The sky was dark, wind was silent. People were either asleep or were pretending to not exist in this world. Animals and birds were not visible anywhere your eyes would fall. At that time, the pre-dawn period, I woke up, did my usual morning lying up and then went for a walk.
This is my walk to and fro…
There was no-one outside on the road. All were sleeping peacefully inside their houses. I thought how beautiful the world would be if such peace and ambience remained even during the daytime!
I went on, time passed, And the dawn arrived. But there was no sun yet. May be the Japanese would have developed a technology to keep the sun to themselves for a longer time! Anyways, jokes apart. On the way, I heard sparrows chirping, pigeons making their weird hooo-hooos and kud-du-dus, peacocks peon-ing… I just loved it! Everything was so calm and soothing, and the sounds were so musical that I didn’t need my music! The air had some bliss in it… it made me feel lively..! The breeze tingling my hairs, the sounds making me feel calm! I thought that how simpler and peaceful our lives could be if we remove all the unnecessary portions from our lives!
I went on further… The sun finally came out of the place it was hiding for all this time. I felt the first ray fall on my skin – its warmth was so amazing! I half thought myself to be in Japan! Then I remembered that I was not the first to check out the sun this morning. Many people were coming out of their usual hideout – their home! (How much better it would be if there were no such hideouts – all living together!) About thousands of workers were already at work, maybe! ‘Cuz the milk-venders, newspaper-venders, fruits & vegetables venders and the very important tea stalls and their allies were already ready to start their work! Life starts very early, I thought!
As I went further, I saw people coming out of their houses (now the common persons) – for morning walk, morning exercises, purchasing milk, etc. Dogs had started running behind their masters, and somewhere, masters had started running behind their dogs! Some were cycling, some were just riding the cycle. But all in all, there was a different city I was unaware of! I thought everything is so well established and so at its place! How can there very any problem in such a world! People are jolly, active and helpful. I thanked God to send me to this planet! (Not that I am from some other planet, lol)
Then I saw some old man feeding the birds (remember DDLJ?). Some men were gathered around tea stalls. Talking and gossiping (Yes even men – but topics were a bit more sensible).
Now the sun was visible. I felt the ozone in the air! Its such a nice ‘thing’ – saves the whole humanity from sun’s UV-rays! And it’s funny that people don’t care about it! I guess they have found some way to survive without ozone protection, maybe I’d have to work harder!
As I continued my walk, I heard kids running and shouting in nearby houses – “No mama..! I don’t wanna go to school! There teacher scolds me all the time! Even if I don’t do anything!” I laughed and frowned at the same time. Laughed remembering my childhood and frowned remembering my past. How we enjoyed going to school each day, shouting laughing playing fighting dancing singing eating loving together! How we did exactly the same thing even while coming back from school! What frowned me was actually the time in between. There were even some persons there in school whom I have hard time to believe to be ‘teachers’! Anyways, that was school life – we all miss those days!
After some time, I saw kids coming out of there houses finally, all dressed up in uniform – looking so cute in that tie! They were accompanied by their parent(s) carrying something (commonly known as bag – which I would call baggage) which even they were struggling to carry..! I thought why nobody is doing something to reduce the burden on such small kids! Then putting the same question on my face and not able to answer, I went on… although disappointed!
At the bus stand, I saw kids playing, waiting for their school bus. Their mothers gossiping – about how their hubby snores at night, how difficult it is to keep this everyday schedule on time, complaining about their kids not drinking milk, discussing with intent devotion that how someone from some serial was reborn for fifth time and got married for tenth time even at the age of 50! Plz God.!
Kids were talking about yesterday’s cartoon episodes, cricket match (one said “Sachin played well” – although the match was between Australia and England, I laughed), girls about dolls and serials (not again); older boys about girls and older girls about boys…
The sun was fully out. The men and women were finally commencing their daily routine of work. The public transport was filled as if there was only one vehicle in India. Then I remembered my school classes where some teacher told us that India’s population was about a billion – that justified the rush! But still I asked one question – that after all these years, all the planning commission’s efforts and awareness programs and people shifting towards a modern society, why was population still one of the biggest and root problem of India? Something somewhere or someone somewhere is not working!
Tired by the long walk I decided to take some rest. So I went under a tree and sat on the berth. I was so happy that the world I lived in was so nice, filled with nature’s beauty and fun-loving and kind people. Thinking about all that I saw on my walk, I fall asleep…
When I woke up, it was almost evening. I had slept there for the whole day! OMG!
I hurried back to my home thinking about the people I cared for. On my way back, I thought to take a look around the world I saw and admired in the morning…
On the road, I saw people were behaving like lunatics! There was rush on the road! Everyone was in so much hurry! Even the red light at traffic signals couldn’t turn off the engines of the cars! (The reason, for sure, I couldn’t understand!) How can people behave so carelessly, rather irresponsibly! I was worried that tomorrow morning I may not be able to come out of my house to admire the Ozone-bliss early morning!
I saw that people had changed totally from those I saw in the morning! They were arrogant, unkind and unhelpful! Even if it was their fault, They were shouting on the other guys around. I saw accidents, where the cars behind didn’t stop to help the person who got hurt. Instead started blowing horns so loud – as if that hurt person was the only bad thing fallen on earth! How shameful!
I went on… but I soon found out that I had lost my way. I saw a few bunch of small kids nearby, so I went there to ask my way. They were fighting over their games. Shouting bad words and slang like their nursery rhymes! Instead of the brotherhood nature of small kids, I saw anger and jealousy in their eyes. I was so worried that what had happened to these kids – the same kids I saw in the morning!
I saw another bunch of adults (but kids) so I went there to ask my way. I saw them lying to their best friends! Playing bad games so full of hate and deceitful intentions! I over-heard things and came to know about break-ups and instances of misunderstanding turning into life-long rivalry! I wondered what happened to those guys who could do anything to maintain their life-long friendship!
I went on and on and saw so many people all doing devilish acts. I watched over the evening news at a shop and was shocked to see that there was terrorism, theft, murders and rapes everywhere instead of news about new findings, discoveries and achievements! There was poverty, unemployment, mala fide acts of people… there was de-growth, wasting of resources and irresponsible attitude in everyone. Water, the most precious matter on earth, was being wasted like hell on road and in houses. There was a total disregard in the manner people behaved with each other. There were fake smiles, hatred and dishonesty in each human being. All had become money-minded and selfish in the course of their living. From humans we had become devils!
I saw the same old man I saw in the morning (the one feeding the birds and animals). So I went to him and asked my way back! I observed his face – From hope, satisfaction and peace on his face, I saw fear, pain and anguish in his eyes! The same birds which were being fed by him pooped on his shirt. The dogs he gave bits to eat were barking at his stances! Even the animals had changed!
Finally I arrived at my house and while climbing the stares to my house, I wondered – was the world the same that I saw in morning? Were these the same people?
I was feeling so melancholy by the contrast between the walk to and fro! How has the world changed! It was a walk not to remember but to start introspecting ourselves, I guess…