Bhakti, Shakti ki Abhivyakti-Dilli Ishtyle
Dilliwallahs, in all their robust expressiveness, uses the roads as the venue.
Ever since I have been a teenager, growing up in Saddi Dilli, I have been wondering on our limitless access to the roads for all activities, as we deem fit, to be conducted on the roads.
My friends were organizing a Jagrata (Jaagran)… an all night pyjama party invoking the gods to shower choicest blessings onto the geographically limited territory of “K” block. Precisely, limited to 44 houses. Wow!!! Even the Bhakti geet was suitably altered with “Maa” being provided with the exact coordinates. Even the donations were mentioned specifically for ‘Ma’s’ attention – “Sharmaji, K-112 wale, ne 500 rupaye di ardaas kitti hai maaaaaaaaa”
The point is not the Bhakti, but the venue of expression. My organizer friends when queried, replied to me that all that we need to arrange is the tent, snacks, some bottles for us organizers and tools to woo Mrs. Primlani’s daughter. Venue for pitching the tent and throwing garbage was pre-decided -“the main road leading from the roundabout to K block”. How convenient, I thought. How considerate of the administration to have sent a Police PCR van to oversee ‘road grabbing”.
I graduated out of college with all the Bhakti on the roads. Having being oriented to the ‘English whisky’ at organizing Jagratas, I became an avid participant at all such organizing committees, since it was also remunerative. Psssstttt.. Let me share a secret. “I used to make more money in college than my first & second jobs”.
Then I graduated from the University and got a job with a publishing house. That was my exposure to the “Shakti”. The then prime minister, Mr. V P Singh managed the unthinkable. He created a storm in the ‘mandal-cup’. Half of Dilli was on the roads uprooting trees, tree guards, foot paths etc. without really imbibing the import of “what-the-hell-am-I-protesting”? Yet again, the Delhi roads were the venue for all expressions.
We dilli-wallahs gain the most pleasure on dancing on the highways. Our Baraats assemble on the roadsides, where free booze, steaming hot kaafi and pakoras are served. Once the alcohol fulfils its intended purpose, out come the dancing jootis. Make up dripping ladies and pot-bellied ill fitting suits convert the road into a mobile dance floor, and the happening event is captured for posterity. May out children also see “mamu’s wedding” and keep alive this tradition. Amen !!!!!
Jhaankis !!!!! Another activity custom intended for the road. We dilliwallahs believe in collective expression of our beliefs on the road, procession et all. Sometimes pre-dawn and sometimes post dinner. However, the biggest draw is during the peak traffic hours’ where the general public too is included in invoking gods, Dilli Ishtyle. Everyone curses the organizers, and invokes gods to take them homely, safe n timely. Thank Shakti & Bhakti together.
A few years back, the Kerala high court tried to rule against declaring the ‘bandhs” as illegal. The entire political class ganged up together and ensured that such ‘constitutional rights’ are not snatched away of the aam-aadmi. tch.tch.
Quite unfortunately, the aam-aadmi has no interest to ‘abhivyakti (express) his Bhakti n shakti on the roads, while putting to inconvenience his fellow aam-aadmis. It is the so called elite of organizers and fund raisers, who can put a million to trouble for their moolah, which can be collected legitimately, in the name of God. As for dancing on the road, the most danced roads lead to a marriage hall belonging to someone influential.
Voila. Now we know how and why Dilli keeps expressing themselves on the main roads.. the more motorists, the better it gets… Tu jaanta nahin hai main kaun hoon… It is my birthright to use the road for every purpose other than what it is intended for !!!!!