Wednesday, June 24, 2009

idle thoughts

June 23
Everything seems clearer when it rains. Like a mist has lifted. Or some kindly soul, spotting a smudge on my spectacles, has wiped them clean. Colours seem sharper: the brown of the tree bark seems to turn a warmer shade, the red of the new leaves is brighter. Sights that I would normally miss, leap out at me. The man at the raddi shop, picking up a red coke can at a time, and hammering it flat. The crowd of people waiting to cross the street standing in a long line side by side, instead of a huddle like they normally do. The reflection of the sky in the puddle, shivering lightly in the breeze. The echo of the hammer from the construction site two lanes away.
I'm more self contained too, during the monsoon. I need people and the distractions they provide much lesser. Sitting by the window, I read or work or listen to music, and am a complete unit. There is a contentment that manifests itself as delirious joy on the overcast mornings and an indulgent melancholy on dusky evenings.
I'm happy when it rains.

June 19
Yesterday, a loud confident voice drew away from my corner in the office towards the TV. “Shiney is a good man.” It was the actor’s wife Anupam Ahuja, proclaiming her husband’s innocence in the rape case he’s implicated in.
I wondered about her then, about what must be going on in her head. From what the cops say, it seems pretty certain that Shiney is, in fact, guilty of the crime he’s accused of or, if nothing else, an extramarital affair with his bai that went wrong. What would make a woman stand up in front of so many people after all that and proclaim her husband’s innocence so calmly and confidently?
Does she, despite it all, believe that her husband is innocent? That not only is he not a rapist, but he is also a loving and loyal man? Is that why she’s not turning away with a shudder of disgust?
Or is she simply being the good Indian wife: sticking by her man no matter what storm of controversy he is caught in? But does that mean she condones his extramarital affair (best case scenario) / rape (worst case scenario)? Or does she fail to consider the implications of the heinous crime her husband has possibly committed? Does she understand the implications and still choose to stand by him and support him?
Or far more interesting yet. Maybe she knows just exactly what he’s done, understands fully the implications of his actions and their comment on the man, and has chosen, despite it all, to stick by him because his career gives her the money, fame, and comfort that she wants.

Incidentally, do check out this article that is so full of the biases that so many amongst us have. It reminds me (and some of the older readers may remember that post) of the time when I lived in this 20 floor building in Wadala where the service staff and domestic help were not allowed to use the lift when a resident was in one of them. I found that infuriating and would always ask them to come in when I was there. They'd agree if I was alone, but never if another resident was always present. In fact, I'd get a stinker of a look from the other resident for even asking.

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