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Sunday, December 28, 2008

India and my past memories

Images of the past come flooding to me very often these days. Outcome of the Mumbai terror attack,I guess. The memories are of Delhi where I spent most of my childhood.
I was in class 6 or 7. And, it was at my friend's place that I chanced to meet a beautiful Kashmiri girl. Presumably a college lass. As a kid, I was dumbstruck by her ethereal beauty.A flawless marble like, rosy complexion. My friend was awestruck too. "Her papa and my Papa know each other." She told me excitedly. "And you know, Uncle has brought a basketful of dry fruits and apples for us." That was day I stepped into 'girlhood' I think. For, I began longing for that kind of beauty from then on. So mesmerised I was,I guess, that now when so many years have passed I still remember her pretty face and gentle smile. And so whenever I read about incidents of rapes and molestation in the valley of Kashmir, I instinctively pray to God for her as well as her family's safety. I also pray for the safety of all girls there. As Keats has said, "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." Indeed, what nature has given should not be destroyed and trampled this way. I have also not forgotten the apples and dry fruits. And so I earnestly hope that Kashmir leaps back to the beautiful glorious days that it once enjoyed.

And the same feeling I have for Mumbai and other places. May all good things happen there. I also hope that God compensates the sufferers with the best possible.

But that's not all. I remember a lot of other things too. I remember seeing Mrs Indira Gandhi from a close distance in her car as she went past Paharganj Circle. Yes, she had a battery of cars in front and behind keeping with the protocol, and yet she she was not cut off from the crowd. I have also seen Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee from a very close distance. Something my children cannot dream of today!

Too many things have happened in the last about 20 years. Terrorism has gnawed the mental peace of everyone. Terrorism is an outcome of empty minds.Unfortunately, these wayward men also have blind strength which is dangerous. The need is to channelise it all. UNESCO and other big organisations need to work on the education pattern the world over as that is the only way to stop the youngsters from taking to this course. I think, young mothers too, should be told of their responsibilities, time and again. May be, by way of compulsory workshops in every residential area.

How I wish that great souls like Swami Vivekanand would be born in all religions who would help interpret religion in the right perspective. That way , I have high regards for Shah Rukh Khan for explaining the true meaning of Islam after the gruesome attack. Thank you Shah Rukh Khan.