Tuesday, 14 July 2015

आज मै डाकखाने गई थी।

Note: I had written this a few weeks earlier. An account of a previous date.

अाज मैं डाकखाने गई थी। चंद दोसतों अौर दो अध्ययापिकाऔं के साथ। स्कूल के चार कदम पीछे ही है हाॅज़-खास़ का दाकखाना।

वहाँ  जाकर कुछ अलग सा ही महसूस हुआ। जैसे वो चार कदम चल अपने बचपन में आ गई थी।
सातवीं कक्षा में हिंदी का कार्य मिला था कि गर्मीं कि छुट्टियों मे एक दोस्त को पत्र लिखकर पोस्ट करना है। तब इंलेंड लैटर लेने पहली बार डाकखाने की सूरत देखी थी। पापा जब काऊंटर पर खत जमा कर रहे थे तो मैं वहाँ बेंच पर बैठी एक गहरी सोच में डूबी हुई थी। कि नाजाने किस तरह भारत के एक कोने से एक कागज़ पर मामूली स्याही से कोई व्यक्ति अपने एहसास लिखता होगा अौर चंद दिनों बाद उसका मित्र वह कागज़ अपने हाथों पर पाता होगा। आजकल अगर कोइ पार्सल लेकर पोस्टमैन अाता है भी तो शायद Flipkart का भेजा हुआ औरडर होगा। खत पाकर, खोलकर पढने का वो रहस्यमयी एहसास तो डाकखाने की तरह ही लुप्त हो गया है।
आज रह गये हैं तो केवल SMSs अौर e-mails, जिंहे ना तो मैं संज्यो कर अपने मेमोरी बैग में रख सकती हूं अौर ना ही सालों बाद उनकी सुगंध से यादें ताज़ा कर सकती हूं।

ऐसे ही कुछ खयालात लिए INDIA POST के दफ़तर के सामने खड़ी थी। इतने में एक मध्यम-आयु के पुरुष आये और हमें पोस्ट-औफिस कि नयी सुविधाओं  के बारे में जागरुक करने लगे। Digital India के तहद अब भारत के डाक-खाने उपलब्ध एवं बेहतर हो गये हैं। Core Banking कि सुविधाएं काफी आश्चर्यचकित लगीं। मैंने तो कभी सोचा भी नहीं था कि एक डाकखाना बैंक की तरह भी काम कर सकता है!

आखिरी कमरे से बाहर निकल रहे थे कि देखा दीवार पर कोने में एक कागज़ पर लिखकर चिपका रखा था - "हिंदी कार्यालय दिवस"। एक ग्यारहवीं कक्षा की लड़की ने उन पुरूष से पूछा कि इसका क्या मतलब है तो उन्होनें हमें बताया कि हर बुद्धवार को विधि हेतु सारा कार्य हिंदी में निभाया जाता है। पहले तो यह सुनकर चेहरे पर मुस्कान आ गयी पर फिर हैरानी ने माथा ढ़क लिया। भला ऐसा क्यों कि भारत के डाकखाने में प्रमुख भाषा हिंदी के लिए एक दिन सिद्ध किया गया है? डाकखाने जैसे बुज़ुर्ग दफ्तर में भी अगर अंग्रेजी आवश्यक हो गयी तो आखिर हिंदी प्रयोग होगी कहाँ?

इसलिए अपना छोटा सा ही सही, पर हिंदी में यह लिखकर, योगदान देना चाहती हूं उस भाषा को जो मेरे दिल के बहुत करीब है। इतने करीब कि ये आखिरी वाक्य लिखते सार ही एक आंसू आंख से छूट अाया है।

Image courtesy: Vani Devraj

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Shot In Heaven

He sips on his coffee
and remembers when love was brewing 
moulding them in feelings
warmer than the mould that holds his coffee
He looks out of the window
and sees himself dwindling in the street
holding her hands, jumping over puddles
This monsoon had been prolonged, the reporters had said
our courtship had lasted even longer, he thought
The channel flickers on the radio he is listening to,
breaking his tryst with the outside
he rubs the small droplets of water off the antenna
and the song that plays then, he remembers, was their favorite
he can feel his palms on her waist as she swings along.
The beats are zealous, but her moves were exuberant, he knew
He closes his eyes and when he opens them
for a moment he doesn't blink
what he sees is her face, exquisite as ever
then his pupils broaden and he realizes it's her picture 
the last one of her life; poised on the bureau.
The picture is beautiful
but lifeless,
just as his wife now is 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

My Question To The Pseudo-Feminists

Feminism, when invented, simply meant equality for women in the society. However, right now we are in a phase in human history where women are slowly pushing men down to capture their place on top of the ladder. 

I am ready to face flak for this, but I am averse to this idea. As equal sexes, men and women are supposed to climb the ladder together, and not by pulling the other one down to mud.

We have been living in a terrible male-dominated world for ages. After much of exasperating efforts, women are finally making a paradigm shift. But hold on, is this shift in the right direction? I am afraid we’re shifting from a patriarchal, male-dominated society to a matriarchal, female-dominated society. Instead of asking for equal rights, why are we asking for a shift from one domination to the other? Isn’t domination exactly what we’re fighting against?

I am not against feminism. I am a woman and proud to be so. But I am definitely against this new found facet of feminism that promotes nothing but weakness in women.
For instance, ladies yell out at male passengers sitting on a ladies’ seat. We all think this is the right way. But do we actually pay head to what these small acts actually portray? That women are weak. That they cannot stand on their feet for long. That they need men to vacate seats for them. Is this what we should call feminism? The other day I was talking to a friend about this. Her response was very casual (and I’m sure almost-universal also) - “See I prefer convenience. When I travel in metro and I see a guy sitting on a ladies’ seat, I ask him to get up. If we’re getting an advantage, why waste it?”

Now if we think, isn’t it the same thing we’ve been cursing men for? Of taking advantage of their position in the society? 
If we cannot stand for ourselves, how can we ask men to do that?
We have it written all over our public transports. “Please vacate seats for women, children and physically challenged” So is this what it is? Are women equivalent to children and the physically challenged? Hell not!
Also, ladies like it when their boyfriends take them out for shopping and pay restaurant bills for them. That is courteous and gentlemanly, for sure. But once in a while, we can pay bills for them, too. If equality it is, then equality it shall be!

We disgrace men for taking advantage of their convenient authoritative position in the society and at the same time we ourselves prefer “convenience”. How will anybody take us seriously if we are so hypocritical? We just keep changing the definition of equality according to our whims and fancies. Male-chauvinists have already done this to death, pretending to be superior. We don’t need to repeat it.

Let me put it straight for all the weak and hypocritical women out there. You’re not superior to men, nor are they superior to you. We are all made equal; men, women and transgender alike. In all probable definitions and meanings. Equal.

P.S- I am a feminist. Even I hate men who impose restrictions on the women in their lives and mentally/physically abuse them. I do not stand eve-teasing and walk with pride on the road. I love being a woman. But I am not weak. I can earn respect for myself as a good human being. I don’t demand respect simply for being a woman. All I demand is equality, unfiltered and for all.

P.P.S- I posted this article on a writer's society and people went on to criticize it to extents where I was taken terribly out of context. So if any of you feel the same, let me tell you that I am NOT against feminism. I believe it is high time women get their due in the society but not at the cost of hating and generalizing all men! Some women have been misusing and misinterpreting feminism for personal benefits rather than well-being of women in general. These are my personal opinions and I stand by them. Maybe I'm not absolutely right but I am absolutely honest. 
In the words of Kurt Cobain: "I'd rather be hated for who I am than be loved for who I am not"