Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Back Home in Dhanbad

I am unable to write when I do not have a burning issue in my life. I was wondering, does it have be angst, to do any work? I mean, I know of the movies, where some lovelorn man is ditched by his girl and starts writing or singing, extremely well. I am not  in that great talent artistic category and I do not want to be sad to do good writing. In fact, every time I am struggling to write and the mind draws a blank, I keep telling myself it is okay. I am happy and that is what matters. Then someone said happiness is within and is not related to people or places. I have come to the conclusion that all it needs is practice.Happiness needs practice too. Practice of staring at the blank screen till the hands start working on the keyboard and words start appearing on the screen and thoughts flow. Does a waterfall or a stream feel like this when it has to start flowing? When I started working, I heard a term : "Go with the flow". It was very "in"  to say this in those days. When you went out with friends, one never planned anything. Everyone said, "Let us go with the flow". In these cases, we just landed up hanging around and half the time without proper food. Forgotten conversations on the streets of Mumbai, at a cafe, outside the hostel or at a friend's house. In the hostel too, entire evenings were spent talking with the flow. One topic seamlessly moved to another. There was not much to gossip about as almost everyone was in the same boat and doing similar things. We kept talking about our families. Our days back home.

'Back home' was another phrase I started using in Mumbai. Everyone knew where each other's homes were though we did not know much of India. 'Back home' we did this or we ate like this. It made home alive and closer in the hostel room. Home is Dhanbad and Jharia. I feel equally connected to both. Though I have actually lived with my parents in Jharia for the first fifteen years of my life. Shifting to Dhanbad was heart breaking from the ancestral home. But the new energy soon took us over. We all 'went with the flow' and started loving the new house, the sunlight, the breeze, the greenery, the entire feel of new energy. Houses have energy and people have energy. Each one takes the other's energy. Energy permeates from homes to people and vice versa too. 

Then I read a survey which says Dhanbad is the dirtiest city in India out of the 70 cities surveyed. I am heartbroken. Is that why I am writing? I mean is it the people's energy or the place's ? What is it that we the people could not keep it clean? Why could we not maintain the hygiene standards. Now there is no threat of the Mafia and with television and Mass social media, the world has become one global village. Then how come my hometown is dirty? Was it always so dirty? We did not see it? Come on, everything can not be put on apathy by the officials. We have a say too. All the people I know have been growing and prospering there. Then is it lack of civic planning or the rampant construction or no sewage system? What has caused this? Or was it always like this and I know now? Isn't  this worse than a natural calamity because it is man made? What will I do about it? How can I make a difference? I am glad this wake up call or awareness has come now. Time to take some action. Can't let the place where my ancestors and I lived, go to the gallows.




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