A Free Country

00:20 AM

A row of thousand or so firecracker goes off a hundred feet or so away from my house. A lone firecracker here and there will go off till 1 AM, or so. My wife has to go off to office tomorrow. She’s trying to sleep. I’m trying to watch a fucking movie, in the pauses between the crackers.

It’s a fucking free country.

A day before, it was a bunch of guys playing loud music in a car, with doors open. It went on till 1:30 AM. I call up the cops twice. I’m told they already have complaints and are sending the patrol. At 1:30 they left. No police, nothing. Finally, tired I sleep off, just to be woken up in another two hours. They’re back at it. Only the volume is hiked up even more. I open the windows and call the control room. The guy can’t hear what I’m saying. I close the window, and tell him what exactly my point is.

In ten minutes two policemen arrive on a bike. The guys are apparently drinking. One of them rubs the policman in a wrong way, not realizing he’s one.

The next moment, I hear the classical Indian police voice. He’s asking the hawaldar to take the guys in custody, and to count the bottles and all. He’s asking the guys their names. Raw power working against raw aggression.

Who are the winners?

How many times does one call the cops? It’s Ganapati one day, Kojagiri the other day, then there is Shahir this and babasaheb that, and so on.

The other day, it’s some palkhi passing through, and they must totally paralyze the city.

The other day, it’s honorable Ms. President in town, and they got to paralyze the city.

The other day, this political party or that wants a “band”.

The other day, this political party or that is on the road, on rampage, because someone said this, or someone said that.

The other day …

It’s a fucking paralysis every other day.

My cousin runs away from Mumbai in Diwali, because he cannot take it anymore. Many run away to distant shores for the new year’s eve.

That’s the only real freedom. To run away. To other cities, other states, other countries. Rest are just words. Vibrant, liberal, democracy, secular, home, patriotism, my country, my town, my people …

It’s only laziness that holds me here.

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4 thoughts on “A Free Country

  1. Revati says:

    U know ASUPH ,Sometimes I wonder why people don’t understand that Freedom is not Free?
    It contradicts but we do need some sort of discipline for freedom too.
    Especially now when ‘sub kuch chalata hai!’ is quite a normal:((

  2. MIP says:

    hai,
    true.
    Nobody knows the meaning of freedom.Neither do they know what is it to celebrate.Yet we play with words like freedom,happiness celebration etc etc..
    you wrote it for me.
    Thank u
    MIP
    i have to read you poem too, missed it..

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