Monday, July 5, 2010

Simply a walk

I come out of my flat and step on the potholed road, thinking, when the municipality would start putting the taxes to something good. As I cross the microscopic, grass-less, pebbled, tramp of a park, I see a bunch of kids making good of their time and playing some GALI cricket, without wickets, while the Indian cricket team creates a perfectly oscillating history of wins and losses. I walk, jump and trek on towards the Bengali chai wala’s food stall, buzzing with a myriad of customers, oblivious to the fact that the chai wasn't originally an Indian drink, but introduced by the British and India is, and can be, legally the only producer of Darjeeling tea. While smelling the intoxicating smell of the freshly brewing tea, I step on the express highway; the scene changing suddenly, the leisure, the laughs and the calm of my colony fast fading into a modern city. Suddenly I can see numerous shiny skyscrapers jutting out from the ground, almost defying gravity; sleek shiny vehicles zooming past me as I try to dodge people running after the huge red buses. Some vehicles draw my attentions for split seconds as I think, what’s bad for environment sure is good looking and desirable. With my life perching on my shoulders, like the animated parrot on the desperate condom awareness drive campaign, but not that faithful, I cross half the road and enter the subway. Feeling a bit more secure, I see the same old blind man, singing his signature devotional song, that has now become my morning raga, disinterested of the city he lives in and the so called prosperity that it boasts, as his living standards remain the same, his job remains the same. All the literate, civilized jargon means nothing to him, he is more human, and he is interested just in surviving. The vehicles overhead zoom away with all their magnificently corrosive glory as I come out of the subway and pass the banana wala cum coffee wala cum chai wala cum smoke wala, selling his stuff in full gusto under the laughing sun, who is all but thinking that humans can rival him one day by controlling nuclear fission and commit the impossible by harnessing the energy therein. The banana wala doesn't give a damn about that, though at the back of his mind he has the fear that his bananas and their children may not survive if something went wrong, not so far away at the Bhaba Atomic Research Center or at a crows fly away at the much hyped LHC. Whatever hell maybe let lose when small black holes are generated for fractions of a second, the McDonald's Chicken burger would keep tasting the same. I think and I act, I enter the plush mall and the McD's outlet therein and get a burger for me, knowing that Savage Garden was right when he said "I believe that junk food tastes so good because it’s bad for you", I believe that too, but resisting temptations isn't my cup of cake. While it’s the tradition, profession and sometimes the obsession of some people to resist temptations; they are called sages in the Himalayas, whose glaciers are melting fast due to global warming; actors in the cine city Mumbai; patients at hospitals and medical centers; and freaks at all other places. Since I am neither of those, I munch on happily , as the burger clots the arteries of my heart, taking me slowly towards a cardiac arrest. I munch and I walk towards my office complex, suddenly halted by the street kids, the kids of lesser Gods, maybe orphans, but great survivors, who look hungrily at my burger. Deep within a volcano erupts, the magma forms a lump in my throat, I give them my burger and the second one that I had saved to ease my hunger until lunch. I feel good and jubilant as I cross the gigantic gates of my office complex, with the eagle eyed guard almost x-raying me. I don't mind as in the wake of the terror strikes in this city, everyone and everything is on the edge, and that’s how this city is destined to remain as some people mix up politics with religion, religion with territory, humanity with insanity, and all the other permutations and combinations. All this and the looming gates of my office again dampen the merry spirit. I flash my card at the swipe point, it beeps as if to say good morning and the glass door opens. I see numerous people, waiting for the lift; I suddenly choose to take the stairs, trying to get a bit of exercise. As I enter my cubicle, half panting, half groaning and hundred percent perspiring, the good boss says hello and hands me the day’s work, which would take away my evening and a major part of night, and get me some money to sustain my walk to office every day.