The Concrete Jungle

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Sun was shining bright and it was a hot day. Bathing in my sweat, I was somehow managing to ride my bike in sunlight. I missed my childhood days when I could ride my bike in day time even. Now it is impossible to peddle in such temperature!

I reached my destination and entered the parking lot. It was an open area parking just besides the building. Lost in the song that was playing, I left behind the spot I park my bike at everyday. There are very few places in the parking lot that have tree shade on the vehicle. I had managed to find one such place which was ignored by all and left unoccupied everyday…

I rode back but hey.. I couldn’t find the place. Oh! The music takes me to some other world! I tried searching the place again and again but that place was gone. How can that be possible?

But then I got it… The tree was gone and not the place. I parked my bike in sunlight half-heartedly. And my day continued thereafter as usual.

Next day, again the same burning temperature and that search for a shaded parking space. But, failure repeated and so was half-hearted parking.

Day in day out, I observed parking lot was getting bigger view. And trees were reducing everyday. I enquired with the security personnel who informed me that they were cutting down the trees for increasing the parking area… (And they were actually cutting and not uprooting and planting back somewhere else.!)

That day, I saw a big article in the magazine about droughts in states which were once filled with water. On my way home, I saw school kids discussing about ‘Global Warming and its effects’, supposedly there school project, which was going to fetch them some marks. At home, when I read my evening newspaper, I saw news relating to water drainage problem in a city, criticizing the hardened authority which took no steps for it. Later at night, I watched a movie, a Sci-Fi on Earth and its destruction due to climatic change…

I wondered if everywhere the topic is on buzz… The people are well aware of the situation, the consequences and the measures to be taken… The kids are taught well in advance at the junior level itself about the global warming… Even the entertainment media is making presentations with some social and environmental message… Then why on earth, why are we not doing what we are supposed to do..?

Especially in our country, we make buildings, roads, bridges and all sorts of infrastructure using concrete and steel. So much of unused space, so much of unnecessary construction of huge buildings.. The wastage of space which could have been used to either plant more trees or to accommodate the needy in our country’s ever multiplying population…

Tree plantation programmed are launched every now and then. Thousands of trees are planted. But then they are left at nature’s care. Even we don’t know if those spaces declared for tree plantation is sold and converted into a shopping complex!

Building huge homes, office buildings with great open space, a gigantic shopping complex that can facilitate thousands of shoppers together.. And what’s the use? These buildings are double the size the humans actually need to accommodate themselves!

Instead just build a structure with reasonable space us and use the other area for making our planet green AGAIN… Unnecessary allocation of land for parking should be stopped and engineers, architects should come up with alternatives… Even the public in general should reduce using individual transportation and switch over to public transportation or pooling techniques; which again calls for government to be less corrupt and give proper ‘facility’ in the facility they say of providing!

I wish I don’t have to take birth as a human again…

P.s.: Saying Sorry to our Earth…

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What would happen if we changed?

 

“We are humans. We call ourselves the social animal (Anyways, the animal). We’ve grown from being a hairy being with two legs, hands, eyes, ears and one nose and mouth and other additional parts, and our ability to communicate and think which made us different from other animals, to a civilized sophisticated and highly developed beings on the earth.

Till today (means the day I wrote this post), no other animal have been discovered to have such mental strength and abilities as humans have. And so we rule the world! We are the supreme living beings on Earth! And the world (including its resources and benefits) are ours to explore and use (and misuse)…!”

This is what I think what others might be feeling about themselves because I see people behaving in not-so-civilized or sophisticated manner nowadays.. Well, for them, newsflash! It is not as you may be thinking! We are even worse than animals in things we do! Read on, you’ll see…

Today’s is our beloved country’s Independence Day. 15th August, the day when after 200 years of struggling and fighting, the people of India could finally remove the dictatorship of other nation (which is now among the super powers of the world, thanks to all the Laxmi that we allowed them to take away without any clause for repayment..!)

It was the moment of freedom. People felt joyous and enjoyed the beginning of democracy in their nation. They rejoiced in the rhythm of being free to live their lives, the independence, which they all sought for about two centuries. There were speculations, there were expectations, that the new born India would be an emblem of peace and serenity. The new born nation would show the world how it can grow after a great fall! (There were people too who said that India will break into pieces, here people think of themselves and not the country).

Yes, the speculations, expectations were achieved (and sayings were proved too). We truly are an emblem of peace in the world. Well, nobody in the world would keep quiet this long even if a nation is constantly trying to disrupt the stability in our country and have killed about a billion people over these years. Anyone else at our place would have surely declared a war! But no, we are peace loving democratic and secular nation. (Even though the biggest problem in our country is religion!).

So what went wrong over the span of these 66 years that we could achieve the goals that we set on the First Independence Day, but not to our own benefits?! Can we blame the government for framing poor policies or not implementing the laws properly? Or can we blame the disruptive neighborhood that we’ve got to constantly annoy us with all the activities that are prohibited by the Indian Penal Code? Or can we blame it to the ‘Great’ Nation that ruled us for 200 years and exploited and diseased us to the deepest root of our country? Or can we just blame our people, Indians for they are the one who ultimately are responsible for their acts? Can we blame these people? Yes… We can… We surely can! ‘Cuz India is a democratic nation. We all have a right to express our opinion. We have right to speak the way we want unless it hinders someone else’s privacy or integrity. But in India no one reads the “unless” portion. Nobody is interested in the “conditions” that apply(*). We have got this right for free, so we enjoy, we use it, we even misuse it…

But if we look at the mirror, apart from the clothes and accessories, excluding the charm of our face or the spoiled cupcake, what do we see? Can we look into our eyes and shout like a militant “Jay Hind!”? Can we? Can we even say that “I’m proud to be an Indian!” No right? (Yeah some would disagree, but let me tell you, read on, your response would change… And okay some would even say that why would we be proud, there’s nothing to be proud of in Our country! To him – Kindly leave India, we don’t need such Good for nothing complainers like you, anyway the population is increasing, please bless us by either dying or leave the nation and yes, you’re NOT welcomed!)

I’d like to remind you people of the ad that came a few years back featuring Aamir Khan telling us to wake up (Jago!). That ad showed us the very basic problem of our nation and that is “Indian People!”. Yes the problem in the country is its own people. If we all change, then the nation will surely progress, there’s no doubt to it! But will we change…? Now that’s a BIG question, ain’t it? Well, I personally believe that we can never change! (but you can prove me wrong!) You all people can actually stop doing what is wrong, start doing what is right (obviously) and prove that no I’m wrong, and the people of India CAN change, and India can grow! But can you do it!? Again, I don’t think so…

As a matter of fact, we can never change our old habits! And – to litter in public, being corrupt, helping the enemies of this country for personal benefit, being selfish, ignoring the environment, ignoring the restraints and wasting the resources, NOT following the rules (which is not same as breaking the rules, an Indian would say), misbehaving with poor and weak, not respecting the females, rapes, thefts, ignoring the parking rules, ignoring the traffic rules, defying the instructions issued to us in case of an emergency or difficulty thinking only about us and no one else, ignoring the warnings issued for using conservatively (where we would use, instead waste, like anything), demanding foreign items when the same purpose can be achieved easily with an Indigenous item, not respecting the minors, not performing the profession ethically, evading tax, using other people’s money for personal benefits, looking after our well-being even when that will cause problem to other genuinely, lies, frauds, cheats, following the wrong foreign culture instead of adopting to their correct and successful practices, office politics and oppression, misuse of power and position, illegally obtaining what you do not deserve (even sometimes even what you don’t need), disrupting national peace, fighting over petty issues and creating havoc (where things could have easily been solved just by saying a simple “Sorry!”), disrespectful use of public transportation, sadistic behavior as those things don’t belong to us or those people are not known to us, rebellious behavior at the wrong place, unethical earnings, accumulating resources for our future generations when some of the present generation people are starving for it, and finally blaming it on others, not believing that you all are equally part of it (including me) – is our deepest and oldest habits that can never be overcome without bringing the change in ourselves first!

What would happen if we changed? What would happen if we stopped doing the things listed above and behaved in rightful way the a true citizen should have!? What would happen if the world would be free from all these things, and people would live happily!? (If you say that this is a dream which can never be achieved – please kill yourself! If all the people like you just commit suicide then we don’t have to do anything more, our dream would automatically be achieved!)

Rightly said by someone I don’t know – “Be the change you wanna see!”

But still I don’t think you can..!! Prove me wrong if you can..!

 

Bird-eye view (Life of Peacock)

Hi there! I am Mobo – A Peacock… yes that bird having beautiful feathers and who shouts in and around the time of rain (actually we sing). I’m going to tell you my story..

My story begins from the day I first saw my mum and dad. They were smiling and waving at me. I couldn’t understand what was that but I just smiled at them ‘Cuz I knew that they were going to feed me. I saw around and found that there were two more like me, but one had no feathers like two of us (later I found that she was female).

Days passed, but at last, I had started growing into an adult peacock. I learned all the things that our civilized tribe of peacocks need to learn, which included speaking, eating, flying, dancing, swimming, singing and last but not the least (and my favourite) rain-dance! We peacocks have a special ability to lift all our feathers in our tail up and make a formation which looks like a blue sun with green rays from a distance. We express out feelings of joy and cheer and greet others a New Year by performing rain dance and welcoming Rain by singing rain-song.

All these made us peacocks adorable and every other bird was jealous of our skills. But we peacocks are generous. We don’t compete with others and we believe in peace.

So I, being an adult male in the family, was always entrusted with the responsibility to safeguard our family from other hunter animals. And I loved doing that. All I had to do is shout angrily and they used to run away. Sometimes however I had to fight with the bad guy. That too was easy for me, ‘Cuz nature had made us so that we can easily fly a long distance with one flight and I just used that technique to save me and my family. But I always felt jealous of the Eagle! How high and fast it could fly in the sky, that too without breaks! I always wished to fly like that above the clouds. When I told my mum so, she explained me that we are not made to fly high, that’s why it is not good to long for such a dream which is not attainable! Instead we are given beautiful body that makes us different than any bird on earth. We have the ability to forecast rain way before any one can tell. We could communicate even from the farthest of the far. All these made us special and you should respect what you are! That lesson was something I can never forget in my life.

All was well and we had a happy family living their lives in the forest with other animals and creatures, until that day that changed everything in our world. I can still feel the wrath of that day that separated all of us and killed many of our friends and fellow foresters.

That day was when some animal (they call it Man) came inside our forest boundaries and demolished whatever was in their way. Even the mightiest of the mighty, the Elephants, could not stop there steel machines. The king of the jungle, Lion, could even not stand against their sticks and belts! The king of sky, Eagle, whom I admired the most, didn’t stand a chance against the Man’s bullet firing machine (they called it Gun). That bullet flied even faster than the Eagle and hit it straight into his heart! Oh my! God bless his soul!

They continued cutting more and more trees, day after night, night after day. It forced us to shift ourselves and our home deeper and deeper inside the forest. But it was difficult. No food, no river, how hard those days were, it still makes me scared.

Those ‘Man’ killed many of us animals and took them either cutting their teeth or carving out their skin! God knows what use could that be to those devilish Man! They even attacked and killed a few animals for food! The forest had never seen such atrocity in its history! Never had such devilish creature was being unleashed upon us.

I was separated from my family in this run for life. I travelled land across land in search of some safe land, ‘Cuz I too was not safe from that Man, who desired to put our feathers on their heads and walls and everywhere, by killing us! So I flew day after day, travelling long distances, covering sea, land and forests, lifting my so heavy body – yes, it was very difficult!

Years have passed after that, now the lands are divided by these Men into their territories and have replaced out jungle of trees and rivers with their structures of Wood and Rocks! But I am happy, they have not put restrictions on us from flying anywhere on earth. So we live our lives just like that, or pretend to be living. But how we miss those forests, those rivers, that ambience of peace that was in our times!

When it rained, we sang songs of welcome to wish the rain a new year. We cheered, we hallowed our feelings by performing rain-dance and feeling each drop of water fall on us, cleaning us from all the dirt material that stuck in out features and brought a new era of happiness in out lives. How we danced and enjoyed with our families and friends! Oh so beautiful were those days!

Now, the rain does come, but we don’t feel like dancing, we don’t feel like singing. But we do, in the memories of those good days, in the gratitude of our fellows who fall prey to the Man! That time the dance was to enjoy the rain, now it is to morn the death of our loved ones.

And the rain too has changed. Earlier the rain water was so pure so clean, we could see the image of this world through it. We could feel it cleansing us. We could feel the heaven on earth. But now, the rain water is impure, filled with chemicals and substances, that are created by these Men!

From dancing around the forest, we now have no home! We have to keep travelling from top of the structures of these Men. We have to suffer pain in form of being hit by stones and things by small Man (may be kids of such Man – they will never change). If we argue or protest for our safety, we are been put in a steel cage, where every one is freely allowed to throw things at us and to make fun of us. Even today, there are some Man who kill us for our feathers. But the time has changed. Due to the pollution caused by these Men in the air, our feathers growth has deteriorated and we now less often are able to lift them up for dance, ‘Cuz they break easily now.

They have almost stopped from killing us for their personal benefits, but their acts are still the same, which ultimately kills the poor being, the poor animal, who has no strength to fight against these cruel Men.

We can see our downfall, our verge towards extinction. Not only us, several other animals have either lost the battle against these Men and have surrendered to death, making their last kind on Earth to die in vain, or others are severely fighting for their existence on Earth! Only time can tell who will win this battle of Life…

So we pray every time to God to help us, give us our time back, take away this Man with him and let us live in Peace!

We pray in hope… we live.. we die..
We crave for the old times to come..
Not the dream we fly high in sky…

What I saw while on a walk…

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…