Hope! जीने का सहारा!

” साहब, जाना तो बनता ही था. सब जाते हैं, तो हमें भी जाना ही था. बचपन से यही सुनते आये, कि हमारे मामू जान बाहर से कितने पैसे कमा कर यहाँ लाते हैं. हमारे लिए वो अनेक तोहफे भी लेके आते. ऐसा लगता मानो यही ज़िन्दगी है. मैं और मेरे तीनो भाइयों के लिए वो सलमान खान से कम ना थे.

मामू जान के किस्से सुनके हम सब बड़े हो रहे थे. अम्मी जान को वो हर महीने पैसे भेजते और इसी से हमारा घर चलता. अम्मी भी हमें अपने मामू की तरह बनने की हिदायत देती. हमारी ज़िन्दगी का केवल एक मकसद था. अपने मामू की तरह बनना.

मामू जान वो इंसान थे जिनसे हम सबको अपने से ज्यादा उम्मीद थी. कहते हैं उम्मीद पे दुनिया कायम है, और उस दिन मामू जान ने अम्मी से मुझे दुबई ले जानी की इज़ाज़त ले ली. मेरी तो मानो ख़ुशी का ठिकाना ही नहीं रहा. मैं सपने देखने लगा था. मुझे एक हसीं ज़िन्दगी की ख्वाइश अंदर ही अंदर सच होती दिखाई दे रही थी.

मगर मुझे क्या मालूम था, कि जिसे मैं हसीं ज़िन्दगी समझ रहा था, वो एक ऐसी खाई थी जिसमें एक बार गिर कर बाहर निकलना नामुमकिन था. दुबई पहुँचते ही मैं मामू जान की दूकान पे काम करने लगा. कभी कभी वो मुझे एक पैकिट लेके कुछ लोगों को देने के लिए कहते और मैं अपने हीरो की बात बिना सोचे समझे मान लेता.

एक दिन वही पैकिट देने जाते समें मुझे पुलिस ने पकड़ लिया. मेरे कागज़ात मांगे जो मैंने उन्हें दिखा दिए. फिर वो मुझे पुलिस स्टेशन ले गए और मेरे सामने वो पैकिट खोला. एक सफ़ेद रंग का पाउडर देख उनका शख सच में तब्दील हो गया.

तीन घंटो तक वो मुझे मारते रहे और मेरे कई बार मना करने पे कि मुझे इन ड्रग्स के बारे में कुछ नहीं पता था और ये कि ये पैकिट मेरे मामू ने मुझे देने को कहा था, उन्होंने मेरी कोई बात ना सुनी. तीन घंटे बाद जब मैं मार खाके बिलकुल बेजान हो गया, तब उन्होंने मेरे दिए गए नंबर पे कॉल किया.

उधर मेरे मामू जान ये खबर सुनके फरार हो गए. मेरे दिए हुए नंबर को किसी ने नहीं उठाया. अपने खिलाफ सारे सबूत होने कि वजह से कोर्ट ने मुझे सजा सुना दी. मेरा पासपोर्ट भी मेरे पास ना था. और किसी ने मेरी कोई मदद नहीं करी.images

आज आप पहले इंसान हो, जिसने मुझे एक हिंदुस्तानी होने का एहसास दिलाया है. मेरे जैसे यहाँ बहुत से ऐसे लोग है जो अपनी ज़िन्दगी गुमनामी में गुज़ार रहे हैं. कोई मामू के कहने पे तो कोई चाचा के कहने पे यहाँ आया और यहाँ आके बुरा फस गया.

कहते हैं ख्वाब देखना अच्छी बात होती है, लेकिन अगर ख्वाबों का ये अंजाम होता है, तो मैं किसी को ख्वाब देखने की हिदायत नहीं दूंगा. मुझे पता है कि आप भी मुझे शक की नज़रों से देख रहे हैं. आये तो थे आप ड्रग्स का सच जानने, अब आप को ऐसा लग रहा होगा कि मैं आपको अपनी दुःख भरी दास्ताँ क्यों सुना रहा हूँ.

हो सके तो आप मेरी बातों पे भरोसा कर, मेरे जैसे बेगुनाह लोगों को यहाँ से छुड़ाने की कोशिश ज़रूर कीजियेगा. अल्लाह हाफ़िज़. 

If you are wondering who this guy is, he is one among the many who are lured by the thought of making a wonderful life for themselves. He is one among the innocent and impoverished lot who don’t have a clue what they are getting into. He is one among the many who want to lead a normal life just like ourselves but are never given a chance, instead are used by many and then thrown out into the dungeons of a world which you would never want to get into.

There are many like him, who are languishing behind bars and have lost all hopes from the beautiful life that God has bestowed upon them. I don’t know where these people will find that one ray of hope from. But I am hopeful that someday guys like him would surely get justice and will be given a chance to lead a happy and peaceful life which they had all dreamt of as a kid.

Source for Image: http://mommiesofmiracles.com/support/hope/

Scared, Are you?

A very recent incident in my life has made me “right” this one. It is not often that you want to avail the service of a public transport in smaller cities and towns in India, considering that the available space inside the same is utilized so efficiently that where only 2 persons are supposed to be seated, the conductor or the driver of the public transport will make sure that at least double the legitimate number is made to fit in the same space. If that was not enough, a couple of people who happen to be standing next to you, would be found leaning over for want of some space and air, coming through the windows.indian bus

But this is just the tip of an iceberg, when it comes to being scared of a thing or having some apprehensions about the same. A couple of days back, having heard so much about the state of the public transport in my city, I decided to experience it first hand. And there I was, travelling in this bus, which was supposed to take me from a place called Mahanagar to Hazratganj, which resembles the likes of CP in New Delhi, when it comes to the colour combinations that have been used to adorn the place.

Having barely managed to squeeze in the bus, I was lucky to have found a seat next to a gentleman, who looked to be in his twenties. One thing that foreigners find quite funny in case of us, Indians, is that no matter whether we know the person sitting besides us in a journey, we are very good and keen on starting a conversation with the unknown person available at our disposal.

Not only do we happen to talk about the general affairs going on in our country ranging from what Modi might be up to in the coming elections to would Dhoni be implicated in the IPL crisis that has ensued in recent times, but also about our own personal issues ranging from what my boss might have said to me the very day, to what would happen if my child happens to fail this year.

Keeping what I can call the tradition intact, the gentleman (whom I will refer to as G, from here on ), sitting to my left, started the conversation.

Hi, so where are you going?”—G

Hi, to Hazratganj, and you?”—me

I am going to charbagh, to catch this train. You see, my luggage is kept right above me. Actually, my uncle’s son is getting married, so I am going for his ceremony. So, you are originally from Lucknow?”—G

Yes, very much :).”—me

By the way, yesterday I went to this place called Indira Dam. Have you been there?”—G

Ya, I have been there twice. Nice place, I must say.”—me

What nice! You know what happened yesterday. I went there with a couple of friends. It was 6 p.m. in the evening. As we were walking past this barrage, we saw this lady lying unconscious on one side of the road. One of us even thought about calling the police, but we were too scared to get involved.”—G

So, you didn’t inform the police?”—me

We did. But it was only after we had left the place, from a P.C.O. (Public call office) located some 2 kms away. You know how it is with Police. With no fault of yours, they might indict you for something which you cannot even think of in your wildest of dreams and even if you happen to find a good policeman, then also you wouldn’t want to be going to the court as a witness every now and then, for the case might go on and on, considering the state of our judiciary, which takes ages to issue verdicts on cases.”—-GPOLICE-BRUTALITY

Hmm! Then what happened. Did you follow up?”—me

Not really! We just hung up the phone, after informing the police of the whereabouts of the lady. Later on, we came to know that in recent times, a couple of people have been found murdered at the same place and people have even spotted a couple of bodies floating in the running water at times.”—-G

That sounds awful.”—me

Ya, so many things are so awful in our country, if I can refer to it as my country in the first place. You must have already noticed the cap that I am wearing. I am a Muslim and for Muslims, especially the underprivileged ones, life is not so easy. You see, for every other blast or terrorist attack that takes place in this country, we are the first ones to be rounded by the police. We are made to suffer for no fault of ours, at times. That’s why, so much of resentment can be found in the Muslim youths, who find it easier to astray rather than comply with the laws of the country. On top of that, these political parties try to throw freebies at us, thinking that we can be cajoled by their futile efforts, which is nothing but a mockery of the political system in our country.”—G


I know, it is a very sensitive matter. Instead of treating us like aliens, the political parties will do good if they can just treat us at par with every other citizen of this country. Anyways, this gets prioritized only for namesake at the time of elections and later on it is found no where on the agenda that the political parties are so proud of presenting during their election campaigns.”—G

That is very true. But then why don’t you try to get rid of all these political leaders who talk as if they are the representatives of the entire Muslim community and take matters in your own hand, by creating awareness and vouching for some political and social work?”—me

If it was so easy, then don’t you think every other person would end up doing the same? These very political leaders create so many hurdles and for a common man like me and you, it comes down to a choice. Whether we want to continue living our lives in the same pseudo-peaceful manner or do we want to disturb the peace of our minds by going against the Hukumat.“—G

Hmm! You know, a day would come and in some ways, it has already, in at least the Naxal affected parts of our country, when people would take up arms and would revolt against the atrocities and crimes that are being committed by our administration.”—me

True! You know what is more moving on an emotional level. When we lose lives just because of maladministration and faulty decision making on part of our government. You see, what’s happening in Uttarakhand. So many lives have been destroyed. So many people have gone missing and no one can predict when their lives will go back to normal.”—GArmy soldiers rescuing pilgrims during their flood relief operation in Chamoli, Uttarakhand

Ya, it is very sad to see that knowingly we opt to sit on a time bomb, waiting for it to explode. Faulty constructions and the approvals for the very same granted by none other than our administrators, coupled with total ignorance of the environment has resulted in a major tragedy which will continue to haunt the lives of those affected for many years to come.”—-me

Yes, and the lack of preparedness on part of our government is a sheer nonsense, which shows that no one is really concerned about what’s happening with this country. Everyone is busy looking for avenues where they can make quick bucks in order to secure the future for themselves and their loved ones. Oh, your stop has come. I guess its time to say bye. How soon time flies by! It was nice meeting you. Allah ne chaha to fir milenge.”—-G

It was a pleasure talking to you. I am sure we will meet sometime in the future :).”—-me

And there I was bidding goodbye to this wonderful gentleman. As I got down, having experienced the journey which began as a test of the public transport in my city, I wondered whether the picture of my country that had been depicted of in the conversation that I just had with G, would ever improve.

Being an optimist that I am, I certainly believe that there is still time to bring our country back on the right track. Lots needs to be done not only on part of our government but also as individuals. It might require some sacrifices and hardships.

The question, though is, are we all prepared to think over and above our selfish ends and rise up to the occasion to eradicate the fear that has for so long kept haunting us for the want of corrective actions in our lives?

Source for Image: http://punjab-tim.blogspot.in/2010/03/no-seat-belts-requiredindian-buses.htmlhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/07/30/top-5-police-brutality-vi_n_115921.htmlhttp://www.deccanchronicle.com/130701/news-politics/article/congress-bjp-twitter-war-over-uttarakhand

The Focus!

How many times do we end up focusing on things which are not so relevant and significant in life? Things, which one uses as an excuse to run away from something about which one doesn’t seem to find appropriate matter of substance.

Things, which one can use to blind those who might have wanted results from the effective implementation of that one significant thing. Things, which always will haunt us in the times to come.

And one such concept which is so talked about in the national and international parlance is the concept of GDP, which since its initiation was aimed to provide cues to the government enabling them to see in which sector they might have to frame their policies in the right manner for the want of some progress, which had been halted in the same due to certain bottlenecks.focus

But little did Keynes knew that his concept, which was meant to reveal the market value of all goods and services produced within a country, would be used to hide the malace that might be going on in the entire World.

What amazes me the most is that things like Human Development Index (HDI) which is nothing but a reflection of the state of health and education in the countries worldwide, seems to take a backseat with GDP taking the lead in all the discussions being conducted on the economy.

The common man or the aam aadmi, who is too ignorant to understand the significance of the concepts, ends up believing that their country is being run in the best possible manner. With no political will aimed at educating the very same aam aadmi, they have no option but to tow in line with the logic that the governments around the world tend to give to their citizens.

And with no better alternatives at their disposal, they end up having no choice when it comes to voting a party into power. But are only the political parties that are to be blamed for the menace that our political system seems to be caught into? or Are we as people of a nation to be blamed for furthering our own ends at any cost what so ever?

To find the answers to the above, I decided to venture out and had the fortune and the privilege of talking to one such aam aadmi:

Bhaiya, why do you vote for a political party?”—Me

It is because they will take care of our needs and will ensure that all our problems are taken care of.”—Aam Aadmi

By problems, do you mean drinking, sanitation, health, education in and around your village?”—Me

No, I am talking about the disputes that I keep having in the village. They make sure that I get the upper hand in the duo that ensues.”—-Aam Aadmi

But for the fight that you are having, there is our administration and the police you should go to. Why do you need to go to any person belonging to a particular political party?”—Me

It is because the police and the administration never seems to report on time. They are either unavailable or unapproachable. In that case, we are left with no choice but to look for people with power and money, who end up becoming our mai-baap. Now, you tell me if you don’t vote for such men then who will take care of us.”—Aam Aadmi

I had no answer for what the aam aadmi had asked me. In lieu of our administrative and bureaucratic system not functioning to the fullest of its capacity, the aam aadmi is left with no other option to seek for bahu-balis in and around their respective area, who end up getting elected from the same region.

And the story after that is known to nearly everyone in our country. Who’s fault is it then to elect such leaders? Is it the aam aadmi who has got tired being exploited again and again by those in power or the bahu-balis who tend to get elected based on their muscular and money power that they possess?changes

And by the way, are we too caught up in blaming others for our own grievances? A great philosopher once said that there are two primary causes behind making a human being unhappy and these are desires and expectations. Whatever bad is happening around us is because of these two evils which tend to take control of our mind and body and in turn makes us incapable of differentiating between the right and the wrong.

The soution to all what I have just said above lies in this one question that I am about to ask us all:

Are we prepared and ready to forgo the two evils when it comes to deciding upon what is right and what is wrong?”

It is up to you to find your own answer. And if the answer to the above is YES, then you can rest assure that the system in which we are all living in and which we tend to criticize on every other opportunity that we get, is heading in the right direction and we will soon be able to witness the much sought for change.

Source for Image: http://www.zachandjody.com/blog/tuesday-photography-tips-tricks-back-button-focusing/15588/, http://www.peacharno.com/specialisms/change-management/