The streets were cold, dogs howling at souls, the trees shivering in cold had created a peculiar music intensifying the already cold atmosphere, the silence of night was disrupted by whistles of chowkidaars and there were non-periodic sirens of PCR’s making rounds lesser than usual nights.
My busy stalking on facebook was disrupted by my friend, brought up in abroad, who asked me whether there was anything to eat. Having missed the dinner due to oversleeping, I found a perfect companion. I quickly grabbed my pullover and walked with him to sector 22 which of course was the only place at midnight that could douse the sleep hindering hunger.
I said to myself that it might be a good chance to introduce the night life of Chandigarh to my friend.
On our way, my friend started with the current of issue of Damini/Nirbhaya Rape case. He condemned the barbarous act and said this meant the felony of freedom of women in this country. I simply nodded on every opinion he had regarding the issue. He carried on the conversation for a pretty long time, with his words falling on my ears. Some managed to reach the spot, some simply were a miss.
Breaking the monotony of his voice, I heared a woman talking on phone and maybe was out for work late night. She was dressed in formals and was accompanied by another woman in matter of seconds.
My friend continued to talk as this was common scenario in his lands, while my eyes couldn’t believe what they saw. Two ladies at stroke of midnight and above all: fearless!! As we walked across aroma hotel, my amazement was at its zenith when I witnessed two girls returning for a cup of coffee after partying with their boyfriends. That is a usual scene, but amazement aroused that a group of boys would let them walk without even stalking, commenting or doing kind of usual vulgar things. The chit chat all around made me look at my phone to confirm the timings. Yes! It was midnight and yet there were some more groups with or without ladies roaming around, and the only person who bothered about all this was me.
Maybe this was effect of constant protest carried across the nation, that boys realized the plight of girls. Maybe out of my knowledge some law might have passed to curb the menance, that woman and girls were so fearless even at this time. My friend was like still speaking tirelessly in background picturing a perfect myth and fact situation.
We reached 22 with a life changing observation. We ordered something and waited till it was prepared, when suddenly my phone buzzed out with updates from my subscriptions with news channels flashing chronicles of various opinions on a hell lot of topics, some protesters being pacified with strong laws amendments and many more. The only fact more satisfying was that scenario was now changing and the much needed standards of common people had risen from what it was before.
It was heartening to see people without any rapist grin on the face allowing the ladies to meander about wherever they felt like. The observation was so unusual and moreover reassuring that it had almost killed my hunger and I had forgotten my friend, who I don’t know why continued his murmuring. The moment was so beautiful that I wanted it to last long forever, because this was it. This particular situation was solution to just everything. People now care less for cheaper stuff and entertainment, more on costlier thoughts and living standards. People are now financially sound as well. I wish I could have filmed that, so that it could serve as one of the life changing video. As I was deeply in quagmire of splendid thoughts, I was asked to take the offered tea. It was full to brim.
The hot tea on my hand startled me. Suddenly there were voices of news channels blathering something. I felt so many pictures dissolving instantaneously converting into walls of my room. Well, my dream ended with me on the bed with my roommate pumping up his knowledge bank with debates here and there. I got up and looked through window to search back for the dream, but all in vain. The friend from abroad was actually nobody, it was just a fragment of my demonic imagination. The streets were still quite, the winds blowing weren’t as amiable as they were in the dream, the dogs continued their dates with souls and yes, and the PCR’s were pretty occupied to curb any anti-social things. This meant that standards were still unchanged and men still had the dirty grin. There was an ambiance of curfew at night. The girls still had time limits in the so called global society. The scenario was still worse on bigger picture, while the television channels held debates on what exactly should be done. The news channels have a strange way of presenting news. They remind me of bus hawker who boards bus from Sangrur and sell numerous articles at one single time. In the same way, the news channel will have 2 men debating against one helpless, frustrated woman, saying almost same thing every time. On the same time, they have numerous other news flashing quickly horizontally and vertically making the viewer helpless to create an opinion on any particular topic.
I moved from window and sat on sofa with my roommate with his head resting on his chin, remote in his hand confused about the contemporary situation.
Seriously, the country is nowadays burning with issues every now and then. Either it is the corrupt charges on some minister or about his mindless comments. Either it is about India losing a match again or banning Indian associations worldwide. Either it is raping the dignity of nation or it is numerous agitations across the map. Either it is much hyped promos or banning of Honey Singh.
A big blame game and nothing else.
The current scenario can be summed up by the following description. Just try to imagine as you read along:
Suppose a court scene with a case in progress. We have accused on one side and victim on the other. The court is full of people and amidst everything there are advocates, judges and other law keepers. The advocate is busy presenting the case, showing evidences, taking opinions and all that. From nowhere a person stands from audience and points out his feud with just another person in the same audience and the issue heats up. The first and the second issues are still in progress that another person rises and create just another issue and so on. In no time you have everyone in court house blathering about someone or the other. The judge sits helpless on his chair, occasionally asking people to maintain order. The person (media) who views this matter from outside blames the law for this messy situation. The common man who follows media creates his viewpoints and nose in the situation creating the situation even more detrimental while the victim who’s this case actually was, waits helplessly for justice.
At the time when high and mighty people on television debates, ask people to change their pathetic ‘soch’, I look at my roommate persuading him, if he could walk with me to sector 22. (1999)