizing his all-encompassing love for her.
Everything thing was going well; their wedding date was being finalized, till the boy’s older brother who was a doctor in the same little town, got accepted into Stanford Medical School to do his MS.
Earlier my husband would say, 'Arey! What is there in making dal-roti? It's so simple.' After he had to cook everyday when I was ill, he has stopped saying that to me!
“Arey! What is there to do in making dal roti? Put a handful of lentils in the cooker and let it whistle and make two rotis. After all, how long will it take?” A handful of dal (lentils) and two rotis! This is the story of every woman and no one seems to understand.
Some time ago, after a shopping spree, my husband and I entered the house, exhausted. I had just about kept all the bags aside, when my husband said, “I am very hungry, can you make something.”
I looked at my husband in amazement and thought, ‘He had just had food, how did he get hungry again so soon?’
My husband, as if he had read my face, said, “Arey! You know that my stomach is not filled with outside food. Just make dal roti. What is there to do in making dal roti? Put a handful of lentils in the cooker and let it whistle and make two rotis. After all, how long will it take?”
‘Is this the way dal (lentils) and roti are made?’ The thought came to my mind. ‘After all, I also went along and now I am tired too.’ I was also getting angry at myself that after all, I had spoiled the habit of everyone in the house.
"She knew from the bottom of her heart that she hadn’t done anything wrong in calling and talking to Shree as her conscience was absolutely clean."
“She knew from the bottom of her heart that she hadn’t done anything wrong in calling and talking to Shree as her conscience was absolutely clean.”
She was shivering when she typed out the message on WhatsApp. But she could gradually feel the strength in her nerves. She curled her fist for that final strength and hit ‘send’.
Shree and Ganga first met during the initial meetings of their company’s annual function. They both were strangers coming from two different business units but who shared a passion for the arts, theatre and music.
The first thing Ganga had noticed about Shree was his beautiful handwriting. He was scribbling some rubbish on the white board when Ganga observed those letters, the graceful curves, the confident lines and the more striking underlines. Ganga herself had a distinctive cursive inherited from her father and was always curious to see that of others. So when she watched Shree write – it was as if the fragrant jasmine was flowering with the movement of his pen.
Social media was abuzz with the news of Sanjay Leela Bhansali's new movie poster featuring Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiawadi. Here's all you need to know!
Social media was abuzz with the news of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s new movie poster featuring Alia Bhatt as Gangubai Kathiyawadi. Here’s all you need to know!
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known for his powerful and historical films Ramleela, Bajirao Mastani, Padamavat and Black to name a few. So expectations from him are always high. And he doesn’t fail to impress. Yet again, his poster of his upcoming film has grabbed the attention of the tinsel town.
The poster feature Alia Bhatt in a new avatar is intriguing and we can’t stop guessing the name written on it- Gangubai Kathiyawadi. On researching further, I learnt that it is the story of a young girl, Ganga, who was sold into prostitution and eventually became a mafia queen in Mumbai.
Ganga was born in a well to-do family of Kathiawadi, Gujarat. Her name was Ganga Harjeevandas Kathiawadi. Ever since she was little, she wanted to become an actress and dreamt of fame and money.