Nehru Keychain


It was the mid summer of 2008, and I was about halfway through my 12th grade. I was still living in New Delhi at the time, but had just recently received the nod from CIC regarding my student visa status. I remember accompanying my mom to the local American embassy for some usual mundane bureaucratic step that had to be completed almost instantaneously, for if I was to ever have a chance to enter Canada of all places. There was a relentlessly endless line on this extremely hot sunny day, as it usually is at such places. Luckily, taking opportunity of my surroundings, I struck a deal with my mom that while she prepared for this mundane event, I would visit a nearby historical sight that I had always heard of but never truly cared enough to visit.

This was Teen Murti Bhavan (Three Statue House), the former residence of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, who stayed here for 16 years until his death on May 27, 1964. Historically, that was all I knew of Nehru, and yet I had always quite admired him, something I rarely ever. May be it was because of his iconic sense of style, his famous speech or the fact that every third stone in Delhi was named after him. I, frankly do not know, but he had a lavish house filled with interesting nick-nacks from all around world and across different periods. And, I simply went with the moment. I spent over an hour or hour and a half, which was a big commitment from me at the time. As I was leaving, I came across this shambles of a souvenir shop, keeping in fashion with the rest of the place, and shop keeper, this plump middle aged lady, mistook my casual stroll by as an invitation to stop doing whatever she was doing, probably something that had nothing to do with her actual work, and sell me some cheesy memorabilia that I did not need. She was quite enthusiastic about making a sale, likely because not many Indians have a habit of visiting empty graves, so not to kill her excitement I decided to buy the cheapest scrap of personified history available – a key chain. Sadly, she caught me eyeing a row of books as she wrote up the bill, and I ended up buying a 500 page anthology of India, written by Nehru himself, as well. At this point, it is important to note that the only piece of literature I had ever read up till that moment of time, which ran more than 20 pages, was Charlie and the chocolate factory by Roald Dahl.

The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru is considered a modern classic and is just one of his many books, the complete collection of his writings run across 81 volumes, but this specific anthology he wrote during one of his times spend in prison. All of this I would later find out, almost a year later, when an ignorant high school history teacher would ask me, in front of a crowded classroom, as to how morally and economically bankrupt India was and that whether I hated the “untouchables.” And sadly, I wouldn’t have an answer because in spite of living in India for my entire life and spending the mandatory years memorizing it’s culture and history, I absolutely knew nothing about why it was here or what it means for it to be here. Thus, began the process of gaining a complete education and understanding what it means to be an Indian, an Asian, a Human and, most importantly, just to be.

All because I was pressured into buying a key chain by a vixen of shop keeper, who probably didn’t even care.


Novelty of Activism & Its Lack of Imagination

Activism around the world, particularly in India, has been reduced to an ill-defined attitude of unrelenting rage towards a marginally understandable disarray of mass observations. Concise reasoning and rampant objectivity have lost all their valor, as more each day reach for easy numbers and popularized statements of pseudo-revolutionaries instead. Activism today is no less pronounced on novelty since the salt marches by Gandhi. It required showmanship before, and so does it today. The essential difference that stands out, is the evolution of what is to be considered as a novelty and the impact made by a novelty act. In the 1930s, walking through the streets with your own package of homemade salt was an unobserved act by the average public at the time, hence a novelty act, that evoked a significant reaction, or rather successfully delivered a vindicated point to the masses. That was 1930, a time where words were considered more hurtful than sticks or stones, unlike obvious walls of paradoxical emotions today. Words no longer hurt, and violence never did much either. Activism means taking action, and in 1930s words were no different. Today, an action is not recognized by the expenditure of emotional and physical concentration towards a goal, but through its success or failure to grab attention and provide an embarked dictation onto the public. To be an activist, is to mean to succeed, not strive to achieve a vague state of moral fulfillment. Activism is not about donation box revolutions or Facebook profile picture interpretations. It has surpassed the prior historical limitation of the effects of words and preceding concepts, and has divulged into a realm of imaginative states that looks straight to implementing solutions. Activism is no longer an aim to publicize, rather achieve through innovative means. Imagination in today’s age is too precious to waste on designing posters and leaflets, when with all we have today it’s only the lack of imagination that remains as a step between aiming and achieving. Activism is no longer only for masses either, it can and will be championed by the individual as well.  All you need is some imagination. Stop maintaining the drudgery of the political scene by cracking the tired mother-son jokes on Rahul Gandhi as you did when he first arrived on the national scene 9 years ago. You want change, then just imagine it. Anything less, is always your own fault.

Morality is Inherently Against the Tide of Humanity

Morality is a phenomenon that outlives the limitations of human existence, happiness or progression. It asks for obedience, no matter how self–defeating the task at hand may be to the individual answering the call of need.  Yet, we are told morality is a prerequisite for humanity and an immortal society. It does not have sound limits or clear answers. It is meant to safeguard a right or wrong, which is its sole task. It only protects the right, and never the mind behind. We are all clichés in a game of an eventually ending game of chess.  The purpose is, like in every game, to protect the king at any cost. The game could end in complete destruction for the kingdom, but if the king lives on then all is good and one remains a moral soul. If morality aimed at prolonging a continuous existence, then every man or woman with ability above the average would be an aristocrat and the rest following admirers. If morality was for human progression and prolongation, then in a case where the death of a great thinker and a pack of beings were to be decided, we ought to root for the single great mind than the usual souls.  Yet, morality always roots for the many. Why? Because there is no single accepted morality, as it is primarily a book of commons. Some say you can kill, you can hate, you fight and you die. One says its only right, while the other asserts they are all wrong. They all will fight over till a single dominance is maintained. In the end, all will be lost. For in morality, victory is victory even if there is no one left to rejoice within its glory. Again, it is the king who only has to remain.

There is Nothing After Death That Regrets


The Three Men At Infinity, 2012, Kapil Vachhar, Screen Print


Once you die, like all matter, so changes yours. We never cease to exist , only change our form of existence. The body turns from nurturing food to repulsing dirt and eventually into anonymous dust. Nothing is left unchanged, and yet everything stills remains. Like everything, so changes our consciousness into another thing, and so when it does not meet god at the end there is nothing that regrets after death, as it has moved onto being something else. The world keeps on rotating, changing and still remaining. Everything is forever in it maintained, whether one may think of self as a thinking part or an uneventful prisoner. Everything is forever waiting there to be recreated, and yet it will never be. You are gone, but you never leave. This is the end and its both terrifying and pointless to worry about, because once you are gone there is nothing after death that ever regrets. But, if only our emotions pegged with reason and not the usual dismay.


You have these moments where you are waiting for a conception. Your mind is expanding, your temper rises and your bones practically walk till the river’s end to get sucked some of the endless life splurging through. You just want to explode and move way beyond and into an exhilarated space. But all you think of is you stuck walking through a landscape, an open field. You are running aimlessly until you finally get hit by a wall and you realize -“Fuck this!” Everything we do is as good as anything anyone else has done or ever will do till the end of us all! Because this is all you feel. The closest you’ll get to anything remotely ecstatic! This is life, and all you do from now on is move and enter the world as it is and write your heart out or scratch your skull into the bones back again. Or, you just forgot about everything and just pass with the times. It’s all never up to you, but it reads all you.

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