30 Aug 2017

Excerpt #2 from The Last Nomad

The recent event (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh being convicted for rape and sentenced to 20 years in jail) is a tip of the iceberg.

Here's an excerpt #2 from The Last Nomad, written last year, which delves deeper into why we humans fall prey to such beastly tendencies.

This post is in no way directed towards publicizing the book.

"Shyamsundar Baba’s Durbar gave them as an easy opportunity. It would soon become the first option they would turn to, be it problems conceiving a child, praying that their husbands find a good job or relief from constant quarrels, and a chain of diseases. But more than miraculous solutions, they had found a space to let out all their angst, fears and insecurities at the feet of this godman.

Seeing the success of this new business model, a numbers of such godmen were already in the making. People from all faiths were more drawn towards these underground places of redemption than well established places of worship. Who wouldn’t choose a god in flesh and bone, promising instant life change, over praying for years and waiting for grace?

Betrayed by the politicians, time and again, the masses saw in these godmen a new ground to invest their faith. Seeing their victims gathered in huge numbers, the vote-hungry vultures could no longer ignore the godmen. After repeated failed promises of electricity, water, and better roads, appeasing the godmen and their followers was now an easy way to ensure victory in the upcoming municipal corporation elections. And the SOS party’s candidate, Purushottam Joshi, was at the forefront in serving Shyamsundar Baba. The alchemy of faith is indeed strange."

- The Last Nomad

26 Aug 2017

An excerpt from The Last Nomad

Festivals transformed Shantinagar although only for some days. Be it Onam, Pongal, Eid or Diwali, all the residents of Shantinagar enjoyed every bit of it. These were the only moments they could escape into a world more colourful than the one they were surviving in. Stronger than the uniting power of religious diversity and brotherhood, as many assumed, it was the struggle for basic necessities which held all the residents together.
It was the night before Ganesh Chaturthi. The air was already enchanting crimson with gulaal. Popular film tunes were being rehearsed by the banjo party and the pandal was all set, ready for Shantinagar ka Raja’s arrival, early next morning.
Laxmi’s mother had come home for the delivery which was expected a week later. Close to midnight, when it started raining heavily, Laxmi’s convulsions and moaning woke up her mother and Shankar, who were sleeping down on the floor beside her cot. The only option was to immediately admit her to the municipal maternity hospital situated at the other end of Shantinagar. With no other means of transport available, one of the neighbours immediately made available a plastic-covered handcart, which had just brought in the Ganpati idol at his home. With the neighbour’s help, Shankar finally managed to drive the cart to the hospital.

The following morning, on 25 September 1985, at forty five minutes past six, Rahul Shankar Gite, another descendent of Adam and Eve, arrived in this world to discover and bear the struggle of his share.

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- The Last Nomad

25 Aug 2017

अंतर फक्त एक मैल

एअरपोर्टवरचं एक दृश्य...

एक परदेशी पर्यटक जोडपं, प्रीपेड टॅक्सी च्या शोधात.

त्यातील नवरा एअरपोर्ट एम्प्लॉयी ची मदत घेत टॅक्सी काउंटर च्या दिशेने जातो. बायको त्याच्या मागे मागे, बऱ्याच पाठी चाललेय...

आणि आम्हाला आपलं वाटत शेजारचे काकाच काकू ला असे  मैलभर मागे सोडून बाजारात हिंडतात!

- The Last Nomad