Friday, May 28, 2010

The Non-Fiction Story of an Old Man.

By Sadho Ram

Literal warning:  This is a story and it’s not a fiction. This is a story of a boy from yesteryear, who today is an ‘old man’, facing humiliation from the ones and all, for whom he spent his entire youth working in the sun.

This is a story and it’s not a fiction. This is a story of a husband of his ‘resting in peace’ wife, in fond memory of whom; all he wanted to do was to organize a ‘spiritual free-food’ camp for the entire village.

This is a story and, let me warn you one more time – it’s not a fiction.

During the time when colonial rule in India was ‘progressing’ towards its end, a child was born in a village named Bhawa, in the northern part of the country, and was named – Mohan Lal.

Not much is known about how he spent his early childhood, as he was an insignificant man for the entire nation, of course barring a few individuals who were either behind the creation of him or were in some way connected to him.

An ordinary child who did below ordinary things, and born into a rich family, he didn’t really have the chance to get acquainted with that state a man in later part of his life has to face when it costs him to even inhale the ‘free’ air. And that’s where he was first betrayed by his life!

At the age of 16 he was married to a 14 year old girl, who later fathered him with 5 Childs – 3 boys and 2 girls.

Yes, they, along with thousands others who didn’t care to think before ‘hopping-in’, were the very initial reason behind India’s messed-up population!

After the birth of his 3rd son, who was the youngest of all, Mohan Lal was ‘politely’ asked by his brothers and other relatives to ‘leave’ the family business and house and manage his family on his own. The second betrayal of his life!

He left, and he did well. Within few years he builds up a 2 storey house and a mustard oil factory of his own. His family member’s, who had ‘politely’ asked him to ‘leave’, went bankrupt. Then Mohan Lal, being a kind man that he was as he still is today, gave them a share of his factory, hoping that it would revive their lives as they are after all the part of him in one way or the other.
The factory did revive their lives as it was later sold by them and the money never came to the one who started it from scratch and who nearly ruined his own life in his attempt to revive the lives of his relatives – the relatives who deserve to rot.

But Mohan Lal didn't flinch, he, with the help of the little money that his ideal wife had saved, started a new business – he opened a small ‘grinding mill’ where he would grind wheat and other cereal plants.

He was living a happy and healthy life and he went to live this life for some time.

Than his sons grew up! The third betrayal and the cruellest one! …and thus begun a new phase in the life of Mohan Lal. His grinding mill was by then had grown old and outdated and it affected badly on his business. In result, he first lost customers and then later his mill.

But he wasn’t worried; as he ‘hoped’ that his sons are there to look after him. And after what he had done for them, not necessarily because it was his duty, but because he was the reason behind their existence, what he ‘hoped’ from them to do for him was as small as ringing a door-bell of a huge mansion and asking for a glass of water.

But fate had something else planned in for Mohan Lal.

His sons started hating him for no fault of his. But there must be a fault, right? So his only fault – he had grown old.

They would always make him nearly beg for the few rupees (as few as 100-200) that he would sometime ask from them. His wife would see all this and when it all started mounting, she again proved to be the ideal wife – she prohibited him for asking money from their sons, instead she would give him whatever money that he needed sometimes.

Saving was one thing that Prema, Mohan Lal’s wife, had learned at the very beginning. And saving she did. From the time when she got married to Mohan Lal, she had started saving money and she saved it in such a way that Mohan Lal never came to know about it, except the times when she told him.

And she had saved enough to grow happily old with her husband. But as I told you before that fate had something else planned in for our Mohan Lal, so it revealed its cruel plan one night.

They, Mohan Lal and his wife, had come back to Bhawa after a month’s stay from their younger daughter’s house in Calcutta, and were having their dinner together, yes even after almost 50 years of their marriage, they were eating in same plate.

That’s what love is actually. It never grows old; instead it grows by leaps and bounds if the two people in love are together growing old.

After the dinner, they prepared their bedding together and went to sleep. After half an hour, Mohan Lal woke up to the yells of his wife. She has had a stroke and was in extreme pain. Mohan Lal immediately called up their family doctor. But by the time the doctor came, the pain has faded away. Prema was feeling fine. So the doctor, too, after assuming that it was just some gastric problem, gave a tablet for it and left.

They again went to sleep. After sometime, Mohan Lal again woke up, this time to the light coming from the window. It was morning, the sun was raising and its first rays had entered inside the room. Prema was still sleeping, which was unusual, as it was always she who woke up first and then would wake him up. But Mohan Lal shrugged any bad thought by thinking that it’s probably due to the fact she went to sleep quite late after the pain in her chest and might be tired.

It was only an hour later he realized that she hasn’t even moved a bit from her night’s sleeping position.

“NAH” – Is all what came out of his mouth.

His body shivered at the thought of it and he fell on the floor.

When he woke up, his world had changed. He was once again been betrayed by life. He cursed it, and probably for the first time in his entire life, he hurled abuses at it.

Today after 4 months, after the death of his wife, he has been declared MAD by his sons for trying to do something good in the name of his late wife, who was always good to him and more than just good to them – the sons.

Today there is no difference between Mohan Lal and a street beggar. As a beggar lives on the mercy of others, so is Mohan Lal, who is merely surviving at the so called mercy of his Sons.
He never wore a shirt that had no button on it, and today there is no shirt on his body.

His sons, as of today, has so much money that each one of them can buy an entire village of 100 family and feed them daily, but they don’t have that little money to feed the same old man, who gave them everything that he ever earned.

Mohan Lal has been always good to everyone – to his family, his people, his neighbours and his labours. The only one he haven’t been good – is he himself. He gave everybody something, but never kept anything for himself. All his property, he wrote it in the name of his three sons. And it was that property and money acquired through it, that made those 3 sons – the richest businessman in and around Bhawa. They have hundreds of acres of land in their name today and have businesses which are vending money on daily basis, but don’t have a heart that their ‘Old Man’ needs the most.

That was the story and it was not fiction. That was the story of Mohan Lal and not just one Mohan Lal, as there are thousands and thousands of such Mohan Lal, betrayed by life and rejected by their own blood, who are now living a forced and desolated life, weeping for love and waiting for death.

The youths has grown but grown on to become two-faced. I, myself am of 23 and so I guess that makes me a YOUTH, too. But all I feel is disgusted, as if this is not hypocrisy than I wonder if the youths, like they have altered their definition of life and individuality, have also altered the word meaning of hypocrisy?

The story also appears in an online newspaper Youth Ki Awaaz

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Let Me Be

By Sadho Ram

I did not bleed my finger-tips blue to help wake the human race up from its deep slumber. Let it be as it is, I shall not do any good to it and shall also not wish that it be good to me. But I do ask for one thing –

‘Do not yank me out of my grave.’

Let me be there as I want to be or else I shall disregard all my vows and bend the tip of my fountain pen in such a way that the ‘blue in colour and rebellious in nature’ blood oozing out of it shall go down to the very roots of this somnolent human race and blemish it so bad… it shall be void of hope and beyond any repairs.

O’ world, it was not you who had to put up with the throbbing for 9 longs months and it was also certainly not you who had to be out day and night, cold and in scorching heat to earn the bread and butter so that I could be raised.

No, it was not you, O’ greedy-greedy world, it never was you!

She was my Mother. He was my Father.

Then why do you seek me when all I am, what I am for no one but for them?
Then why do you blame me when all I do, what I do for no damn one but for them?
And why should I pen for you when each time that I do, I do it for no one but for them?

Forgive me not, O’ opulent world, for I anyway do not seek your mercy, but you shall stop me not from writing about the misery and treachery, despair and about being unfair, death and about fallen faith, about illusions you create, and lies which you propagate.

And if you promise to do so, than I might also pen for your false assumptions about all those things... things which you think needs propagation.

Till you obey by your promise…

‘Let Me Be’

Saturday, May 8, 2010

GRPF- The Unholy Saints In Khaki.

By Sadho Ram

The digital clock at platform no. 3 of Lokmanya Tilak Terminus was precisely showing 20:35, when Jnaneswari Delx blew its final whistle and left for its destination – Howrah Jn. – a 31 hour long and tiring journey, for each and every passenger, in that scorching heat of may 2010, who was travelling in sleeper and general compartments.

To say that the sleeper and general bogies were jam-packed and over-stuffed would be an understatement.

People were sitting all over the train floor and few lucky ones were sleeping beneath the lower berths (a place used for keeping luggage), each berth was shared by 3 to 4 persons, every vestibule was cramped with more than 10 persons standing inside it,  and those who couldn’t find a place, took shelter inside the lavatories. It was as if the kumbh has moved from Banaras to Jnaneswari Delx. It was as if was the last train to heaven.

This is the usual scenario which goes on that train on daily basis but on that day it was mainly because of those hundreds of students who were going home on summer vacations.

Ah, home sweet home.

Nothing, absolutely nothing… excites more than the thought of going home to all those students who are forced to go to other distant cities in order to pursue better education for a better life.

But all those students knew not a damn thing about that law which dictates – when travelling via trains in India – there are these unholy saints who are dressed in khaki and are better known as GRPF – General Railway Protection Force – who are to be FED and SATISFIED fully for their pampered bellies in order to have a safe and relaxing journey till the sweet home arrives.

So those who are not aware of the law must be taught about it well and taught hard. And that’s how it happened.

After completing the 27 hours of its journey, 2010 – the Jnaneswari Delx – was hurriedly running towards its final destination, when around midnight, a station before Chagadarpur (in the Jharkhand region) the GRPF (about 12 in total) boarded the train. Now there was absolutely nothing wrong in that, they are the Protection Force and are supposed to board the trains at night to help protect the passengers from the thieves and thugs. But there was something on them which was not only wrong but was also against the rule.

None of them were wearing their nameplate on their chest. It was empty, to say they looked precisely like those fake Sadhus who sport long hairs and wears saffron coloured clothes and also carry their kamandal but forgets to have that one thing which makes a man a saint (Sadhu)- ‘Calmness of mind, body and soul.’

People, who noticed this, immediately knew what was going to happen. But apart from that what was more alarming that they were so heavily drunk that none of them was able to walk properly.

Few people from a certain society would ask, ‘so what’s the big fuss in that? They work 24x7x365 days, they are also human beings, can’t they have a drink or two to relax?’

No, they can’t! Not that they are not supposed to but because they are out their protecting the law, a law which has to be abided. And if they are allowed to drink on duty then it means that because they are from the system and anyone who is from the system has the righteous right to break the law first. I.e. if they desire to do so nothing should and could be done to them as they are out there protecting the law from non-system guys.

Just like the theory the ‘fake’ Sadhus believe in – that if they touch anyone while giving them blessings then their (Sadhus) good deeds and all the holiness will go to the person whom they touched while blessing them and so they refrain themselves from touching, of course, there’s always an exemption- so when it comes to blessing the young females they go out of their ways to bless them (if you have been feeding yourself with recent daily breaking news regarding the retarded godmans of our nation then you will not be having any problem understanding the message I am not clearly stating here).

Moving further ahead, what followed was not only disgusting and shocking but was sheer mockery of the law and system from its own mans.

The GRPF started picking up every second passenger who were either sleeping on the floor or was sharing a berth together. They then divided themselves in 4 groups and began their ‘search.’

The passengers knew what was in for them but couldn’t dare do or say anything as it would mean that they then had to go through those laws which the ‘Unholy Saints in Khaki’ invent.
Some of those ‘laws’ include – getting beaten down by thick wooden sticks, being stripped down in front of others, or worse going to jail for interrupting the so called bloody mandatory search.

These are just few of the lawful punishments which the ‘poor’ passengers face when they ask – ‘par humara gunaah ka hai, maalik, hum kiye ka hain?’ (But what is my fault, sir, what crime have I committed?)

But there’s a way out of it. If they pay the ‘fine’ charged by the GRPF guys, which ranges anything from 50 rupees to 100 to 200 and sometime even going to and above 300 rupees, that depending on the distance of the crime the passenger is committing in travelling via the train (even if they have a valid ticket and ID proof in some cases), they are then ‘let off’.

Of course, with a very sincere and lawful warning by the GRPF guys, that goes something like this – ‘Aage se kono sawaal na puchhiyo… je maange chup-chaap haatheliya me dhar diyo, nahi toh jaanat ho na, kanoon ke haath ketan lamba hot rahis?’  (From now on do not ask questions, whatever we demand, silently put the amount in our hands, or else you are aware of the fact that the hands of the law are how big?) – And then they would break into a mocking laughter.

The other passengers fearing that the same might happen to them doesn’t move from their place or even raise a voice, of course, all wide awake and witnessing the lawful ongoing. They just lie still and watch in horror. And their fear is very much justified, as those ‘Unholy Saints in Khaki’ are quite unbiased towards the ‘poor mango man’ in their quest to enlighten them with ‘their’ lawful wisdom on the activities that the Great Law of the so called Greatest Nation on earth Empowers them with.

And so that’s exactly what happened on that night in that train no: – 2101 – the Jnaneswari Delx – every passenger, who was ‘picked up’ ended up paying 100, 200 and 300 as ‘fine’ charged by the GRPF, because they were travelling ‘illegally’ with, of course, valid ticket. The ‘poor’ passengers who dared to argue with them were labelled as - ‘haraami, kutta, kamina and vagera – vagera (i.e. Bastard, Dog, Scoundrel and etc – etc).

The ‘Unholy Saints in Khaki’ got down at Tatanagar, of course, only after they had earned their ‘holiness’ of the night. The passengers who were looted by the man from the law went on grief mode and the passengers who weren’t, started abusing the poor, little GRPF and voicing out their personalised views on them.

Again certain few people from a certain society would say ‘they aren’t committing a crime, they are just doing their duty.’

So this means that the GRPF and other government officials who work as public servants are in the FORCE to ‘force’ the poor and innocent people pay for their low-paying 24x7x365 days job from whose salary they (the man from the system) daily drench themselves in alcohol but are unable to run their family so they go out and rob from the same people whose blood and sweat is being used to pay for their salary every month after month and month.

Then let those certain few people from a certain society decide – ‘if this is not crime than what is?’

This article is also published in a online newspaper YOUTH KI AWAAZ