It was a long allegory that I used to enjoy when I would skip my classes. I can’t translate in English the deep pathos feelings underlying these apocalyptic lines. In short, the poet complains the Heaven of its bipartisanship against the poor. That the destiny has crushed them to gravel and they are pauper today who were rich once.
The streams that run like torrents in rainy seasons are dry in the summer of the day. There is neither water nor waves. As a human being who has seen up and down and the challenging vicissitudes of life any read, I’m sure you could relate with these elegiac narration.
It was roses roses all the way; everything was great; you had a midas touch; the sky was blue and all the lights were green as you were cruising through life feeling on top of the world. And lo, from somewhere a wrecking ball of reality crashes into your castle.
You are plummeted back down to earth hitting the ground with a deafening thud. Why does this always happen to me? Is there any ‘Theory of Relativity’ working behind the scene? I brooded long and could get only one explanation: “For us and for others also, as human beings, we need the bad days to remind us how those good days feel.
Have gratitude for the good days you experienced and accept with grace when the storm clouds start to roll in. Remember there is a nonchalant equilibrium in nature. Sooner or later, you have to fall in line. You can challenge ‘Nature’ but can’t defeat it.”
Decades back when I landed at my friend's house in “Arab Gali” Bombay Center, my friend took me to “Patel Hotel” and there I saw Master Nissar, the first superstar of the talkie era, staring the floor, his unkempt tattered quilt, his hirsute mien and a ‘cutting’ of tea at his table. My friend wished him salam which he answered with a jerk of palm. It was a pathetic sight.
He was a product of Madan Theatres, Calcutta and his ability to speak fluent Urdu and sing songs accorded him success. Nissar made a sought-after team with Jehan Ara Kajjan. Their biggest hits together were Shirin Farhad (1931) and Laila Majnoon (1931). People used to flock in large numbers to studios to catch a glimpse of him.
Then the destiny robbed his clover castle. He was often seen begging near the Haji Ali Dargah, Bombay. He died in anonymity in a Kamathepura Chawl, Shuklaji Street, Mumbai on July 13, 1980.
Sunita Naik, the former editor of “Girhalaxmi’, a women’s magazine in Marathi language in eighties and nineties had been found living on the pavements. There were times when she would rode in a chauffeur-driven car, inherited a bungalow at Pune and owned two flats in Worli and two cars. Around 2000 the magazine shut the shop. Naik is single and has no relatives. She is a Pune University graduate and fluent in five languages.
She sold both of her Worli flats and the Pune bungalow earlier. She had Rs 55 lakh in an ICICI Bank till 2009 and another Rs 10 lakh in the bank’s Thane branch, but her savings began shrinking mysteriously. She moved to a rented flat in Versova, but soon found the rent too high, and ended up on the pavement outside the gurdwara about two months ago.
Yesterday, Sunita Naik has moved in with a stranger couple after living on a pavement for two months. They had read about Naik’s plight after a local newspaper ran a story on the former editor who had fallen on bad times.
On Sunday, the couple from Vile Parle approached Naik on the pavement outside Sachkand Gurdwara in Versova in the western suburbs. “They are very nice people,” the frail elderly lady said at her new home. “I am happy to be here. I am happy that I no longer live on the pavement. I suffered living in the open during the monsoons but what could I do. I was helpless.”
Kaal ka pahiya ghoomey bhaiya, koie gati Insan Chale…………..”