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the band saffron – 1 June 5, 2006

Posted by silentEcho in Stories.
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'…because some of us, for sometime now, have had this somewhat big dream that may be this somewhat big nation needs a wake to the dawn of reason. We are fighting for that dawn, nothing else. It's our sole purpose. And this is all we say : wake up!'

"Good line." he said as he finished reading it. "Real good mann." He had a smile on his face. Happiness comparable to that of a child who received a big birthday present.
"Thanks," I said. "So what now? "

"Well, I will take it to the printing machine in my apartment. I will print the pamphlets and then distribute them. I think this will make impact," he said. There was childish enthusiasm in his tone. When a child has a present kept at home and he are still on the way to reach the place. That kind of impatience and enthusiasm. He always had that in him. With me however, things were different.

"SO how's it going?" I asked him

"It's going well. We are getting new members. The awareness is increasing. Resistance has spread down south. Some of us were hit today so I guess, I think four people are in the hospital. Rest are still up." he answered. There was a worried note somewhere but in his enthusiasm, it got lost.

My friend and me had been together since childhood. He was always the outgoing type. Outspoken, courageous, a bit reckless at times. I think it was in the blood. His father served the army while the mother was a renowned feminist. He got these values from parents : not to bear wrong things but to fight them. I on the other hand was the one who would like to take things as they came, never the one to try and change them. My father died in the Great Resistance. "Take care of Ma," he had said. "I will," I had replied. He never mentioned my brother that night. All he said was about Ma. He died in my lap. I still remember the look on his face. I was young but I understood things and I knew he didn't want me to join the struggle. Everytime my friend tried to set a vibrant pilse in me, my father's face swam in my view.

My friend had grown different overtime though. To me he was still the same but as the leader of the resistance he was very different. A quintessentially rebellious male, who would hide even the rebellion to look passive and then attack at the right moment. He had inspired many to join the resistance, many except his best friend and that's me.

"So you coming?"

"Where?" I asked.

"To my place. Where else?"

"You know me. I can not come."

"I am amazed at you man. I mean how can you write things you don't mean? It's good but think about yourself. Does it have any meaning?"

"I don't write things I don't mean. I mean it and I am in every word."

"Yes you are in every word. That's what it is. Exactly like you : always in words but never in action. How about coming to the greensward and shedding a bit of red there buddy?"

"Well, that's my way of doing things. You know that I can not come. I have too many responsibilities. Ma, brother. If anything happens to them, who will look after them?"

"Some excuse, huh? Mann you are not doing anything. Do not feel bad but seriously you are not doing anything. What do you think? Only morons are up there in the resistance? There are people who have a leaky pen. We need you because right now they are having leaky bodies too. You are just a vending machine which gives out words. Nothing more."

"Then why come to me? Go get someone else. Someone with guts. Look, we have had these discussions before. You know that I support you but you also know that this is all you can get from me. I can't be a frontrunner."

"That's a myth. You do not believe yourself that's it."

"I believe myself. I am NOT saying that I do not have the guts to come up. I only mean that my duties bound me to come up. If anything happens to me…"

"You are afraid of dying."

"You can put it that way. I don't care.

"There will be a time when you will realise that there are things worth dying for and duties more important than what you think duties are."

"You are carefree from the family side. I on the other hand am NOT. It's easy to speak but you don't know…"

"Shutup moron!! Don't tell me how easy is what!! You tell this too me. Hark who's speaking!! You who never stepped out to be. You are worthless. You don't even know what's it like to be out there. It's you who speak just words, NOT me. I know what it's like. And what do you think? I don't have my mother. I do care for her. But I know my priorities," he lost his patience this time.

There was a moment of silence in which his eyes bored into my conscience if there was any left. Most of it formed the cover of my cowardice.

"It's no point discussing with you. Thanks anyway for the script."

"I am sorry buddy," I said

"No, I am sorry. I got to go," and he went to the door.

"You have been up since last two days. Take a nap for sometime. You need it."

"I think that maybe this somewhat big nation needs a wake to the dawn of reason. I can not sleep until that dawn. Thanks anyway. And sorry for losing composure."

He opened the door and left. I saw it on his right arm. The saffron band. He used to wear it. Most activists used to wear it; on the right arm. A symbol of uprising, revolution. My father also used to wear it. He used to be very happy everytime he put it on his hand. I don't know what happiness they drew from it, I was never so brave to give it a try.

To be continued

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