Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Stranger in My Native Land...

Stranger in my native land...
Alien to the society that forms most of my country...
Scared among my own sibblings...
  -  To live and let live...

Am I a native, Am I foreign?


I wear strange clothes...
I speak a different tongue...
I live a different life...
I am completely different

To those people whose sweat mixes in my soil...
To the people that plough on, their lives on it...
To the people that float on its floods...
To the people that survive its drought...
To the people that starve in its famine...
To the people that struggle to be...
To the people that are - my country...


I am kind if I give them a seat...
I am generous if I share my food with them...
I am down to earth if I exchange niceties...
I am envied for what I am...

                       A foreigner in my own land...

I am pretty if I don't share their skin tone...
I am progressive if I defy their traditions...
I am independent if I am selfish about my dreams,
          which I build on their support and exclude any credit to them...
I am looked up to - if I am foreign...

I am  frightened to mingle with them...
I depise this struggle for life...
I pity their state of affairs...
I am disgusted at their very standard of life...
But Oh!, I am gentle when I "tolerate" it all for a while...



I pride in rattling along in their compartment
I find adventure in brushing shoulders with people like that....

Yes I am a national... But yes, I am foreign...

உன்னுடன் தோள்கள் உறசி உரையாடுவதில் பெருமை கொள்கிறேன்...
                                                  நான் எவ்வளவு பாகுபாடின்றி பழகுகிறேன்...
என் போல் ஒரு நிலையுள்ளவள் உன்னுடன் பழகுவதில்
                                    நீ வெகுளியாய் பெருமையில் புன்னைகைக்கிறாய்...
அந்தப் புன்னகை எனக்கு உண்மை உணர்த்தியது, நீ என் மண்ணின் மைந்தன்...
நான் வேற்று மண்ணிற்க்கு அடிமை...!!!
இதுவே இன்று எந்நாட்டின் இளைஞர் நிலை...


PS: Wrote it when returning to Bangalore from Hubli after a friend's wedding, on a Fast Passenger shuttle train between the two, courtesy a very thoughtful friend of mine.

There were throngs of people on the Reservation compartments (too!) that traveled clinging to each other and finding seats wherever possible for their two hour ride to a near by town.  The TTR, conveniently for them, checks performs his duty only after their station.  When asked about this, they said that they had tried all means from peaceful (bureaucratic) application processes to rallies and rages.  Nothing worked.  We did not get a chance to ask the TTR about this.  We concluded through "intelligent" discussions among the "literate" reservation passengers that it was probably not as simple as adding a couple more of 'unreserved' compartments, for may be after that station there might not be many 'unreserved' passengers taking the train.  Well, we were quite scared for our belongings and in one of those local stations when we could hear scuffles and a mob of people trying to solve some issue between a couple of guys, we were scared for our own safety too.  And then, naturally, one of us said, "enjoy the adventure, it's ok, when will we get to do something like this again"... The thrill of it gave me a jolt to reality... *SIGH*

4 comments:

Vikas Jain said...

Stranger in my native land...
Alien to the society that makes most of my country...
Scared among my own sibblings...

.....the most meaningful lines i have ever read in english.

Leonhart said...

some ridealong eh with the homies.. ;) ...

"saambal niram oru kutty..
karum saandhu niram oru kutty..
paambin niram oru kutty..
vellaip paalin niram oru kutty..
endha niram irundhaalum..
avai yaavum ore tharam andro..
indha niram siridhentrum..
idhu yeatram endrum sollalaamo.."

invinsible eh-diversity...we do yeatram n alienation mostly by choice as it make thngs easier,i guess...cant help it josh...need few more narendranaths and bharathis by living past 40 to play with our minds about that.. ;) ...reality...prrrr stinks... ;) ...

lolzz..alrighty...

Nice title Jo..and sema choice of words...

"Am I a native, Am I foreign?"
"Yes I am a national... But yes, I am foreign..."...amen ;)

ujwala said...

@Vikas: thnx... most menaingful ever...?! hmmpf... don think so but thnx anyway...

@leon: thnx... :) bharathikku inai avan mattume... Hail Bharathi...!!!

Leonhart said...

sooo rite :)