|Image courtesy.Shreyas Navare|
But I’m still in Kashmir, sipping my Kahwa and dreaming of a Utopian world. In the evening I’ll go pelt stones and burn some effigies. Hmm...I almost feel Bengalish today (forget the deception my name conveys). My heart beats for the bhodralok city that breeds drawing room revolutionaries, who express emotional distress by going on strikes and breaking the glass façade of the USIS Library every time America indulges in brazen imperialist acts like bombing Iraq or opening up a McDonalds branch in Nandigram. But I have even been offered citizenship of the new Azad Kashmir and a complementary houseboat on Dal Lake. And my new found Jihadi friends have promised to teach me how to assemble a bomb in five minutes flat!! I am trembling with excitement and now my heart beats louder for Kashmir. Yet, I can’t stop reminiscing about my Maoist comrades. It’s been a while since I visited the Dandkaranya forests they haunt. Oh to sleep under the stars, on the bare ground, my private suite in a thousand star hotel and walking under the canopy of trees, my heart singing a symphony divine. When I was not sleeping, I tried putting my anguish across to my tribal comrades, against the brutal, rapacious state that wants to usurp their land. But alas, they couldn’t comprehend my Hindi and I couldn’t comprehend their English. It was awkward but I had to keep on trying, I asked “kaisa lag rahaa hai apko?” With a toothy grin they offered me an unusual red chutney. It tasted fiery, so very peculiar, almost folicy. It was then I spotted heaps of red ants being ground in the mortar for the chutney. I almost threw up, but I had to find a bush first. And that reminded me of the other imperialistic Bush and the nasty fellow’s evil designs on my Iraqi brothers. My heart let out a silent sob and my stomach an ominous rumble. I spent the entire night running from tree to tree.
Diary dearest, it’s only to you I can bare my innermost secrets. It is only to you I can tell, how disappointed I was when the government didn’t file sedition charges against me. I was so looking forward to an enriching term in the jail and had already prepared a heartfelt speech about my free spirit that can never be shackled. “Run your fingers through my soul. For once, just once, feel exactly what I feel, believe what I believe, perceive as I perceive, look, experience, examine, and for once; just once, understand.” It was so moving, I wept while writing it. In jail, I could have shared the sorrows of the inmates, campaigned for their right to freedom and unraveled the greatest PR myth of India as a democracy. I could have written a long expose on the falsity of the police and security forces and why terror is what they deserve for their callous attitude. I am contemplating the urgent need to start a “hug a terrorist” campaign! If only the Mumbaikars had welcomed Kasab and his mates with open arms, instead of fleeing in terror … If only the Taj staff had offered them a welcome drink - a Merlot or a Pinot Noir…..would the 26/11 carnage have happened? Atithi Devo Bhava, after all………
Long, long ago I scripted a movie called “When Annie Gives It to Those Ones”. Oh! Annie has been giving it to those ones left, right and center - from big dams to the nuclear bomb, from the vagaries of capitalism to the dangers of American Imperialism. She will never stop will she?