কাঁঠাল খাওয়ার দিন

আমাদের ছোটবেলায় বাড়িতে দুটো কাঁঠাল গাছ ছিলো; ঠাকুমা বলতেন দাদুর আমলে লাগানো, কলমের গাছ I কাঁঠাল হত যেন মিষ্টি গুড় I কাঁঠাল পাকার অনেক আগে থেকেই চলত প্রস্তুতি I কাঁঠালের গুটি আসতো ঝাঁকে ঝাঁকে I অর্ধেকের বেশি তো ঝরেই যেত I আমরা খেলাঘরের কাঁঠাল বানাতাম তাই দিয়ে I যখন একটু বড় হত কাঁঠাল, ঠাকুমা বলে দিতেন কোনটা কাঁচায় রান্না হবে; আর কোনটা পাকানো হবে I মনে আছে জেঠু উঠতেন কাটারি নিয়ে মই লাগিয়ে গাছে I ঠাকুমা নিচে দাঁড়িয়ে বলতেন “ঐটে ঐটে, ঐটে কাট I এটা নয়, এটায় ভালো কাঁঠাল হবে I”

তারপর যখন কাঁঠাল পাকতো; জেঠু ফের উঠতেন গাছে I এবারে মোটা দড়ি বেঁধে নামানো হত কাঁঠাল I বাবা ধরতেন নিচে থেকে, কখনো কখনো দাদারাও ধরত সে দড়ি I তারপর কোনো এক বিশেষ দিনে, যেদিন সকালের দিকে ঠাকুমা কাঁঠাল টিপে টুপে বলবেন “বৌমা, আজ সন্ধ্যেবেলায় এটা ছাড়িও”; সেদিন আমাদের বড় আনন্দের দিন I

সন্ধ্যেবেলায় আমরা সব ভাই বোনেরা খেলে ধুলে এলে ভিতরের টানা বারান্দায় জেঠিমা বসতেন বড় কাঁসার থালায় কাঁঠাল নিয়ে; হাতে সর্ষের তেল মেখে, পুরনো সাড়ি পরে I আমরা সব ভাইবোনেরা বসতাম জেঠিমাকে ঘিরে, হাতে কলাইয়ের বাটি নিয়ে I মা বসত জেঠিমার পাশটিতে I মায়ের হাতেও থাকত একটা বাটি; বাড়ির ছোট বউ বলে মাও সেদিন ছোটদের দলে সামিল হবার অধিকার পেত I ঠাকুমা দাঁড়িয়ে থাকতেন আমাদের পিছনে; পুরো কাজটার তদারক করবেন বলে I জেঠিমা কাঁঠাল ভাঙতেন আধাআধি পিছন দিক থেকে; আর একটু একটু করে খুলে একটা একটা কোয়া বের করে আমাদের বাটিতে তুলে দিতেন I কোন ছেলের খাজা কাঁঠাল পছন্দ, কার বা পছন্দ রসা, সেই বুঝে I খানিকটা ভাঙ্গা হলে ঠাকুমা শুরু করতেন তদারকি “বৌমা, ঐটে তুলে রাখো, ওই বড় খাজাটা I ওটা পালুর জন্য I ” অর্থাৎ বাবা আর জেঠুর জন্য তুলে রাখা হবে বেছে বেছে সেরাগুলো I এরই মাঝে জেঠিমা টুক করে মায়ের থালায় একটা বড়সড় মায়ের পছন্দের খাজা কোয়া দেবেন তুলে, আর মা বলবেন “না দিদিভাই, ওদের জন্য রাখুন” I উত্তরে জেঠিমা বলবেন “খাও তো, তুমি একটা খেলে কম হবে না” I তবে সবটাই হবে ঠাকুমার কান বাঁচিয়ে, চুপিচুপি I ঠাকুমা দেখতে পেতেন কিনা জানিনা; তবে বলতে কখনো শুনিনি কিছু I

আমাদের খাওয়া শেষ হলে আমরা ভাইবোনেরা একটার ওপর একটা বাটি চাপিয়ে রেখে উঠে যাব I আর ঠাকুমা বসবেন দুকোয়া রসা কাঁঠাল নিয়ে Iতাই খাবেন সারা সন্ধ্যে ধরে I জেঠিমা আর মায়ের কাজ তখনো শেষ হয় নি I ওঁরা তখন কাঁঠালের দানা ছাড়াবেন বসে বসে I সেগুলো শুকিয়ে নিয়ে ভাজা হবে, আর আমরা পরে তাই খাব দুচার দিন রেখে রেখে I জেঠিমা কি খেতেন কখনো দেখিনি. সত্যি-ই ওনার জন্য কিছু থাকত কিনা তাও খেয়াল করার বয়েস হয়নি তখন I তবে মা নিশ্চয়ই কিছু না খাইয়ে ছাড়তেন না বলেই মনে হয়!

প্রায় ছ-সাত বছর হলো কাঁঠাল খাইনি I এখানে পুরো কাঁঠাল খাওয়ার লোক নেই I ফলে তা কেনারও প্রশ্ন নেই I পুনেতে রাস্তায় কোয়া ছাড়িয়ে বিক্রি করতে দেখেছি কাঁঠাল I কিনতে মন হয় না I মা-জেঠিমা কাঁঠাল ছাড়িয়ে পাতে কোয়া তুলে দেবেন, তবে তো কাঁঠাল খাওয়া! নাহলে আর কাঁঠাল খাওয়া কি? তাই রাস্তায় হঠাৎ যেতে যেতে কাঁঠালের গন্ধ পেলে মনে মনে ছোটবেলার কাঁঠাল খাওয়ার দিনগুলোর কথা মনে করি আর বুঝতে পারি আরেকটা কাঁঠালের মরশুম চলে গেল. এবারেও আমার কাঁঠাল খাওয়া হলো না!

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Morning News

There’s nothing worse than being on bed rest! You are confined in a 10X8 bed with the only window of world being newspaper (I don’t have a TV in bedroom). That too getting the horrible news of Tsunami and earthquake in Japan, and its aftermath of N-explosions! Enough reason to stop reading morning news and rather stick to Ruskin Bond. At least the world seems to be a better, brighter and greener place to live in.

But a small piece of news caught my attention today. May be it’s not worth glorifying; but when you are in bed and everything seems to be murky around, even such small news cheer you up. A 68 year old senior citizen; Purushottam Gokhale, made the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) pay up Rs 13,000 to him for the mental harassment caused by not giving reservation in a semi-luxury bus to Murud for three consecutive days.

He tried booking the ticket from two different places, but was given the excuse that the online system is not working. And after trying for three consecutive days, a lot of follow-up with depot in-charges and request to the counter-boy; he got the ticket finally; only to find out that the bus is near-empty when it starts.
He lodged a complaint with Pune District Consumer Forum with the charge of inactive attitude of MSRTC employees, absence during duty hours, lack of promptness and failure of systems which caused him enormous physical and mental torture and financial loss. And the Forum ordered MSRTC to pay the amount after weighing the pros and corns of the complaint.

It’s a real piece of example to all of us. If a senior citizen of 68 years can speak up against such behavior which is very common nowadays; why not we? What prevents us from making the system work properly? Nothing but our attitude of remaining indifferent to wrongs happening around. If we want to make everything work right, there’s nothing that can make the system working wrong.

Thank you Purushottom Gokhle for being an inspiration…

Gem of a person

I first saw Zaheera thirteen years back. I was in my college; she was in her 9th standard. My dad, after his office hours, used to give private tuition to students who couldn’t afford it. And since I joined my college, he made it sure for me to take at least a couple of classes on weekends. Most of the time, it used to be boring. Who wants to teach algebra when the friends are waiting for you to go to a movie, or to hang out? But since the day I met Zaheera, teaching her was always interesting! A short, dark, lean girl of fifteen, her eyes used to glare with dreams and enthusiasm. You just need to teach her the theory; she’d solve most of the toughest problems by herself and would invariably come up with some interesting questions. Her father was a mason; mother a house-maid; they were four sisters and two brothers. I got all these data much later from my dad. He used to note down everything about his students. Their financial background, their capability and their dreams!

Her dream was to become a doctor. Dad told when on the first day, he asked about her dreams, she told it with such conviction that he was amazed at it. I couldn’t believe this. She was such soft-spoken, I barely heard her speak on any other subject other than studies. Throughout her 9th and 10th standard, I have seen her struggle with her financial condition and studies. When the elimination test for 10th exam was over, she faced a new challenge in life. One Saturday evening, dad told me that Zaheera was not coming to classes for last one and half week. In a small town like ours, if dad goes alone to her house, it would not be treated nicely. So, whenever he needed to go to a girl-student’s house, he’d take me or my mom for company. This time I volunteered.

When we reached her home, it was almost dark. I called from outside the fence, nobody answered. A second call and still no answer. Third time, I entered inside the fencing, a shanty , some hens outside and a couple of children, half naked playing in front of the shanty. Before I call out once again, a small girl of around 12 or 13 came out and told in colloquial Bengali that Zaheera’s marriage had been fixed and she’d not study any more. “Master can go” were the last words before she rushed inside the shanty. I was at a loss what to do! But it seemed dad was much more conversant with such situations. He waited till her father came back and tried to convince him for almost an hour that she is an extraordinary student and she should be allowed to study further. Might be, by seeing my dad so desperate, he finally gave word that she’d be allowed to appear for the 10th final exam, but that’s it. Marriage date was immediately after the exam, and she’d not be allowed further.

On the way back, my dad didn’t utter a word. I was agitated, sad and furious at her father’s attitude. But my dad looked so somber that I didn’t dare to speak any further. Just before we enter our house, he told “She would have grown up to be a gem of a person; she has so much to give back to the society…if only…” Nobody can be more frustrating than my dad sometimes! This girl’s life is getting spoiled and he is still thinking of giving back to society!!! But then, you know, this is what his standard of a good person is, how much the person gives back to society…..

Zaheera stood first in her school, 5th in the district. But she didn’t come to collect her mark sheet. My dad collected it and filed it along with all the details of his students. And twelve long years passed by after Zaheera left her studies and got married…

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Last time when I went to my hometown, it changed a lot since those days. There are shopping malls around; you can see big cars which were a very rare sight that time, some two new colleges have been set up in my town. But my dad is all and the same. He has retired from his job. And teaching students who can’t afford private tuition is his full-time profession now. He still keeps note of their financial conditions, their capabilities and their dreams. Only there was another point added to the older notes. Their achievements. Very few had actually made it to their dreams, theirs were real tough journeys. Some have gone half-way, some have changed path, some vanished mid-way. He’d write all those below the notes. These are his achievements, he’d say.

Next day, as usual, I was ready for a class. It was fifth standard student’s class. Some five to six students. I was a bit excited; I was going to take dad’s class after so many years! It went good but a girl, sitting in a corner, caught my eye. Her face was so familiar. But I couldn’t remember where I have seen her! After the class was over, I asked my dad. He smiled.

-Can’t you recognize? She is Zaheera’s daughter.

-What? Zaheera? Where is she? How is she? How come she is here?

It was a long story. As usual, she got married and had two daughters soon after marriage. Her family was furious when she denied bearing any further child. Her husband, a drunkard rickshaw-puller used to beat her regularly. Still she was ignoring all these till the day they told that they’d not allow her children to study further. “What for a girl-child needs education? They’d become like you if they study further.” -was their logic.

-You would have been in tears if you would have seen her the day she came here. One eye was swollen, her husband beat her very badly; with no belonging. She came straight here only along with her children. Your mom gave some sarees and dresses for children, I gave some money. She rented a house nearby. She sews dresses, does cooking in some houses and also teaches very small kids of her neighbourhood. The elder one is, as you have seen, in standard five, the younger one is in first.

I was in shock and couldn’t understand how to feel for Zaheera. To leave her family for the sake of children’s studies must be the last thing to happen in her society. She must have fought a battle of her lifetime to do this. My dad continued-

-She would grow up to be a gem of a person; she has a lot to give back to society.

-Who? Zaheera?

-No, dear. Her daughter. She is just like her mom.

I forgot. I forgot that we traversed a long path. I was looking back and remembering the day he uttered these words for her mother. It took some time for me to bring myself back from the past and look at his face. It’s all full of glee, all full of future dreams. I smiled back…indeed Zaheera has given back the society two future gems.

That day was full of murk. And today is a new day.

Gift of the Magi

Remaining a partner of eight years and man and wife for five years has its share of ups and downs. But it’s always easier when you share it together. It’s so very true that time brings in sense of security and trust in a relationship! But when you are thrown into a long distance relationship after so many years of getting accustomed to each other; it’s like going back to the initial years! The same charm of meeting occasionally, pang of high phone bills! But I never knew it’ll bring something else as well!

He is in the new organization; in new role. So, it’s obvious that he will have to work hard. And he’ll get less leaves. Weekends seem to be few and far between. And the weeks so pathetically long! We haven’t been in a vacation for almost six months now. Life was in jeopardy. Friday evening highs and Monday blues seem to be the routine of life for an eternal period of time in this one year of staying away from each other. And in such a Monday morning; when I was getting ready for office; I discovered a new 34 size beautiful black dress; wrapped up nicely and hidden cleverly in his cupboard under his unused dresses!

The first thought that came to my mind was it must be a surprise gift by my mom-in-law. She is the only person around who can do this. So, the first thing I did was to check with her. No, it wasn’t. So? Who else? There’s nobody else who can do this. It must be him! But 34 size? It’s not my size. Not even of my sis-in-laws’. So, whose it can be? I called him up “Have you left anything here by any chance?” “No” was the firm answer. “I am a bit busy, will call up later.”

I started rattling my brain. On the way to office, I recollected all of his friends’ and cousins’ birthdays which may be nearby; but couldn’t remember anybody’s’! Any colleague? He told about a girl in the team. But she is in Mumbai. Why on earth he’ll bring it here if it’s a gift for her? No, it can’t be a colleague; the dress is pretty costly.

You are bound to feel more insecure when you don’t know the reason of insecurity! Same happened to me. I started finding reasons to be insecure. Earlier he used to call me so often, now he doesn’t! Last time I wore the yellow dress which he doesn’t like; still he didn’t tell anything! Is he not noticing me much nowadays? Is he sharing fewer things with me? He didn’t tell that they had a party last Thursday! Sometimes I used to feel ashamed of me thinking all those weird things! But then, it’s only normal when you find a much smaller dress wrapped up and hidden in your hubby’s cupboard.

I started morning walk after a long time. He laughed off “How many times you’d start and stop it?” Why is he becoming sarcastic? I forgot in my insecurity that this is a very common line from him; really I can break the world record for resuming and re-resuming morning walks! I’d stop it for the silliest reasons: cold weather, hot weather, tight morning schedule or simply for nothing!

One weekend, I told him that it’s high time we had a vacation. I am tired and wired out! I need a break. He was like “No yaar, can’t afford leave now. We have some urgent assignment to finish.” I got agitated and had quite a tiff that night. I need some time alone: just both us together. I need to know whether I still own my very prized possession or not! But he didn’t show the slightest interest. Rather he hovered to his cell whole day the next day; didn’t eat properly in lunch and didn’t bother to go for an evening walk which we normally don’t miss. That evening; when we were watching TV, he got a call. He walked out of the room! I normally don’t notice. But nowadays I started doing. So I reduced the volume of the TV and concentrated on the low-volume conversation of his. He was whispering “Oh, that’s great. So, we can now have a small vacation. You are such a sweetheart! “ That’s enough! I need to talk to him. Whom is he promising a vacation now? I need to know. He came back and sat beside me. And started-

-I need to talk to you.

-Me too. I replied.

-Ok, carry on.

-No, you first. Tell me what you have to confess.

-Confess? He was perplexed! “Confess what?”

-Nothing, carry on!

-Narayanan and team had finished the assignment. They really did a great job. So, we can submit it next week and I may get a leave next to next week.

-So?

-So? You wanted a vacation, right? We can have it now, dear.

-Me?

-What do mean by “me”? Who else? I actually booked a resort in Murund. You always wanted to be there, right? But I was afraid that I may not get the leave and will have to cancel the trip. So, I didn’t tell you anything.

My jaws dropped down. But he continued-

– Are you happy now?

-And the dress? I couldn’t understand what to ask him!

-Which dress?

-That one! The black one in the old cupboard!

-You have seen that also? He was literally upset. “That was a surprise for you. I thought of gifting it to you once we are there.”

-But that’s not my size!

-Is it not 34?

-That was eight years back!

-I am sorry. I didn’t notice; I mean; I was not sure….he started fumbling..

I was dumbstruck. I didn’t know how to react. I was ashamed of myself. I moved to kitchen. I was not being able to have an eye-contact with him. He followed me.

-Well, I would get that exchanged. Don’t worry.

I didn’t answer. I was not in a state to answer.

-What happened?

I turned back and looked at my partner of eight years. Yes, he has also lost more than half his hair, his waistline also increased; and I didn’t notice. We didn’t need to ever. A look at each other’s eye is enough to ensure that we are the same persons who decided to go against the whole world to say “I do” to each other. How could I think otherwise about him! I was in tears-

-I am sorry.

-For what?

-Don’t ask me for what. Just accept it. I am sorry.

He repeated the same words he uttered when we decided to be together forever-

-You are crazy.

-And?

-And I love you for that.

The Genes

I always wanted to be like my father. All girls do. Since childhood; I used to imitate him. He used to walk with chin up, I still do. He used to keep his dresses tidy and cupboards arranged; I do the same. He is super-perfect while arranging things; I try to. I am also ruthlessly honest in attitude towards life like him; though I know I can never be as brave as him when it comes to facing the truth of life. I am an atheist like him in religion. My hobby is same as his: reading, traveling and adventure.

Though I look much like my mom; even now also I have a tiff with someone who says so. I insist that I look like my dad. Well, at least my eyes are like my dad, the shape of my face. Come on, at least I can be recognized as my father’s daughter. People are not much good at recognizing similarity of faces, you know!

I am bad at remembering dates like him, bad at unnecessary PR and bad at telling lies.

Once when I was giving this list of similarities to my bro; he told me “I wonder whether you are mom’s daughter! You never utter about any similarities with her.” I tried to find out one but couldn’t find much; except love for cooking and such trivial things. Some qualities like loving the family already exist in my dad. So, if I have that, dad gets the credit anyway!

Last Sunday, I was arranging things in my home on the occasion of coming Diwali celebration. And during clean-up session, my hubby goes through a rough time. He is very unorganized in nature when it comes to household chores. He can’t remember where he has kept the book he has just finished reading; or the half-finished glass of water and even the iPod. So, whenever I clean up the house; I find a couple of wrapped chewing gums behind the sofa; a long lost favorite pen among the pile of books or the laptop cleaner in his cupboard! And he keeps on getting continuous scolding from me. But he doesn’t mind. He knows this is mostly quarterly event. So, it seems to be fine for him.

But this time; after almost one hour of continuous torment; he came to me and told very softly- “You know, if you talk a little less; you’ll live much longer. I want to grow old with you.” and went back to his reading table.

I was dumbstruck. I remember my dad telling the exact same words to my mom when she used to scold him for a long time due to some silly reason.

I thought of calling my bro; I need to tell him that finally I have found that I have my mom’s genes in me, too.

The Mahalaya

I knew this. Every year this happens. Since I am living away from my mom, she does it without failure. On each and every religious occasion, she makes me go through this.

But this time, I thought I would be able to dodge it. Because since I got married; I pass the ball on to my hubby’s court and he does it with great enthusiasm. But this time he is not in the city. And I am alone in home. So, I had a readymade reason to give – “Mom, you know I can’t do all this. I don’t know how to do this pujas and all. And Ganesh is not around”

But she’d not spare me “Tumpa, this is Mahalaya. This is the time to show respect to our ancestors. And time to welcome the goddess.”

“Maa, you know I don’t do this from my heart. Ok, I would pay homage to the ancestors. The first thing I’ll do in the morning is to say thank you to them.”

“Everything has a process, Tumpa.”

“Maa…no, please.”

“Ple…ase!”

You know, mothers are the best manipulative managers in the world! They know how to get the work done. Rather to extract it from you! They know when they say “please”; you’d have to do it. And I bet; this is a universal trick. I discovered that once I got married. Even my mom-in-law follows the same principle.

So, here I am, on the Mahalaya morning; half-way into preparing breakfast; started searching for all the ingredients. Once I found incense sticks, diyas, kumkum and kept them along with the flowers I bought yesterday night; I discovered the greatest truth in the world: I don’t have a picture or statuette of the goddess! I remembered my hubby; along with all other necessary things got the gods and goddesses of the house shifted to his new city. He knows me very well. He knows I’ll never use them. Better to take them away. Later when my mom-in-law came; she placed a Ganpati statuette in the Puja place. But there’s nothing else there.

Now, what should I do? I can’t call and inform my mom. She’d; with all probability kill me with her words! And I can’t cheat her too; she told a “please” and made a request! A great realization occurred to me at this hour of dilemma. You know; it’s easier to be a mom than to be an honest child! At least you can emotionally blackmail your child if you are a mom; you can’t cheat an emotionally blackmailing mom if you are honest! Anger and frustration can convert you to a pathetic philosopher.

I swear; I searched for everything. Even for the calendar I remotely remembered with a photograph of goddess Durga which my mom brought last year. But I couldn’t find anything remotely related to the Goddess in the house. It was almost office time and I was at a loss what to do. Then an awesome thousand-volt idea clicked me. Sometimes back; my sis-in-law brought a memento from Singapore; it was a beautiful Mother Mary statuette with the baby Jesus in her lap. And I kept it in the show-case of the hall.

So, I took that out; put it in the specified puja place; and decorated it with the flowers. Put the diyas on; and incense sticks burnt. And lastly, a small kumkum tika on the forehead of mother Mary. That’s it; my decoration is complete.

Now it’s time to grasp your hands; close your eyes; bow your head and say the prayer-

“Yaa devi sarvabhuteshu matrirupenah samasthita./ Namstasway Namastasway Namastasway Namoh Namaha.”

“I bow to thee, who is there in all living being as the universal motherhood.”

It doesn’t make any difference. Anyway, when I utter these prayers, I can see the face of my mother; mothers; all those who loved me like a mom. I see the face of my maid; who works day in and day out to send her son to English-medium school. I see the face of the begger-mother who stands on the main road; holding the baby on one hand and extending the other for the alms.

And I knew my prayers reached there where it should have been…

THE AWAKENING

 I remember those days of November-December’1992 very distinctly. Our small town used to have regular “Peace Marches” in the evenings; my uncle and his friends attending them after they finished their football session. Something was fuming inside. But we were not so sure about what actually was going to happen. Being grown-up in a close-knit Hindu-Muslim neighbourhood, we could never think that people could actually destroy religious structures. We were not to be blamed; we haven’t seen 47 riots. Haven’t even seen 70s Naxal uprising. We thought people were destined to live peacefully as we used to do. So, when finally on 6th December everybody in the country was waiting with almost clogged breath for some unwanted incident; we all went to school. All of us in the neighbourhood; irrespective of religion. Around mid-day; the school announced it a day and while returning back we heard the news that Babri Masjid had been destroyed by karsevakas. I still remember that the small lane before my house, I came running with an unbelievable speed. And the TV was on in the hall. It was pin-drop silence everywhere. Not being a much regular commodity at that time; there were a few people from neighbourhood who came to watch news in our home.  And very obviously; some of them were Muslims. I still remember my mom serving tea to all with a very sad face and uttering in between to those anxious faces “Don’t worry bhaijan, Rabeya, they’ll restore it. It can’t happen like that.”

Little did she know what would follow. We were still in disbelief mode; and what was thrown upon us was simply unimaginable. A riot across the country. The news pouring in was all so gory and horrible! A series of planned murders, rapes and burning of houses. Police reamaing inactive as people burned in front of police stations. I still remember I read a story in newspaper about a boy and girl; visibly a couple in love went out in their two-wheeler after nine days when they thought the riot was over. And they were killed so inhumanely!

We used to gather, always after school; in Taslim’s house. His parents were both working and there was only his elder sister who instead of scolding us; used to take part in all our mischievous activities. We had abundance of freedom in his house; and that’s the reason we used to prefer their house. But the number of Hindu friends started reducing day by day. I was never an absentee till the day aunty told Taslim to drop me back to my home. His house was a stone’s throw from mine and I couldn’t think that I need a bodyguard for that path simply because the houses around belong to Muslims! Someone I used to call mama, somebody khalu and somebody apa! It was a horrible thought that I would have to disbelieve them. I stopped going their house till everything became normal.

Now after eighteen long years, when the court verdict was about to be out; the first thing that came to my mind was those horrible days. Days of humiliation, disbelief and tortured humanity. I was not at all bothered about the verdict. I was bothered about the aftermath. To be transported back to those days was the last thing I wanted. I don’t know how to pray. I never prayed in my lifetime. For the first time in my life, I prayed day out and day in to whoever it is, Ishwar, Allah, and God; please save my country.  Please save us from bloodshed.

Now today, when finally the verdict was out; just like that day; I went to office. And prayed inside “Please don’t make me run like that day. Please don’t show me those sad, anxious faces again.” And finally when the verdict which distributed the disputed land of Ayodhya in between Hindus and Muslims was out; I came out of the office. I wanted to see all happy faces around. And indeed I saw. All happy faces, praying at dargah, temple, busy in evening shopping; going back home in buses. And no police around! I got down halfway from the bus. And started walking. Enjoying all those normal happy faces. A baby with his mom, a couple in a two-wheeler; an old man walking with his stick.

 This time there is no hurry. This time I don’t need to run. I know all happy faces are waiting in every house I’d knock into.

We won. Finally. It took 18 long years. But we won over those who thought humanity can be divided, tortured and suppressed. We have shown them it can’t for a long time. 

YOU CAN’T KEEP HUMANITY HOSTAGE FOR LONG.

IT WILL EMERGE OUT WINNER. FOR SURE.

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