Friday, March 26, 2010


A woman and a mother; there isn’t any other details to introduce Ramya. I know her for last seven months, exactly the day her son was born, to be more precise. The reason I remember the day is – it was the same day my wife had given birth to our son, in a prime mother-care hospital of town. Ramya had given birth to her son on the same day; very near-by to my wife – at the footpath right opposite to that prime hospital.

She survived the blood-loss, her kid survived all possible infections could happen by living by the drain. Now a healthy seven months old kid plays on Ramya’s lap and she forgets all the pain she takes in her everyday life. She forgets the pain of not knowing the father of this baby; few law-keepers had a fun time together with her in last winter in return of couple of pieces of bread. The three-days’-unfed body couldn’t register the consequences of begging to the law-keepers of the town on a wintry night with attractive body & revealing torn clothes.

Seasons kept on changing, like the biological changes kept on making Ramya bigger at the middle. And on the day when I was coming out of that prime hospital with little pride on my feet for being a father, Ramya was struggling to give birth to a new life right across on the footpath. Few ladies, the street-sake of Ramya were helping her out, and finally the baby comes out – tiny, but full of life! ‘Kolkata-r Jishu’ (‘Jesus of Kolkata’ – a famous poetry from Nirendranath Chatterjee) – is what I murmured.

Ramya-s born, they give birth – silently. I wish each from their womb become a powerhouse of equality & humanity. I wish Ramya’s son and mine, share a cake.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Raju Bhangarwala

It was raining from morning and the non-stop drizzle had almost put up a cork to Raju’s business. His tiny 13 years has seen a lot; a drunk father who never bothers to feed them, two younger sisters suffering utterly from malnutrition and a thinning mother. Raju silently understood it’s only him who could and have to save these three lives, if not four including his careless father. He was 11 years that time when he left his village which was at the remotest corner of Udaipur district in Rajasthan.

With the help of a distant relative, Raju reaches to corner of Mumbai and starts helping a guy who had a business of buying & selling of old newspapers. ‘Bhangarwala’ – is the most common name for these kind of businessmen in the city, Raju suddenly became ‘Raju Bhangarwala’ in the locality and his innocent smile hearing his new name showed that to some extent he enjoyed the designation.

After few weeks of sweating it out and been able to send few hundred rupees to those three starving stomachs, Raju was inspired enough to work harder. His tiny fingers used to swell in pain at night for carrying the heavy bundles of newspapers. Before going to bed every night, he used to put his fingers in cold water which used to give little relief and he could dream his mother & sisters could eat today, if not well-fed.

And then it all started; the infamous monsoon of Mumbai. The first night made Raju a refugee from the footpath where he used to sleep. Though he managed to get a place down below a staircase from the next night, but his business showed a steep downfall. No calls from customers, wet newspapers which are of no use, starts piling up. Raju broke down in his little shop one afternoon – it’s almost a month that he couldn’t send a single paisa to his mother & sisters. Tears keep on flowing, and with each drop of it, his soul became stronger and stronger…

Raju never plays at the nearby park, he doesn’t have any friend. Raju Bhangarwala only weighs the newspapers and a childhood gets lost within the folds of newspapers.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The magic stone – IV

I had almost forgotten the magic stone; it’s more than a year now that we met. But all of a sudden I woke up by dreaming about it and it was dark outside. As the short-lived morning chill is on the way back like a frightened cat on a motor way, it felt good to go out in a tee on the jogging track. The only question which was haunting me is why the stone came in my dream again after such a long time. I wasn’t sure where to find it even, just tried my luck like an experienced gambler and miraculously, I was lucky enough to find it at the same place!

‘Hey there’, I told little scornfully. It just looked at me, and kept on staring for few minutes. These minutes felt like never-ending, as if the Almighty is measuring my sins after death. Finally it broke the silence and asked me to sit. The wet feel of the grass made me feel comfortable. And then it started talking:

“I knew you’ll be back, but couldn’t think that could happen so quickly. It only proved the old saying - If you really love something, set it free. If it comes back, it’s yours! And remember those words from Kahlil Gibran –

It is wrong to think that love comes from long companionship and persevering courtship. Love is the offspring of spiritual affinity and unless that affinity is created in a moment, it will not be created for years or even generations.

“Just for this reason mate, we can breathe fresh air even today – and you’re here beside me.”

Monday, March 8, 2010

Surfacing back...

Literally, surfacing back to my so-called normal life after a long & hectic holidays. Home, sweet home after long time, meeting mom, wife and all other relatives was wonderful, but nothing comparable meeting my son - Apu.

It was almost 11:45 at night I reached Kolkata on Feb 23, and he was sleeping. My wife picked him up and he saw me - a stare of few seconds and then a great charming smile came from his face as if saying 'finally ...'! And there wasn't any looking back in next 12 days - he played, jumped, cried, and did almost everything with me, as if I'm his good old friend. I wanted to be a good friend of my son, but couldn't imagine that it'll happen so quickly! Let this friendship remains for life!

Well, it's time now to get back in business, my businesses - read the loads of books that I got from Kolkata this time, do some photography installations that I'm weaving in mind for sometime now and work on those projects of Art Gallery & photography company.