Clean Sweep

Once upon a time, there lived a man. Who was very successful in navigation and commerce. But was deceitful and killed travelers and guests. And such else.

The great Gods in punishment made him roll a boulder up a hill. But the boulder would always roll down before he could reach the top of the hill. And he had to start all over again.

This chap called Sisyphus and Sisyphean tasks need no introduction. We live our work lives don’t we ? Sisyphean…is this work of sweeping our streets. Here are pictures clicked at very different places.

The lady was in Mahabaleshwar. There she was. Poignant. Persistent. And attentive. To the last speck of garbage on road. She collected all of it and kept it in a small basket. And walked away. Ofcourse, she didnt bother about the dog that cames along and sniffed the basket. And whatever it did from there on.

Cut to scene 2:

Mumbai. Closer home.

The man sweeps mud and dust off the road. There is a whole lot which flies off and settles on other side of the road. And perhaps when he sweeps from that side, will fly and settle on this side. He gathers whatever he gathers and tosses it into a big container in the tractor behind him. A whole lot of dust drifts aimlessly. Settling wherever it can.


Scene 3:


A man with a fluorescent jacket is at work. With a shoe on leg. Collecting a heap of mud to to create another heap. In some time, an ants version of Mt. Everest forms ! He moves on.

A bus passes by. The gust from the passing bus, reduces Mt.Everest to a hillock. He doesn’t care. He is creating another Mt.Everest. Many more. Everyday.

Scene 4:

As i am typing this, there is a set of people on TV. Debating election results. And what it means for the country. Loud men & women they are. With some numbers and fancy graphs in the background. They make intelligent sounding points. They definitely seem to have sound.

I hear them talking of ‘Clean sweep in Bihar’ ‘Clean sweep in ….’ ! Occassionally, they are mumbling something about some ‘fundamental change’ that needs to be ushered in. That makes me wonder if they are replaying the last election’s analysis.

But with that ‘fundamental change’ point : I am all excited. We need to bring in fundamental change.

Ofcourse, I am talking of sweeping here!

Of Temples & Washrooms !

You are going to look at that image and purse your lips and wonder whats the big deal. After all a picture of a temple from Tamil Nadu, is common sight ! As common as a politician making tall promises during elections. You get the idea, right ?

Well, this is the Shree Navaneethakrishnan Temple in Madurai. Its not one of those gigantic structures. Its just another temple. Frequented by the faithful, used as a landmark to navigate by the newcomer and clicked on camera by a insipid blogger.

So, whats with it.

Here’s what i thought was enough of a big deal. Look closer at the temple Gopuram. And this is what you see.

And right there, is Mahatma Gandhi. With one leg above, above Lord Vishnu. And the other over Hanuman. On the other side there is Jawaharlal Nehru.

Atop an established temple’s gopuram, well, well,well, that indeed was interesting to me !

That they were revered enough to be placed on par with the Gods, says something. Something really profound about that time, that age and them !!! This was a different era indeed. And the folks that were there back then, were made of a different mettle.

Beginning today, India votes. The reactions to the pitches and planks of politicians and their parties have ranged for overwhelming laughter to ‘mild amusement’ to ‘mild disturbance’ to ‘deep consternation’ !

Let me get this straight.

1.Who you should vote for, is your choice.
2. To exercise that choice or to throw up your hands and enjoy a holiday : your choice again !
3. To make a considered, well thought through decision or going by narrow compulsions : your choice again.
4. To actively campaign or passively exercise choice…. well, this is a free country. Its your choice again.

So, it all boils down to you & your choice. Except this : What picture i leave on my blog, continues to remain, my choice !

So what if the picture was found in the washroom of an educational institution ?

PS : My political views remain private. This is not in support of the Congress, BJP, UPA, NDA, DMK, MDMK, ABCD, EFGH, IJKL, MNOP, QRS, TUV, WXYZ of their offshoots / prepoll post poll alliances thereoff.

This is in support of praying hard and using the flush. OK ?

Yes We Can !

So, a new history is being made out there. And a new history is being created for the world ! I have watched in great awe as the US Presidential election unfolded. And what a magnificient canvas it provided ! This blog has stayed away from politics. Well, atleast, has attempted to. But this post is not about policies or politics. This is about the what resides within us : human beings.

I for one, cant fathom what runs in the veins of an ordinary man, causing him to raise so meteorically. Combating a stiff headwind. One after the other. In the name of race, religion, powerful people et al. And to be a complete rookie, yet ooze confidence that befits a seasoned veteren, and most important : pull it off !! Thats a tall order.

So it is, a tall order. To be 72 years old. And take to the rigours of campaigning. Day in and day out. With a vigour that is eclipsed only by the power of a campaign that can be described as some kind of a mass movement ! A campaign who knew that the cake was baked much before it was ordered and yet kept the battle on, right till the last curve. Thats a tremendously tall order too.

As much as i winced at the acerbity of the contest, today I marvel at the grace of the acceptance of the victory. So too, the elegance of conceding the defeat. As much as i am sure of machinations that would work at a furious pace beneath the surface, what i see, moves me. Beyond a point.

Colour. Caste. Creed. Age. Resources. Education. History. Family background. Etc. Etc. Two men, as different as chalk and cheese on each of the above, just seemed to believe ‘all things were equal’ ! And carried it to the finish line.

Personally, that sets a new contour. A new context. That indeed it is possible to climb mountains. And scale them, even when there is a strong headwind. What perhaps is more important is a steady clinical resolve to keep going !!

Only one made it. But two men showed that it is possible to fight. To disagree. Yet accept, hold hands and move on. There have been very few moments in recent times that stood on the precipice of hope and possibility as this one. And suddenly it does seem we as a race will make it.

The networks dont call before its over. But i am no network. Suddenly, ‘Yes We Can’ seems to take a new meaning.