Journal : Those Emergency Days

June 25 #Emergency 40 years ago this day…

I knew what it was while I was home during that summer from college. I was back to late nights with friends at the club, formally an ” institute,” at tea shops, on the roads, sitouts in public places…

Until one day, my father, forever limpid and soft spoken, said with a worried look : Don’t stay out for long, and never late. These days, you can never tell.

I was perplexed, truly. What the hell ? Wasn’ t this my town, the one that always spelled laughter and joy for an otherwise perpetually parched soul, such as I then was ?

My mother looked on … quiet, serious, contemplative with love. She brought on dinner to break the spell. It still tasted divine; but the cloud on my mind wouldn’t go away. Because, there was fear behind those words my father had spoken. A strange emotion in the man I had known until then. Which was little, as I later found out during the same visit.

Visiting the railway station, the book stall actually, I read the display board in some alley I cannot remember. The area was ill lit, yet I could read his name as President of Divisional Railwaymen’s Federation. Year 1958–59.

I never did query him about it, ever. The man I knew was totally apolitical, though people would often congregate at home and talk … waiting for what he had to say. He and mother never failed to walk into the booth on election day. But active, vociferous, never, as I knew him. Not then, when I was in my late teens, and not later.

He had quit the politics entirely but had his strong belief in Jan Sangh, and Dr S P Mukherjee, even R M Lohia. They, in his values system, represented what the nation really needed. He found his idealism in arts, the film buff he was. And Ramayana, which he would often read aloud, haltingly because of throat choked of surged emotion and eyes blurred with tears.

Journal entry made this day, June 25th 2015.


3 thoughts on “Journal : Those Emergency Days

  1. A moment in time!
    You sent me to go read about the Emergency Days and Indira Gandhi and that whole period in India. Your memories are like mine for, I grew up in Haiti under François Duvalier when imprisonment, disappearances, beatings, torture… were a part of daily life. My dad was like yours in many ways, except he remained political.
    My brothers, sisters and I often say that time does not really cure. It just buries the memories and allows us to move on.

    1. Love you, love you, love you…
      For sharing that personal bit about you.
      Oh, we’ve come far away from those dark days, albeit in halting steps.
      Today, the sun shines bright and happy.
      The rains have brought relief from hot summer days. The economy is looking up and up, with much work being done on the ground…. I know these pleasant days will alternate with sultry and uncomfortable ones, followed by harsh heat of second summer until the festive season starts in October late, leading into cool, cool winter times.
      The entire country is exuding hope from within. Thank you, for triggering my sense of it.

      1. No, It is I who have to say thank you to you for the knowledge you continuously impart..I spend many hours reading and learning. I have a great interest in India, whether it is about the history, the sacred books or of course Ramayana 🙂 As I look at the medallions I wear, I see a silver Aum and Hanuman..
        Buddhi several years ago sang Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani even though it knew Hindi was not a known language. The power of Atman is sublime!

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