I’m getting increasingly convinced that Delhi can only rape.
Ms Sheila Dikshit can shed crocodile tears on the umpteen TV channels to which she condescended to give interviews after the most recent and most publicised gang rape. I watched her on Times Now, NDTV, and CNN. She might have given interviews to many other channels too. She looked like a wax statue that one sees at madametussauds. That look may be a gift of current international politics, I grant. Buy and Sell kind of international politics. Use and Throw kind of politics.
This Buy and Sell+ Use and Throw is what I learnt about as I was on a routine duty today. I cannot mention the duty and the place as well as the people involved because of the oath of secrecy that even a stupid school teacher has to take these days.
The duty brought a Delhi policeman face to face with me. As we waited wasting our time as demanded by our duties [his as a policeman and mine as a school teacher], he asked me what I thought of the most recent and most publicised rape case in Delhi. I said that Delhi was beyond my understanding. I couldn’t express myself any better in Hindi.
The policeman opened up. In fluent and passionate Hindi. He told me that Delhi was the most corrupt place in the world. He said that the history of the corrupt practices taking place in Delhi Police in one day alone could fill more pages than the book I was holding [I was holding Hilary Mantel’s Bring Up the Bodies of which I could not read even a single line, thanks to the policeman. And the policeman fingered with the pages of my book more times than I would have tolerated]. He said that the criminals involved in the current rape case would be out of the prison as soon as the media leave them. He said that the same criminals would continue to rape many other women from the next week. “There are so many people behind these crimes, bhai saab,” he said. “Too much money.”
I was soon joined by an alumnus of my school, a former student of mine. He is now a prominent member of a national political party. He said among many things that a head constable of Delhi Police has constructed a house costing Rs 60 lakh. “Where did the money come from, Sir? Can a policeman manage it with his salary?”
I looked at my rickety scooter. I wondered about the house that I was going to construct when I retire from the profession of teaching. I remembered Naipaul’s novel, A House for Mr Biswas.
I realised I was being distracted. I am too silly for Delhi .
The Delhi policeman gave vent to his ire. My student asked me why I was continuing in this profession of school teaching. I requested [almost begged] him to leave me alone in my profession. I don’t want any promotion, I guaranteed him. I don’t want anything from anybody. I’m happy with whatever my school is giving me. What life is giving me. This same student told me a year earlier that any Ram, Shyam or Rapist could buy a ticket of his political party for Rs 5 crore. The amount was highly exaggerated, I thought at that time. Now I know my student is wiser than me. He was offering me a better job - for a price, of course.
The policeman had taken a backseat when the student came. The student called him back to continue the conversation. “Take some sunlight,” said the student. The policeman barked something that I didn’t understand.
I love Delhi, nevertheless. It’s so much better than my earlier workplace where the religious people ruled the roost and made my life miserable. Real politics is far better than religious politics.
But I’m really looking forward to the time I’ll retire from this job and this place and go to my village where I’ll live with ... some simple people, I hope.
I dream. I’m a bloody Romantic.