Part of Infinite Time Line

The roads on which I learned to run bicycle in my childhood are weathered now and they greeted me with their ugly faces, quite different from what I saved in my childhood memories. Last year when I had a small visit to my birth place, small colony of manufacturing unit of fertilizer corporation of India, Gorakhpur, I saw a deteriorating life in things and places around the unit which is struggling for its existence for around sixteen years after its decommissioning.

The school where I completed my primary and secondary education is still running. Later after closure of plant, it was converted to ‘kendriya vidyalaya’ and now most of the students come here from outside the colony. During my childhood it was mainly dedicated for the children of people working in the unit. The small temple is still there, perhaps maintained by some religious funding. I do not remember the priest there twenty years ago, but now when I saw the present one looked as if he is the same, over sixty years of age now, doing all rituals in same way from early morning to late evening. The temple, though lost its liveliness of morning prayers to evening aarti, God is still there, in right spirit in those idols, unchanged. Everything else there is definitely aged. Big playgrounds where we used to fight for place to play in center, is full of weeds and untrimmed wild grass. Local market has become smaller now, only with some grocery shops and a stationery shop, just to serve the people living and maintaining remains of the place there.

Fertilizer corporation of India started this unit in 1969 and this place flourished for around two and half decades when obsolescence of technology, fiscal losses coupled with several labor issues forced the government to shut down the unit in 1990. I wonder whether a fair voluntary retirement scheme could ever have compensated labor and technicians for the quality of life they had for them and their children with subsidized education and healthcare.

There was no surprise that the world outside boundaries of the corporation has moved a lot ahead. But the word inside those boundaries looked as if someone lost his glory and waiting for some one in his aged old days for support. This place has lived its time line on infinite yesterdays and infinite tomorrows to come. The part of time line has moved and lost. Time is like energy, if it’s with you life is with you; if it goes, it takes everything. Lets hope that time would return with life and energy intact in the form of some divestment by government or some take over by some or something else…


When Duryodhana Wept (Part2)

Some more analysis in continuation from “When Duryodhana Wept..”

Theory of human tendency to own a private property in which exchange happens only with something of equal value could be useful to explain Duryodhana’s possessiveness for kingdom of Hastinapur. Though we can debate pros and cons of ‘private property’ concept, we would agree that it is the concept which drove human to acquire new things which resulted in formation of society. From Duryodhana’s point of view, that point in time Hastinapur belonged to him and so, even a small part of it could not be exchanged for free. Was something wrong in such assumptions?

The other part of this discussion is more related with what is right or wrong. But who would decide? That period was lucky to have Lord Krishna, a symbol of the highest intellect however, the same period also had people like Bhishma and Dronacharya with unquestionable intellect, who choosed to fight from Hastinapur side without questioning right or wrong.

The Romans first made a distinction between rights in persons and rights in things. We acknowledge this in today’s world. Was the kingdom of Hastinapur having the rights to choose its king? Whom the kingdom would have chosen for the throne? Would that decision had been on patriarchal hierarchy, existing occupier, eligibility to hold the place or something else. In such case which side lord Krishna would had chosen to be in Pandavas’ or Hastinapur’s.

Let me simplify this argument by advocating history as we know, or as it was presented to us to know. By all known means, even today, we could not find what Hastinapur would have expected. But we know that Krishna was not an ordinary man, he was Lord Krishna, who was capable of making unquestionable distinction between right and wrong. So he decided to take the side of right successor of Hastinapur. Then history saw; everything fell into the logical place with justified outcome.

When Duryodhana Wept in Regret..

The sound of shell conch coming from the temple in nearby monastery announced beginning of the day after the Great War. But this sound was probably not getting through his ears. He was able to hold his consciousness in the unconscious state as if waiting for something before the longest sleep. Duryodhana, shattered and diminished by Bhima during the battle in the last day of war, lying on soil of Kurukshtra, was trying hard to hold and extend his last few breaths yet remained. His egoistic self-esteem was not letting him to accept the fact that he had lost the battle, and Hastinapur would now go to Pandavas. His stubborn persistence was not even allowing his soul to leave the body, perhaps waiting for Ashwatthama, appointed general of Kauravas by him on the eve of eighteenth day of battle, with a hope that he might be coming at any moment with a message of assassination of Pandavas. War was still on, in the mind of Duryodhana, war with self in accepting a defeat.

He tried to open his eyes with an exhale forcing ground dust enough to rise through the air. He could, at the moment, face the sun with blinking eyes. The sound of shell now started reaching, and his consciousness started awaking. Duryodhana saw the vultures flying around waiting for him to die. He tried, with all the remaining powers, to lift himself. Sun, the symbol of life was rising to live but Duryodhana; the symbol of evil and adharma was falling to die. He was still awake in his consciousness, waiting to see Ashwatthama for the message of his life, the message of assassination of Pandavas, with hope. He could remember the last evening when Ashwatthama and Krupacharya come to rescue him, for all possible medications to save their king. He could hear his own words “give me Hastinapur or let me die with a pride of a true fighter in the battle field” and the echo of Ashwatthama’s promise of taking revenge from Pandavas for both his king and dishonorable killing of his father Dronacharya and the roar of the vow that he would return only with beheaded heads of Pandavas.

Ashwatthama returned keeping his promise with five beheaded heads holding their hairs together. He told the story of war he had executed against the polity in the midnight, when along with Krupacharya, he attacked Pandava’s camp killing almost everyone and beheaded Pandava’s head while they were sleeping. He was aware that he had done an unethical act against dharma, against law of war and against polity. The only thing he could justify was his promise. And the best niti (polity) in war is winning. Duryodhana, as if got a new life, asked him to handover head of Bhima.

And that was the biggest shock of his life for Duryodhana, even bigger than the losing the battle to Bhima; he found that the five heads were of sons of Pandavas instead of Pandavas. He identified sons of Pandavas and understood that Ashwatthama mistakenly identified sons of Pandavas as Pandavas. Duryodhana realized biggest loss in life and first time he wept, with all the power he had he cried cursing Ashwatthama ” what have you done?.You’ve killed son of Pandavas; my fight was with Pandavas not with Hastinapur, you, horribly done the mistake of not only your life but the whole Yuga; you killed not the sons of my enemies but the successors of Hastinapur.”

This point in time, Duryodhana became Suyodhana, wept in regret and cried for everything he bet keeping the kingdom at stake. In a flash, he could see his whole life, his stubbornness and lust for kingdom, the war and the outcome. He realized the time to let everything go, even the ego which crafted the war. He accepted the defeat and allowed the death to take everything, including his ego and soul.