Wednesday, May 14, 2008


And then we went hungry -- but only for a day. It was all for a good cause -- we were supporting PUTA in the agitation for Central University status.

Chain-fasting has been going on for more than a month now. Everyday there are at least five faculty members / research scholars sitting on hunger-strike. The venue is outside the PU Guest House, braving the heat and the dust, the loo and the occasional rain. Turn by turn, volunteers came forward to sit hungry all day under the makeshift tent in front of the university Guest House. And then Mina, Pratibha, Harpreet and I decided to sit together on fast one day.

It wasn't too bad, really. We decided on a dress code. Ahem! White kurtas would go well with the marigold garlands all chain-fast volunteers need to wear, so white kurtas it was!

And then what followed was a picnic sans edibles. Only water from time to time. It was good bonhomie, there under the Silver Oak trees, with colleagues stopping by to sign the attendance register in support of the cause. News reporters and photographers came by. So did Kokil with her camera to click photos of fasting aunties. The pic above is taken by her. The comment she made was -- "Mummy, you certainly don't look starved. In fact you seem to be having such a good time that no one will take you seriously!"


Anyway, as you can see in the pic above, Mina was not there for the photo-session as she had to attend a court hearing briefly in between -- in connection with the PUTA issue to enhance the retirement age from 60 to 62 years. Here is her pic below. Any resemblance to Maharani Gayatri Devi is purely coincidental!

As they say, when you are in good company even hell becomes bearable. We were all friends there and this wasn't hell. So the day went by chatting and laughing. Kehte hain, na, pyar main rasta toh kya, zindagi kat jaati hai!

Where will our efforts lead? Can't say. One can only hope for the best, keep trying, waiting for the efforts to bear fruit!

"Let us then, be up and doing. With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labor and to wait." (Longfellow)

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