"When the faith in self is broker--- Gods are born”
"Ask him to change his decision, or else tell him to never show his face again”, were the words of Raj's father who was angry on him, as he decided to go and practice his knowledge of medicines in a remote village. He was a brilliant student since his school days, therefore the dreams his parents had for him were nothing but ambitious, they wanted him to go to U.S.A, and do further research in his respective stream. But he had some other plans, since his school days he was a vicious student of Buddhist texts, which encouraged love, compassion, care and giving. He was of firm faith, that complaining never brings any change, to see change you have to make that change. He had to combat a strong voice of criticism but the voice of his heart was stronger, than the anguished tone of his father, and all the hopes of his parents were abashed, when he declared his final decision.
On the day when he was leaving his big luxurious life, he closed his eyes and prayed silently looking up at the sky. He has been doing this since his childhood, he never told anyone, what he asked for, or what he prayed. His father was so furious with his decision, that he didn't even come to say a good bye. He touched his mother's feet and exchanged some strong silent emotions through eyes, and left for his journey unknown. He refused to take the car, or any leisure item with him which he thought might remind him of his rich luxurious past, he knew the path he had chosen was tough and it required more of dedication than determination.
While traveling in the bus he felt asleep, and when he woke up, he was at his destination. After changing 2 buses and a train, he finally arrived at Basalpur, a small remote district of shining India with a population of less than 200 people. Completely different from an image of India which was shinning in the world, the India which is rich in architecture is a hub for all the new technological development and where people live in an ‘illusion-of-freedom’. The only thing which was free in that poorly neglected unprivileged area of an open air and their strong superstitious beliefs.
No political or co-operate sector, bothered to look after them, as they were too small in number to change outcome of any political election, hence never did any politician bothered to promise them happy lives or fake promises of a colorful Christmas. There were no schools or properly constructed houses the main occupation in that land of deprivation was old ancient style agriculture. There most advanced technology even after so many years of progress was sunlight. In a country which had captured imagination of whole world, this was the place where people didn't even know the name of their first or for that matter their current Prime Minister.
Raj knew about a little about this place but it was far worse than what he had thought, as for a person who came from Gurgaon an aristocratic place of beaming India, where smart and cultured people have managed to eclipsed their dark secrets with tall towers of bricks and cements, this was a sad real reality. He was casually but properly dressed with few bags, as he started walking on the trembling and painful road, people of village started gathering and wondering, as they have never seen anything like this before. He was properly dressed and that was a shocker to most of the people who have spent half of their lives wearing same undergarments.
After few moments of hesitation, Birju the head of the village, slowly marched towards this fully clothed creature. He was thin and weak, in his mid 20’s and already a father of 2 kids. Some 50 years ago, his great grandfather killed a snake and since than the male members of his family has been honored with this prestigious rank, irrespective of their abilities or the leadership qualities. He stood 5 steps away from Raj and stared in his eyes with be wilderness, but his suspicious glance was greeted with a humble and earnest smile.
He put his arm around Birju, and the warmth of his gesture was enough, to comfort everyone in the village, who were silently looking from their broken homes at this alien who showing them something they were not aware of- Humanity.
Days went by, slowly but surely, villagers started appreciating his mission and honest intensions, and he quick enough to gauge an idea of their narrow psyche. Within few days of his stay, he understood that they have been raised up with some unquestioned and illogical superstitious beliefs. As for the place, which had seen no education, development or growth, their sole responsibility was to keep their Gods happy. They worshiped rain, sun, water, night, day and a mysterious well to keep them sane. He realized, that these beliefs were very dear to them, and no matter how much he tried, he was unable to break their myth. So he let them worship their beliefs and silently kept performing his duties.
Most of the practices which the villagers followed were nuisance to him, but the strangest of them was their faith in Well. It was deep dark pond, filled with water in the mid of village, but still, the women of the house, never took a single drop of water from that idol like giant bucket and use to travel 2 km away to the lake to fill their water pots. No one was allowed to drink or for that matter go near the well, reason was absurd, they believed that their ancestors in heaven drink water from it and fight the evil spirits, who spread diseases in their small kingdom. It was strange to digest for, but for villagers it was their moral responsibility.
Every passing day, strengthened the bond between Raj and villagers, in Birju, he found a voice to communicate his thoughts and ideas with rest of the villagers. He knew, that it won't be easy for him to bring an overnight change, in the beliefs of the hope deprived, suppressed community therefore instead of challenging their beliefs, he started using them, to move peacefully in his mission. He made up stories for every medicine which people at first were unwilling to try, like for cough syrup, he made them believe that is was germinated from the pure waters of Ganges, and painkiller was the product of herbs found in the Great mountain range of Himalayas.
The method of devotion served through lie was smoothly and gently making it way in to the heart and soul of the Indians, who were for the time were being cared and were shown that there lives was important. He also started interacting with lots of NGO'S, to arrange some school for villagers, so that they can acquire some knowledge and useful skills, that will open some more avenues for people, who are still surviving on contaminated food and unhygienic water. His presence was creating a positive impression on the villagers. He brought something; he brought something which never existed in them- HOPE.
Everything was moving in a scripted way till one day, early in the morning, he heard a huge knock of panic on his half broken door, when he opened it, and he saw fright bitten Birju standing in front of him.
“Sir, please come with me, my son is not well, and he has fainted and is not speaking anything"
Raj took up his kit, and ran towards an innocent subconscious child, who was surrounded with the mob of people and panic. He immediately asked the gathered spectators to maintain peace and calm, he examined the boy and realized, that he was quickly loosing out on his pulse. The boy was bitten by a poisonous insect.
He shouted "water, I need water", everyone standing there was looking at each other, with a big question mark on their faces.
It was very early in the morning; and there was no water, in anyone’s house, their only resource of water was that the lake, which 2 km away.
Birju cried "Go run, towards the lake and get some water; quickly".
After listening to this plan of action, Raj snatched an empty vessel from one of the person who was standing there and ran towards the holly well. He took the water out of it, and poured it in the mouth of a child, in front of stunned villagers. After a deep breath he replied, “Thank god he is safe now”.
He glanced at villagers with a beaming smile, but was confronted with their deep dark silence. There was no reaction, no emotion the only thing which was there in that surprised and shocked room was silence….complete silence, and out of that silence someone from behind hit him hard and fell on the ground unconscious.
After few hours, he slowly opened his eyes, he felt rays of bright sun flashing in his eyes, he was hurting, and was not able to move his body. Slowly he was regaining his cautious, and was realizing the moments of the dark truth. He was tied with the ropes, on the top of the pole, from where he can see the harvest of his hope and beliefs, being blown away with thunderous storm of superstition
“He has infuriated our ancestors, who were the guardians of our lives, He is a devil, who came with an objective to destroy our lives and he just did that"...said one wise man.
“Still it's not too late, if we punish him, may be our guardians will forgive us”, said another wise man.
“You are right; we should stone this evil spirit, which has arrived in form of this human being".
Raj, listened to all these allegations and comments, with a sorrow heart. He closed his eyes and started reciting his silent prayer as villagers were getting themselves ready to repeat the tunes, which had been playing on the instruments of narrow mind ness since ages.
The first stone that came and hit him was from Birju, the friend and a father whose son’s life was saved by this sinner
He looked at him, said nothing, simply smiled and than for the final time--- CLOSED HIS EYES.
© Copyright 2017 Gagan. All rights reserved.
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