Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some beautiful lines...

I could not include it in the earlier post of Landmarks in Poetry - that's because it isn't one. Nonetheless, the simplicity of this piece touches a cord somewhere and hence I'm sharing it on this blog. Unfortnately, I am not aware of the name of the poet who penned the lines below.

कोई तुमसे पूछे कौन हूँ मैं
तुम कह देना कोई ख़ास नही .

एक दोस्त है कच्चा पक्का सा
एक झूठ है आधा सच्चा सा,
जज़्बात को ढके एक परदा बस
एक बहाना है अच्छा सा

हवा का एक सुहाना झोंखा है
कभी नाजुक तो कभी तूफानो सा,
सकल देख कर जो नज़रें झुका ले
कभी अपना तो कभी बेगानों सा

जिंदगी का एक ऐसा हमसफ़र
जो समंदर है पर दिल को प्यास नही,
कोई तुमसे पूछे कौन हूँ मैं
तुम कह देना कोई ख़ास नही

एक साथी जो अनकही कुछ बातें कह जाता है
यादों में जिसका एक धुंधला चेहरा रह जाता है,
यूँ तो उसके होने का कुछ गम नहीं
पर कभी-कभी आंखों से आंसू बन के बह जाता है

यूँ रहता तो मेरे तस्सवुर में है
पर इन आंखों को उसकी तलाश नही,
कोई तुमसे पूछे कौन हूँ मैं
तुम कह देना कोई ख़ास नहीं

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scrapping the Section 377

There is so much happening around the world these days, that I sometimes feel disillusioned with my internet window for being unsuccessful in giving me an adequate peep into it. The attempts of keeping myself abreast of what's going on in other parts of the world seem to fall flat when I realize that I remain woefully ignorant of slightest hints of the storm in my cocoon.

The current storm pervading Delhi originates from scrapping of the anti-gay law by the Delhi high court  --- strong enough to make me log into my blogger acct. and think aloud about the issue in front of you all. I would refrain from calling it a discussion because I understand very little or none of the underlying thesis, nonetheless like every other educated elite I should talk about it! I discovered that I belong to this category after I read some public opinions on the matter and tracked their source to everyone who could afford to worry about something other than two square meals a day.

As I said earlier, I can boast of neither an opinion nor an understanding of queer group. For starters, I would surely raise a strong objection to being referred to as 'queer' if I was one of them --- we lose half the battle there itself by proclaiming some sizable proportion of world's population abnormal/odd. Looking beyond the unfortunate nomenclature, there are a host of questions in my mind. There is a multitude of opinions on the source of this 'problem' as they say --- psychological, biological, genetic, social etc. etc. A more kind reference addresses the homosexual tendency as a latent inclination which a person is born with --- essentially we have as many opinions as we have heads under the sun. For me, even a 'usual' relationship between a boy and a girl is complicated enough to have any concrete views about homosexual relationships. I do find them 'odd' --- but on that count my relationships might look 'odd' to a gay, so that's not sufficiently reasonable to adopt godforsaken attitude towards this community. But just by sheer common sense and my little experience with a restricted variety of relationships till date, I can safely say that just because I love a person, I can't be called a criminal. Of course, that presumes that the person is not uncomfortable with the emotion. Just to be clear here, I am not propounding the consenting adults argument here --- even adultery involves adults consenting to cheat on each of their partners. I am talking about usual relationships with which we grow, formulate and live with - the good hindi movies ones! So in spite of my primitive knowledge about the issue, based on my rudimentary analysis above, I feel reasonably assured about the judgement scrapping 377. It is definitely a step in right direction.

Even if some of us 'usual' ones (I won't use non-queer, there is enough 'strangeness' prevalent among heterosexuals also --- ask any girl who has walked the streets of Delhi!) think that we have a moral responsibility to dig into sexual inclinations of a particular group and set it right (ahoy.. the religious leaders), the first step is to create a level ground for discussion. You can't make criminals out of people and then lie the burden of proof on them, occasionally indulging in kind interjections of 'whats-your-problem-dude' ---- this is like terrorists asking a captive to do an appraisal of the food and hygiene conditions in the terror camp. And the judgment of the Delhi high court is the first step in building an even platform. The blackmail of the gay group which persists behind the cover of this law should not be acceptable in a civilized and just society. For that matter, our men in uniform do not need any laws to make a travesty of the 'Citizens first' motto of the police force (for instance rape cases of women, irrespective of their sexual backgrounds, at the hands of policemen and soldiers continue to make shameful headlines). But why give another weapon in hands of a loutish and corrupt force?

Besides, there is an urgent need to bring the homosexual group into mainstream of the society. If the numbers are to be believed, there is a higher than average prevalence of HIV-AIDS and other STDs amongst this group. The problem is worsened by social and legal ostracization of gays, which pushes any solution farther from sight. Delhi high court has done well in attempting to alleviate the latter, the former remains to be remedied by us 'usuals'. So let us disembark from our moral high horses and try to do this right!