K. S. Sani
Dimapur sure is becoming congested. Yesterday, looking out for nothing in particular, yet hoping to come across something out of the ordinary, I sauntered aimlessly along the streets and alleys of Dimapur. Fighting my way, through the traffic of motor vehicles, rickshaws, thela-wallahs and pedestrians, I made it to the ‘Hong Kong market’ for some ‘time-pass’ window-shopping. Respite from the scuttle was denied to me by the endless stream of shoppers. But I too was adding to the chaos and thus not blameless. Finally, braving the scurry, I came away in one piece.
Ambling towards the foot of the flyover I saw a human circle. Curiosity found me amidst the crowd… there in the middle, underneath the fly-over, was a self-styled magician enthralling a hypnotized audience. Magic has always fascinated me, still does, and so I unceremoniously became a part of the circle. Towards the end of the show the magician deftly ‘extracted’ money from the viewers. From a crowd of around fifty some 15-20 fell prey. I too was poorer by ten bucks but satisfied. The hour-long show being over, the magician and his aide were packing their props. Just then, along came two intoxicated Nagas demanding a percentage of the spoils. As this new show unfolded I merely stood nearby, and observed the chutzpah of the two, with a bad taste in my mouth. I wanted to butt in but simply didn’t. Had I not seen and let much more injustice unfold without as much as a whisper… so why now? The magician protested meekly and fortunately got away without having to ‘pay’, tax? The two Zachiaras went away grunting; to find other preys?
I stood there shamed… not so much by the shameless audacity of the two Nagas but so much more by my silence; a silence eating away at my spirit of justice and fairness. It was little consolation that so many out there too might be, or are silent spectators to all the injustices unfolding. I looked around and suddenly my world felt so empty amidst the congestion of Dimapur.