Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pune: the past and the preacher

February 10th was a weird day in Pune.

I met an uncle retired from the army who I’d been meeting every few years. Nothing noteworthy there.

And then I met – for just the second time in my existence - another uncle who had retired from life itself when I was just two or three years old.

One spent his life in green battle fatigues dodging bullets. Another, clad in saffron, continued to preach love and peace as a sadhu.

Green and saffron… the colours of India?

It takes all kinds to make up this world I suppose. But, caught in the conflicting worlds between the two, I wondered whether the rest of us were in the twilight zone.

And then on the drive back to Bombay, down the Expressway, the car’s antenna picked up a radio signal. And there was AB – awesomely best – sharing the pain of Rozana in Nishabdh. If there is a deep ache in anyone’s voice, it is here. If there are memories it evokes, blame no one but yourself and your past.

The present is nothing but a transition between what was and what will be. Rozana is just that… the agony of a man who knows what he’s lost and knows too that it will not return.

Perhaps that’s why we can only remember the ones gone by and not revel in those who are.

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