মপান্দা অকিবা নোংলৈ নুংশীৎ৷
লূূূম্না নিনবা খরদমক মরোলদি খঙদনা
অঙাংনা ঙক্না কিনা তাবদু না থাঙ্গৎতুনা৷
অরাপপদগি লাকপা মরী থোক্নদবগি অৱাবা পাউ
কদায়দগিনো লীৎশিল্লক শোননা নোম্লৈ
অপাবা য়ুুুখল অঙৌবা থোঙনাউদা, ফক্লাংদা, লময়ায়দা
তপ্না ইমুংগি মম্লিবা অচীকপদা৷
করিশু থোক্তে ইমুুংসিদদি৷
অমম্বা অমসুং অচীকপদা লৈরৈ
লৈবগুম লৈতবগুুম, লেঙবগুম লেঙদবগুম
খোঙগুল তাদবা করিনো খঙদবা অমা
লম্মাঙনরবা হৌদোঙ মচাগুম৷
ফি থোংদবা হনুবা
কোনশিন্দুনা তূমই মমাগি পূক্নুংদগুম
A factory hand. Gurgaon, Haryana. The finger-print reader drew blank. Then the officer had him rub at the violet stamp pad and press his thumb in the thumb impression area in the document. It was a blot of ink with no texture.
“You have no fingerprint.” The officer said. “We can’t go on.”
The man had lost his aadhaar card and he was required to give his thumb impression to get his card reissued.
A factory hand. Hard work had rubbed fingerprints off this man’s fingers. Metal and acid.
“Can you see to figure out what can be done about it? Maybe through social media.” S. Kocha, the kind proprietor of the factory asked tamo Thingbaijam Singh. “He needs his card.”
Last Saturday night, or a bit before Sunday dawn. I had worked the whole day and the whole night on a Kakching District book to be launched soon by Kakching History Society. Finally I felt sleepy. But I somehow wanted to celebrate the hard work by taking a photograph of myself in how I spent the whole day and night–summer sweat, tousled hair, unwashed face, and so on. That was fun.
A face is a face. It tells you just what it can tell. There are other things besides faces. Faces are not the other things. Humans are addicted to faces. For them everything has a face–houses, cars, computers, mobile phones, bras, underwear, pianos, shoes, food packages, pens, boxes, tin cans, machines, flowers, and what not?
Yes, looks tell you what is what. The face of a mango and the face of a lemon tell themselves from each other. But what about two mangoes? Yes, they look different. But are we concerned only about looks? Yes, most of us don’t care–we are cognitive misers.
Still, there are some slow and quiet people who don’t want to go far in life. They dig miles into the space of a second–a second has space big like wide enough to contain a house or a hospital and deep like an abyss. And they want to fill that depth and width with thoroughly drenched experience. Just a few things for them to wriggle into like worms–enough for them. The world is too big for them. They are too little worms for the world. For them, the face is just one of the things things have, if any. They love the insides of things, which carry their own weight, and that the outside cannot represent. By the same logic, the logic of first impression does not work always for these people. You cannot get all what they are from how they look because they don’t show off. This is true of even those who make an effort to put everything they have on show like shop windows because they are richer than they can show.
The new slum settlement with its houses that look like mounds that have grown out of the parched earth and the tall buildings jutting into and scratching the sky out of nowhere in the background somewhere in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. Both were surprising in their own right and their contrast was striking.
It is rumored in the neighborhood that the slum has got Rohingya refugees that entered India from Bangladesh, which has no reports of official confirmation.
Slums dwellers are an unofficial, unrecognized, and unacknowledged economic class in the country. For one, they form great part of the country’s renewable resources recycling industry. The dwellers of this slum are actively engaged in one of the early phases of recycling resources recovered by the municipal council majorly from household wastes.
In a slum by the site of an industrial area somewhere in Haryana (3 March 2018)
Part of the ongoing students’ protests against the JNU administration’s controversial 75% compulsory attendance regulation put into force by a circular dated 22 December 2017. Almost all students find the regulation debilitating to them–students don’t play absentees for pleasure but most absent students are absent for good reasons that have to do conducting their lives and that cannot be summaries in a few words. And there does not seem to be cases of total absentism–students keep in touch with teachers or their classmates to keep on track and abreast of the goings-on in the courses.
The incumbent VC, Jagadesh Kumar, has been consistently controversial (many are of the opinion that he is insistent on being so) since his “installation” at the heart of the university’s administration in 2016. The VC’s decisions and administrative hands seem to be controlled remotely be some obvious political forces he is affiliated to.
The main protest activities happen at the yard in front of the main administrative building, which was named Freedom Square during the nation-shaking students’ protests following the February 2016 events in the university campus. The small protest group in this photograph was one of the several protest gatherings on 15 February at several parts of the campus around the administrative building and the school areas, and these groups were not self-conscious–students came and joined the protest, chanted slogans and left while new students joined in, and the protests kept going.