Armed with the latest technology and the best of the gadgets, they mock her state. Peeping Toms at My Lady Godiva! I have seen them taking away the spotlight from me for the past 48 hours. They have breached my privacy, spoiled my occasional slumber. Imagine how a 97-year old frail structure would feel if his daily routine was spoilt. I don’t mind them really, but then i think there are times when everyone needs privacy, especially in times of despair. Unfortunately no one cares about me anymore. Behind me or ahead of me, depends which route you take, is an elderly figure, the moon of my life, the cynosure of a city and a nation. My concubine in serenity.
In times of solitude we have found comfort. Hers has been a life of glory, of success in commercial activity while I have often been relegated as a doorkeeper. I do not grudge, for she is indeed beautiful and dazzling at times. She has a fair share of glamorous visitors. While I am visited day in day out by scores of people, hers is a story, everyone thinks is worth covering. While I often receive the irreverent citizen who doesn’t respect me at times and throws whatever he holds around; she, the jewel as they call her in Hindoostani, gets her bejeweled visitors, wearing the best of the clothes. I know she has had her paramours, the best in the world of politics, business and entertainment, but I have been her consort for years. I hear that she plays host to people seeking very expensive food conjured by a chap called Mori Moto. I was surprised, when a few came from the sea and ventured to attack her womb. All I could do was remain a silent spectator.
Since then, my life has changed. I have smelled smoke, injured bullets and seen panic, something which she would never offer anyone. I once overheard, they call her the epitome of what a cultured Indian woman would provide to a guest in a household: warmth, caring and hospitality. Why would anybody do this to her then? But these are bad times, I thought that we had wiped away cannibals from this part of the world. Alas! She has been raped, mutilated, maimed. And they have covered her from all angles. Some of them wish to expose her nudity and are hoping they are at a vantage point when she is stripped bare.
Times were different. She was conceived of a man's urge to prove that the natives were equal to the white-skinned, my creators. I was conceived to be a symbol of the white man's coronation as the ruler of the world. Our worlds were different, yet we have seen time flowing past us as two banks separated by a river. The Sahebs, would arrive down the coast seeking solace that I was visible, a sign of their rule over this land. Ironically, when they left me alone, they chose the same shore. She and I have had a cordial relation but then we were born on the same place, 6 years apart by different ideologies. Yet over time, our differences dimmed. She was benevolent in informing her guests of my grandeur and they'd come out photographing my glory in the brilliant sparkling sunlight. She'd often give me stealing glances, at times amorous, assuring me of my masculine charm, over the years.
She has been my constant companion. She looked at me for her security. Today, I have failed. Some barbarians came and have wreaked havoc upon her. All i could do was watch the barbarism and wait for the brutality to end. They fight to save her glory but perhaps irreparable damage has occurred. A scar’s visible to me, which these peeping toms can’t see, and a void remains which I fear she can gauge around her.