TODAY -

They deform their forms
to create all the beauteous
forms in the world

Louriyam Bebica *

Taj Mahal, Agra, India - 2007
Taj Mahal, Agra, India - 2007



One evening I was rushing to ASTC, Tezpur on my way back from Guwahati. The regular schedule for the university bus (from ASTC to university) is 7.30 at the evening. Looking at my watch, I ran towards the bus stand. The watch was running as fast as she can and my legs were trying to win over her. I saw the bus crawling out from a far distance.

-"Sh*t" . I muttered and ran there in hope that the driver might see my effort and pity me for a little stop. Unluckily my trial went in vain. Looking at that moving bus, bending down to reach my knees for support , I released out a long breath .

-"Excuse me. Are you going to Tezpur university?". A tall, fair lady of middle age, asked me, standing in front of me. I lift up my face to look at her. She seems to be from a well-to-do family. Her complexion, her garments and the brightly long colour nails on her hands - everything bespoken of her background.

-" Yes ma'am . " I meekly replied her.

-" I saw you running for that bus. I'm also going there, just come with me."

-"No . No ma'am. It's ok. I will go by an auto".

-"Oh! No you should never do that. It is already late. You can never trust them."

You should see how firm she was while giving that statement. She enlarged her eyes, shaking her head, showing me with a degree of certainty. She insisted so forcefully that I ended up getting on her car . On the way, I came to know that she worked as a Lecturer in a college. She came to visit her son who is studying in Computer Science. Her talk was the only wave that broke the silence of 45 minutes journey on her car. I requested her to drop me at our university gate assuring her that I will walk till my hostel from the gate.

-" You can't walk alone. If you really want to walk, I will accompany you. In that way I will get more time to know about you too. Driver you drive ahead.... Ah! What's your hostel " Turning back, she seems to realize that she did not know my hostel nor my name yet. In fact, she asked nothing about me rather telling me about herself.

-"Ma'am it's ok". I was perplexed. I frankly didn't understand why she was so insistent to drop me off. After some yards, we reached our University's Cafeteria. All of sudden she spoke out so loudly in an irritating manner, pointing her first finger

-"See, see that's why I don't want you to walk alone." My eye balls were moving at every possible corner to catch where her finger fall

-"Ma'am?" I saw nothing than those workers who are at the site of construction. So I gave an expression that speaks of the vacuum state of my mind.

-"Can't you see them ? " She asked me with an unsatisfied tone.

- "Ma'am are you talking of those workers? '' She made me more dilemma.

-" Yes, some days back this place was a safe place. Now with this constructions, with lots of 'Outsiders' .. you are no longer safe" . I didn't dare to listen to her any longer. Her statement was so annoying to me. I just moved inside the hostel. I was angry at her. I tried to analyse her ways as being mean and selfish. Because they were toiling day and night to create the beauty of this campus.

When I lay down on my bed, I repented my rudeness. I realized I can't blame her squarely for her attitude. She is the product of certain society . She perceived the world as she has been conditioned to do . We are living in the society where toppers are consider human and losers and failures are just an OBJECT. Teachers want to teach to those student who are toppers, company hunts for the one who is a topper, sport clubs sees none other than top players . So it's a room only for toppers , and where failure and poor people have no space in this room.

If you top you live , if you fail you become an object as no one care about your existence. We have been taught since our childhood that the Taj Mahal , the pride of India was built by Shah Jahan. But did he really build it ? Shah Jahan or the workers? History tell us that 20,000 workers were subjected to inhuman labour for 22 years to have this beautiful structure - the seventh wonder of the world "Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal"

Wow , it sounds so great that someone built a wonderful monument in name of his love that generation to generation will remember. We are taught of its beauty and its thinker but not a single word is mention on how those 20000 workers toiled to death over 21 years just to bring the thinker's idea into reality. Its beauty was in the mercy of those worker not in hand of Shah Jahan and his architects only.

People are busy appreciating its beauty that none talk of the pain, those labours went through in that period to make this beauty. In fact, no one mention or remember any one's name out of those 20000 workers . Isn't it amazing? Keeping the fact on mind that we (human being) hate being mysterious and try to find out every hidden thing. Even Evolution could not hide from us that question the power of God.

We are the path finder if we wish to find. We also ignore if we wish to. This system of ignoring has been going on for so long that we made ourselves just a mere object like those stones unspeakable and unmovable.

We can have another example. The Great Wall of China. Uncountable number of workers were death in other to build the wall. It is said that some of them were buried in the wall. The general study gave possible reasons for this
A. Save funeral expense.
B. Safe building materials as bones are good natural materials and friendly to environment.
C. To fertilize the wall to make the roots of plants go deep to protect the foundation.
D. The wall can intimidate the avenging spirit of those who died for building the wall. .

They toiled when they were alive worse than animal. They toiled till they die to keep that beauty. It is painful to learn that they were used even after death. Their soul-less bodies were used to add 'taste' of that beauty. They were the only one who toil and toil but got nothing than pain. People say of "no pain no gain". What do you think is it applicable in their lives? For them "no gain only pain".

I'm not denying on the 'IDEA CREATORS' but I also want to question its dependency on those PHYSICAL CREATORS. Any creation , any artefact embodies two kind of labour - physical and mental. Unless there is a mental effort to create the design, physical labour alone cannot create a bridge; but unless it is shaped by physical labour a bridge will remain only a drawing on a piece of paper.

Now the question is what is the exact relation between these two categories of labours? Are they completely separate from each other? Why do we always tend to see mental labour as superior to physical labour? Do we have any objective criteria to prove that the former is indeed superior than the later? Can there exist any IDEA - the very foundation of mental labour - without any physical labour or physical interaction with the material world? It seems obvious that the basis of all our mental labour is physical efforts. Yet, we, the so called educated people, tend to look down upon physical labour and those who practice it. It would have been so wonderful if we recognised the contribution from both sides.

Every beauty that this world claimed - Paris Tower, Great Wall of China , Tajmahal etc has many men behind that brought it into a possibility. The only difference is that we recognised only those powerful men and ignored those helpless fellows.

She told me that I m not safe because those workers were inside the campus. They work throughout the day when the heat is at a maximum, that time - we people will think ten times to get out of room even with an umbrella! They work during night time when the moon has dim its light and we need hundred tube-lights to walk on that smooth road. Once the construction is over he wont be allowed to set his feet into it. Its weird to think that he was alienated from his own creation once his creation is over. Roland Barthes's Death of the Author might bring subjectivity to readers. But I dont know if this alienation of creator from his creation does bring any kind of subjectivity or justice?

People often said it is because of language, but I dont think so. Because it is with the help of language I'm able to think of this inseparable relation between them. If it is not language, there must be another agencies, more fundamental than language, which are responsible for creating such partial views. So what are these Agencies?

I didn't know that I had dozed off with all these questions whirling in my head. When I got up in the morning, I had missed my morning tea.

My Sir often said "every beauty that was created on this world is the outcome of those WORKERS's unseen & unrecognised pain and POWERFUL PEOPLE's path to enjoy the appreciation".


* Louriyam Bebica is a frequent contributor to e-pao.net
The writer is a Ph.D. student in Linguistics Dept. at Tezpur University and can be contacted at bebicalouriyam708(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on June 22, 2013.



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