Monday, June 29, 2015

Homeless-Diaspora

This briefly perceived , incalculable state of my mind, as far as I can recall.

As far as I can remember. One fine day, with a sigh to this cold blush of wind that blew pass by my face, in this scotching heat that roofed me up, as much it(nature) goofed me up.

Me and my friend on our way, moving further, taking baby steps followed by a conversational gossip to this laundry man's house (Dhobi Waala), which was just a walk away, across the road, from my home. The only thing that divided us was the road that stood parallel in between the demarcated residential plots.

A layered piece of cloth, covering half of the entrance, watching him seated in an old wicker rocker which was there, I called him, he withdrew his glance from the newspaper and looked at us.

Handing him over with this shirt on a hanger, that was of my friend, who had to get it ironed, and then leave for work , straight from my place.We waited there, outside his place,

Mud all around, fallen laid these dead dried leaves,in between the partly grass grown at intervals in that deserted piece of land. Cemented , demented, bended & cracked, walls, overlapped and hidden by these several sheets of fabric with holes of all size and shapes. A red bicycle, a broken stool, a wood bench and this mirror on one of those walls, with a comb and a sink and soap kept.

Never ever did I got the chance to go invading there privacy and explore. I would always stand outside, whenever I was to come to them.

The not so convincing covered blue sheet on this logically forceful walls holding this temporary asbestos roof. they had no proper doors, only sheets of fabric converted curtains that demarcated the entrance keeping there inferior & insufficient state of privacy to these hidden shades of grey.

There were as many as eight or more of them living in that small place, i wondered how they managed & survived?, asking to myself. Piled up pieces of laundry kept all tied up in a knotted big cloth, a short and a blouse, a saree, washed & hung to dry.

We stood there, waiting for the the task to get finished real quick util we were handed over with this shirt o the hanger nicely ironed.

After we paid him, what he asked for, we were on our way back. As I approached my friend to return him this balance, to my surprise, and utter confusion, there was no one beside me, and the shirt was in my hand on the hanger that we had brought from home. I tried to look around ,could not find nothing, terrified by the fact that, there was no one, not even the laundry man and any remains of his house and belongings. Everything else had just vanished.

Numbed to this very sight, I could not move my foot no more, no matter how hard I tried to escape and move away from this place towards my home. As if something or someone strangled me, tied me up, and was not letting me leave. All I could hear was this police van siren, that came from somewhere far, the wind, started playing its tactics, blowing the shirt away from my hand, & all of a sudden making it invisible at the next very minute. Tightly holding on to this wooden hanger, I stood there, for some minutes, in almost lost state of this fearful fit.

Seconds later ,in a snap, out of it. rescued away, to a little alert state of waking up from this weird illusion that had been dreaming, I woke up, looking around, seeing this hanger kept aside,on my bed, next to this pillow. half dozed and half sighted me, picking myself away from the bed peaking outside my window, to watch the laundry mans house. Thankfully it was safe and grounded. with everything else intact. I took a sigh of relief, trying to adjust to the very understanding of what just happened ,my phone rung, thankfully this one was not the police van siren but a normal caller tune. It was my friend, I picked up my phone, and before even I could tell him what I went through, he asked - did you got my shirt?.

Shaken & stirred once again, looking at the phone and realizing to what I just heard. even before I could actually come out of this whole mess, of trying to figure out & reply, the phone hung, & I realized, it was a dream, just followed by another. (dream in a dream) or a state of sleep paralysis.

Almost after 2 an a half years or maybe more,

Remembering back all sort of moments, that I grew up to. In my childhood, when I played here with other kids ( it was a piece of land that was more of a park then) of mixed caste,creed & colour, Even these laundry guy's children used to play with us. we enjoyed, we fought, we abused, we.pushed, slapped and cried. Though I was a shy kinds, and did not mix up that well. Still there I use to have as little time as I could. From Ice cream vendors candy man, the camera guy, the balloon sellers, all coming to this place, standing ,and watching us play, wanting to sell as much they possibly could. while all we as kids had this curiosity to buy and get something or the other by hook or crook, specially when we watched others doing so.I remember I used to look at those little deserving ones who could stare and not get ,as they watched us all get it and play with, though they joined us in our excitement and be a art of it. There were days when we used to get our clothes ironed from there, but its been a real long time though when we used to.

My dog, when died, was dig up and buried in the same very ground. May he rest in peace. All this while, I thought his soul stood there, and safeguarded us.

Today, after all those years, This house was demolished, and along with it all the memories of mental, physical and emotional time spent, came down a memory lane as a film was being rolled in our minds and hearts. We were leaving something, that we had much long before, but no more shall we be seeing this piece of land, that had our foots running down , playing catch catch, and other sort of games, when we were toddlers.

The house separated from there owners and there belongings were a sight of grief sicken agony that brought all the fond remembrance & those ones who had lost there home ,uprooted away ,left on the road came this close to there invisible tears, sucked deep into there hollow souls, and flesh that could possibly retaliate to no outcome. never had thought would have to witness, what they just had on this very fine day.

The hammer harnessed those weak cemented walls, letting those bricks fall at once, the roof that pampered the souls, who lived under it for all those years,was tampered and thrown away on the same very ground, that had seen these kids grow, get married, and bear kids.

Everything just came so small. words could barely express it.

Utensils, trunks, bed, Almira and all the belongings, were on the road, in limelight for everyone to see. The privacy of a house and there people just went through a public appearance. As if everything was there lying on the road, and now everyone was going to bid for it one by one, and the highest bidder would take it all. This Goddess Lakshmi's photograph framed/mounted, that was the last thing I saw, hanging in there on those walls.that lie deserted with no pillars now. That now had fallen apart, bulled by the government officials in white, blue and green through the court order to vacate the premise for now the possession was in a complete strangers hand.

The place demolished to the core. Everything there was just thrown out of that outlined piece of possession, The land seemed more thirsty then before, It has this bright sunshine on it, Wish it could turned gold and sufficed the greedy lots. The rest of the stuff, which could not find its place nowhere else, was kept layered and walled next to my house balcony.

For those who lived there, kept watching, it get buried to ground, and carrying there luggage'd belongings, they possibly were so very over exhausted with the ridiculed state of diaspora, that there eyes were half of the usual size, and now dried, after all day crying and suffering the misery of being thrown out of a place ,where they spent 50 years of there livelihood. They looked it all happen before there own eyes. Sadly I was a witness to this very plight for it was just across the window, off the road I live.
its been 37 years, of my watching it over every single day.

Chain tied as a fence locking down the whole area and possibly a cemented wall placed. Police vans, and government officials, court folks, and who and who not, all stood there. The people from all there homes stood there watching, consoling each other of the parking space, which had gone with the wind with this possession. Worried all, self centered they stood there, justifying there own interests and exploring possibilities and making judgmental presumptions.

it was terrible sight of plight to watch it all day long, and see those who lived almost all there lives there, standing on the street with there paraphernalia. Still adjusting on the roads in the darkness of night, with all there belongings trying to find a place to surrender it safely and cook and eat food,, hit the bed. For it wont be a easy burial and denial of all that was passe, and more worried of what was going to hit them in near future.

I pity, if only I could do anything, and as much I could still deny of the things I could , but would not. Its hard to face things that happen in a jiffy ,and more sad and vulnerable is when you know, you can do nothing about, no matter how much petite an effort of yours could possibly bring about that peaceful approach for humanity sake. melt hearts, and make friends with those souls, that could remember you forever, I wish I had things in my hand, where I never had to give a second thought to the deeds I could possibly end up doing, without being worried of the future outcomes.

NoteToSelf - I'm just tired; I just want the world to be quiet for a bit. ―Matthew Healy

- Anonymous

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