The Length of Shadows

Id from my balcony. Mumbai. 2nd Oct 08
The morning ushers with it a holiday on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. And Id. And as i part the curtains to draw in the morning air, there is an Islamic preachers cadence which floated through ! Rather noisy. That’s my first reaction for the day.

I stand there, soaking up the morning and all that it has to offer : the birds chirping, the first rays of the sun hitting the opposite building. And more importantly, the relative silence that a ‘holiday’ morning offered. Free from honks, bus engines and an inherent Sisyphean buzz.

In a few minutes, i became aware of young Muslim men, characterised by their caps registering in my eyes. They seem to be returning from prayer. Or wherever. Bright clothes and a sprightly walk characterise their today. Today is Id. After a month of fasting, today, is celebration time.

And as they walk towards in the direction of the Sun, i see their shadows lengthening. They segue from slow to a brisk walk. I wonder whats the hurry. Perhaps breakfast. I think.

I wonder how they feel, to be identified & labelled as a Muslim. Victims themselves. Either of terrorism, propaganda or bias. A lump sits in my throat. The birds continue to chirp.

The religion surely must be rich. And i am sure there must be dimensions of which the rest of us don’t understand fully. Maybe someone needs to demystify and help the world understand the Koran, i think.

We need to accept ‘them’ as one of ‘us’ i think. And then, a smile escapes my lips. ‘Us’ & ‘them’, my mind thought 10 seconds ago.

I ask myself, ” aren’t ‘they’, ‘US’ ?!?”

The lump gets bigger within. I wonder if the biases, that i think rests with the rest of the world, rests in me as well. Unconscious sleeper cells? I wonder.

And even as i wonder, i hope thats not the case ! A full minute later, the ‘sleeper cells’ are still introuvable. Thankfully. I hope they never existed.

Far below, the boys themselves, don’t seem to be bothered. With animated chatter, they are now sauntering on. And as the Sun’s rays get brighter, their shadows get lengthier.

In an hour, i am at my breakfast table. Muesli and honey. I wonder what the boys who walked by would be having for breakfast. A few images appear. My mouth waters. Many years back my dad told my mom, half in jest, ‘the way to a man’s heart is through the alimentary canal’.

Out of nowhere that comment makes a propitious appearance. And stays too. Silly. I think. But, it continuous to stay. I wonder why.

I saunter to the window. A new set of boys with the same caps walk by, on the same path. The Sun is up in the sky.

The shadows, however, are shorter. Much shorter.

Happy Id !

7 thoughts on “The Length of Shadows

  1. kavi,

    Great silent soliloqy.

    I feel our country is at its High Noon right now. Warmed up, learning, active, not too many long dark shadows. We really need to leave those long shadows behind , and learn to respect each others differences , and come together.

    Actually , I suspect things would have been that way, amongst ordinary folks. If only the politicians did not exist….

    (Actually I consider them (politicians) as potholes. Ever heard of Mumbai without potholes ?) Hmm.

  2. was’nt that a beautiful way to indicate the biased person in all of us…loved those lines!

  3. Kavi says:

    Ugich : Thank You !

    We are at a crucial inflexion point. On a precipice ! We cant go any further for it will take us all down.

    I pray we make the ‘nay’ sayers ( politicians included ) irrelevant and work out something more powerful !

    Mumbai without potholes..not at all. But sure we can make a beginning. We have a road to begin with !


    Seriously Frivolous : Thank You ! And welcome here !

    Bias resides in all of us. And troubles me no end !

    Thanks for the comment. It made my day.

  4. HOBO says:

    Time is the decider always.

  5. initialm says:

    came here thru one sis’s blog,ma visit here…
    its a wonderful post frm u !!

  6. Nice topic! Well written. You are very pragmatic in thinking.

    Our society is a great one with the kind of unity in diversity. I remember talking to few Muslim brothers in place where I lived in Chennai. There were just a handful of them, and it was absolutely fantastic to live in such a great multi religion society. After coming to UK I could imagine how it feels in living in Minority.

    As truly said by everyone, I wish we did not have the influence of these Politicians. We would have been far better.

  7. Ms Cris says:

    You manage to make most of the entries touching somehow. This was nice reading 🙂

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