Saturday, August 31, 2013

Porn Shorn (a fictitious account of real lives)

The recent MMS ‘porn’ scandal that hit the Delhi Metro made me wonder what regular commuters thought of the incident, which involved 250 videos of CCTV footage leaked onto a website. All the videos were of couples kissing, some maybe more intimately than others. The event caused uproar in our hysterical mainstream media who never lose an opportunity to sell sex. 

Janak Das, 41 an occasional Metro traveller who was on the Purple Line from Nehru Place laughed it off. “In Bombay, on Marine Drive and all along the beachfront you see couples making out and people pass by as if the are just pigeons,” he says. “In Delhi also you have so many young couples with nowhere to go to be private.”

Sitting next to him Abha Khosla, 55 pipes up, “It’s the same frustration that caused that bus rape,” she says, “So many young men come from villages with stars in their eyes, but Delhi is not like Bombay where there is always hope of something better happening.. Delhi crushes your dreams.” An elderly Sikh who refused to give his name adds quietly, “Delhi is a place for dreamers and lovers, we have all forgotten in our rush for power, glory, world domination, Hindu Raj, whatever...” The compartment is silent till he adds in his deep quiet voice, lips barely moving through his beard, “If only we all remembered that the Saraswati once flowed in the Yamuna…” he trails off… 

Khosla however is not done on the issue at hand. “Bhaisaab sahi keh rahe hai, but then it all goes back to our education system, our entire value system. We all know about the divide and rule effect the Macaulay Act had, what it is still doing… this midday meal curse is just another one of its effects… we need to seriously re-evaluate ourselves.” 

The Sikh’s face seems to light up at this and he starts singing softly to himself. Then Das says something that shakes up everyone. “Taking about the Macaulay Act, I’ve heard that before WW1 boys would wear pink and girls would wear blue,” he says, “and then when you destroy almost all the families in the world, who will remember these basics?” 

“We should just enforce Panchayati Raj,” says Khosla, “That will ensure job security within the community for youth and with them around maybe all this child slavery might slow down.” The Sikh holds his hand up. He’s stopped singing. “We need to love ourselves first,” he says. “Arre baba,” says Khosla, “Please stop giving me that guru stuff, it’s all very well to love one’s self just like all those people who are masturbating to the videos this man was asking about, but the real problem is that we don’t know how to love each other. Delhi has no place for languages other than the fist and the siren. If the government has so much self love for itself, how can they do anything for the people?”

The train lurches to a halt. It’s Central Secretariat. We get lost in the melee.