This is the second in a series of poems by Ramu Ramanathan on Aadhaar
In the middle of Rahu Kaalam
At the cusp of Shani Pradosh
I sip my cuppa of herbal tea
In the Athurveda Society
Just then –
A screech, a wail
That says, all heil
The cosmic atoms scurry here and there
My hair stands still, in the middle of air
From my balcony
What do I see
One mud pot, two white bedsheets
Three kilo rice, camphor, agarbathis
Pssst, they say
What, I enquire
Pass your cigarette lighter
We have to fire the pyre
Who is gone?
I stage whisper
It is Chiranjeev Yama-ji!!!
He, who lived in Kalichi?
Applied with haste
The tulsi leaves
The abhishekam material
Is auspiciously readied
The death procession, starts to exit
After the high priest does his deed
I follow them
First left, then right
Men and women
Black and white
Life and afterlife
Atma and Moksha
1 and 0
Everything in harmony
Everything is a binary
So says the writing
In the Book of Destiny
We reach the crematorium maidan
Chiranjeev Yama-ji’s feet, face the south
The sentry in his uniform halts us with his lathi
The basti bully is pushed forward by his saathi,
Permission denied, Mere Bhai
Unless you have that – UIDAI
Now what sort of gobbledegook is that?
The bully asks, after he has had a spat
No death rite
(So don’t fight)
Show pyaar, o yaar
The death clerk in a bush-shirt points to a notification. Printed on an eco-solvent latex machine. It is the government signboard. The death clerk says in a high octave: Ladies and Gentlemen. In lieu of the fake deaths and duplicate deaths there has been an epidemic of benami deaths. These benami deaths threaten to destroy our society. It’s devastating our binary integrity. And so, as per Gazette No. 10/2017/F. No. P.12011/11/2016-ES Cell- DoR, all dead atmas have to be linked to Aadhaar. Full Stop!
Aadhaar: What be this godly creation?
Aadhaar: Who knows from whence this supreme astra sprang?
Aadhaar: How this celestial body cometh?
Aadhaar: Was it created or did it mutate?
The Most Highest He, who is in highest heaven,
He knows it – or perchance even He knows not
We sit outside the deathly gate
We wait to find out Yama Ji’s fate
His skin turns green, his robes are bloody red
Copper eyeballs, they pop out of his head
No one is in a hurry
Such is life
When things are binary
Mud pots and plastic bags
Cooked rice and green grams
Banana leaves and stale flowers
Darbha grass and agathee leaves
All things, binary
All things dead
Every single decision: 0 or 1
That’s how life becomes … no fun
Binary we are
Binary we will be
Binary is reality
Remember: The Eternal Truth
Even if you want to visit the bar
O Humanoid, You need an Aadhaar
At the Municipal gates
Hate multiplies into hate
Aadhaar is being sold
Hundred times, the rate
And Chiranjeev Yama-Ji?
He is trapped by our folly
What happens next, no one knows
We ask each other, at the gate
How long do we have to wait?
Citizens, don’t you know?
Now, what more don’t we know
It’s as simple as doh dooni chaar
You are all trapped here
Till Chiranjeev Yama-ji, gets his Aadhaar
Poem by Ramu Ramanathan
Recited by Joy Sengupta