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At home, rain or shine

Having shelter ought to be a right, not just a privilege. Living a life of wealth and access, with societal power and political connections, is a privilege.

VARIETY  |   3-minute read  |   11-07-2020

Being at home in Delhi has me playing around, discovering and exploring, living and loving, eating and sharing. All of this, in the lap of what might be the most spiritual country on this earth. Rain or shine, day or night, up or down, rich or poor, North or South, East or West, home or work, whatever one might be, wherever one is headed, one realises rather quickly that the journeys are different, the directions separate, the languages change, the attires are varied, the faces unique, yet the hopes and aspirations are always similar.

The falling rain, the blurry sights, the torrentially inspired moods, the sheltered freedoms, the privileged perch, the struggles of lives as they begin their journey, the adventurous boldness of youth, the challenges posed by poverty, the tragic face of homelessness, are all realities that are alive and thriving here. They separate us into the fortunate and those much less so. They compel us to see and think. They demand from us a dialogue within. Offering us a chance to show our humanity. Offering us, at the very least, a chance to be grateful for who we are and to come to that awakening that might make us appreciate our lot and those of others.

When we have seen the truth, appreciated its complexities, found gratitude for our privileges, only then can we breach our self-protection and affect change from within, change that alters the lives of our fellow travellers in this wondrous journey that is life.

Shelter ought to be a right

Having shelter ought to be a right, not just a privilege. Living a life of wealth and access, with societal power and political connections, is a privilege. An appanage that could be inherited, granted, or earned and due. Sitting in the car as the deluge pours over Delhi, floods many of its streets, showers the flora and fauna, and cleans up the always greige cityscape, I realise I have the privilege of shelter and all that it brings.

Even inanimate buildings and roads, ruins and rocks, have it tougher than I do. They are weathered by the storm. I romance the weather and its associated rituals. From the perch upon which I sit, I find myself a secure spectator. Beyond the windshield, I know from memory, and with my gift of sight, is a living world, doing its best to survive whilst also being a spectator to the augury that is me, and others like me, blessed with the honour of shelter, even shelter on wheels. Homeless, beggars, pedestrians, and those caught unawares, all are true witnesses to whatever beauty or unsightliness that might be ascribed to the rain, depending from where one pivots to its majesty and its brute power. Riding away, clicking my photos, being riddled by pleasant memories past and making new ones for the future, I enjoy the rain whilst bone dry in the comforts of the car.

The driver braces the challenges posed by the traffic, the frame of the vehicle provides me shelter, the seats luxury, and fellow passengers comforting company. Why wouldn’t I be romanticising the storm? How could I be anything but happy? What right do I have to be so blessed? Looking outside, beyond the beautiful impressionistic rendering of the blur that life already is, is the certainty that life is not a game of blurring reality. Life exists in all its many faces and forms. We exist in all ours. Mindfulness ought to take us from privilege to a consciousness of conscience. Are we ready to embrace reality? Is the rain going to flood us with humanity?

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

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