Jaane kahaan gaye woh din
We are looking. We must look. Because we have been told there is something here to look for. And what better time there is to look but now? Not for Mahadeb, don’t get me wrong. Mahadeb has been gone a long, long time but no, we are not looking for Mahadeb. We already know he is there. Not yet on his throne of timber and tin on Sooterkin, not serving out tea and petrichor coffee in earthen bhaanrs to his loyally thirsting clientele, no. We’d have been happier for him being there, among us. But Mahadeb isn’t lost. He speaks when he needs to. He makes his presence felt on rights and wrongs. He appears through his voice which is like no other voice, and through his intangible presence which is like no other presence. Mahadeb knows he is essential to things, Mahadeb can’t be gone. There is no need to look for him because when you need Mahadeb he is there to be found. Rest assured.
But that cannot, in all honesty, be said of all things. Or of all people. Not all people are the same. Some people claim they are less same than most others. They claim they are TheOnlyOne. Or TheOneAndOnly. Like, for instance, TheBossOfAllThings. The one who does all the haaanw-haaanw and chow-chow all the time. Each day, all year round, incessantly. He does not take any leave from doing haaanw-haaanw and chow-chow, that much is true. He has been doing this many years now, he has had a lot of practice. And we have got used, or accustomed, or inured, whatever word you wish to choose. He said he had arrived to end the era of NothingHappened. Although it must remain in fact that it was during NothingHappened that he himself happened to carry on to be one who he did become: MrChow. Just one of his avatars. Also earlier known as MrChai. Anyhow, the one with many names, and the one with far more many hats, said many things would happen now that he had arrived to end the era of NothingHappened. Now is the time to look for whatever happened after the long night of NothingHappened. Now is the time to look for some of them, and we are looking. You can see us there, looking, collectively and diligently looking to find out what happened after NothingHappened. We are looking very hard, as you can probably see, sparing no effort. We are looking for the many multiple crores of promised jobs. But we can’t find them. We are looking for farmers turning their harvest to gold and laughing their way to their banks. But we can’t find them. We are looking for the soney ki chidias. But we can’t find them. We are looking for the rupees risen sharply against the dollar. But we can’t find them. We are looking for glittering clean streets of a swachchh Bharat. But we can’t find them. We are looking for blue rippling water of a cleansed Ganga. But we can’t find them. We are looking for our stolen millions in SwishBank accounts. But we can’t find them. We are looking for many more stolen millions recently carted away by HeeravToady and FraudulLootsi carted away from under the benign nose of MrChow, aka MrChai, aka TheOneAndOnly, aka TheBossOfAllThings. But we can’t find them. We are looking for folks who are singing the new sangeet of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas. But we can’t find them. We are looking for doodh ki nadiyaan. But we can’t find them. We are looking for trains departing and arriving on time, clean trains, not photoshopped trains.
But we can’t find them. We are not yet looking for the Bullet Train. But we need time, we are told. We are looking for secure borders. But we can’t find them. We are looking for Gandhi ke sapnon ka Bharat, but we find Gandhi ke hatyaare ka mandir, and Gandhi ke hatyaare ka mahima-mandan. We are looking, most of all, for AchchheDin. But, lo and behold and truth be bluntly told, we can’t find them.
We looked here, we looked there
We looked up even the bin
But good news there’s none to share
Jaane kahan gaye woh din.