Drunk, old men watch silently as the chief minister’s motorcade rushes past everyone else, quite rudely. I watch the drunk, old men. I see into the future. I swallow a dry, bitter fruit.
We talk about power. Simply talk, nothing substantiated. No real idea about where and what shape and an unwillingness to place it solidly in their own hands. We drink tea. My old friends talk about new gadgets and compare new salaries in a shifty way – tokens of prestige. I have never seen this side of them before. After tea, we walk with accompanying hush over new roles as government tools – chest beating and filling papa’s shoes or mother’s.
After all this, I look and recall a car filled with friends driving around Police Bazaar, gnarling at people, looking for a high at midnight, howling, clawing, wild swinging animals in a motorised menagerie. Angry, younger, yes but filled with hope.
Now, are you the same ones in that classroom who debated ethics and society? Are we the same ones who wanted revolution? After all that praise and promise, I always thought we’d be here together. After that rebelliousness out of reading rebels, the avant-garde rebels parading in our hearts, the rebels whom we wept for: where are you now, beloveds? What has happened to those classroom brats who spat at cash, who pissed on prestige, who swore only by high beliefs. Beliefs without office, without church, only spirit.