Sunday, 8 May 2011
It’s Sunday morning and I am up at 5. Nothing describes a Sunday morning at my place more explicit that the chaotic Sunday market. I tottered my way to the balcony, still half asleep, to see a few men landing wooden tables like every Sunday. These tables are used by the folks who set up their shops in the evening. Everything was as a usual Sunday morning. There was minimal traffic, just a few men, a couple of trailers and a bullock cart. This bullock cart was all rickety and in a just-about-to-fall-apart state. But this was about to Detonate a thought in my mind, which makes it special, utmost special in fact.
The ox pulling the cart was old and weak. With ribs embraced and negligible flesh. Seems recent inflation had an effect on its green diet. The bar of the cart went deep into back of its neck which had multiple wounds and bled. It tilted on one side as it pulled the cart to center its gravity, its legs slipped many-a-times on the uneven road, it had dry cud in its mouth and wet eyes. The owner of the cart stood on the loaded cart kicking tables down at regular intervals. He was fine with his job.
I have been seeing this very bullock cart every Sunday morning since last five years or so. But today it was different. I was still half asleep and hence in my most “thought-vulnerable” state. These are times when I start feeling pity on creatures like the Ox in front of me. It was ill. I had never seen it weaker than this before. Moreover it had water in the eyes. Was it nearing its end? Will I see it next Sunday morning? And if I do, then would it be at his better health? I was somehow feeling terribly bad for the animal.
His master, I feel, was too busy to see his pain. It is the way it is. When you yourself are in the filth, you don’t see any. Only an “outsider” can actually “see” you in filth. The ox was slowing down. Like it was just about to fall and break apart. And the whole loaded cart would just topple over him. I was provoked to shout; I was just about to wave my hand at its master when he took is whip and served the ox hard. He ruthlessly whipped the ox and poked it with the sharp rear of his whip. The ox was constrained to continue. It was in pain, but had to continue. Not because he was on “his” journey or because he liked roaming about the area every Sunday morning, but because his master whipped him to do so. It actually deserved better. Maybe in some grassland faraway. With its own territory. Where it would have been free, and not whipped. There would have been green fodder. And most importantly no ‘whipped-labour’. Why did it settle for less?
We all settle for less. We all undergo whipped labour. We do what we do, not because we want to, but because we are whipped to do so. We all are pulling that rickety cart which is in just-about-to-fall-apart state with wet eyes and multiple wounds. We don’t want to feel the burden anymore. We want to quit. Could we just be at some place, under the sun, at peace, in harmony with our inner self, where our thoughts assailed freely and we were not afraid of thinking, we do not grow pale when we think of a mutiny. We elevate our thoughts with all this and flush the disgust. Then suddenly a whip lands. And we continue to do what we what we do, not because we want to, but because we are whipped to do so.
We all are pulling that rickety cart which is in just-about-to-fall-apart state with wet eyes and multiple wounds.
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