Sunday, April 18, 2010

Understanding the land and the people!

You want them. But you inconvenience them!
You want them. Yet do not love them!
You want them. Yet you suspect the people!

You call it your land. Yet you alienate the people.
You call it your land. But do not understand the inhabitants.
You call it heaven. Yet the people of heaven are struggling to be understood.
You want to fight to retain the land. But will you fight for the feelings of the people there?

It's very much part of India, yet two more countries have their eyes on it and have each taken away parts from it?
And in this struggle the people of the land suffer!
Has anyone tried to understand how the people feel about being stuck in the fight of three big nations?
The inhabitants of the land get killed in the crossfire.
Some youth get depressed for not being understood and take to wrong paths.
And then you say -'See, this is what we wanted to prove!'

You want to be there in summer and enjoy pleasant weather and picturesque locales.
And when it's winter, you give them a cold treatment.
You kill them on suspicion. A beggar mistook for a militant?!

You ban sms communication in the land for security reasons further increasing the distance between their dear ones staying far away from them! Would you do the same in a city like Mumbai or Delhi? The people of these cities would have come on the roads in agitation and taken law in their hands! But can the people of that land do the same? No, cause they're made helpless. Their every move is looked at with suspicion. When we fail in our security, we resort to inconveniencing the people? Let us take responsibility for our lapses. When Mumbai was attacked, further steps were taken to tighten security and put stricter measures in place without people having to pay for it! And Mumbai is a city with a large population (whereas they are not as many as us)! And is this only because Mumbai is the financial capital and all the bigwigs lives are also at stake here?!

People visit the land, remember it, yet forget the people.
If there is heaven on earth. Yes, it's here. In our own country.
So let us treat the inhabitants of this heaven with more compassion!

Yes, I am talking about the head of India- Jammu and Kashmir. And especially about the people of Srinagar! God bless them all !

Picture : Shows a woman selling lotus stem (naadru) on the streets of Srinagar. This is eaten with relish in the land as a vegetable. Photo taken by Mr Shakir Kazi.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Train robbers!

Refer my previous post where I'd promised to narrate an incident which happened in my train journey on 19th Mar, 2010. This happened in the 8.34 pm Virar bound local from Mumbai Central.
The train was comparatively less crowded on this day. I went and sat inside. Almost all were seated in the First Class Ladies compartment except 2-3 females, who were standing near the door. One girl was standing very close to the entrance, though there was enough space to stand inside. My view of the entrance got blocked as a couple of ladies came and stood in front of me after boarding the train at Dadar. That's the general practice- people get in, check out who's getting off where and claim their seats accordingly. The train started moving again. A little further on, the train slowed down in between its journey to its next destination station. There was a signal perhaps. That's when there was a commotion at the door and a scream! Some ladies shouted 'pakdo, pakdo'. Just then a speeding train passed by in the opposite direction on the adjacent track. People screamed again. Next - The girl standing too close to the entrance in the not-so-crowded train was almost in shock! People were getting water for her. And all this happened in a matter of a minute.

This is what actually happened - As the train slowed down, there were two robbers, waiting on the tracks below. Their modus operandi is to attack female passengers in Ladies compartment when trains slow down and rob them. Here too, as the train almost slowed, two teenage boys jumped in and tugged hard at the girl's (standing near door) handbag. But the girl was smart and held on to her bag with full force! This took the person pulling the bag, by surprise. They were thin. This sudden turn of events alerted the women standing nearby and one screamt, 'Pakdo, pakdo'. This scared the robbers and both jumped out. Our train didn't pick speed immediately as the robbers had thought. This meant someone could catch them. So they had to flee. That's when the train came on the adjacent track. One of them ducked down, while one was confused. He started to run sideways, but fear of being caught by people in our train, made him change his mind in the fraction of a second. He hoped to run across the track before the other train passed. But his calculation went wrong and 'vrooooom'! The train passed over him. People actually saw that! What a waste of life over a few easy bucks!

In any other city or location, this would have been the talk of the town or on the front pages next day. But in Mumbai, this is part of life. This was seen, spoken of and forgotten next day. No females fainted watching the incident. The girl with whom this happened was dazed. Everyone tried to pacify her. They made her sit and gave her their bit of advise. Others as usual got talking. One female said that she'd seen the guy earlier. He was a guy of 17-18 years, thin. Once he'd got into the Ladies Compartment and continued to stand even after being 'shouted at' by the females in the compartment. She also spoke of how a similar incident happened sometime earlier also, where a girl's bag was pulled from outside. But the girl could not do much about it. These robbers usually attack girls hanging at the door with handbags, listening to music on their mobiles or MP3 player. They're so lost in their own world that they're too slow to react. The girl in our compartment was alert and so happened to save herself and her bag!

Another modus operandi of such robbers is to hide in the bushes or tracks towards evening and as the train slowed, to hit with a rod or stick on the hands of females standing near the door. In such cases, with the shock or impact, people tend to either drop their mobile (if they're holding or talking on it) or handbag. This is happily picked by eagerly waiting robbers!

There is even a crowd which hangs on over the roof of the train over ladies compartment and pulls gold chains and 'mangalsutras'!

Can someone listen to the growing woes of the women travelling by trains and provide them with some security?!