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Today the streets are eerily empty
Not a taxi or bus to be seen.
Today is quieter 
than a normal Sunday.
A day of complete enforced rest.




Today is a day of rest. Forced rest because the Goons-that-be decided that the Government-that-is should become the Government-that-ought-to-be i.e. for the people.


Strikes are almost a thing of the past but since the Arab Spring uprising of last year, it has once again become fashionable to come onto the streets and protest. I remember growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s when  sit- ins and protests were absolutely “cool” and “trendy”. Young men with long straggly locks, with “Kolhaps” ( Kolhapuri chappals), jhola bags ( a limp cloth bag) khadi kurtas, faded jeans and a mean cigarette dangling from the side of the mouth, skulking around half stoned accompanied by their girl friends almost identically dressed but with a ton of silver bangles jangling on each arm,  ears pierced with multiple earrings, dark kohl lined eyes and huge big red dots plonked bang in the middle of the forehead, would sit on the street outside the University supporting some agitation or the other. Sometimes there would be marches with placards and sloganeering leaders othertimes it would just be a peaceful sit-in with the kids spouting Marx and waving the V sign of peace.


Party workers protested differently – with stone pelting and water cannons. Shopkeepers would be forced to down their shutters and window panes smashed. Pillaging and looting were natural fall outs of the “Bandh” and streets would wear a deserted look. Gangs of Goons would roam the street with harmless soda bottles or sometimes the more dangerous Molotov cocktails  while people cowered behind closed windows , sneaking occasional glances below. 


More often than not  a call to strike work was unjustified and foolish – a mere way for the politicians to remind the populace that they did exist. And the damage strikes inflicted was quite unimaginable. Apart from the loss of manhours there was loss of life and property. Examinations were postponed and celebrations had to be cancelled…………All this in the name of justice.

Protests have changed with the times – In fact this generation of young people is far too bothered about tweeting and texting rather than come out on the streets. Apart from the Medical students protesting a few years ago, student agitations are a thing of the past and it is left to the Goons to conduct protests and disrupt normal life.

Today the streets are eerily empty
Not a taxi or bus to be seen.
Today is quieter 
than a normal Sunday.
A day of complete enforced rest.

Author: Unishta

A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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