The unthinkable had happened.
On 28th April 2017, the revealer of all scams in the universe, the spotter of the corrupt, the certifier of the honest, the perceived to be infallible, convener of Aam Aadmi Party, Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal accepted that he had made mistakes and would need to introspect and course correct. The shock the world felt due to this statement soon turned into a sense of loss and the resultant grief.
Though NASA did not release pictures of India before and after this earth shaking statement by Arvind Kejriwal, the effect of it was visible on the ground. As our driver described it: “Delhi feels like a city in the mourning. People sobbing, crying looking stoned and moving like zombies. Hope it doesn’t last long.”
Our driver was right, the scene on the street was really gloomy. The streets were filled with sounds of sobs and cries. The sounds sometimes rose to a crescendo of wails and then suddenly, subdued into a silence, a complete silence as if an odd even scheme had been implemented on the demonstration of grief.
An Aam Aadmi Party volunteer, still traumatized by the sense of loss was staring at empty space in the sky was muttering to himself, as if questioning the stars & other celestial bodies, “How can He say He made a mistake? Have the laws of universe become invalid? Has earth stopped rotating around the sun? Have the apples stopped falling on Newton’s head?”
Our scientifically challenged minds found the situation difficult to comprehend and we moved ahead.
The wails around the corner coaching center were loudest. One student explained to between sobs, “AK taught us the skill of holding other people responsible for our own failures. I have been failing in 12th class for six years. For first four years, I was made to feel ashamed at myself and had to go into hiding every time when results were announced. Now when results come, others go into hiding; my teachers feel ashamed that they could not teach me properly, my parents feel guilty of not providing an environment conducive to studies while I go on vacations funded by their feelings of shame & guilt. With Arvind doing a course correction, who is going to guide the next generation?”
The corner pan beedi shop too wore a distraught look. The boys were not smoking, nor drinking, not even blocking the road, nor gossiping about the girls in the nearest college hostel, they were just sitting quietly on the verge. The girls passing them looked at them with surprise. No lewd remarks, no blocking of way, no suggestive gestures, no abusive catcalls; something was seriously wrong.
One of the boys explained to us. “We were brought up in BC / MC culture and girls always looked at us with derision as a liberal looks at Sanghis. We thought we were destined to live in our low class environment but then our messiah came, taught us the parliamentary abuses and raised our level from illiterate to almost intellectual. I still remember the day when one of the girls smiled at me when I sang ‘psychopath, psychopath, O meri psychopath, Dil ko chura le gayi.’ Now, can Arvind Kejriwal say that the intellectual status I have been ordained with was a mistake?”
At the end of the street, a bespectacled guy, sitting in a quiet corner, staring at his laptop seemed to convey more despondency than all others despite all their public display of grief. We enquired about it and his emotions arising out of his sense of loss burst out, “The life has gone out of our lives, today,” his sense of misery choking his voice before he could continue.
We consoled him and enquired about his loss. He burst out again, “I run a satire website. What would I do if Kejriwal starts acting rationally? Start digging holes under MGNREGA? Or simply die of starvation?”