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Riots in the Galli

After a rather tiring week, Tantra woke up to a lazy Saturday morning. She switched on the TV and saw rather depressing news. Riots had broken out. The Ram Sene’s president had been beheaded. She lived in the heart of PuRiots in the galline on MG Road, bang opposite the slums where the ‘victim’ and the culprit lived. Apparently he was beheaded as he gave a speech demeaning the Muslims when he was invited to inaugurate an orphanage.

Funny. She thought. She lived on the fifth floor. It was 11am. She could clearly see the events happening in the nearby slum from her balcony. The sun was venting out the anger too. A ray of lightning hit her face.  A young guy had taken out a sword. It’s shine took Tantra by surprise. The shine was blinding. She really wondered as to what would happen. She realized the fact that her weekend was effectively ruined. She came in and sat in front of the TV again. She quickly made some coffee, sat on her couch, cozying onto her cushions with all eyes on the TV. Someone knocked. She thought it would be the kids who normally come in to play her PS3.

She opened with a pleasing smile.

Tantra saw the chairman standing.

“Please do not open the door. You are a woman, living all alone here. Riots have broken out in the slums, it would hardly take any time for it to progress into our area. So from now on do not open the door for any reason at all.”

I wouldn’t have opened it, if I knew it was you. She thought.

“Sure,” she replied and closed the door.

She didn’t get the newspaper as all the delivery boys lived in the slums and they would have been really busy planning the riots.


She heard a glass shield breaking and rushed to the balcony. Tantra saw two groups fighting. Swords, fuel containers. Each group chanting out the names of their respective Gods. There were like a dozen vehicles in the galli. All ruined. To make her weekend even bloodier, she witnessed a guy ripping of the head of his ‘opponent.’ She was frozen. She hadn’t seen anything so bloodier after she witnessed the charred bodies of her parents who died in the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts. Hence she moved out of Bombay after passing out her B.E. She chose Pune as she thought it to be peaceful. This was one thing which she never expected to happen.

She suddenly came back into reality and saw about seven dead bodies. All soaked in blood. She called up the police but all of that went unanswered. Although no one picked up the phone, she could sense the shiver down their spines. Her galli was at the dead end and she could count 11 cars and seven scooters up in flames.

The rioting parties had done all of this for some anti-secular man who thought about speaking against a particular community in front of kids, who don’t even know who their parents are. Religion was a far off thing for them. All of this lasted for about 3 hours until the CRPF was deployed, well better late than never.

After she understood that everything was under control, she ran outside the gate, onto the galli.

“Eh ladki, kya chaalu hai, chalo andar jaao (Lady, what’s wrong, Get inside), orders from the top, we cannot allow anyone here as it’s a sensitive area,” a policeman yelled at her.

“Listen mister, God has sent me down to ask you guys as to where had your battalion gone hitch hiking when people were being killed,” she yelled back.

Well he probably didn’t understand any of that. She ignored and walked towards the middle of the road. She couldn’t stand the smell. She ran upstairs, took a shower and switched on some music. She closed the balcony and sat on her couch. She switched on the TV again.

The SENSEX falls below 20000.

“Whoa, What the fuck?” she yelled.

Is that the life of a riot or a bomb blast in India?

Some anti-social creature talks some crap, some freak chops of his head and a bunch of so called followers bludgeon each other. Secularism, Security and everything is at stake. Let law take its course. It will obviously take time but justice happens, well atleast sometimes. The elections are coming. Congress, BJP or some other juvenile parties will come for votes. Politicians live, their supporters do not. Every political outfit in India has a history of rioting, be it the Congress who mastered one in Punjab or the BJP who did one in Gujarat.

Let democracy live and not the politicians.

Human blood it was. Blood had no religion. Blood oozing out of the bodies of Hindu and Muslim rioters flowing right through the middle of the road. Here blood also has the same smell as it trickles down and forms a tiny puddle.

Just like an old saying. Chicken costs Rs. 100 per kg, mutton costs 200 and what about a human being?

Priceless or worthless?



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24 thoughts on “Riots in the Galli

  1. Kamini Kamthe

    You are just about to end your day at work and you receive a feed alert from Back Punch. Every line in this post sent a chill down my spine. Crisp!! This is the consistency I had been talking and here you hit it. Nair, another wonderfully written post. The ending is out of this world. Priceless or worthless. You beat all your previous last lines, hands down. You have blasted at the media as well. Great work.

    N.B.: Showcasing your guts is fine but mentioning political parties and their past wrongdoings is equivalent to digging your own grave. Isn’t there anyone to stop you from doing this??

  2. Marcos Menezes

    The sensex falls below 20000. That line just made my day. That is what the media is all about brother. Brilliantly edited and what crispness as rightly mentioned by the great Kamini.
    Batallion gone hitch hiking. Man you sure do know when and where to use the right words. Hats off to the sheer vengeance portrayed in this post and Tantra, you are all what Back Punch is about. Superb writing.

  3. Harini M

    All i wanna is that they (politicians) dont really care about us.
    All i wanna say is that they dont really care about us.
    Grt work buddy.

  4. Bernie Patrickson

    What a way to start the day! I believe galli means bylanes right. Man you should come and reply to our comments. Stop being low profile with ur readers… Anyways, Tantra is a woman probably every woman should idealise, that hitch hiking comment of hers was so gutsy 🙂
    I would rather stop saying that you are improving because now you have like pretty top standards 🙂

  5. Cyril Moorthy

    This could actually be controversial piece because the message is pretty strong. You making the protagonist a female is pretty commendable. Respect!
    Catchy title, good work. All the best.

  6. Sanskriti Verma

    Look at the minute portrayal of things. You are so amazing. The neighbour, the sensex, the orphanage, the galli, the policeman. Each of these are literally characters with a say in it. I sometimes felt that you were good at poems but after reading this and the previous post, all I have to say is that you are a different breed altogether, that of a born writer, might have told this a million times but you are good G. How small is your world? All you do is come on this site, post and vanish. Its sometimes good if you interact with your readers because you have genuine following now. The comments are also from the same people. Thanks for making me fall in love with reading again. Thanks to your good writing.

  7. Anonymous

    Oh here comes the psycho with another story. Kitna social social likhega. Kiska kya hoga. Its good cos you write good but your reach is limited. keep writing.. one day it will make a difference..

  8. Cathy Xavier

    You need to monetise this. This is quality stuff. Stuff Americans pay for. Try doing that. I really do not see the point in you keeping yourself so low profile. For once just for once atleast show your face to your readers. You are like an inspiration to me so I would really like to know what books you read, what you watch, your outlook towards the world. This is again one of your finest works. I just loved it.

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