Songs of freedom are all around, we just need to listen. Santosh Bakaya enjoys the redemption songs that float in the air, in animals, plants and people.
As I peeped through the netted window of my backyard, a beautiful scene met my eyes. Adjoining our colony, is a village and I have often witnessed many a pastoral scene. Needless to say, I have always found these scenes immensely uplifting.
Today there was a horde of buffaloes, sheep, and a couple of donkeys plodding forth with a nonchalant ease. Riding side-saddle on the droopy eared, sleepy eyed, slothful donkeys were two girls flamboyantly attired in ghagra choli, singing popular folk songs. Their singing, interspersed with happy giggles, was so infectious that I wanted to leave everything and jump into their midst, on the donkey if need be, adding a note or two. But, better sense prevailed, and I stopped myself, otherwise the poor sleepy-eyed donkey would have stopped in its tracks, wondering who this new entrant to the braying brigade was! Also, with me on its back, it couldn’t have moved further anyway.
These rustic scenes juxtaposed against urban ones have often provided me food for my articles. Behind the donkeys, two students, who lived in the PG accommodation in the apartment next to ours, were walking towards the engineering college in the vicinity, chatting animatedly, one of them was holding a guitar. Probably, they had an event in college and were in a very happy frame of mind .We had often smiled at each other when our paths had crossed occasionally.
“I will see Joker again, need to understand certain things .There are so many nuances, one has to see it many times before one is able to appreciate it.”
“I am waiting to see Laal Kaptaan.. Saif Ali Khan plays a naga sadhu in it, with blisters on his feet and dreadlocks, very unconventional role.”
Both the boys were talking in animated tones.
“Ah! Dreadlocks always remind me of Bob Marley.” The one with the guitar said, and I was pleasantly surprised to see him break into the Redemption Song.
Won’t you help to sing
These songs of freedom?
‘cause all I have is
His eyes fell on me peeping through the meshed window, and he smiled, waving to me, glowing.
Enthused by the happy faces, I finally ventured out, where I came across a group of people who did not belong to our colony, talking at the tops of their voices.
“Every other day, a new shop comes up in the colonies.”
“There was a time, when people had no alternative but to go to the shops in the walled city, but now you get everything everywhere.”
“Yes, the Walled City is no longer the shopping hub that it used to be.”
“Who will go to the Walled City from Jagatpura – so many traffic snarls, so many red lights to cross, no parking space.”
“I had a shop there, actually it was my father’s, but I closed it down.”
I headed home thoughtfully, wondering what I would cook for lunch. The perennial existential question.
“Arrey yaar, I am going to watch Laal Kaptaan on Sunday. You know, most of the scenes are shot in some unheard of regions of Rajasthan.”
“Oh really? Then I will watch it too.”
“Yes, I love Saif Ali Khan and it is a dark drama thriller, sounds good.”
The chatter went on and on from films to shops. I hastened home but not before some interesting snippets fell into my ears, “You know, scientists have produced crops in Mars and lunar soil simulant developed by NASA, which implies that crops can be grown on the Red Planet. They cultivated ten different crops – tomato, spinach…peas…”
Oh, wonderful! I had got the answer to what to cook for lunch. It would be Palak matar, I said, almost breaking into the Redemption Song. Popeye eats spinach for strength, so do we. Let’s enjoy spinach “Made on Earth” for now, till the Mars-made products flood the market. 🙂
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