Sunday, May 03, 2009

About smiling Mumbai and why I have had enough of Gandhi

As the news flashed on the television set that Mumbai city is witnessing an ­average voting of around 19%, my colleague became hyperactive with disappointment. For some reasons, he was expecting that this time people will come out in large numbers and vote against those, who have failed in combating the issues of terrorism. Sadly but expectedly, this did not happen. The heat of sun was much hotter than the heat of anger.

He made a statement like “they need more 26/11”. And my question was, will it change anything? If Mumbai sees another terrorist attack today and then again tomorrow and then again on day after tomorrow.. would it compel them to come out and vote.

Yeah! May be, if it happens a week before the elections. But, after that no one can guarantee. People have short memories and Indians have shorter; and the people living in metropolitan cities, who work day and night to maintain their lives, dreams and social status have the shortest. Mumbaikars were not able to retain that fateful evening for five months. After all, we love this ‘never-say-die’ spirit of Mumbaikars, their ever smiling faces that forces them to forget about all misfortunes and come to work again within hours.

Their wish! But you know what sometimes I get so pissed off with the people who every now and then crib about Indian politics and politicians, display their half-cooked knowledge about it and then do not go out and vote when time comes. They should be thrown out of the country. Besides, this time the elections were taking place after five years. It’s not that after every one year, the election is happening so you have lost interest. Don’t people feel like taking part in this dance of democracy or is it that their indulgence is restricted to just reading the editorials, listening to television debates, making opinions and wishing that their kids could get admission in some foreign universities, because India has no more remained the place to live.

It’s not that I have stopped believing in Gandhi ji or his principles. It’s just that I am tired of talking about him or visiting the monuments and places that showcase how insanely simple life this person has lived. I have a lot of respect for his ideals, assuming that whatever I have read about him is true, since a major part of Indian history is a masterpiece of manipulated documentation.

Besides, I have observed that a certain section of our generation, which considers itself superior to the remaining ones because they talk about Gandhi ji and Nehru ji and war of independence and students’ movements in several countries and consider themselves the torch bearers of all the changes that will be brought about in the country, often use the ideology of Gandhi ji as their crutches. Every weird thing that they do, they vividly use some mahaan Gandhian quotes to justify it and claim that Gandhi ji also did so. It makes me feel sick for them.


I once visited Sabarmati Ashram and had a never-before experience. It was so peaceful, as if the time stood still, for a moment, while I was looking at things kept in his room, I felt that suddenly the door will be opened and I’ll see him entering. I spent real good time at that place without any company. I slowly and slowly drank the serenity and tranquillity of that place through eyes for hours and hours. I was moved in truest sense and I can still feel that peace within me. But that was also like a saturation point for me. After that, I never felt like visiting any other place, where Mahatma Gandhi lived any part of his life. The silence of those places do not give me peace, they give me a feeling of emptiness. Things look silent, because sometimes they absorb the chaos and sometimes, they do not have anything that could create chaos.

I feel my time at Sabarmati Ashram was the one, when I felt closest to Mahatma Gandhi and I lived it truly. Now for me, believing in Gandhi ji means following what all he said, to the extent that convinces me. It’s all about the practical that I want to observe and I do not want people to indicate me that they think differently. They can..