Please mind the gap,
Between shanties and high rises,
Please mind the distance,
Between them and us.
Please mind the differences between,
My culture and yours.
Between those that sleep on the pavements,
Run over by cars and the ones that couldn’t set the air conditioning and slept in the dilemma of discomfort.
Mind the bridge,
Between he that scrambles into a garbage can looking for glass,
And the one that squints from behind his glasses,
Looking at a screen.
Please mind the wall, ladies.
It does not discriminate between the two inches of your eyes,
And the five inches of your waist,
Covered and wrapped like a candy.
Torching our bridges now, are we?
Down alleyways and passages,
Corridors and lanes,
As if I am one person too much,
Occupying more space than I exist in.
So I make myself small,
Pull my hands in
And hold them folded,
Against my body.
I stick to the straight line,
That becomes fine while I walk.
And I envy that fiery stride
Step after step moving forward in silent determination,
You hold your head high for the world to see
And though you hinder me not,
Unsure of my gait,
Tone it down.
And I jump in my skin,
When I hear footsteps behind me,
Or voices that I know for sure are talking about me,
Or eyes that I know are burning a hole in my clothes,
To see what lies underneath.
Is it skin?
Is it fresh meat?
I don’t know.
I gather myself up,
Shrink a little,
Trying to dissolve into thin air.
Is middle class Indian society ready to accept the gradual rebellion springing from its youth that had for long been kept bottled up? Small towns and cities are rapidly going global with the advent of consumerism, social media and the concept of individual expression. Multiplex and mall culture are giving to the young possibilities that were not dreamt of a decade earlier. Where is this leading us? Why inspite of such positive change, we lag behind in our mentality to accept notions so common to the west today like one night stands, relationships before marriage, live ins etc etc…
The parental authority is afraid of losing the control that it has gradually built up, dictating just everything- what you should wear, what friends you can have, how long you can stay out and if you might have a boyfriend/girlfriend. Things are changing and that is undeniable. Whether it is happening for the better or the worse is yet to be found out. The difference in ideology of the west and the east is star, and the same ideas that inspire in one society might be termed blasphemy in the other. But it still is the same for small cities where young boys and girls are now vulnerably exposed to the same popular cuture that there parents were screening them from. This generation of socially active tech savvy teenagers is finding itself at crossroads and desires strongly to be given a say, to understand the truth as it stands and to delete the myth regarding their sexuality. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why lesser known towns are witnessing a spurt in crime that involves the use of technology- morphed photographs leading to blackmailing, duplicating certificates like experts and copying what they see on TV.