Woh Kaagaz Ki Kashti, Woh Baarish Ka Pani..

Posted: August 2, 2005 in Uncategorized

The lilting voice of Jagjit Singh, singing this beautiful song, “Woh Kaagaz Ki Kashti, Woh Baarish Ka Pani” had the power to generate goosebumps for one and all, who have left childhood behind, in life.

For today’s children, who will become adults tomorrow, will this song have a relevance?

Disasters come and go. Sometimes soon, sometimes a little later, life resumes to normalcy. Whether it was Indira Gandhi’s assasination, the Babri Masjid demolition, the Mumbai bombings, 9/11, the Bhuj earthquake, Tsunami or whatever.. beyond a point in time, life returns to normalcy. Sure, for some people who are directly impacted, life would never be the same ever again. But for most others, it would be one tough event, which came and went.

But for all the normalcy that we claim to resume to, there are scars that are left, and which last for a long, long time, if not forever. The scars burn and pain a lot in the near term, but they continue to irritate us, for much longer.

In the present situation, what Mumbaikars have seen is:
1. Water levels can rise up to dramatic heights, unseen before, and the rise can happen very quickly, in a matter of minutes, so to say,

2. Water levels can rise in locations earlier known to be “safe”,

3. Water has a force which can be felt not just in the Andaman Islands during a Tsunami strike, but also at the walls and trees of Mumbai, when rain Gods lash,

4. Children may not be safe in school buses, adults in cars, and everyone in local trains

5. The date of 26th of a month can be more dreadful than Friday the 13th

When all and other situations of this kind happen simultaneously, as they did on the dreaded 26/7, a HUGE fear psychosis sets in, and that can be the scar that is left in our heads, post-26/7. So in the future:

a. When a child’s bus is delayed on an average day, and its drizzling outside, the worst fears will come to the mind,

b. When there is some water logging, sitting in the car, we will want to keep our auto car locks “unlocked”,

c. Slight heavy rains (as on Monday, 1st Aug), and everyone will think whether its worthwhile to step out of home at all; schools and colleges may be trigger happy to declare holidays, especially those which have seen the worst of the brunt of 26/7,

d. Ground floor flats will be available at a discount, basements will go on distress sales, and even 1st floor levels will be hard to sell for builders; the premium for floor rise will increase to compensate,

e. When the calendar comes in, in the month of December, people will use a red marker pen, to mark out the 26th of each month, along with any Friday the 13th, that they can see in there; dates to stay at home, if possible, dates to be extra-careful about,


f. Parents will admonish a child wanting to go and play with her paper boats, in the rain water. “Stay at home, and watch some TV, or play on your computer games” is what they will tell the child.

Which is why I ask at the beginning, whether the children of today will ever look back and feel nostalgic when they hear Jagjit Singh’s “Woh Kaagaz Ki Kashti, Woh Baarish Ka Pani”…

  1. RPM says:

    Are you kidding about the date 26? Do you know anyone who has brought up 26th as a ‘black’ or ‘unlucky’ date?

  2. Bombay says:

    Good blog,

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