Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Harun bhai, miss you

Hot Kolkata afternoon. It was my first day in Kolkata after I came home and I had planned my trip for no less than 21 days to travel a distance of 23 kilometers. But I will keep it short so that the occasional surfer can read before his interest vaporizes.

I was travelling from Park Street to Howrah Station in a all new white line bus introduced by WB govt. It is bound to stop at very few stops but the mid day traffic was making it to stop after every inch. I was fortunate to get a window seat. Beside me sat a young Bengali mother with his 6 or 7 years old son. A quick glance told me that they were perhaps not economically well off.

The bus crawled to Esplanade and just in front of RajBhavan it stopped due to traffic. Anybody who has been to Kolkata may know how majestic this building looks from outside (can’t confirm about the inside view for obvious reasons). Suddenly the boy asked his mother who was sitting beside me in bored silence, perhaps due to the 43 degree we had that day, “Maa, whose house is this?” . “The Governor lives here.” The young mother replied “haven’t you read about him in your school?”. “He has a big house” the boy exclaimed.

Suddenly, the boy said “Maa, suppose if we were to live in this house and the governor in our house. He would have died of the heat. He would have died when the electricity is gone”.

Young mother was embarrassed. She tried to change the topic but the boy again asked “Maa wouldn’t they let us live here even for one day?”.

Harun-al-Rashid, are you listening?

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