Sunday, May 15, 2011

THE OTHER SON OF GANGES: PART 3



PART 3: IN A NEW WORLD...

He also promised her, that he would come back to her. One day. Some day. And he felt her hand pat his feet, gently. His mother let him go… (PART 2)

It all began with water…

May be this was why people came to the city. The buildings were so tall that Shravan felt that they could almost touch the sky! Growing up in Kashi, he had never seen anything like this before. He needed two more eyes to see everything.

There were colours in Kashi. Saffron, turmeric, red and gold all around. Shravan was tired of colours. But here, it was white, or black or just grey. He felt better. His eyes needed a break from all the colours. Kashi was a destination. An end. But the city- was a beginning. There was life here. A never-ending rush, a craze to live. There was pulse. And no one here, paused to see the next person beside themselves on the road- walking alongside. Shravan felt his space too, as he tried to take in the city around him. He too was infected by the life around. He felt as though it was in his dreams that he was “living”. The fire and pyre of Kashi, was moving away from his mind. They were now- a faded painting…

He wandered on those roads- his eyes, finally getting tired of the things around- could take in no further. His leg carried his dead weight, but it could go on no farther. He soon began to realize that the sun in the city was different from the one back home. It had no sympathy for the weary traveler on the road. May be this was why, the city moved fast. May be this was why, the city was never tired! But Shravan was not used to the sun yet. He was hungry. But he had no money. And people of the big city did not believe in charity.

He lay there for how long, he knew not. He did not remember it. People told him about it later.

He felt the boot kick his ribs. But he had no strength to open his eyes and see who that was. There were strange voices. And suddenly, he felt that he was being lifted off the ground. He was swinging. His hands bearing his weight. He knew not when his body would drop off his hands. He was dead. But no. This was not death. He came from a place where people knew most about death. Death could not be it. Or did people think that he was dead? He could not let this happen to him..

He mustered up all the strength left in him- and let out a moan of help. There were voices again. He felt that now, he was being taken to a different place.

The city was a fair judge. Here, the life presented itself- only when one seeks it. There were people, back home, who disliked the city. They did not like the speed- the colours, the life in there. But they were the ones who did not understand the life. The living. This was a place, Shravan thought, where the dead have to prove their death and the living- their living. Else, they were all the same. The city, welcomed him.

There was water, once more…

The sudden chill of disgust and anger! The water slapped him hard. But it gave him strength. Water, he knew, was always with him. But he could not stop wondering that even the water in the city could be so different! His mother, though had the strength and power to overturn the city itself, still was gentle. She had so much love in her. May be that was why, she was Mother Ganga! But the city- it changes everything. The water of the city, Shravan smiled to himself, his step-mother!

He opened his eyes, slowly. Things were a nebulous wreck in the beginning. But they were coming back to him. The streets- the strangers- the buildings… The police station.


(..To be continued., Part 4: “His death…”)

8 comments:

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

An innocent Shravan, with a sudden urge of detachment and in search of colors found only black white or gray. No wonder he would have got bored and tired of all these. A precious life, in disarray.

I think, you should not have announced the title of the next part.

Regards,
Blasphemous Aesthete

RamMmm said...

The image of the cityscape distracted slightly as I was reading made me think for a moment of non-ethnicity in its relevance, but then it is just an image of a big city and there wasn't a need to lock its name or geography. Continued reading ... Nice flow.

Hope to go to the uphills of Himalayas/Gangetic plain some day. There is so much there.

Bikramjit said...

Hmmm beautful .. I have ot go and start reading the first two parts.

and looking forward to the next part ...

Bikram's

A said...

Reading these. Makes me sad after reading this. Boot kick and narration followed by that is awesome

Matangi Mawley said...

@ blasphemous...

reveling the title wouldn't affect anything-- i guarantee!

thanks!!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ ramm...

:) the place is extremely inspiring... tht's true! thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ bikramjit...

thanks!

Matangi Mawley said...

@ a...

:) it's gonna get sadder.... thanks!

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