13 January 2013 | By: Writing Buddha

When It Comes to Duty by Ishita Bhown!!!


               Miss Ishita Bhown is one of the youngest authoresses today. Her first book- "To Get Her" is already one of the favorite novels of youth. I have been her friend since her book released. I generally don't talk to authors but her humbleness is something that is to be complimented. She writes on our Blog space every month on 13th. This is her first Blog Post of 2013 and she has started it with something that tells us how our duty and responsibilities makes do what we never want to in life.

When It Comes to Duty!!!

            It was around 2 in the noon- the scorching sun set ablaze the crowded vicinity, sneering at the chaos all around. The bright sun mercilessly looked over the people of the Gurunanak Chawal. The chawal, which was a shelter for over hundreds of people for past 20 years. The chawal, where many people were born and dead over the years, the one that was a home for Lakhi- the auto driver, Deepak- the mechanic, Sunil- the carpenter, Nisha, who was the household maid and cleaned utensils in the luxurious apartments behind the chawal and many others like them. There were all sorts of people in the chawal, who lived together as a family. When Vipal, the mason came home drunk and beat his wife, the elders of the chawal intervened to help her. When Sudha, the widow of truck driver Jatan had to marry off her daughter..all the people of the chawal helped her financially. When Amit, the hardworking son of Vinod, the electrician cleared the IAS exam, the entire chawal was proud of him. They were all like a family- connected to each other through thick or thin. Their chawal was like the shelter where every one returned after the tiring day at work, and they felt safe! They felt like home. Though the people were poor, yet their lives were stable- they were happy with their well settled lives in the dingy neighborhood. There was a routine that though defined their poverty, yet was integral for them. Most of them earned their bread and butter by working on daily wages in the nearby areas or the construction sites. There life was relaxed, though within limited wages.

            But today, the  people rushed hurriedly- some collecting their stuff, and trying to pack up as much as was possible, while the others merely staring, with their moistened eyes, they gazed hopelessly at the fleet of vehicles, the white ambassador cars- with the red siren buzzing on them, the police jeeps, with the uniformed officers, the fire brigade to handle any unforeseen mishaps and the raging bulldozer that was to soon run over on their households- mowing their lives, erasing their very existence.
Amit stared at the surroundings- silently, helplessly!

           This was the place where he had spent his childhood, each house reminded him of the associated pool of memories, all the worried faces around him, were those of the people he considered to be an extended family. 

          Uma aunty was the first one to notice the official team of the JDA authorities, which had come to demolish their chawal , due to their anti encroachment drive . 

It didn’t take much time for her to realize that in the matter of minutes, she would be homeless- shelter less! They had received the government notice some days back, and had been promised rehabilitation in Amjad Nagar. The letter clearly stated that since the entire chawal was unauthorized, it would be reclaimed by the Government for making the Flyover. The flyover- which was supposed to be the largest project of the government’s agenda- their mega attraction for the vote bank in upcoming elections. The flyover would bring glory of development for the city, and thus it was inevitable to stop this demolition. The Government did not mean to be unfair, and thus had provided for accommodation for all the concerned people. But was that enough?

The 1 BHK apartments, situated 30 kilometeres away from the city, away from their workplaces, away from their houses! Was that compensation enough to substitute for their loss? .Their new houses had the best quality construction and 24 hours electric supply, as was claimed by the Government.

The ladies cried hysterically, at the thought of being thrown away from the houses, where they came as brides. The kids, unaware of anything continued to play their games of marbles. It was the men who tried to take control of the situation- they were all poor people, and had no jewels in their houses..yet their houses had some important things, which they collected to safeguard from the raging bulldozers.

Their worst fears had come true. As the deployed police force took the area in their command, they knew it was the time—the time to pack their belongings and to leave their homes forever.

Amit saw the black and white television being loaded on the truck, it was the Tv on which they saw the Indo Pak matches together. Lakhi uncle carried his almirah out of the house, that was the cupboard from which they stole sweets in childhood. Sudha aunty collected all the utensils, his heart twitched at the memories of the time when aunty cooked special meals for him and invited him for lunch. He looked at his own house. This was the place where he was born. 

He remembered the days, when his father saved every penny to get him educated. The days, when he hated the same surroundings and felt an in explicable shame of being brought up in such a poor household, then he remembered the day when his mother died in an accident- just in front of their house, he had cursed the heavy traffic on this very road. He remembered how the neighbours whom he hated, were there by his side, not just to show him sympathy, but to bestow their care. The hatred was now replaced by respect. He remembered how he was inspired to study hard and to reach at a position where he could help in the upliftment of this chawal. He remembered how happy the people became when he was selected as an IAS officer…he remembered everything and a drop of tear flowed on his cheek. 

He looked around.

He was inside the car- the white ambassador car, as the supervisor for the drive. His duty was to see that all these houses were demolished without any hassles.

He pondered at the irony of his fate, the road where his mother died was now being replaced by a flyover- it was a good initiative by the government- but their houses were now replaced…He was sad at the turn of events, the cries of his dear ones made him weaker..Yet he signaled the bulldozer to start its work, yet he followed his duty!



1 CoMMenTs !!! - U CaN aLSo CoMMenT !!!:

Mihir said...

This is the situation when emotions make us speechless and we find ourselves trapped between our duty and emotions. NICE POST by Ishita. I have been a fan of ABR blogs )

Post a Comment