Monday, April 24, 2017

Romeo and anti-Romeo


Juliet knew it was Romeo.  Who else would enter the balcony of her bedroom on the first floor at this time of the night?  Moreover, there was love in that rap on the window.  It was like the resonance of the guitar string when pulled by a master player.  Her heart throbbed like guitar strings as she went to open the window.

“Romeo, my love!” Juliet cried.  “How did you manage to come here?  There are anti-Romeo squads everywhere.”

“I defy the stars for your sake, Juliet. I defy the squads for my love.”

“Why is our fate thus, Romeo?  Why are they all against our love?  Even your father and my father, they’re like Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi.”

“Oh no, darling! Don’t insult your father by comparing him to Rahul.  It’s more apt to compare them to Modi and Advani.  Anyway, let’s leave politics aside; it’s so unromantic.”

Juliet opened the balcony door and they sat down together listening to the romance of the Ganga’s music as it flowed down a few yards away to join the holy confluence of Prayag.  Prayagasya Praveshshu Papam Nashwati Tatkshanam. Prayag washes away all your sins. 

“Why is love a sin?” Juliet woke up from her thoughts.  She was sitting with her head leaned against Romeo’s shoulder.

Romeo kissed her hair that smelled of shampoo.  “What is sin but the breaking of some rule made by man?”

When some powerful person wants to exert his power over more and more people he makes some rules.  Obedience to the rules you make is the greatest sign of your power.  The more rules you make and the more people you get to obey them, the more power you have.

“But why does anyone want so much power?” Juliet wondered.

“Poverty of the heart, darling,” explained Romeo.  “Love and power are mutual antitheses.  Love gives and shares and cares.  Power grabs, commands and subjugates.  Those who have no heart for loving have to fill the void within by grabbing.”

Their discussion was ruptured by the noise that rose from the road a few yards away.  There were cries and shouts.  Anger and agony.  Somebody’s anger; somebody else’s agony.  Maybe some anti-Romeo squad beating up some youngsters in love.  Maybe gau rakshaks thrashing some cow transporters. 

The Ganga flowed on.  Its rhythm didn’t change.  How much sin can it wash away so nonchalantly?

Juliet tightened her grip on Romeo.  Her face was buried in his chest.  He drew her closer to him.  Closer.  They merged into each other like the Ganga and the Yamuna did at Prayag.  Their love longed to wash away the hatred that roamed the streets assuming various political avatars.  

PS. Written for Indispire Edition 166: #AntiRomeoSquads


19 comments:

  1. The style of presentation is amazing Sir.
    The question you have raised here is in my mind from several years..that is "why is love a sin?" and totally agree with your thought "when some powerful....some rules".
    By the way i am thinking to share my thoughts on the prompt.

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    1. I'd love to read your take on the theme.

      Thanks for the compliment here.

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  2. Nice to read the avatars of Romeo and Juliet in present day India.
    :D

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    1. And anti-Romeos are even more interesting.

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  3. While I support the measures for safety of ladies from ruffians, I strongly resent naming them as Romeos. Eve teasers cannot be lovers..
    The baptizers don't know who was Romeo:(

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    1. Moreover law and order should never be handed over to hooligans and street people.

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    2. The drive is in fact aimed at ruffians teasing females on roads, but like most other things in our India it has been distorted by the police..the official orders are to NOT harass consenting couples; this has been repeated loud and clear..but we know our police..they will not let go of a chance to feign authority and make a quick buck:(

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  4. Romeo & Juliet each performance is an ongoing learning experience, some new discovery, some new nuance...

    Tomichan Matheikal, what do you think William Shakespeare might think of his character in the great 1998 movie: "Shakespeare In Love" ?

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    1. Shakespeare will continue to inspire people for centuries to come. That's his genius.

      Haven't watched Shakespeare in Love. Read about it. Guess it's a creative approach...

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  5. Oh! I had a sad smile while reading. If only the love could wash away 'the hatred that roamed the streets assuming various political avatars'. I am sure most of those self acclaimed anti-Romeo squads have no idea about the true love and warmth of Romeo.
    Thanks for sharing this post:)

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    1. Glad you liked it.

      Those who have experienced genuine love will never become hooligans and thugs hunting lovers. One cannot be violent if one has a modicum of genuine love in the heart.

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  6. Nonchalant Ganga - where is redemption!!!

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    1. Nonchalance is the present redemption, Sunaina. Kill without remorse, didn't Krishna say that to Arjuna in the battlefield? At least that's what the bhakts are being taught these days.

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  7. Sadly it's a thirst and fame of power everywhere.

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    1. Power and love are mutually exclusive. Power and hate are good company.

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