Void Ambitions

Posted: October 31, 2012 by Ankur in Contest, Writes...
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Chapter One

The world is not split into good and bad people. It is split into a thousand moralities.

20th April 2016

Kuch pal Abhimanyu ki zindagi ke panno se

The sea never calms, it keeps hitting the walls of this shattered city, raging a war quite different from the ones it has faced in the name of trials and tribulations. Still, even after all these years as I look behind me at the narrow winding city of Hazaaribad, it is just as I remember it from my childhood – eerie and grim and yet very charming, being constantly shaped and molded by it’s evils and those struggling against it. The crime rates are rising yes, but unlike the rest of the world it hasn’t fallen into the abyss of immorality. Not yet that is. This city deserves a better order. This city deserves me. My Social vision is tearing through this country, and there isn’t much time before it knocks the doors of Hazaaribad. I have returned, I am the prodigal son. I will raise this city as my own, it was my father’s, and now it is mine. It is mine to nurture, it is mine to develop, into the center of this vast vast world. It will be my Babylon, it will be my Rome. Delhi will burn and Hazaaribad will take it’s place, and with it I will restore this country to it’s social balance. I will … in time I will.

‘Are you ready to leave sir? The winds are growing stronger by the minute.’ Said the lawyer, Mr. Singh Affably, staring uphill at Major Abhimanyu Senapati, where he stood on the boundary of the cement wall which protected the city from the sea which lashed on it.
Major Abhimanyu Senapati’s partitioned hair as calm as they always were, billowed in the salty wind, his eyes wild and unwavering, his wind beaten face making him look older but only a man of thirty five was he. ‘Oh yes, there’s a storm coming.’ he mumbled absentmindedly. 
‘Dare I ask what is troubling you sir?’ asked Mr Singh hesitantly.
Abhimanyu Senapati’s eyes did not shift course but his cold dreary lips parted in a grim panache.
‘This city Mr Singh. I cannot take my mind of it. It has been years since I’ve come here … beauty … such beauty.’
‘Your revolution has begun sir … are you still more worried about this waste of a city than the rest of the country ?.’ he asked scathingly.
‘Of course … I will drench Hindustan in the glory it deserves, but Hazaaribad will rise as it’s symbol, as it’s core, no matter how dearly we may have to sacrifice’ He replied smoothly, not a crack in his voice. There was no pity involved in what he ever said or did, there was only a vision. ‘Let us leave then Mr Singh, the wind indeed grows stronger.’ He said sagely, the sound of the waves fading as they retreated their steps downhill.

‘Sir, Peter Dsouza called earlier today. He said he’s been posted to Nav Hazaaribad and will be shifting in a month or two with his daughter Saira and son Abhiyankar’ Said Mr Singh, in the back of Abhimanyu Senapati’s black ambassador as the driver journeyed them downwards into Nav Hazaaribad towards the Army Mess.
‘Hmm …’ grunted Abhimanyu, crinkling his skin and getting lost in his own unhinged thoughts. ‘Tell him I will meet him only when I desire. We parted ways ten years ago. I still haven’t forgiven the path he took.’ 
‘Very well sir … as you wish … By the way, since you are now back in the town, Mr Abraham would like to discuss a rising problem at Agni.’

27th April 2016

‘Ethics are as important a part of our life as sleeping, eating or for that matter breathing. Without beliefs, we do not exist. Such are the foundations of Agni school of science, that it has prevailed and sustained it’s prime stature in all these 39 years, and it has been possible for in all the tests of times, we have stood by our beliefs. To insult such a culture is an act of abhorrence and shall be treated without tolerance, and my dear students, to punish such people, I have gathered you here on the eve of the beginning of your summer holidays. In this bright week, we have welcomed back Major Abhimanyu Senapati, a premier well wisher of the school … One who lived by the legacy of his father to help this school revive in difficult times … and I am relieved to announce that his return has also been marked by our capture of these students who are most popularly recognized as … ‘
What Principal Abraham went on to say left the crowd of students gathered in the assembly ground astonished. All, but one man paid attention to it. Standing last in the class tenth line, under the glaze of the orange sun, it was Gulshan Pandit. He had known what had happened before Abraham had said it, but he did not understand how. His tall and usually suave and indifferent persona was shivering, not in fear, he had never feared, it was possible that they would get to him, but he couldn’t care less. No, he was shivering in anguish; for the snitch – whoever it was, the staff and the headmaster had taken from him something that had been in his reach. The rebels had said they would help … they had … but now their own fate was unknown. It was nothing serious, at the most they would be suspended for a few days or barred from any social interaction, but either way they would lose all their power and control over the mere mortals at Agni.

‘Monkey Business!’ Cackled headmaster Abraham nervously. ‘That is exactly the phrase to which I would subject these acts of a supposed rebellion!’ 
The headmaster’s tiny eyes swept the boy and girl standing on stage, as he dabbed his handkerchief all over his sweaty bald head. The gray eyed boy with short hair slumped dejectedly, his head bowed as low as it could go, and the short girl standing beside him looked dreamy, smiling as her hair whipped in the wind.
Perhaps Gulshan could take content refuge in the fact, that was brought to his notice by Dev. That there was coming a boy who could help him. That psycho called Abhiyankar .
‘ … I hereby Expel these students in the hope that our other senior and for that matter junior pupils understand the importance of discipline.’ completed the headmaster succinctly, his flab sticking out on both the sides of the podium, his left hand pointing towards the students on stage.

There was an uproar of protest. Students of all ages were shouting in discontentment. Agni had never experienced the expulsion of a pupil, let alone unsung heroes of a student appreciated rebel group. The shock was beyond Gulshan, but all he let on was a satiric smile. A warning to degrade every student’s disciplinary grade was all it took to send the silence of the enraged students into dreary despair. 

28th April 2016

The darkness of the night was pierced by a light that was flicked on in the staff quarters at Agni. It was 1:00 am in the dead of the night, but kavi Saahab’s eyes did not falter nor blink. He tried on his slippers, and went outside in the balcony, pouring himself a drink as he gazed into the starless view. The free sky was murkier than he had imagined. 

Ab Kuch pal kavi Saahab ki zindagi ke panno so

How had it all come to this? We had always dreamt of a better future, but it had never come. One can conclude that a Utopian vision is a lie, for no matter with how much power a society is equipped, evil manages to find a way to completely demolish an optimist and stick the loss in his face. We never reciprocate the act, or to rephrase, we can’t. Evil does not have a face, it does not have a torso, evil is not a mere mortal. Evil is an idea, evil is a thought. It can be fought, but never entirely defeated, for it crops up in the minds of people who are weak enough not to realize when they lapse into demented ideals instigated by meagerly important motivations. These men do not believe they are wrong, for them the world is. Right and wrong. When I sit in my dark room for long stretches of time, I conclude there is no such thing. The only reason I act in certain ways is because I stand up for my beliefs. 

I am a complex man, and so is Abhimanyu Senapati. No one understands him, but to a certain extent I do. People would call me insane if I tell them what I think Abhimanyu can do. It is probably because no one knows much about him or because they choose to turn a blind eye towards the sparks of darkness in him. They will be reckoning the truth when the time comes. Right now, to stop him, there is nothing much I can do. The only advantage of being an ordinary teacher, is that you can shape the tiniest part of the future. For this circumstance I stand and think about the events of today. Principal Abraham could not have just walked in on the rebels while enjoying a post lunch stroll, he knew they were going to be there, and even someone like Dev, if he was in my position, could guess that it had something to do with the arrival of Abhimanyu only a week ago. How he purged through this thick layer of trust that existed between the rebels and those who knew about them is still a my stery to me, though I have a shrewd guess. It was a student who turned them in, no staff for I was the only teacher who could have ever known who these people were.

I believe it was Gulshan Pandit. The evidence is overwhelming. A boy no more than six months old in the school will soon be promoted as the assistant editor for the school tabloid. He had been writing against the rebels ever since he joined the media club that took place on Saturdays, but jimmy had me convinced that he was doing this, so as to only rise it’s ranks. It is a little too conspicuous, seeing that it happens only 6 months after he arrives, for betrayers could’ve acted well in the last 5 years. There is nothing I can do to prove that it was him, and who would charge him anyway, as I said, for me this is wrong, for the authorities, there is nothing more right. I am not a man of vengeance, nor I should be. I only feel for my students, who must now be socially mocked. I fear Agni is going to get darker in Abhimanyu’s shadow … unless … unless what I overheard Dev telling Gulshan a few days ago is true … that someone’s coming &h ellip; this boy called Abhiyankar who can change things as they stand, drastically. But no, not even he can completely eradicate the wrong in this rotting school and by extension this rotting city. He is a mere pawn in this battle. For Evil is persistent. Evil is determined. And if evil is Abhimanyu, evil is eternal.

7th July 2016

Click. Click. Click. From the lighter emerged a fire, gentle in it’s flow, lighting the shadowy bathroom. Fifteen year old Abhiyankar Dsouza tilted his head menacingly as small droplets of water trickled down his slanted face, hitting the metallic sink mechanically, violating the unusual silence of that gray and empty bathroom. He lifted his face and looked straight into his own eyes, deep and dark, screaming for help from it’s depths. The circles under his eyes had gone purple, his hardened hair sticking ruffly out of the ordinary. He moved a step closer to the mirror, pushing a sandy cigarette down his lips, drizzling it in the sparks of fire , leaving nothing but vile smoke encompassing his rugged mouth. 

Kuch pal Abhiyankar ki zindagi ke panno se

A peaceful breath and I felt depression flowing out of my mouth and mind . My veins pumped as I flexed my hands. My throat burned as I drew in another puff. I pain myself in different ways, mentally and physically. What else can a frustrated boy do when he doesn’t know what he must exactly do in life. I do not know what god or this universe intends me to do, What the society expects me to be, or what my family thinks I must become in order to satisfy their pride or repay the care with which they have raised me. If only they gave me a clear answer. Was it so difficult to stretch out a hand to a little boy struggling on the crossroads of life? With one hand I hold a smoke, with the other I scratch my hardened hair. I only understand these people as much as I understand myself – We are all men of vague ambitions. 

From what I have understood by listening to different people with different ideals is that God probably wants me to be a kind man, society wants me to fit in, and my family wants a reputation worth mentioning. Now, we all come in with a purpose, but what it is, is the question I must figure throughout life. Should I try to find myself, or do what these people think is according to them right? I don’t know. I just want to be happy. I don’t know how, but I want to. People tell me I’m just a little boy, and I don’t understand the practicality of life, but I concur with John Lennon – they don’t understand life. They ruin it in worthless ambitions. I would rather waste myself if that is what I want, than do something honorable just because others want me to. I don’t want to make others happy, I want myself to be. When things concern my happiness, I will not be kind, I will not fit in, and my reputation can go fuck itself. 

All of this was not a sudden explosion of thoughts. It had been building up inside me all these years … it all came to a certain point at a certain time, at a certain place when they told me I was leaving Gandhinagar for good … leaving all this mental abuse by people who tell me that my words and ambitions are worth nothing, and that I shall be outcast-ed for being a part of such mockery … For being different than them, for not wanting to be like them … I feel a sense of liberation by the thought of Hazaaribad … a new home, new people and new hope … and I believe for the first time in years, I laugh … a laugh sheerly unconstrained and maniacal and happy … my first step to an emotion, which I would never fully attain.

Abhiyankar struggled to slide himself into the old off white Maruti 800, with a plethora of bags and his family already stuffed into it. The winds blew wild, twisting into the grey sky, and the heavy rain crisply rapped the foggy window pane through which Abhiyankar was peering outside. His father pushed in the key, and the ignition led to a wisp of smoke which dissolved in the rain as soon as it had appeared. It was seven in the morning, and Hazaaribad was twelve hours away. For the three members of the Dsouza family, a new journey had begun.

Monal Thaakar

Kendriya vidyalaya

TOPIC: What I learnt in those 5 min

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