My Stories of Intolerance: Part I

I have been living in this part of Delhi since 2004 when I rented a three room flat along with my friends to pursue graduation at North Campus. It is a highly unorganised area in terms of architecture and planning but one of the better ones to be as far as rent, local shopping and comfort of students go. Nevertheless, after ten years I am fed up. This is the only place where I have shown loyalty.

I have seen many religious processions here and been abusive every single time irrespective of the sounds of a dhol being beaten frantically or a ruptured cassette player spewing Mohammed’s deeds or the usual crackers firing up at any point of the day.

Not to forget innumerable Jagratas and personal functions being made very much a public inconvenience. I used to be pretty vocal in my choice of words, abusive every single time. Now I abuse them silently. This silent abuse is also due to the fact that I have acquired a certain sense of guilt by using someone’s mother or sister in my phrases of wrath.

I am approaching thirty and it is very much the time when I shouldn’t give a rat’s ass to anything. I can choose to ignore and I must do so as my good friends always convince me. “Ajeet, this is not the way world works and no matter how hard you try to be vocal, opinionated, abusive or otherwise, it ain’t gonna change. We know how you feel and we share it. But taking charge is not the best way.”

In a country where people build a temples, mosques in the middle of a road and the government has to approach the route differently, it is certainly a challenge to remain sane.

Today in the middle of the day, in all the silence of general Delhite Maa ki %#%# and Behan ke %#{^^%, I was annoyed by the sound of freak drum beating. And I abused them silently. Then I became conscious of the fact that mothers and sisters are not to be involved. Then I looked for some better abusive words, I supplemented them with harsh adjectives and said them all in my mind.

Why I do this? I don’t know. The other day I was enraged by Indians (non Christians) celebrating Halloween. Where celebrating meant buying the costumes and looking horrifying or ridiculous. I was angry at seeing people buying a culture in the garb of assimilation.

But then, I am not angry on America celebrating Diwali! I think I, as well as most of the humanity, suffers from intolerance. There isn’t any rational way out. At least in a place where compromising on basic civic attitude is the way to grow.

In fact, I am confused. In fact, I feel at ease after a burst of abuse. It is momentary but it is recurring. It is annoying but it is everyday, everywhere. I can’t justify it, nor I deny or condemn my own attitude. Who gives order to this chaos? Or aren’t we destined to swim in it? Because it is us who go begging with that green sheet in the name of Mohammed, beating drums for Guru Nanak, screaming through loudspeakers in the name of Durga.

There are many annoying aspects of our existence. I will share other aspects in parts.


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