Thursday, November 17, 2016

JAHAN SAB WAHAN HUM






When my wife and I went on a 10-day vacation (we just returned yesterday), we had decided to stay away from TV, internet and mobile phone. We had TV in all hotel rooms we had checked in… But, we chose not to switch it on. Fortunately, at many places, there was no mobile and internet network connection. So, we were spared from the onslaught of Whatsapp and FB. I found myself freed from the ‘compulsion’ to post something on my blog everyday… All was going well, till we learnt from someone the shuddering news of demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes… 

Suddenly, I could feel in my body the urge to watch news, read newspapers, read the updates on social media and all that… Yes, I did catch up with it and I did worry about the cash crunch one would experience when on tour… 

But, then, we survived and landed here safely!

Life, no matter what comes on our way, will go on… 

The young people, who are frantically busy typing, forwarding, commenting, tweeting and reacting – yes, all day and all night long – have not seen the horrible days of partition… I had not seen that either. But, I was there when there was food shortage following the Indo-Pak wars… I was there during the dark days of Emergency… I had become numb when our armed forces had carried out Operation Blue Star to flush out terrorists who had made the sacred Golden Temple as their hideout… I, as a little boy, had stood for hours and hours in queue to fetch home a kilo of rice or wheat or a litre of kerosene… I have experienced how fear feels when cops storm into your humble village houses to check if any ‘excess’ rice, wheat or kerosene had been stored inside!

So, today, when I see and experience these long queues outside ATMs or banks, it doesn’t shock me at all… But, it does to many, many millions who had not seen such a thing before…

I have decided not to react to the situation we are facing now. For, I know, that if I do, it will only come from my deep-seated political affiliation and bias. Frankly, I do not understand politics and, for that matter, economics. I am a simple soul… who believes in the simple theory: “Jahan sab wahan hum”…. “Where all are, there I am.” A young man who worked for me once, used to recite this line to me. It was his mother’s favourite. “Never get shaken and scared,” she would remind her young sons, “Where all will be, there we will be!”

My friends are busy attacking or defending Modi governments’ decision to demonetize. I am aware of what is going on inside me, too… As I said, if I say something, it will only come from my deep-seated political bias. I see things, rather, philosophically… “All will be well… and all happens for our good,” I keep reminding myself… And, yes, I keep reminding myself with that na├»ve-sounding theory: “Jahan sab wahan hum.”

What goes up will come down… and what comes down will, surely, go up!

GERALD D'CUNHA
Pic.: Khushboo Gulrajani



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