In Turkey as temperatures are dipping below zero, to the severe freezing levels, Khalsa Aid volunteers are not just distributing blankets but also serving hot meals to the survivors.
For the last couple of hours I have been seeing photographs and videos of volunteers of the Khalsa Aid International, reaching out to the earthquake affected in Turkey. Absolutely moving-touching shots, with human beings reaching out in the most selfless of ways. When boundaries are not allowed to come in way. The only and only concern is to try and save human lives in all possible ways. In Turkey as temperatures are dipping below zero, to the severe freezing levels, Khalsa Aid volunteers are not just distributing blankets but also serving hot meals to the survivors.
In fact, back home in India, the Khalsa Aid volunteers have always reached out to human beings in deep distress, be it the Rohingya refugees or stranded students or just about anyone in need of immediate help. And this makes me sit back and say aloud: Why don’t prestigious peace awards are awarded to the Khalsa Aid volunteers who are risking their lives and livelihoods trying to help save lives.
Though this month, February, is said to be Spring time, with the supposed bahaar around, but this Spring like the so many previous Springs there isn’t much to celebrate. In fact, nothing at all! What, with destruction and death spreading out.
Relay of these significant signs and pointers in our country too, with settlements and historic townships more than showing signs of deep despair, with cracks and gaps surfacing in structures. If one were to move away from the natural disasters there stands out the reality of orders of demolitions of homes. Correct me if I’m wrong but never before the very establishment that’s supposed to provide its citizens two square meals and a roof over their heads, is making the citizens sit or squat homeless.
Needless to say that the homeless are finding it very difficult if not impossible to survive. Dismal lies the future of the hundreds of citizens whose homes have been demolished. Nobody wants to delve deep and ask the relevant: Where are those who gave the initial permission or sanction to build those homes? Who all in the political who’s who brigades are part of the land and political mafia controlling lives and livelihoods?
Two of the best known poets of this subcontinent –Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Sahir Ludhianvi, were born years back in this season of Spring but both wrote hitting verse, dripping with pointers to the dark dismal realities.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s this verse relays much of his agony for his times and for our times:
“This moment is to mourn the death of time/
The river of the sky has paused/
And near the banks of horizon/
The moon- ferry of the gloomy hues has anchored/
All the ferry men, all the stars/
On the shore of the earth/
The leaves are gasping for breath/
The winds are dozing off/
The gong has issued the order of silence/
Then all voices lost in quietness…”
I am left absolutely fascinated with this verse of Sahir Ludhianvi . Its relevance stands out in this day and age, when known and also the unknown killers get away with murders and killings. Perhaps, little realizing that blood stains have the tendency of remaining unmoved and unwashed and unfazed …determined to stand out, spreading out all over.
Leaving you with these lines of Sahir Ludhianvi from his poem ‘Khoon phir khoon hai’ (Blood, however ,is blood) :
“Tyranny is but tyranny; when it grows it is vanquished/
Blood however is blood; if it spills it will congeal /
It will congeal on the desert sands, on the murderer’s hand /
On the brow of justice and on chained feet /
On the unjust sword, on the sacrificial body/
Blood is blood; if it spills it will take root /
Let them hide all they want, skulk in their lairs /
The track of spilled blood will point out the executioners’ abode /
Let conspiracies shroud the truth with darkness /
Each drop of blood will march out, holding aloft a lamp/
Say this to tyranny’s worthless and dishonoured Destiny/
Say this to Coercion’s manipulative intent /
Say this to Laila, the darling of the assembly /
Blood is wild, it will splatter and stain your garment /
It is a rapid flame that will scorch your harvests /
That blood which you wished to bury in the killing fields/
Has risen today in the streets and courts /
Somewhere as a flame, somewhere as a slogan. Somewhere else as a flung stone /
When blood flows bayonets cannot contain it /
When it raises its defiant head, laws will not restrain it /
Tyranny has no caste, no community, no status or dignity /
Tyranny is simply tyranny, from its beginning to its end /
Blood is however blood; it becomes a hundred things: /
Shapes that cannot be obliterated /
Flames that can never be extinguished /
Chants that will not be suppressed .”