In the sands of time.

I haven't in years written a prose. As I sit down today to pen down something , in the first attempt of thinking my mind goes blank, in my second attempt a confused entangled smoke of distant past encircles my vision,and when I give myself to the third and psychologically my last attempt ,a gush of tenacious vortex pulls me in an abysmal nothingness;and it is in this nothingness that I realize the profoundity of the content that could make up my story,and hence I end up chronicling this article.
The setting is the ethical city of the nawabs;flocked with the debonair and the suave men and women who add a subtle life to the backdrop.
Life, we all add to our own backdrops ,by candidly playing our roles either on stage or off stage. The work in front of the curtains grabs the eyeballs and hogs the limelight. Acting backstage,more often than not, enjoys the curse of oblivion.
The signature of sacrifice ,hard work and dedication;coupled with the propensity of an acknowledgment from those basking in the earned recognition, often passes unnoticed and undelivered. The men and the women of this city,like the men and the women of any other city played both roles; cliched as it goes, the men played the former; women the latter. Only that the ambience of Lucknow punctuated the tale to a greater degree with the disparity between the two roles; the two genders. But no matter what the degree was,this unwritten law, this protocol was followed without the undercurrent of any rebellion or resentment. There was acceptance,submission and tolerance that roped the members of a family and thus ,kept it solvent. Excepting some sporadic cases of dissidence, the throes of a revolutionary social change were hardly palpable some ten years back. And thus serenity prevailed in the social,emotional,geographical,physical and the metaphysical.
Its effect on the geographical was astoundingly beautiful. An ecstatic sight of the the hotel Taj across the banks of the river Gomti after the dusk was breathtakingly exquisite. The glint of the lance that monument bore(it can be compared to the real Taj Mahal at Agra) along with the aura of glimmering Gomti at its footsteps gave it the semblance of some opulent castle from the Arabian Nights. There again, the current of the river water had no upsurges; upsurges against the the waste disposal,factory dumping and the rise in polythene; not even a tangible speck of repercussion against the mammoth incitations. It too ,was decently content akin to the people who survived on it .
Industrialization still in its womb then , the city fathered grocery shops, roadside vendors and cloth market; it was still chaste; ingenuous of the western system of the 'malls'. The exchange of greetings in public or at homes followed as 'ram-ram' or 'salaam-walequom' between friends and acquaintances. The children(most of them off course;i can't vouch for the exceptions), in reverence bowed down their heads to convey their regards to elders and to the ladies, were amicable with their folks and friends; stealing a glance or two at something or someone they liked,(more often at that 'special someone');but never had the audacity to go public ,blatantly about their feelings; their whimsical glimpses making subtle statements, often candidly understood by the one who beheld them and for the one they were meant.
The information of that desired stranger, of the 'special someone' couldn't be tracked outright through 'orkut' in those days,neither were we endowed with cellphones and hence no personal contact numbers. The make do was a tardy but a resolute process achieved by collecting tits and bits from the grapevine, from your sister's friends or your friends' sisters. The challenge to carve out a way through it was a true test of the mettle then. Moreover, a majority of relationships that time held a lot of weight attached to them; a true grit of a cavalier had enough sublimity,and the promises to guard the honour of your girl were kept till death,even before the wedding vows were taken.
The aura of the afore mentioned environ permeated me too,in ways obscure and elusive. The rendition being arcane to me then, of the gravity of the subject into consideration ,i was a brimful vessel of nebulous ideas; not chasing the popular bromides of the dream man mounting in a white horse.
It felt utmost crazy then to let a bond dissolve on the pretext that someone has a crush on you, but then neither did I have the erudition nor the sagacity to explain the reason behind the psychology and to discern the very fabric of the social culture my city was composed of. Spending time and being friends with the opposite sex was highly disapproved of. Treatment of congeniality could never be ordained to it; it had suffered a step motherly treatment under the aegis of this mentality for long.
Now the times have changed , so have the people. Change has always been the eternal law of the nature; nothing has ever remained static. But along with everything, niceties also elude us; courtesy a moral and a cultural erosion. The cavalier has transited into a callous creep; the waters of the Gomti have started responding to the long fed stimulus; the glory of the Taj is overshadowed by malls and other multiplexes springing up;the unending saga between the Mars(read man) and the Venus(read women) still continues though the intensity of the disparity has been highly decimated.
All I can say is that the time and the age we live in rubs on us,often rubs off hard,directly or indirectly; either abstract or concrete. Some tend to carry these prints with them , the others wipe them in the sands itself.

Comments

neeti bisht said…
well, having never visited Lucknow i must admit that it is indeed a very vivid and tranquil picture that u've painted thru your prose. it has evoked and awakened the traveller in me that has ironically travelled less but is yearning to visit the former 'LUCKNOW' as described by you. the contrast shown in the latter half of the article saddens me to know of the lost charm of the now city of Lucknow. i wish i could enjoy the countenance of the people of the 'former' Lucknow and their etiquettes that are so widely known.
to sum it all i must say 'BRAVO' gal!!way to go dear.....
Pooja Verma said…
sme things are better left unspoken... this is mainly because either u dont want to xpress ur opinion.. or, as in my case that is, the vocab isnt as suuper cool as urs.. :P
so i wld jst say... the one word i use often... its damn "awesome" :D

rock on!! \m/_
ankita said…
Posting a comment for your blog is as difficult as understandinding its context(more importantly d abstruse words)......dis blog can really drive d readers crazy(both +ve nd -ve effects)....
1)+ve crazy effect-it can really make a person sit back nd appreciate ur talent to visualize nd describe things so beautifully.It can really enliven their thoughts of d changes dat has taken place(lyk d gender demaracation which has since ages existed nd nowadays outlook,d industrialization effect on d city of Lucknow etc).In short it can make a reader understand d depth of d changing lives of general public..........
Next coming to my AREA.......
2)-ve crazy effect-dis effect has already taken its toll on me,dats y i m penning down d craziest lines which i hv never done before......so plz hv patience to read further....yes,coming back to d track.....people lyk me will under estimate themselves,go into depression,lose their confidence nd things lyk dat......
But seriously speaking, today ur blog has really inspired me nd has motivated me to open my eyes to d changing world outside.......
"Hoping to see u as a future editorial board member of TOI nd maybe by den i can brush up my skills in vocab so dat i can push my way towards ur p.a" :D...........
KEEP IT UP FOR UR STUNNING PIECE OF WRITING...........
Pooja Verma said…
damn... ankita's comment is longer than ur post!!
Saurav said…
Hey...wen it cumz to penning dwn a comment nthng at al strikes ma mind...al i cn say z wateva uve witten z SIMPLY AMAZING [nthr adjective ;)]..n hope u knw i really mean it ths tym!!
Tc :)
sharkapproach said…
Being a Lucknowite I must tell you that I have never witnessed any kind of disparity between the Mars and the Venus.
Change is an indispensable part of the process we call development, my city is no exception.This change has certainly harmed the environment but somethings are simply inevitable.Despite of these changes my city still preserves its "Nazakat","Nafasat","Tehzeeb".
If you come to my city you'll still find hotel Taj shining between colossal structures like saharaganj and east-end mall. Though the malls have redefined the shopping paradigm but still it doesn't replenish the bliss of "Gunjing" on a rickshaw under the blanket of stars where even the moon feigns to provide an aura to the soul of Lucknow.
Well,indivisual's perception,i would say...
but considering i have spent the maximun span of my time in lucknow,i have penned down what i had absorbed all those years..
the transition,both for the better and for the worse , has undisputedly and definitly taken place.
my apologies if it has hurt the sentiments you bear for lucknow,but to be true and honest,it it no way implies that i love lucknow less..
ankita said…
Well i feel different people have different views.According to me my comment contains no substantial matter.So in my view one shud not judge something by its length but by its amount of information content.........(Not naming d person concerned-"akalmando ke liye ishara hi kaafi hai").....hehe.....
abhishek said…
I agree with you that its just individual's perception.I penned down the above lines after reading the above comments. People reading your blog have formed an opinion about Lucknow based on your opinion.So I feel it is my responsibility to give them a glimpse of the Lucknow of present time which preserves the charm and culture of the so called 'former Lucknow'.
Lucknow getting a place in your blog simply shows your love and concern for the city.My intention was not to question your honesty but to share my knowledge so that your readers have two different opinions to choose from.

I follow your blog because I find your compositions -simply brilliant. Sometimes there is difference of opinions you don't need to make an apology for that.
Pooja Verma said…
@ankita
jyade ishare mat de... i can get ur comment deleted... tu meri source ko nahi janti... :D
and as this is stuti's blog...
i would like to repeat... ur simply "awesome".
\m/_ :D
Priya said…
hey............


very well written buddy.....its simply awesome... u've brought out each aspect about lucknow beautifully in ur blog n who sayzz u r starter ....ur writ up is just great!!!


it also shows ur inclination towards lucknow and how keenly u observe it....its mind boggling..
and i m happy u r so attached to it...


keep going dear..........
@abhishek,
i just came back from lko...and i think it would be unfair if i skip its mention;no matter what all may have changed with time,one thing remains intact....the 'mohobbat' and the affection that folks there shower on u...after 8 long years ,it still felt the same.:)

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