Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jai Hind, Sir !

The word 'Police' for me is a place where I grew up. All the windows of my house opened to the majestic building of Police Headquarter of Uttar Pradesh. My memories include manicured lawns, clubs, festivals, tamarind trees, mango orchards and everything pleasant. Neighbours lived cordially as a big family. Nobody was filthy rich as the department is known for bribe n black money.
My father was in civil police, so he never never wore a uniform. As auditor, sometimes he worked whole night in his office with his colleagues. More than half a month he used to be on tours within Uttar Pradesh of some remote part of India. I went to a Mission school but not to one of the schools, Allahabad is known for. Even at that tender age I knew those schools were expensive for us. I saw my parents working very hard. The affluence associated with people working in police department was not there. Contrary to the image of a policewale, father was a teetotaller. Back from his tours he used to tell us hilarious anecdotes. Never ever I heard him mentioning his boss without respect. Even while talking with his friends casually he never forgot to put the suffix, like DIG Sa'ab.

As I grew up I heard stories of police atrocities and corruption, though Hindi films had always projected good picture of policemen. Sholay was a luminous example. I Left PHQ as father got a promotion and transferred to some other department and another city. After that I never heard anything good about the Police. Police ke kutte was the most repeated refrain I heard in day to day life, still my emotional bond with policemen remain intact. Even after three decades I give them a second look where ever I see them. Be it a traffic policeman at a crossing of Chennai in scorching heat, groups of policemen patrolling the crowded streets of Varanasi, at Modi's 2014 rally at Kanpur, Siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai, posh areas of South Delhi, I always spot them.
When you listen to their stories, you would know that the number of policemen die on duty in a year is equal to the number of army men died in the Kargil War. Do we ever make memorials for them? Do we know that policemen never celebrate Holi and other festivals as they have to be on duty. Today there is peace in Panjab at what cost? The link below is a part of a Kavi sammelan where Mr Pawan Jain, IPS presents a poem about the lives of his fellow policemen which is an eye opener indeed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGL (Poetry by Pawan Jain IPS)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Mother's Day Musings

When FB was bursting at the seams with mom pics and quotations on 8th May, I too got tempted to post mom's pic clicked when she was sixteen, with her very long tresses and manicured hands. Though I always saw her with not so long hair and hands, well the way hands look after a long day's chores. I didn't wish mom nor my kids wished me. Wondered if I love them less than others love their moms and kids?

 When I went to see off my parents at the CNB, we bought a few books from the wheeler at the platform, I clicked some pics of the spic n span railway station, touched their feet habitually and drove back. Back home read someone's status that her mother who was visiting her has left and her life is 'deserted' now. There were more than 100 likes n comments from the people who related to it. This is how FB fuels my guilt. But I have my moments when I feel like hugging my mom or kids really tight.

This winter when she visited me I told her that I had to attend a wedding but didn't want to because the host  had  sort of annoyed me for some reason. It may or may not be intentional. Mother chose a lovely saari for me from my limited collection and almost pushed me off saying that wedding at home is a huge task, some lil goof ups are normal.  Looking back I realised that she had quietly taught me so many things without being preachy and by just remaining in the background.

My son (the one with long hair!!) also amazes me sometimes. During his JEE preparation days and just before 12th boards, when every minute counts, he had to collect his admit card from school.The teacher concerned had refused to give the card because the computer teacher had not sent his home exam grades and had left the school. The next day again he went and somehow got his admit card. I was irritated, obviously.

They have their exams centre in some other school and as a convention some teachers also come to see the arrangements and say all the best to their students. Children usually touch their feet before entering the examination hall. I asked him when he came back. "Did you touch her feet?" I loved him so much for the answer he gave, "Yes, arre kya ferk parta hai, teacher hi to hain" (how does it make any difference, she is a teacher after all)

These little moments together make my Mother's Day, just we celebrate it differently.