Thursday, 29 December 2016

My Wanderings -5

                                           We can not deny the fact that great writers and artists have  indirectly brought  big revolutions  in this world. The French and Russian revolutions are glaring examples of  that.  Their role was not active, but they portrayed the facts of  life having remarkable similarities  with then prevailing society, which made the ordinary people aware of their condition as well as of others living with them. The depiction of  intimate realities of life on the piece of  paper  or canvass  is the essence of good literature or art. If a piece of art or literature is true to the vagaries of  life, it leaves an indelible mark on the minds of readers  to the extent that they rise against all the odds hampering their living conditions and growth. Why these writers rake up the dirt  in society and throw  it  everywhere to make all gloomy and sad. They do it deliberately to awaken the people, who are in deep slumber of ignorance and indifference towards their worst conditions created by few for personal gains.
It is well known fact   that good writers, painters, actors, singers and dancers are  acclaimed by every one, but  I personally feel that all credit should not go to them only and they only should not be  considered as artists. Every profession is contributing to society equally.  A good teacher,  a good engineer or a good accountant  is not also less than an artist. Art is usually attributed to excellence or perfection in any field and not  to any particular  trade or profession. Therefore, trade and profession does not matter, but what matters is excellence in that profession or trade.  Whosoever achieves excellence in his trade is an artist. A good mechanic or a good accountant is also a good artist in his field of occupation.
Even a housewife who is managing her household and children perfectly is also an artist par excellence because her contribution to  manage her home and children with devotion  is devoid of any pecuniary interest or motive of recognition.
                    Therefore, aim of every person should be to achieve excellence, if not perfection, in his profession. A person having aptitude for his trade should follow the technique of trade and try to achieve excellence in it with honesty.  He should not follow money or success. When he will  achieve excellence in his trade, money and success  will automatically follow him.
It is nice to see that good work or good  performance  of our players, Actors or writers is being recognized these days by giving awards to them. Army personal are also awarded decorations for doing some heroic deeds in wars or fighting  against terrorists.  Recognition of good performance of a player, musician or an actor is very important to acknowledge their hard work  and difficulties they faced to achieve the art.
The sacrifices made by our army personal  for Nation at the stake of their lives  can not also be ignored so easily.
Actually  heroism is a basic instinct  present in every  human being, which gets activated at the time of exigency of incident or as per the demand of event.  We have also  seen many incidents of  civilians also doing heroic jobs  by saving  the life of persons  from drowning  or many other accidents at the risk of their own lives. But army personnel  often get opportunity to show their bravery or valour and civilians get it rarely. Every ordinary person gets a chance ,at least once in life,  when the trait of heroism already present in him gets activated and he responds to  the situation with gallantry and great valour. But  how often this trait gets activated depends from person to person.
Once I had also a privilege of helping in  saving the life of a technician who was working at the site of construction of my house. He was engaged in floor work  with a grinder inside  my newly semi built  house. I was supervising the job of some other workers outside the house. In the meantime I heard a wailing shriek of technician and sound of some big object falling on the floor inside. A cold shrill passed through whole of my spine and  with out going inside to look into the matter, I immediately rushed to the switch board outside and switched off  the mains. In the mean time all other workers had reached inside and I followed them to witness a nerve racking scene. The technician was lying unconscious on the ground with the electric shock and the grinding machine was upside down. We immediately applied first aid and rushed for a doctor. The technician regained consciousness after lot of  hassle. His colleagues thanked me for saving his life. But I felt  it was a matter of chance that  a good sense prevailed upon me to act at the nick of time without any heroic impetus as it was not accomplished at the risk of my life.

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Thursday, 22 December 2016

My Wanderings - 47. Short Story No. 29. Old Crazy Lad and his Gramaphone

It was month of October in year 1984 and  Autumn  in Kashmir  was full in swing. The  earth was profusely  covered with crimson coloured withered Chinar leaves which made crunchy noise when trampled under the feet. The mild rays of sun were playing hide and seek through the tree tops which were in a striping  mode and  constantly shedding their  veil of leaves . In that serene atmosphere   I came across a strange person, who left an indelible mark on my mind for so many years to come . I was sitting on the  verandah of my friends house  While enjoying the mild sun rays caressing my body,  I could observe a person of average stature, listening to his Grama phone placed in front of him , sitting on the verandah of opposite  house and stealing glances towards me with a whimsical smile. I could not control my curiosity and enquired about him from my friend.  My friend with out making any reply to my query  stood up and asked me to accompany him. I followed my friend with out any questions. He took me near the person with Grama phone  and introduced him to me.
"He is Baitoth, my neighbour and  he has recently retired  from Public works Department as Head clerk." . Baitoth greeted me warmly and made us sit on the two  vacant chairs in front of him. 
After exchanging pleasantries with both of us, Baitoth pointed towards Grama phone playing in front of him and directly addressed  to me, " Do you recognise the voice". I shook  my head in confutation. 
"It is Manna dey's father singing. I have a huge collection of old songs lying inside my room"
I came to know first time  that Manna dey's father was also a famous  singer.  The Grama phone lying there was working manually. He had to wind the key of Grama phone  many times for listening songs. The each winding lasted for playing hardly  a single song . Then he had to rewind it again to listen another.
"I sometimes steal some  time from my daily schedule to listen these songs to satisfy my hobby, but usually I remain  busy with studies and cooking", said Baitoth. I thought he must be interested in reading novels etc.  After listening few songs , I took leave of Baitoth along with my friend.
Then my friend told me that he also does not know his real name. He is usually addressed as "Baitoth" by every one in the neighbourhood . Actually his wife died after the marriage of his only  daughter few years back and his daughter is now settled somewhere  in states with her family.  He   had to stop his education only after completing Matriculation due to untimely death of his father and look out for a job to sustain his mother and younger siblings. Now after retirement he is persuing   his studies. I was amazed to learn that he has  continued his studies after a long gap and that too  at this age.
Later on  I also came to know that his neighbours were making fun of him and used to call him by names like "old crazy  Lad" etc. in  his absence . But he used to visit  students around his neighbourhood who were also appearing for  the same exam  to exchange  notes and books with them. On the exam day he would  sit whole night preparing for his exam ,sometimes,  along with other nearby  students. I once noticed him carrying an  inkpot and few pens  in his hand while on his way to exam centre. He would always give a mischievous smile whenever  confronted by some acquaintance. Knowing fully well that most of people were making fun of him,  he never deterred  from his mission. His friends were mostly young boys and students of neighbourhood, who usually visited him for discussing exam strategies. After sometime I totally lost touch with him as my friend shifted from there to newly constructed house in   some other colony.
Many years later,  once I met Baitoth in Jammu after migration of our community from Srinagar. He apperead to me much younger and agile. He recognised me at once  and greeted me with the same mischievous smile. He told me that he is living in   rented  room near by. After talking  with him for some time  it transpired that he has completed his Master's degree at Srinagar.  Further  he confided to me that  it was a wish of his father that I  should complete my education .But he died much earlier when I was still a young Boy. Therefore I could not realise the wish of my father at right time. Sooner or later I was bound to realise the wish of my father. Now he was teaching migrant children at Muthi  camp free of cost. Some children of the community residing near by visited him at his rented accommodation also for private tuition, but he was not charging any fees for his services. The company of children and young students was a big reward for him in this lonely and forlorn life. He loved  their company  very much and considered them a great gift bestowed to him by almighty.
Now it was only few years back I came to know that Baitoth  had  finally visited  his daughter in  USA. His daughter was very happy to see her father after a long time. She was very much eager to show her father all the worth seeing places in states. She wanted to buy many gifts for him. But her father was not so particular to make any purchases there.  Once they entered an antique shop and his attention was attracted towards many old Grama phones lying there in a corner. He was thrilled to recognise his own Grama Phone which was also one among them.  He recognised his Gramaphone by his own initials  M.L.D. which he had himself engraved upon it. He was happy to see his Gramaphone again, which he had left  in his home  at Kashmir with his other belongings , while leaving his birthplace for good in the begining of 1990. He enquired about his Gramaphone from Shopkeeper,  but how his Gramaphone has reached from his home at Kashmir to this Antique shop in US remained a mystery for him. Now he wanted to repurchase his Gramaphone at any cost .He was enthusiastic like a child  when taken to a toy  shop. His daughter could   well understand   the emotional attachment of her father with his Grama phone.  She purchased the  Gramaphone  for her father at very exorbitant price. His father rejoiced to get his Gramaphone back.
Then after a lapse of  very short time  "Baitoth" while strolling  in the neighbour hood of his daughters House  stopped near another house  to look at the children playing there. But the landlord of the house got suspicious and  called for  the police,  who bullied "Baitoth" and roughed up with him so intensely  that he finally landed at Hospital and passed his last breath there.

Monday, 12 December 2016

My Wanderings - 46. Short Story No. 28 Little Lord with a Pince Nez

Neelkanth Safaya was virtually a man with English tastes. He was influenced by English language and culture to a great extent. After completing his graduation  in pre -partition days, he joined  as clerk in an English firm located at Residency Road Srinagar but became its Manager within a short span of time by the dint of his hard work and command over English language . Neelkanth was actually a man of short stature with a  fair complexion. He was also a man of attire and attitudes. In earlier days of his career he used to wear a  long English frock coat and breeches, which mismatched his personality and made him a laughing stock in the market. But with the change of fashion , he started wearing a three piece suit, which suited his personality very much. Moreover his dress accessories comprised of an English hat, a contrast coloured neck tie or a bow tie and a golden rimmed pince nez  loosely fitted on his eyes wth the support of his nose alongwith a small cane with a golden head engaging  fingers of his  small right hand.
He used to come  daily at sharp half past nine from some obscure lane, in the above-said  attire, to  reach near an  open space beyond  Habba kadal chowk to drive his small car which was parked there due to shortage of parking space at his residence. Moreover lane heading towards his residence was very narrow to afford the passage of even a small car. No body could question about a small or big car and even make of car, as mere possession of a car was a mark of affaulance  those days.
However, Neelkanth was a man of principles and highly disciplinarian . He could never afford to take lightly any type of indiscipline   especially  at the  place of his  work. Once calling the explanation of one of his subordinates , he gave him in writing that his attitude smacks of insubordination and impertinence, with a copy to Head office , which cost dearly to the later and after much persuasion he could save his job.
In addition to his job Neelkanth was a voracious  reader. He was having Intrest in subjects like literature , philosophy and psychology. He had made a small library in the balcony of the  upper story of his house, which he called study in English style. Latter on he developed Intrest in Homeopathy and started practising Homeopathy from his study. He helped many chronic patients by his treatment. He was also interested in Astronomy. He could be seen looking towards stars for hours together through his imported telescope installed in his study. He also listened to news through his ear phone Radio and read newspapers to remain conversant with the day to day affairs. Sometimes he favoured the authority and sometimes he flouted it as per his choice and ideology.
Most of the people used to visit him for writing  their drafts and applications. He used to oblige them free of cost. While making the drafts he used to murmur , people write 'Indian English' but I write 'English English'. Once listening to a speech of English man, Neelkanth objected to his speech and told  him directly, "Don't try to conceal facts by  impressing  me by your knowledge of English vacabulary, I know enough of it ".It was to the amusement of audience and amazement of the orator.
He used to visit hotels and cinemas with his family frequently which was not much in vouge those days.
Inspite of all his virtues , he was having only one vice that was his dominating personality. The victim of this
Trait of his personality was his wife and elder son. He used to take all their decisions himself. He never let them grow independently . They were dependent on his decisions . He always  nourished a dream to visit his much cherished country Britain. As he was much occupied in his job, he wanted to realise his dream through his son. He sent his son to Britain for studying medicine  to the much reluctance of the later. But his son had never learned to disobey his father, he was left with no other alternative but to realise the wish of his father. Neelkanth was much interested to see his son as a thorough English gentleman rather than a Doctor. His son got established as a Doctor in London and married an English lady there. He never returned back to India as he did not want to remain under the dominance of his father again.
After so many years , Neelkanth also got a chance to visit his son at London. He was shocked to see that concept  of English gentry, which he had cherished  through out his life, has  vanished altogether. The Indians were also as good as English men. Moreover his son looked  more traditional Indian wearing Dhoti and Kurta in London and his English daughter in-law was clad in an Indian sari. He and his wife had joined Hare Rama , Hare Krishna mission established at London. They were much satisfied with eastern culture and rituals that Neelkanth could not believe his eyes and remained in bewilderment to witness the topsy turvy of his much cherished ideology.

Monday, 7 November 2016

My Wanderings - 45 Short Story No. 27. How People Live by

Manmohan Nath Dhar and Preduman Krishen Warikoo hereinafter referred as  MM and PK  respectively were good old friends and neighbours living together since many generations in two separate houses sharing a common compound   and a  single small  gate opening beneath the house of MM called pilav in Kashmiri  . It was most congested area near   Purshyar   Habbakadal locality Srinagar. Both MM and PK had same schooling and graduated through same college in Srinagar in year 1963. But MM joined AG's office and PK joined some scheduled  Bank. They were  even married in the same year. They had very good family relations and had shared all the ethos and pathos of life characterising spirit of culture and era as manifested in  community aspirations and sadness  with each other. At the time of mass migration of community from Srinagar both friends had not finished  their domestic obligations fully. Pk had married only one of his daughter and Mm had not married any of his children comprising of a son and a daughter . In the early months of Year 1990, they decided to leave Srinagar for Jammu in view of ongoing turmoil in the valley. After reaching Jammu and remaining there as tenents for some time , both friends had to  separate  as Mm was transferred to Jaipur and Pk to Chandigarh. In the mean time both the friends settled themselves at respective places,  retired and married their children. Therefore, they were not able to  meet each other for a quarter of  a century.
It was quite recently Pk visited Jaipur to meet his old friend Mm who had become bed ridden because of orthopaedic and other health related problems. After exchanging pleasantries  and greeting each other they started reminiscing about the college days.
"Pk, do you remember Sheela  our class mate", said Mm
"Yes why not, she was so beautiful that you were drawn towards  her from head to heals", replied Pk. "Do you remember,   once our Biology teacher defined   Protoplasm as the physical basis of life ". said Mm.
Yes absolutely , and how teacher reprimanded you when you added  Love to it. You defined Protoplasm as the physical basis of life as well as love, retorted back Pk.
"Those were really the days of fun and frolic even though our families were not so economically well off. We were living from hand to mouth.but now we are living from mouth to the end of alimentary canal. As we are very much precarious about our food habits and suffer from chronic constipation.", said Mm
Not only constipation, blood pressure blood sugar and prostrates is so rampant in this age, replied Pk.
Mm had become virtually immobile due to health problems which had perhaps developed because he was living  with his son,  who was caring his father and whole of family.Mm had left all the responsibilities on his son. His son would take him to Doctor, if required. Some times his son would  help his father in taking  a bath. Perhaps nature conspired against Mm by  giving  him  diseases keeping in mind that there was somebody to look after him.
On the other hand Pk was living all alone with his wife as his daughters were living in respective homes. Pk had full responsibility of a  householder. He could not afford to skip the duty as a housekeeper  and looking after his wife. He was always on move. Sometimes he had to drive himself to take his wife to a Doctor.There was no one other than himself in his home,  who could shoulder his responsibilities . Therefore, Pk was bestowed with a good health by nature.
Either a person can remain fit and healthy in this world by involving himself into various jobs or it is the work of nature that takes care of How people live by in this world.

Monday, 24 October 2016

My Wanderings - 44 Short Story No. 26. Penance unrealised

Kalpana was feeling depressed  as her Daughter in law had left her home alongwith her belongings after having a fight with her husband. It was not for the first time that she had left her  home, but several other times also  she had indulged in the same gimmicks since Kalpana had arrived to live with her only son after her retirement from the service .  Earlier two times  kalpana had  send her son  to bring her  daughter in law back home  from  her parents house. But this time her daughter in law had given her ultimatum that she will not return back and Kalpana was not also in a  humour of sending her son to bring her back.
While still in gloom , Kalpana's attention was attracted towards a Hindi film song being played on her  audio device , which was still on without  her knowledge.
"Mai jab bee akeli hoti hnoo, beete din yaad ajate hai'
Whenever I am alone, I feel  nostalgiac.
In the reverie of melodious film song she could reminisce the days of her youth, when she was a student of law at university of Kashmir. Those were really her golden days. She was actually  a spectacle of grace and beauty blended together with a freshness of youth. She was intelligent and bold. She used to take active part in games, dramas  and debates whenever held in the university  campus. Moreover, she was offered important  roles  in  dramas and telefilms  being played by  Radio and TV stations of Srinagar respectively. But she was not able to accept all the roles due to the constraint of time. Many male students of university were intrested in her. But she began to take Intrest in one of her class fellows's who was equally intelligent and charming like her . Actually they came much closer while participating in extra curricular activities at university. But they got married only after completing their studies and getting good jobs and that too with the mutual consent of their parents. Her husband Ashok was really a gem of a person who loved Kalpana to the hilt and never let her feel the separation from  her  parents. But Kalpana never got swayed away  by the wind of love and affection shown by her husband. She was aware of all her family traditions and values. Therefore, she proved most humble and obedient daughter in-law and a wife. After few years of her marriage she gave birth to a lovely and charming male baby. She felt very proud of being a mother and left no stone unturned to nurture him nicely.
The life was going on like a fairy tale with  Cinderella
and her Prince charming living in a dream house with their little cutie pie, when tregedy struck their dream house like a thunderstorm. Ashok husband of Kalpana died in a road accident. It was just like a bolt from the blue for the entire family. She could not bear the separation of her husband. She lost all Intrest in life. But she was advised by her well-wishers that she has to live for her son and move ahead in her life. In the mean time she was transferred to Pune after migration of our community from Srinagar. In a mad rush of forming nuclear families after migration , Kalpana did not lost touch with her in law's. Her in laws visited her mostly and remained with her for months together. She remained in touch with her brother's in law and sister's in law and their families constantly. Her main  aim in life was to look after her  son, which she did brilliantly. It was the result of  her perseverance and a complete penance that her son became a thorough gentleman and a person of  high character with traditional  values . After completing his studies he got a very good job at Mumbai. Later on he was married to an educated girl who was also the only child of her parents.  
After retirement, Kalpana left her place of posting and joined her Son and daughter in law  at Bombay to live with them for the rest of her life. She also offered them her life's savings and superannuation benefits so that they can purchase a flat in their name. The flat was purchased in the name of her son and daughter in law
after availing bank loan and utilising almost all the savings of Kalpana as margin money.
It was only few months after entering the new house , daughter in law of Kalpana began to  show signs of dissidence and de satisfaction  with her in-laws and started living with her parents.
Kalpana spent her whole life  craving for a relation, but her daughter in law was abandoning a relation for the sake of her  ego.

Friday, 14 October 2016

My Wanderings - 43. Short story No. 25. Signs of Life

To  day Brij Mohan was feeling so exhilarated and thrilled . He could feel his heart beats very eloquent  and fast ,which was most unbecoming of him at the advanced age of seventy three years,  that   he was about to cross. Once in his adolescent age also his heart used to beat  so loudly often, that he became  skeptical about it  and had to consult a Doctor. Doctor after checking him thoroughly advised him not to worry about it as heart beats which he is skeptical about are actually signs of life. If God forbid heartbeats stop, there will be no life anymore . But today's  beating of heart was not with out any reason. To day he  had an encounter with his first love of life in the common room of Old Age Home at Jammu which he had recently joined after undergoing   prolonged miseries   and forlornness  during his stay at USA in general and  after the death of his wife thereat in particular.
Both the daughters of BrijMohan were actually settled in USA. He after his retirement from  a public sector job, wanted to settle himself at Jammu alongwith his wife. He had already purchased a house at jammu as he wanted to remain in touch with his relatives and community members. At the insistence of his wife, Brijmohan used to  visit his children in USA once in two three years. But after the birth of their grandchildren Brijmohan  was compelled by his daughters  to join them permanently  in USA. After spending some years in USA with his grandchildren, Brijmohan began to feel homesick. He was fed up with the monotonous and aimless life there.  He could feel his pulse very low and even missed  a beat sometimes. But Doctors advised him that all his clinical tests were o.k.and he was not suffering from any heart ailment .  He wanted to return to his roots but his wife appeared very satisfied  with children and never agreed with the proposal of her husband. Then only after death of his wife due to cancer , Brijmohan decided to  return to his native land and leave USA for ever. He remained in his house at jammu for some time. But on the advise of his well-wishers , he hired a room in Old Age Home at jammu, so that he will be looked after better  by the attendants and Doctors available there.
Yes she was Veena, his first love when they were studying in college together. It was very difficult to recognise her. No body could beleive, except Brijmohan that a simple old woman could have been once a paragon of beauty. She could not recognise Brijmohan at the first instance,  but it was he who  introduced himself to her. After a long deliberation she could recognise him, which was evident  by her greeting him with a smile and a familiar blush occuring on her wrinkled face. She told Brijmohan that after the death of her husband, she was compelled to come here as she had no  children to look after her. Her only daughter died very young when she had to deliver her first baby. The baby also could not survive.Then It became a daily schedule for Brijmohan to spend some time with Veena and look after her necessities . It was neither sentimental involvement of adolescent age nor even platonic love but a feeling of joy to meet an old acquaintance or a companion with a streak of nostalgia. It was perhaps to fulfil their psychological urge of mutual understanding and companionship which in simple terms can be called  friendship.
It was not only Veena but he came across with several other acquaintances  by and large . They all were his friends relatives or colleugues .One day he discovered that one of his own cousin Bushan Lal was also living in the same dwelling. They were having some ancestral property dispute  case lying pending in the court of Law at Srinagar for long ,which got resolved automatically when they had to sell their house after migration  of Hindu community from Kashmir  through mutual attorney. He also met one of his colleagues Chaman Lal , who had many times taken credit of his good work and conspired against him to his disadvantage in office. Both of them were feeling apologetic towards Brijmohan. But Brijmohan accepted them with an open heart  and never let them feel embarrassed. Moreover, it was Brijmohan who took the lead in greeting and exchanging  pleasantries with them. If someone remains confined to himself and will not go to people voluntarily, no body is bothered to go after him even if  he is a celebrity . When a person wants to maintain relations he has voluntarily to come forward to engage others.
Slowly Brijmohan won the heart of all the inmates of old age home as he began to take Intrest in their lives and helping them in their problems. He initiated in arranging cultural programmes and picnics at Old Age Home.  Brijmohan found a purpose in life. He was successful in wiping the tears from the gloomy faces of some of the  inmates. He inculcated a sense of comradeship and unity in them. They were always ready to help each other. They learnt not  to consider  others as obstruction or intrusion in their way but an opportunity for  providing  a space in their lives  to accommodate them. All the inmates of house could  now feel their heart beats prominently.  Brijmohan recently celebrated his 80th birthday. He is Hale and hearty. He has a proper schedule in life. He goes for long walks early in the morning with other inmates of old age home. He exercises daily and reading and writing has become his passion. He spends evenings in the company of his friends. He is constantly in touch with his daughters in USA through internet and telephone. Whenever his daughters visit India, he shifts to his own house at Jammu and lives with them for a month or so. But whenever her daughters insist him on  visiting America, his heart starts beating slowly and even sometimes he misses a beat.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

My Wanderings - 42. Short Story No. 24. The Secret of Madhsudan's Success

Those were the best of times. Those were the worst of times. The best of times because of the existence of human values , Love , faith and mutual respect  in the society. The worst of times in the sense that poverty and helplessness alongwith dearth and scarcity was rampant everywhere and even  ruled the roost.
Madhsudan Raina a small boy of twelve years then,  lost his father. He  had just completed his primary education and was dreaming of entering a  High school, when the tregedy befell on the family. His mother was desperate with grief. His other siblings a younger brother and a sister were too young to comprehend the gravity of   loss. His father was a titular employee in some Govt. Department, living from hand to mouth   in a small dilapidated ancestral house at Habbakadal and had not left anything for unforeseen contingencies of such nature. The people were not aware of terms like life insurance and compensation those days.
Hardly  after completing the days of mourning, Madhsudan was left with no other alternative but to leave the studies and look out for a job. One of his distant relatives helped him and got him appointed as a cleaner cum conductor  in a local Bus stand. His job was multifaceted. He had to leave his home early in the morning and reach transport yard and clean the buses in company of other small urchins of his age. Then after Drivers arrival he had to collect passengers for near by destinations, wherever the bus was scheduled to travel. He had to yell the name of destination several times  loudly to attract  passengers untill the bus was overloaded. Then he had to issue tickets and collect money from passengers. He had also to help the Driver in case of wheel puncture or any other fault developed in vehicle. In addition to this, he had also to work as personal attendant of Driver. He had to arrange for Drivers  food and booze. The  vehicle was plied  several times on the same route and in the evening, Madhsudan  had to handover all cash to the driver. The Driver used to give him a paltry sum of money on daily basis with which Madhsudan could feed his family. He would generally reach his home very late in the evening. Moreover, Drivers abuse and thrashing on filmsy issues had become a normal course of his life.
One night Driver abused  and beat little Madhsudan for no fault of later in a fit of frenzy after taking booze in excess and forgot to pay him his daily wages. Madhsudan felt very forlorn and desperate. While travelling towards his home on foot from Amirakadal  he entered Ganpatyar temple and sat in a corner with his head resting on his folded arms and began to weep intensely . After sometime he felt that somebody's heavy  hand on his head. He instantly looked upwards and was surprised to see an elderly man draped in a long 'firan' the bottom of which was touching  his ankles and wearing  a white turban on his head as headgear . The forehead of gentleman was pasted with vermilon and he was looking very affectionately towards Madhsudan. He sat besides Madhsudan and enquired about his whereabouts. Madhsudan told him everything about himself and ended his speech saying
Sir, I feel very dejected and desperate and sometimes I feel like ending my life
Old man said, " My dear son listen. These are the phases of life. If this is the bad phase of your life , good phase can not be far behind. Have patience,  leave negativity and have positive attitude  towards life. Self pity is the most damaging feeling in a person. If a person falls down in his own eyes, no one can help him to come out of it. You should be grateful to the nature for  whatever little he has provided to you and express gratitude for it. Start dreaming for yourself and your family. Nature will help you to realise your dreams. Nature has bestowed this universe with fortunes for every indudival born. But unfortunately most of the persons shut the windows and doors of their minds and fortunes after knocking their doors return back. If you  keep a positive attitude towards life  and express  gratitude for whatever little you have, Nature will bestow you with all the riches and fortunes of universe.
But sir, I don't want to become rich. Rich people are very wicked like my boss, retorted back Madhsudan. " No my Son you are mistaken" said the old man, "All the rich men are not wicked, exceptions may ofcourse be there, but most of the rich men have got the fortunes by keeping open the doors of their mind with positivity.
After saying this  old man took leave of Madhsudan and advised him to go home.
Madhsudan pondered over the advise of old man for days together but could not understand it fully. Then he wrote it down on a piece of paper and got it framed and kept it in his room. Whenever , he felt dejected with life, he would read the sagacious words of old man and try to find out its meaning. After some years, the life of Madhsudan began to show many positive changes. He himself became a Driver and  got married. He educated his siblings and also married them off.Then he purchased a Bus and constructed a new house for his family. Time passed and he became a Transporter,  owning a fleet of buses and trucks which were  plying on national highway from Srinagar to Jammu and vice versa . He also became the President of Kashmir Motor Drivers Association and  was a well known personality in political circles.
Though Madhsudan was not highly educated, but he was very intelligent and his suggestion always carried a weight. He was a personification of confidence and positivity blended together.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

My Wanderings - 41. Short Story No. 23. Sentence Revoked

Suresh Dhar was a person  to be reckoned with. He could not be ignored so easily. There was something charismatic about his personality that every one got attracted towards him. He was a man of average stature having a slim  body , fair complexion   with handsome and sharp features emanating an air of decency and smartness. He was a personification  of intelligence and wisdom blended together in a fair mix. He  always dressed immaculately with a streak of Irish style. He was also having  a jovial and extrovert nature and he greeted everybody with open heart. Perhaps his nature added more to his personality than his physique.  He was brought up by his parents   in much discipline rather than pampering ,  which he otherwise  deserved being the only child born in a well to do family. After completing engineering and doing job for some time, he started his own business which picked up nicely. He married a sweet natured and graceful lady, who was a Doctor by profession. She gave birth to two lovely kids a boy and  a girl. The life of Suresh was moving smoothly and his business was also picking up nicely. He was  also able to make a good property  and resources. While achieving milestones in his business , he remained much humble. He never let success  go to his head and always accepted his accomplishments with  humility. He had all the virtues and he was devoid of any vices. He was a nonsmoker and a teetotaller.
While returning from one of his business trips from America, he felt some gastric problem as food thereat did not suit him well. After taking treatment from his wife for sometime, he consulted a Gastroenterologist , who advised him for some pathological and diagnostic tests. It was to the utter shock of family and patient himself, that  tests revealed malignancy of liver and that too of last stage. It was really a bolt from blue which jolted the nerves of whole family. Doctor advised  that Suresh will  survive only  for six months more despite of all the remedies deployed   against the disease in the shape of chemotherapy or any other alternative cures utilised.
A cold shrill passed through the spine of Suresh. His nerves  shattered. He felt as if Doctor had announced a death sentence  to him. He felt his whole body ripping apart. He preferred the death due to  accident or heart attack because it kills suddenly with out torturing one psychologically. He thought of his parents, his wife and his children. How they will suffer with out him. He could conceive their wailing faces. The agony writ large on their faces made Suresh more desperate.  He had to face many challenges in business but this challenge appeared to him  impassable. He felt helpless and deserted by the vagaries of fate. He could not reconcile with the reality of life. He felt scared of approaching death and more of the thought of it. The thought of something  inevitable to happen in life is more torturous than the real  happening of event . The train of  negative thoughts continued to take toll of his already distraught nerves and thereby making him more miserable and meek.
Then  a new thought struck his mind, if some miracle happened and he survived . How he will live his life with new perception?. He will feel grateful to the lord and express gratitude for every minute of it. Then he could reminisce  the incidents of his past life. The nostalgia made him more desperate and restless. He could not control his thoughts anymore. He wanted to forget everything. More he thought about his future or past more remorseful he became. He wanted to get rid of  his  all thoughts. When he perceived that it was not possible he wished  to die instantly so that these thoughts do not torment him anymore. Instant death could atleast relieve him from present tension.
The treatments continued in succession . He suffered much due to various treatments of chemotherapy, surgeries and radio therapies for months together. He was virtually reduced to Skelton. The therapies made him  look haggard with  sunken eyes and  he totally lost his hair. Alternative therapies also continued with the regular  ones. With the elapse of six months Suresh began to accept the reality of his life. He gained some confidence and will power and  he wanted to live more. He began to console his wife and old parents. The thought of death could not scare him any more now. He  developed a divine outlook and a stoic attitude towards life. After some time   Doctors were surprised to note  unexpected levels of  recovery in the health of Suresh as revealed by  his  latest diagnostic test reports. Years elapsed ,therapies stopped  and Suresh could feel that God has perhaps renewed the lease of his life for some  years more.
After elapse of ten years of this incident, Suresh is still alive and in good health. He sometimes  shares the  experiences of his bad days with his close friends only, which prompted me to write this story, perhaps for the benefit of those patients who are still suffering from this  dreaded disease and  on reading this may take  heart again.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

My wanderings - 40. Short Story No. 22. The Crime of Lambhodhar Bakaya

Lambhodhar was perhaps born in the beginning of twentieth century in a small two storey dilapidated house situated on a narrow  lane of Batyaar mohalla in Alikadal area opening towards river Jehlum  ghat adjacent to temple.  His father had a small kiryana shop in the same lane which was the only  source of his income to   support a large family. Lambhodhar was born after his mother had already given birth to five daughters one after another in succession with a desire to get a son. Although Lambhodhar was brought up with much pampering but dearth and  poverty hovered the household throughout his childhood and youth. When Lambhodhar completed Matriculation four of his sisters were already married. He wanted to do something innovative so that he can support his  family nicely. He got a Govt job  but after working in Govt for few years Lambhodhar renovated the shop of
his father and started the business on large scale with him. He also started money lending business. When the business picked up, Lambhodhar left the job and devoted himself wholeheartedly towards family business and money lending. He was very  eager to make money and status and therefore, he never looked back. In the meantime his last sister  got married and his parents were now eager to marry  Lambhodhar also. Lambhodhar was fortunate enough to marry a very wise and beautiful girl who became an inspiration for Lambhodhar to work harder and realise his dream of becoming a rich man with a status in society. He was now a perfect moneylender, who was well acquainted with the tricks of  his trade.He could make a large property and money. Only tregedy in his life was that his wife could not bear a child for him. He was however , advised by his well wishers to adopt a child but he was not interested in that.
As the business of Lambhodhar was expanding day by day,  he was not able to manage cash and pledged  jewellery as Banking system was not much in vouge those days. He was however,  carrying cash and jewellery to his home on daily basis and ensuring its custody in a safe kept thereat.There were only  one or two branches of Bank that too located far away near Amira Kadal during those days. Moreover, Lambhodhar was also skeptical  about the functioning of Banking system. He thought about it as a direct intrusion on his trade. But as he grew old,  one day on the advise of his well wisher , he was compelled to open a Bank account with the major amount of  his earnings I.e. Rupees one lakh, a huge amount those days. He also deposited some jewelleries in the  Bank in the form of  Bank Safe custody as lockers were not available those days. It was the jewellery  usurped by him  from  his defaulter borrowers. 
After depositing his prize possession,  Lambhodhar reached his residence feeling restless. He could not sleep the whole night. He was not sure about the safety of his valuables at bank. He considered Bank employees careless and incompetent to guard his valuables. He repented over his decision and cursed his well wisher who gave him this useless suggestion. He made it a point to guard his valuables himself also in addition to Bank staff. He started visiting the bank daily on foot from Alikadal  to Amirakadal after Banking hours to ensure that Main Gate of Bank was properly locked. In this exercise he used  to fondle the Lock with his hands. This exercise of Lambhodhar remained unnoticed for several days. But one day he reached the Bank earlier than usual. The Bank people were still loitering nearby after locking the Bank door. They noticed an old man fiddling with the Bank Lock. They became suspicious and caught hold of him and informed police. The Lambhodhar had to spent a full night at Police station. This incident left a deep impact over the nerves of Lambhodhar. He could not sleep the whole night he spent in the police station. The reality of life dawned upon him. Though he was not guilty but he felt the guilt taking possession of him. He was not guilty of tampering the lock of Bank but he felt guilty of tampering the lives of thousands of his clients who took loan from him and pledged their valuables for it, which they could not redeem later on even after paying to him heavily in terms of Intrest and service. They were the people of his society and community, even his relatives who were poor  and deseperate like his father. He in order to make a fast buck altered their  peaceful life by adding misery to it. He had lost  all business ethics and tampered with Intrest rates of accounts of his clients taking due advantage of their illiteracy and innocence. Now he wanted to redeem his guilt.
Next day when Branch Agent visited the Police Station, he was surprised to see Lambhodhar Bakaya, a valued customer of Bank as culprit. He sought apologies from Lambhodhar and arranged for his immediate release.
After his release, Lambhodhar Bakaya took back possession of his Jewellery items from Bank   and tried to locate their bona fide owners or their kiths and  kins by searching his own ledgers and was successful in returning the most of them.
Mr Bakaya never felt the need of making premature payment of his Fixed Deposit of Rupees one lakh, which was huge amount those days ,in his life time. It was only reinvested several times. But after the death of both Mrs Bakaya and Mr Bakaya in quick succession and after receiving no claim from anybody, Bank transferred the amount to Unclaimed Depositors account with due notice to Reserve Bank of India.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

My Wanderings - 39. Short Story No 21 The Dilemma of a Diplomat

Omkar Nath Kaul, popularly known as O.N.Kaul was a well known personality  in diplomatic circles and also famous  beyond  corridors and hierarchy of external affairs ministry of the country. He was even posted on senior positions  in many embassies of India located in various foreign  countries .  He started his career from a humble background. His father was a primary school teacher with a large family to support. Omkar was third child amongst the family of four  brothers and three sisters. His father was not able to provide all his children a better future but Omkar was an exception. He was extraordinarily intelligent and by the dint  of his  hard work  and patorn age  of some  community members already established  in New Delhi,  he  could  realise his dream of qualifying IFS, unlike his other siblings who had to remain contended with the circumstances and to eat a humble pie.
Omkar also got a wife from an affluent family who was a little arrogant right from beginning and  hardly tried to maintain relations with her in-laws. Omkar mostly remained posted outside his native state and
even in foreign countries. Therefore, in a rush to create  his  resourcefulness   in higher circles, he could not also keep much track of his roots. In earlier years of his career some old acquaintances and  relations visited him to seek some help from him in the alien environs of capital then, but after observing indifferent attitude of Omkar and his wife, they hardly visited him thereafter. In the meantime he remained busy in making his career and building  resources . He learned the tricks of his trade and achieved excellence in International laws and techniques associated with it. He was consulted   even by his seniors often and  accompanied them  when ever there were bilateral treaties or negotiations with other countries.  It was by virtue of his resourcefulness  and using his good offices ,he also managed to purchase a huge property comprising of few apartments in New Delhi and a farm house near Shimla. His children, a son and a daughter also got the opportunity of  getting better education earlier in India and later on in foreign countries. They also got married as per their choice and  settled  there
Mr Kaul after retirement from active service could not reconcile with  retired life and therefore, joined again some MNC on very senior position after completing the necessary time  gap between the two jobs  giving due cognisance to law. In the mean time his wife died   due to heart ailment. After the death of his wife, his health deteriorated tremendously and  he was advised by Doctors to take due care of his health if he wanted to live more. Finally he decided to leave the job and live in serene atmosphere of his farm house near Shimla despite  of the fact that both his son and daughter advised him to join them at  their places.
He however, employed a local lad of the village in the age group of early twenties to look after himself and his farm house. His name was Mohan and being a country lad, he was very simple and full of dreams as per his age. He worked very sincerely and proved very helpful to Mr.Kaul. Mr Kaul liked his company very much. After few years the health of Mr. Kaul deteriorated further. His body became very weak and frail and he was not able to move with out the  help  of Mohan.His body muscles became very thin  and his skin appeared loosely dangling from his fragile bones. He was in possession of everything,  nature's bounty as well as all the materialistic gadgets. But his  personal faculties failed him to enjoy the same. He could not enjoy a bite of apple from his farm because of his weak teeth. He could not enjoy the chirp of birds or buzz of early breeze because he was hard of hearing now. A little cool air would ache his bones to the hilt. All the money and property amassed so far, appeared to him of little value as compared to good health, which he had taken for granted through out his active career. He sometimes envied the good health of Mohan, which he considered the real wealth now. He desired to live a poor man's life with good health and youth. He sometimes conceived to barter all his fortunes with Mohan against his healthy body and young age .  It would have been a good bargain. He was perhaps in dilemma.  He could reminisce that almost all his wishes of youthful days had been realised but against a huge cost that he had to pay for it in terms of his health and age. He wished now to un realise his dreams and get his health and youth back.   But  on the other hand Mohan was full of dreams. He wanted to make money and property in his life. He also wanted to make name  and  fortune like  Mr Kaul, who was his ideal.  He was also taking his good health and youth for granted.
One day Mohan said to Mr Kaul, 'sir I have heard that you are having very Good connection in New Delhi, can't you recommend me for a Govt. job'
Mr Kaul was stunned by this question of Mohan. He could most easily adjust him somewhere but he felt helpless in his absence.  He most sincerely wanted to help Mohan, but his mere existence was in peril with out him. Therefore, he could not reply him properly. This question of Mohan haunted Mr. Kaul for several days and finally he took a decision . He sent for his lawyer and changed his will and transferred the  property rights of Farm House to Mohan after his death.
Mohan most loyally worked with Mr Kaul till his death. Then Mohan changed the farm house into a Guest house as per the dictates of Mr. Kaul, which became a source of livelihood for him afterwards.
Any reader going to Shimla can still enquire about the Omkar Guest House, which is  fifty kms away from it towards north.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

My Wanderings - 38. Short story No. 20. The Woman

It was a sullen morning of rainy season with clouds still hovering over the sky adding gloom to the already melancholic atmosphere near a two storey house in a congested locality. A body of a woman covered with white sheet of cloth was lying in a pool of blood adjacent to the compound fence surrounded by police personal and people from neighbourhood. The police was busy in collecting evidences on spot and trying to preserve them. After listening to the rumours of surrounding people it transpired that victim had perhaps fell down from upper storey of  her house in  mid of the night  and died instantly. She had however,  left a suicide note absolving her husband from any criminal charge which could point a finger towards him. The police was still interviewing the husband who was the only person present in the house at the time of accident as the couple had no children. The husband appeared very meek and distraught.
She was a woman, a woman in real sense with all woman like virtues  and devoid of any womanish disqualifications. She was very beautiful and fair  always adorning a smile on her bright face exhibiting  sparkling white jewels in her mouth. She was very lively intelligent and quick witted. She was ambitious and articulate emanating an  aura of positiveness through her personality. It appeared as if she belong to this whole universe and vice versa. She got married to her husband twenty years back  to the jubilance of  one and all and it was an arranged marriage. She was a working woman and very popular in her office due to her lively and helpful nature. She helped in providing every thing to her family a good house, property etc.  except a child.
Her husband was a little introvert type of man and he never liked the admiration of his wife by others so often. He began to feel a sense of inferiority complex in front of his wife because he was not worth to match her qualities. In order to overcome his shortcomings he began to dominate and torment his wife oftenly. He was always trying to find a pretext to hurl abuses on her. He often boasted of his manliness that he knows how to control his wife. But it was not his manliness,  it was male ego and lust that possessed him. He could never realise the true value of his virtuous wife.
His wife tried very hard to maintain the relation and reconciled on every step which lessened the friction between the two and saved the relation for a long time. But he always criticised his wife and never admired her good work.
On the material day he had a good fight with her on some flimsy ground and he addressed her as a 'whore' and a 'bitch'. He  spared no adjective of infamy and noterioty to insult and humiliate her that day. She felt very much dejected and with out saying a word went to sleep in another room. He could never guess that some misfortune is going to fall on the house that night as these fights had become  very common between the two. But no body can forecast the vagaries of fate, time and mind which topsy turvy the whole situation.
In the midnight she awoke and could not reconcile with the insult and humiliation which her husband had inflicted  upon her. She wrote a suicide note and jumped from the window of her room.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

My Wanderings - 37. Short story No.19. One day in the life of Niranjan

Niranjan  was  a very disciplined person  right from his childhood. His father died when he was  very young, barely a small boy of fifteen years  and being elder than his other siblings, who  comprised of  two sisters and a brother, he was forced to leave his studies only after completing  matriculation and look out for a job. He started with many menial jobs  such as a domestic help, shop Assistant  etc. and finally he got job as a clerk in Govt. Department, which eased his tension of looking after his family with an assured income. He allowed to continue the study of his two sisters and a brother. He would take all family decisions in consultation with his mother who was very practical and sagacious lady.  With the passage of time his sisters completed their education and after looking out for their jobs, he married them.  As his brother could not do well in studies, Niranjan helped him to open a provision store with Bank loan. Niranjan was a role model for his other siblings as they loved and respected him very much. Finally after much persuasion of his mother, Niranjan also  got  married to  a nice and homely girl. The wife of Niranjan was very dedicated person like her husband. She helped much in keeping the family sanctity intact till the  wife of younger brother of Niranjan arrived at the home, who appeared not be  a  very good lady. She left the house within a year of her marriage to live in a seperate dwelling with her husband, who by now had become a very shrewd businessman.
In the meantime Niranjan's wife had given birth to two children a son and a daughter. When they were small kids, their mother died of cancer which shattered the life of Niranjan once again. However,  his old mother helped him a lot to bring up the children.   Then the migration of his community from Srinagar to Jammu due to turmoil added many difficulties in his life. After the death of his mother at Jammu,  Niranjan had to rear his children singlehandedly. It is an old saying that fortunes and misfortunes are the order of life which everyone has to face with a fair mix . But misfortunes always overweighed the fortunes in the life of Niranjan.
However, Niranjan brought up his children with great difficulty but left no stone unturned  to give them best education and never compromised with their carrier. His son became a Doctor and his daughter an engineer. With the passage of time  both got married as per their choice. But his son and daughter in law both being Doctors remained  with Niranjan at Jammu in a house which latter had constructed. After some time Niranjan retired from Govt.  service as Section officer. As Niranjan had worked overtime at home and office throughout his life, he began to feel gloomy and lonely after retirement. Moreover, Niranjan never found any  time, through out his life, to  cultivate in himself,  a hobby  to pursue after retirement.
Then one day, while strolling in a park early in the morning, Niranjan had a chance meeting  with a middle aged woman. By talking  to the woman, it transpired that she was a widow living alone in her house situated near by. She was having only one issue, a son married and living outside the country, who had virtually snapped all links with her.  The meetings with the lady increased day by day and they began to like the company of each other. Niranjan began to feel a new thrill in his life due to her presence. The lady in question, whose name was Kamala also responded well to him. The marriage  proposal was made by Niranjan and Kamala agreed to it reluctantly.
It was really  a big shock for the family members of Niranjan, when he announced his decision to marry Kamala. They began to show their true colours by  insulting and humiliating Niranjan. They called his daughter and sisters to dissuade him from marrying Kamala. But he had made the decision and that one day in the life of Niranjan arrived, when he left his family and home for ever to join the place of his love. In old age company is the main criterion behind such relationships but marriage provides them a touch of  legitimacy. The family and children of Niranjan never reconciled with this   relation but   newly created couple lived happily ever after.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

My Wanderings - 36 Short Story No.18. Family Life is indeed a bliss

Rohan recently retired from his  service. He was a journalist by profession and retired as  Chief Editor of a leading magazine. Journalism was his passion and he sacrificed a lot to remain attached with this profession. As a young man like all  his other contemporaries, he was ambitious and possessing   a streak of rebellion. After completing his education with top grades, he choose journalism  as profession which  required much patience and struggle to get hold in the field those days. Although he could have choosen many other jobs which required less efforts and assured monthly salary. But due to his passion with journalism he choose the difficult path and started his career as a freelance journalist contributing much to stray magazines and newspapers and getting petty  renumeration in return. But the job satisfaction which he derived from it kept him alive and addicted to the profession. Moreover, his simplicity and honesty hindered his progress in this field. He even postponed his marriage proposals several times with the pretext that he will marry only after striking a foot hold in his field of profession . In the meantime his younger siblings got married. His parents were also eager to see him settled  in life. It is an old saying that with the perfection of art, artist becomes old. Rohan also achieved   success in his  field  very late after joining a leading Newspaper as Asstt. Editor with high package. But he could not find a suitable match of his age at that time.He also purchased a seperate flat for himself. His parents also left this mortal world one after another leaving Rohan alone. But his professional involvement and quest for perfecting his art kept him busy and  never let him feel lonely.
It was only after his retirement that Rohan began to feel the pangs of loneliness which made his life miserable and gloomy. Though he tried to keep himself  busy in cooking, reading and occasional travelling but still he could not keep himself happy with out company of someone and communicating with some body else.
One evening  while looking out side his window, he could see black dense  clouds hovering profusely over the sky. Within a short span of time it started raining heavily. He noticed some human figures  covered with rags from head to heels taking refuge under a small covered space opposite his house. He could recognise the figures. It was the family of a blind beggar who used to beg near the corner of lane. The wife of beggar immediately started kneading the  floor after mixing some rain water with it.  Stove was made of two stones kept apart and fire was lit within the space by igniting few small pieces of wood which they had brought under their rags. Then few breads were prepared  by them on a piece of metal plate kept on the stones. Thereafter, whole of the family relished these breads with pieces of broken onion laced with a pinch of salt. Finally they all slept in company of each other with much satisfaction.
Rohan closed the window of his bed room and laid his body on his plush bed in much agony and desperation, brooding over the bliss of family life and  deseperately trying to overcome his newly acquired disease of insomnia with sleeping tablets.

Friday, 24 June 2016

My wanderings - 35 Short story - 17. The Hermit with an earthen Lamp

This is  a story of long ago, when I had just entered my adolescent age and I was residing at Srinagar alongwith my parents and  other elder siblings. Our house was situated on the banks of river Jehlum overlooking the Habba kadal bridge. Our backyard comprised of a joint compound connected to outside lane through a small gate opening  beneath the house of our neighbours known as a ' pilav' in Kashmiri.
On the right hand side of our house was an open concrete  platform like structure of about two hundred square feet and with a height of about twenty feet on the river view side, with out fencing, serving as a compound to a small garage constructed beyond its rear periphery locating  a rice mill. The only entrance to the concrete platform and garage was available through a small door from its rear side opening from the street. The rice mill was closed from a long time now. Therefore, no body had access to the concrete platform like structure.
One fine morning in the early hours of dawn, someone from our house observed an earthen Lamp known as 'Rattan Deep' in Kashmiri  lighting  in the middle of concrete structure. We were all surprised to see this miracle as nobody could reach the place with out opening the rear gate which was locked from outside since long. The earthen Lamp was full of oil and its wick was emanating a majestic flame  flickering with all might  and not defaulting   for a moment in the strongest of winds. Our neighbours also visited us  as it was visible better from the windows opening from the  right side of our house. But the spot was not accessible from our side also. Speculations were made  by every one ,but most logical and sagacious suggestion was put forth by my mother , who  told that according to her opinion,  some hermit of highest order is living in the garage who lights these earthen lamps early in the morning during his meditation. She warned us not to look or spit out from those windows and that too in the early hours of morning. She cautioned us to treat the place as most sacred and never disturb the hermit anymore. I began to rise from my  bed early in the morning and witness the spot daily because of my inquisitive age. I could see the lighted earthen lamps placed there on daily basis. Sometimes there was a single lamp and sometimes two or three. But I could never see the hermit.The lamps would extinguish after sometime with the exhaustion of their oil. A devout Hindu neighbour of ours told my father that he had seen the hermit in his dream.  The hermit had ordered him to sprinkle some boiled rice and flowers on every Tuesday from the window of our house. My father was a religious man with a rationale outlook but the remedy put forth by our neighbour suited best to our mother. She started preparing boiled rice and arranging flowers for the purpose.
We could perceive the form of hermit  as a tall skinny man with a dark skin  immaculately dressed in white dhoti and piece of another white cloth flowing  over his shoulders alongwith a long white beard sprouting profusely  out from his dark face presenting a spectacle of contrast. Some of our younger cousins even claimed to have seen the hermit in blood and flesh holding a small earthen Lamp  in his hands. My father being a very  seasoned  person could not give any explanation or put forth any logic behind the lighting earthen lamps. He had also to remain contended  with the theory propounded by my mother.
Howsoever ,  rationale a person claim to be, a small mystery or a miracle hinders his conviction because he has been brought up in such an atmosphere where superstitions and ghost stories have been inculcated in his mind right from the childhood. Our subconscious minds are already embedded with superstitions because  we listen to ghost  or angel stories right from the age we start comprehending our environment and surroundings. Therefore, it is very difficult for a person to be rationale who has been brought up in such an atmosphere.
Now reverting to  the story, one day our father awoke us very early in the morning from a deep slumber of/in darkness for witnessing a scene from the same right side windows of our house which amazed all of us. We saw crows carrying small lighting earthen lamps in their beak from the windows of a nearby temple and placing them properly on the concrete structure besides our house. Perhaps they wanted to swallow the oil of lamps once the flame is extinguished. But they could never swallow it unfortunately,  because flame of earthen Lamp usually extinguished only after the exhaustion of its oil.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

My Wanderings - 34. Short story No. 16. Who is dear to Lord

                  In my early  youth I used to visit shivalya in Srinagar located near karan Nagar. Actually there was a temple of Shiva and branch of Ramakrishna Ashram located adjacent to temple. My purpose of visit was neither  in pursuit of spirituality nor in connection with gaining any divine enlightenment. I used to sit for hours in the reading room of Ashram to read latest books and magazines, which were rarely available those days. I visited  the Ashram inordinately and without fail, because I was  so much interested in reading.
I became  familiar with many workers of the Ashram who appeared more important and indispensable  but   least of all with  a  person who deemed to be of ordinary disposition. His ordinary attire and simplicity attracted my attention towards him after a long time. He could be seen wearing a common man's dress , a pant and a shirt and doing ordinary chores of Ashram like changing the lamps repairing the electric fuses arranging the magazines and books. Mostly I noticed him working in the lawns of Ashram raising flower beds and watering them most earnestly . He spoke very less and that too with all humility. But there was a sort of  radiance present  on his face which perhaps  reflected his dedication towards service with a spectacle of divinity.  Latter on I was astonished to learn that he was working as professor of physics in local college and belonged to a well to do family dealing in Medicine business. His name was Brij Nath ji. After college hours he would spent most of his precious time at the Ashram. He was not interested in family business and was not married either.
Once they planned to renovate Ashram and raised funds for the purpose. The construction work started at large scale and a new and spacious    meditation hall was  built  with modern fixtures. Renovation work of old structures was also  initiated. When the construction  was at final stages there was shortage of funds and the work  could not be carried  out further. Brij Nath ji applied for withdrawal of his Provident fund account. An amount of two lakhs, which was a huge amount those days, was released from the Personal Provident fund of Sh. Brij Nath ji  and construction could be completed.
Only after few years of  construction of new Ashram, militancy started in Kashmir. Unfortunately there was mass migration of Hindu community of Kashmir to Jammu and other parts of India. Most devotees of Ashram also left for Jammu. But only Brij Nath ji and few other inmates of Ashram preferred to stay at Srinagar and that too in the premises of Ashram.
One fine morning, when the militancy was at its peak in Kashmir valley, few militants brandishing automatic Guns entered the premises of Ashram. They knocked the door of meditation hall where Brij Nath ji along with other inmates was meditating. A cold shrill passed through the spine of  all inmates , except Brij Nath ji, on witnessing the militants holding  automatic Guns  entering the meditation Hall. Brij Nath ji encountered them boldly.
One among the militants addressed to Brij Nath ji.
Be prepared, we have come to kill you.
Yes you can kill us, only if my Thakur desires so otherwise not,  replied Brij Nath Ji most confidently pointing towards the marble statue  of Shri Ramkrishna installed  in the hall.
On hearing the reply of Brij Nath ji. all the militants lowered their guns with a feeling of uneasy ness. Then they asked for Tea, which was most promptly served to them by the other inmates of Ashram. Afterwards  they left the Ashram with a note of regret writ large on their faces and with a promise  not interfere in the working  of Ashram anymore.
Brij Nath ji still lives in the Ashram with all humility and devotion to his Master. This story reminds me 13 and 14 shalokha of 12 chapter of Baghwat Gita, where lord Krishna says

..One who is not envious but is a kind friend to all living entities, who does not think himself a proprietor and is free from false ego, who is equal in both happiness and distress, who is tolerant, always satisfied, self controlled  and engaged in devotional service with determination, his mind and intelligence fixed on me......Such a devotee of mine is very dear to me.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

My Wanderings - 33 Short Story No. 15. A Strange case of Kranti Veer Kaul

Kranti Veer, as the name implies , never tried to reconcile in  his life.  He made it a point never to realise the wishes of his  parents.  He was  actually born to his parents after three daughters. Therefore, he grew up into a very pampered   kid. His  parents  particularly the mother was responsible for his present state of affairs.  They tried to fulfill all his  irrelevant and untoward  demands. He would ,sometimes, emotionally blackmail them to realise  his wishes to derive most of advantage from them. But  all the wishes  were realised  at the cost of inconvenience to his parents. There was only one streak of silver lining visible in his whole disposition  and that was his intelligence. He was exceptionally intelligent and a very good in studies. Only this quality overweighed his all other bad qualities.
All his elder sisters were well behaved and most accommodative. They loved their only brother so much. They were married shortly after completion of their education with out any hassle. Kranti completed his engineering and joined services in State Public Works Department. After getting Job he was married to a very nice girl working as  a teacher. At the time of marriage also Kranti behaved indifferently.  But  only within a few years  of marriage , the wife of Kranti gave birth to a son  and  a daughter.  His parents heaved a sigh of relief that Kranti   has  somehow, reconciled with  his life. However, Kranti was not a person to remain satisfied with his Job and family. He left his job and Joined business and made his Father also to invest  a large amount of providential money in it. He did  business for some years  and when it started crossing break even point and showing profits,  a Saint of highest order came in the life of Kranti.  The Saint was on his  religious sojourn and camped with his desciples near the town of Kranti for  some time. He gave many religious discourses which influenced the mind of Kranti very much.  He lost interest in business and started visiting the Saint on daily basis. In the meantime his business started declining and he suffered great loss.  Finally Kranti totally lost interest in business and began to utilise his time towards spiritual pursuits only. His aversion towards his occupation totally deteriorated  his business  and he began to find solace under the feet of  his Guru  whom he called Swami ji.
One fine morning ,Kranti left his home for joining the original  Ashram of his Guru, which was about two thousand  kilometres away from his town  to become his permanent desciple. But he did not inform any one at his home. Later on his family members came to know about his  misadventure which hurted
their feelings very  much. They once visited the Ashram to implore upon him to return his home as it was very difficult for them to live with out him. But they could not change his mind and there was no other alternative for them  but to reconcile with the situation and remain contented with it.
Kranti tried  meticulously to abide by the rules of Ashram. In earlier days  It was very difficult for him to rise from his bed so  early in the morning and take breakfast very late and  to leave tea altogether.  He had to be in meditation for hours together. But he  could overcome these  difficulties with passage of time as he was very much enthusiastic about realisation of self and  pursuing knowledge. His intelligence and enthusiasm helped him to achieve excellence in the field of spirituality in shortest possible time.
The family members of Kranti, particularly his wife had to suffer too much  in absence of him. She had to look after her young kids and aged parents of Kranti. She worked almost  round the clock for the betterment and education of her children. She  had to arrange for the tuition of  her children, who were at the crucial juncture of their academic carrier. She singlehandedly arranged their admission in professional colleges located in far off cities. She did not let her children  feel absence of their father. Sometimes she was even blamed for her inability to stop her husband from becoming  a Saint. But she was undergoing  a sort of penance in her life, where she could face these blames indifferently and stoicly.
In the meantime both her parents in law passed  away and she had to arrange for their funeral and performance of last rites with the help of some relatives and neighbours.
Finally her children completed their education with high grades and got placement in Big companies.
Kranti was now an accomplished saint who had taken the  prime seat of  Ashram after the death of his Guru. He had changed his name from Kranti to  Swami Maha Anand Dev ji.He had thousands of desciples. People thronged the places in thousands, where ever he was scheduled to give his spiritual discourse.
People used to say that it was because of the greatness of their father that his children have made so much progress in life. No body gave credit or even mentioned about the contribution of their mother.  Children were also happy that their father was a great man and used to visit his Ashram sometimes. But his wife never visited him ever again even after much persuasion  by her children, who also gave all the credit to their Father for their achievements.

Monday, 16 May 2016

My Wanderings - 32. Short story No.14. The Same story of Generations

            Ajay was living in a small Town with his mother. His father had already left this mortal world when Ajay was a small  child. His mother had brought him up single handedly with much love and affection after the sudden  demise  of  her husband. The perpetual  care of mother had made Ajay  more dependent on her and a little pampered one. When Ajay slept in bed at night she used to kiss his forehead and make unique gestures to ward off evil eye on him. But Ajay was an intelligent young man and had interest in art and literature. He used to write poems and make landscapes. After completing his graduation and learning some computer courses Ajay wanted to try his luck and make his career in some metropolitan city. As a matter of fact his real uncle was a CEO of some multinational Company and was living at Bombay. But he had hardly visited them after the death of Ajay's father. Perhaps he was too busy in making his career that he had forgotten his roots. However, Ajay decided to pay a  visit  to him  at Bombay and consequently look for  a job for himself there. When Ajay left his home, his mother gave him a small parcel of home made pickles and jams to be presented to his uncle as gift.
When Ajay reached his uncles residence at Mumbai,  his uncle made him to wait for an hour before he gave him an  interview. He was surprised to see  the disposition of his uncle who appeared to be in the age group  of early fifties,  with short but stout stature,  emanating  an air of arrogance and a person  of few words. Being a bachelor he advised his valet to take care of Ajay and dismissed the meeting. While Ajay wanted to handover gifts to his uncle but the latter advised him to give them to his valet so that he can dispose them off as nobody was taking such things here. Ajay was disgusted with the unemotional   attitude of his  uncle which was beyond his  expectations and comprehension.
Next day Ajay' s  uncle came to know about  the purpose of  Ajay's visit. He enquired about the qualification of Ajay and his hobbies. His uncle  told him plainly that only his little bit of computer knowledge will help him in finding a job here. Further he advised Ajay to gift him with his paintings and pieces of literature. Ajay felt elated and handed over all the pieces of literature and art to his uncle. But his uncle ordered his valet to throw away these things in the dust bin. Ajay implored his uncle deseperately not to destroy his things as he cherished them very much. But his uncle replied him sternly that you have already gifted them to me. It is my discretion now to dispose them  off as per my wish.
After sometime Ajay was appointed in one of the computer companies on the recommendations of his  uncle. He told Ajay to join the. job next day and arrange for his separate  lodging and boarding within a fortnight. He also told him that if he worked honestly there, he can have better prospectus in future.  Further he advised him never come to me for money and last but not the least advise from his uncle was not to make a folly of ever falling in love with some girl.
Ajay joined his duties but could not enjoy his job. Moreover, his uncle's personality haunted him and he could not appreciate  his extreme practical behaviour. After sometime he was in love with a girl in his office and confided  his uncle about his affair. His uncle apprised Ajay with all the conversation he had with his beloved. Oh uncle, you were listening to all our  conversation, said Ajay.
I had no other job but to listen to your foolish, conversation. Every one knows what the love birds talk about, retorted back his uncle.
But love affair of Ajay lasted for few months only because of his own folly. He would fight with another friend of the girl who appeared to him much smarter than himself. Though his uncle advised him not to fight with his adversary but to defeat him with his logical arguments. The girl did not tolerate the behaviour of Ajay and left him for ever for her another friend. He could not also adjust himself smoothly with his job. His aspirations were much higher as compared to his humble job. Finally he was so much dejected with his career and affair that he left his job and returned to his village. He remained in frustration  for so many months there. Then he began to collect the information about  his uncle when he was living in the village. He could gather that his uncle was very much emotional type of person in his youth. He was in love with the younger sister of his mother. But  he could not marry her because he was so timid to disclose his love for her and she got married to another person. He was never so practical type of person in his native village when he was young.
Ajay after living in his native village for a year or so as a failure  left for Mumbai again to achieve success. This time he did not meet his uncle. He found a job for himself and started making his career. After completion of five years he was successful enough to meet his uncle. Now Ajay had become a practical man just like his uncle with out any scope for emotions. But he was surprised to see his uncle who was a married man now had become sentimental person.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

My Wanderings - 31. Short story - 13. My Friend Narendra

Narendra was my friend philosopher and guide. Actually we were class fellows. His father was a great devotee of Swami Vivekananda. Perhaps his father had named him after the great saint. Narendera  was very intelligent as per his knowledge and worldly wisdom was concerned. He could solve mathematical equations  in minutes. He introduced me to the world class authors and philosophers. He was the fastest reader. He could read a book from first page to the last within few hours and amazed me sometimes with his deep comprehensive  and analytical skills on each and every subject.  But he was mediocre in studies. I sometimes wondered why he could not score distinctions as he  was able to  astonish  his teachers and guides due  to his vast knowledge and grasping power. He was also having a rebellious type of  character right from the beginning . He would normally revolt against the rituals and customs  prevelent in the society.  He never appeared to be career conscious. His parents worried about his indifferent attitude towards life. They usually consulted me if they noticed some unusual feature in his behaviour. He was extra ordinary person and not interested in living a scheduled life. Perhaps he wanted to do something different. He was in search for a proper guide to show him the right path.
One day he left his home for good to the much disappointment of his family and friends. His family looked after him for several days to find some clue about his whereabouts and reasons for his sudden elopement.  But he had left with out advising any of his friends or a family member. After a month of this episode,  I received a detailed letter from Narendera about his welfare. He had moved to upper hilly areas of Rishikesh near Hardwaar in search of a Guru and had met several yogis and Mystics  of highest order living there . He had to live with out food and walk on foot for  several days to reach the upper reaches of Himalayas. He would sit on the banks of river Ganga flowing  through the Himalayas for hours together in deep deliberation  for realising self.  For many days he had to live on the water of Ganga only. The purpose of writing this letter was that he had finally found his Guru which nature had bestowed upon him. He also addressed  a letter to his Father, which gave much relief to his family.  He had  advised us not to reply his letters as he was not having any permanent address there. He was only able to post his letters to us through some devotee who visited the place, where he stayed.   After elapse of one year I received another letter from him informing me that his Guru has ordered him to join an organised Ashram at Calcutta to become a permanent monk and also to continue his studies there. He completed his Master's degree in affiliated colleges of monastery and graduated to become a permanent monk. His family members also used to visit him there once in a year or so. He remained there for complete five years. Then he was transferred to the Singapore branch of monastery as Head priest.  I completely lost touch with him and his family due to the migration of our community from Kashmir.
    After few years I came to know that when he was transferred again from Singapore to India, he was reluctant to go back to India as he had developed sentimental  relations with a woman devotee of foreign  origin. But his monastery had strict rules and they send him a reliever. He left the Monastery and married the woman and got settled in Singapore for ever. Monastery people and his disciples  did not like his decision.  But  his old friends and  family members welcomed his decision and  realised that perhaps he has reconciled with  his life then.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

My Wanderings - 30. Jagti Township

                                 It was really a great endeavour on behalf of Kamini Kaul ji,  my friend and  a colleague , who came all the way from Mumbai to pay a visit to Jagti Township to  meet and enquire about the  condition of unfortunate brothers and sisters of our community, who are living there  in much  agony and desperate conditions . My another friend and colleague  Mr. P. K. Mam and myself also joined  her in this generous  mission . It was actually returning to our roots. I am living in Jammu for the last twenty six years, after  the migration of our community from Kashmir. But I remained so busy in improving my lot  exclusively that I never thought about visiting the less privileged members of my community living in camps in Jammu and Nagrota. Though after  my retirement from public service I wrote many articles on the fate of Kashmiri pandits which were  also published in many community magazines. But I could  never  feel the pulse of my community health  so distinctly audable till I visited the Jagti Township and that too on the insistence  of Kamini ji. It was really disappointing and heart wrenching  experience.  There are many tales of agony  and distress to narrate. Many families at Jagti Township are living from  hand to mouth on the monthly doles of Government only. Some people are suffering from killer diseases  and require a lot of money for treatment. Others  are suffering from psychological disorders, who require proper attention and look after. we  can actually  assess the problems of our community at the grass root  level only. Earlier I was having  a notion that  although our generation has borne the brunt of  migration from our native land but our children have managed to get themselves well settled through out the length and breadth of our country and even to foreign lands .  I was shocked to learn  that most of our young generation has been left to  lurch at Jagti Township. They are well educated but with out jobs. The job frustration had led them even to drug addiction. But it is because of the opening of Sonu Orzu Gym that most of the young people have adopted this healthy approach of life and left drugs for good. We were advised that they are even planning to open a library and career council cell  besides Gym to help the young generation to find jobs etc. These reforms require financial help from Govt bodies, NGO's and voluntary agencies. Kamini ji also contributed towards some required articles for Gym. Sonu ji In charge of Gym is also providing his services for  uplifting the quality of youth living there at   relentlessly and with dedication.    Many imminent personalities of our community like Sh. Anupam Kher, Sh. Ashok Pandita  Dr. Vivek Kaul and Sh. Moti Lal Kaul have already visited the place and are  trying to improve the quality of life thereat by whatever resources they possess. But it requires a wholesome effort  on the part of Govt. to provide free hospitalisation for sick and jobs for the eligible candidates on priority basis . our community leaders should also assess the problems faced by our community at Jagti township and try to honestly redress their grievances.
Moreover, all the members of our community should come forward  voluntarily and make all over efforts  to help our brothers and sisters in distress.

Friday, 25 March 2016

My Wanderings - 29. Short story -12 How the seasons change

She was my friend, a neighbour and a class mate  in my  early childhood. She was very pretty and innocent  like most of the girls in our society during those days. She was almost of my age but very mature than me. Once I  slipped and fell down on the street and spoiled my clothes alongwith my arms and legs  with splashes of mud.  She helped me out by taking me to the nearest municipal tap and washed  my mud laden hands and arms. We both grew up together in the same street.  We used to play together in surrounding lanes and by lanes and exchanged toys with each other. With the passage of time  shyness took toll of our acquaintance  which stopped the  meetings  and we could  only exchange stealing  glances at each other. This was the reward bestowed on us by the adolescent age . She grew up into a young damsel and myself into a lanky youth. Years passed by with the change of seasons which were most  conspicuous  by their characteristic features  in valley. Blossoms on almond  trees with fragrant  and cool breeze of spring season, shedding of leaves by chinars and heaps of dry and  crimson coloured leaves spread all over the floor making crunchy noise when trampled under feet in autumn season  and earth evenly clad with  white and velvety sheet of snow in winter.
In the meantime I could notice that she had fallen in love with a Boy who was senior to her by few years. While taking interest in the incident it transpired that the particular boy had followed and coaxed her for many months and was successful in winning her heart. Within a short period of time  she got married to him, against the wishes  of her parents and  that was the beginning of  misfortune in her life.
After few years of her marriage she was divorced by her husband as she was not able to conceive. He latter on married another woman to create  his progeny which he could never materialise.  Now she was left with no other alternative but to shift to her parents house. Once she met me on the street . she looked very gloomy and melancholic. After enquiring about my welfare she told me that these men are a queer lot.  They first  wag their tails behind a woman and when some foolish of a woman takes pity  on them, they trample her under their feet like dry withered leaves of chinar in the autumn season of Kashmir. I could well understand the misery she might have undergone at her in-laws and now with her parents after her broken marriage and  unfortunate return.
After elapse of some time she was married again to a widower, already  having two grown up children. The marriage was arranged by her parents this time. The man to whom she married was much senior to her in age. As he did not require any more children, he agreed to marry her despite knowing fully about her inability to bear children.  Exactly after a year of her second marriage, to much of my astonishment,  I saw her again with a child in her lap which she had recently delivered. It was a male child. This time she appeared very elated and fresh like the early blossom of almonds in spring season of Kashmir.
Then we left the Kashmir for good due to the uprising and terrorism and we lost the touch completely with our neighbours. Moreover,  we never visited the place again.
It was quite recently  I  heard that her son had turned into a terrorist and  killed his father when the later  tried to dissuade him from his mission.  Then he was also killed  in encounter with army . Now she was visiting and  praying at the grave of her son   daily even in the coldest season of winter when the graves were laden with white sheets of snow covering even the grave stones as if the person lying  beneath  it, who never reconciled in his life was disgusted and embarrassed with his deeds and never wanted to let  anybody to know his whereabouts.
Unknown unlamented let me die
And no stone to tell where I lie.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

My wanderings -28 short story No. 11. A Storm in a cup of tea

It was month of July 2012 when I was holding the charge of International Banking Division at Jammu branch. We were also maintaining large number of NRI deposits which amounted to one third of total branch deposits. While dealing with deposits I had also some rich experience of observing the life very closely through various encounters with a fair mix of customers of diverse nature. Once a  NRI customer  living somewhere in Canada came along with his father, who was residing  at Jammu. He gave me standing instructions that an amount of Rs 15000 should be credited to his fathers account by debit to his NRE account every month. The instructions were fed in the system and automatically system started paying Rs 15000 to his father's account every month. The father of our customer used to visit the branch in the first week of every month to withdraw his money. His visits were so regular and conspicuous  that I missed him if sometimes, he was late by a day or two. Moreover, his authoritative disposition and intellectual style of talking impressed me so much. I would usually offer him a cup of tea and snacks whenever he visited the branch. He relished my small gesture of good will with an affirmative tone...yes I would like to have a cup of tea with you, whenever I requested  for the same after exchanging pleasantries with him. He appeared to me very knowledgeable and experienced man by his views on life and other subjects. 
The system worked well for six months or so when I received an email from his son annexed with a  scanned and signed application revoking his earlier instructions of paying Rs15000 to his father every month. As a banker I had no other alternative but to meticulously comply with the instructions of my customer. Most reluctantly I withdrew the standing instructions from the account. On the material day when  father of customer arrived at the branch I felt a little embarrassed to face him. As he came to know about the stoppage of standing instructions his face exhibited a gesture of disbelief. He began to blame us for the mistake on our part. But when I showed him the letter signed by his son, he was taken aback and sat on the chair desperately. After sometime he gained  control over  his distraught  nerves and sought for my apologies. Then he requested me to lend him Rupees five hundred so as he can purchase some essential medicines as he was thinking of withdrawing the money from his account. Most readily I handed  over him a note of Rupees Five hundred  from my own pocket with out any  hope of getting it back. He immediately left the bank with a promise to return me the money within a shortest possible time. Only after he left the bank I could notice a full cup of tea lying untouched and getting cold in front of his chair.
While I was brooding over the fate of old man, one of my colleague's who was working as Bank Guard and now retired from  services  had come to get credited to his account an amount of Indian rupees one lakh equal ant which his son living in Dubai used to send him monthly through Western union software. His son had no NRI account with us. Once he had confided to me that his son requests  him to spend the money on himself as he has observed much of economy through out his life. But he told me that he does not  spend anything from it and  keeps it all for his son . The pension which he gets from Bank was enough for  his survival. This good gesture of a son towards his father  was a streak of silver lining to bring me out from the melancholic darkness of my thought process.
After few days the gentleman in question visited the branch again and returned me a sum of Rs Five hundred which he had borrowed from me. He also told me that he has actually retired from  some public sector company, where he was working on a senior position. But he was not getting any pension from his company. However, he has got enough money as superannuation benefits from his company to 
take care of himself and his ailing wife. He however, was reluctant to take a cup of tea this time which I offered him as a courtesy gesture.
Then he naturally stopped his monthly visits to the branch. After a lapse of five or six months he again visited  the branch and sat in front of me. He was in very bad condition. He had dishevelled hair, sunken eyes and  shabby clothes loosely fitted on his frail body. This time he addressed me very harshly to the much of my astonishment. He told me that his son was sending him money every month and bank people are usurping   the same. This time he could not reconcile to any logic which I tried to put forth in my defence. He went on blaming the bank people particularly me and created a scene to the much amazement of other customers present thereat. It was very difficult  for me to control the situation. Then he left the bank hurling abuses on the bank staff. Later on I came to know from his acquaintances that lately  he had been suffering from some lunatic fits, which possess him sometimes and becomes normal afterwards.
After sometime  I again noticed him in the bank premises. I felt very scared and tried to escape myself from his attention. But he directly came to my place and began to seek my apologies for his earlier rude behaviour . I could not afford to hold any grudge against him as  Bankers are already trained with the philosophy that Customer is always right. Moreover, there were enough reasons to support his misadventure. I stood up from my chair and greeted him as usual with a smile. This time he himself asked for a cup of tea which was served to him promptly.