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K's Bhoomika

By Asija, Manohar

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Book Id: WPLBN0003437281
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 1.42 MB.
Reproduction Date: 3/18/2014

Title: K's Bhoomika  
Author: Asija, Manohar
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Drama and Literature, Romance
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Romance
Historic
Publication Date:
2014
Publisher: Self-published
Member Page: Manohar Asija

Description
Having lost her mother, and virtually rendered `orphan`, in the absence of `father`, a little girl Named Bhoomika, by dint of sheer circumstances, happens to reach a virgin teacher. Here, the `blessed opportunity for education` awaits her, as she is inspired and guided by this benevolent lady towards higher education. Once, she was offered a part-time job of `a reader for a blind class-fellow` of hers at Khadi Degree College, Guhahati: and she gladly accepted it. Of course, some nascent opportunities came to her, even in Delhi, when she was staying in a Working Women’s Hostel, while doing some odd jobs to support self, economically. But the travails of life also came her way; and she coped up with every sort of situation, by way of `fine-tuning` the responses from her brain and heart, every time, with an objective to attaining a quality decision from within. Having once been requested by very senior colleague to stay with one spinster Professor, during her illness, she served the lady so dutifully that the Professor persistently requested her to live with her till the young girl is married off. Having attained some extraordinary accomplishments, she found a compatible match, however, with the active assistance of this Professor, named Ms Kavita Bhatanagar. She feels, if someone would have these days asked her, “Whose Bhoomika are you, Kavita’s or your mother-in-law Kalpana’s?” She is sure; she would have answered, “K’s Bhoomika.” Incidentally, her mother’s name also HAS `k` as its first letter IN IT.

Excerpt
"In fact, I had never spoken to her even a single word, though she continued to send me signals for initiating a dialogue with her. I had to go to fetch my daily quota of water from the water-tap, provided at the back of her tenement, for all the four segments, in the vicinity. Almost every time, we had to place our buckets or utensils, in a queue, while waiting for our turn. Being shy of passing through the front lane, while approaching the water-tap, I preferred to walk along the back of the segment, in our front. God knows, how she could spot me from such a long distance that I had come out of my room, with buckets in my hands. Quite often, I marked her busy in looking towards me with furtive glances, while waiting for her turn, as she would deliberately waste her time, simply to ignore the fact of my arrival there and would thus make room for me to place my buckets before hers.” .......... It pains him to recall his last meeting with that `unfortunate girl`, who was destined to spend a spinster's life and breathe her last, while resting her head at Bihari's knee, who kept caressing her forehead, in the presence of her trusted maid and Pushpa, sent for by the rapidly waning-life herself for attaining a `peaceful exit` from this mortal world. ............ "How could I choose to marry a broad-chested and heavily breasted girl, simply to reel under the threat of being crushed anytime in life?" The cryptic response, though in the form of a question, betraying his hidden anguish, impelled Kavita to make a frantic effort to pull down her folded 'Dupatta' (headgear for the ladies), from her neck region, to 'cover her own modesty' in an appropriate manner. At this point of time, she was feeling the furtive glances of her companion towards her. In fact, Minocha happened to mark it, though inadvertently. He was so much engrossed in limiting his revelations, that he remained unmindful of the presence of the brink of the slab ahead, and consequently stumbled against it, losing stability and letting his advancing foot strike against the pedestal of the seat, that he had abhorred prior to the last episode, that he was bound, under a solemn oath, for preserving its confidentiality. ............... I was removed from that reasonably good school at Shillong, very soon on my return there after the winter vacations, in the wake of my oft-repeated complaints against my roommates, who continued jeering at me, despite my protests against the filthy language used by them regarding the relationship between my parents, as known to them from their families, who were inhabitants of our neighbourhood in Guhahati. ............. This morning, it being a special day, as per practice for the last two decades, I spent some time for the performance of my first task, in the form of exchanging felicitations with my mentor, who now prefers to be addressed as Neha Didi', and not as Ma'me. ............ While returning home, Minocha recalls to his mind, the obvious impact on Dhawan's mind, at the time of his talking to him, as his grand daughter-in-law, Sumedha, had handed over to him her own mobile phone , after having concluded her own talk with her Papa (Mr Dhawan), when they were `enjoying the basking in the open sky`, having alighted from their vehicle, for a few minutes relaxing, refreshing etc, as they reached close to the point, where a sign-board reads, `You are at the world's third highest pass, CHANG LA (17,531 ft above sea-level)`. .......... Kaka Raja had been working there for about two months, when one day, he found the sobs of the girl growing louder and louder, with the passage of every minute. He thought of calling out her mother for taking charge of the morose child of hers, but before springing into action, he chose to warn the girl to shun this practice immediately, or he would seek her mother's help to persuade her daughter to desist from wasting time every day. The girl caught hold of his wrist, threw herself upon his chest and shoulder, but continued her sobs. He melted down to the extent that in order to bestow his affections on her, he placed his right hand on one of her cheeks; and began to dab the other side of her face with his free hand. ...... ............ When they were back in their room, after dinner, Prakash invited her attention, by way of giving a gentle tweak at her arm; and spoke, "Nihalo, I think we should tell them, at your home, everything, we talked about or did, during the past many nights, except that, what you prompted me to do, when you could not take off your tight polyester slacks, while getting ready for a hot shower, in the bathroom." ............. "Oh, dear me! Miss Bhattiyaran, you haven't abused the fond memory of Shakir. You had avowedly declared, in full public view, that you are dedicating your life to the cause, you and Shakir had voluntarily taken together on your shoulders, to be performed jointly or severally." Nancy reminds self, having got out of the impact of last night's staggered sleep. She has been going through this sort of exercise, almost every time she is awakened from a long and deep sleep, the previous night. ........ It is a fact, that Nancy oft cherishes the sweet memory of the moments, spent in Shakir's company. His last words, "Nancy, I am not sure, if I shall be allowed by my precarious circumstances to see you in this sort of freedom, any longer," seem to keep on echoing every now and then, "So, Let's bid 'Adieu'!" Then, he had saluted her, in the Islamic fashion, to the dismay of this friend of him, before turning his back to her, in the very presence of Mr. Tinsukhia, head of the foundation for the `Pragmatic Socialism`. ......... "Kavita Ji, I find myself short of appropriate words to acknowledge your sagacity to cope with the unexpected situation, arising out of 'nothing in the reckoning'. Your boldness and shunning unnecessary concealment and also preferring transparency, when needed to be straight-forward, encourages me to admit, that the lady, who gave birth to this person, Bihari Lal Minocha, and his twin-sister, Pushpa Minocha, who is Pushpa Malik, since her marriage, now holds a new status of Mrs. Dhanwanti Gulhati, since her re-marriage, after my father's death." ........... I, Ankur Vaswani s/o Sh. Naresh Vaswani do hereby solemnly affirm as under:-- (1) That as per my school leaving certificate, I was born on August 15, 1980; (2) (2) That I have a very faint memory of my parents, from whom I was forcibly taken away by some unknown couple, during my early childhood; (3) that I have, till date, never believed the claim of my so-called father, Mr. Naresh Vaswani to be my real father, whose wife, Maitri Mala stood in my memory as `MamiJi`, as I was used to address her, as per my real parents' instructions, when I used to visit my `Nana Ji’s` house, in my mother's company, before my separation from my real parents; .................. He considers it to be the most opportune moment, to issue an urgent query, so he says, "Bhuaji, I have found a strong contradiction in the two points, vis a vis, you are younger to my papa, whereas you claim to be the first issue of your parents, born within the first year of their marriage. ......... Thus, Nihalo fell into the trap, cast by Jagan Nath to exploit her physical as well as mental potentials to his own advantage, in a very callous and ruthless manner. Her only concern was to see her coffers growth towards the brim. The very notion of getting richer and richer at a marvellous pace was enough to keep herself encaged, unmindful of the necessity of any interaction with her kin, at home. Rather, she would look after Jagan Nath's requirements, every now and then, just to keep him in good humour. In fact, they had assumed to themselves the status of unwed spouses. .......... My husband tells me that you are my tenant. If you think of blackmailing me in the absence of my husband, who is on business tour of the neighbouring States, I'll get you arrested, as I own this property for over four years, having purchased it under 'pucca' registration in Guhahati immediately on paying full amount for the property, to its, the then owner." Unable to face the abruptly changing situation, the Assamese woman made hue and cry, and "that fraud wife of my father continued raising the din of her voice, sporadically threatening to call the police for getting us evicted. At last, my mother took me on to her shoulder, clutching a small bag of our clothes for immediate use, moved out of the house with tears in her eyes, simultaneously hurling abuses at her in our native tribal dialect, at that lady." ......... The leading partner of the multi-purpose partnership, `Hari and Kammo`, is by nature a contented person. Both the partners are Punjabis, but settled in this flourishing township, Komarkum, at a distance of around 86 kilometres from Ernakulum, a busy rail-head of Kerala. Their establishment is growing in name and fame, for their pioneer venture of introducing snacks, like `Samosas` and `Pakodas` to the population of this moderately sized town, very close to the shores of back waters of the Arabian Sea. Hariharan's stall is very rapidly becoming centre of attraction, not only for tourists, but also for the local inhabitants. ......... "Well, I believe that almost everyone desires to have an intimate experience of love, marriage, sex and reproduction or procreation. Yaar Hansa, are you in favour of maintaining strictly the order of these events to occur in one's life?" ........ Nancy directs a girlish smile at her friend, as if the former has just returned to her parental home, for `Pag phera` ( a short timed return to the parental home, immediately after a night's stay at marriage, at in-laws'). Hansa drags her to her fold to whisper into her ears, "What's your experience of `Suhag Raat` (first night after marriage with husband)?" At this, both enter into a prolonged laughter. ................. Bhoomika is busy ruminating over her past life, particularly since the time, she had lived with her mother in Sohra (Cherapunji), away from Shillong. The situation has been brought about by the demise of Barun Hemilaltan. She came to know of this sad fact, this very morning, when she reached her Academy's office for the day's job. The office boy placed before her, a rectangular piece of card, taken out from an empty cigarette pack. ................ Having allowed her employee to go to the police station with the report, she prepares herself to answer the investigation officer's questions. She has made up her mind to tell that she knows a little about a chap, with this name, who seemed to be a narcotic user, whom she had happened to observe him, sitting under the shadow of a bush, alongside the pedestrians path, leading to the entrance of the huge building, that houses also her academy, in its small portion.......... "Yes, yes! I was telling you that I had shifted my abode to the temple. I was required to share my bed in the priest's bedroom, due to `dearth of space` in the building. During after-noon hours, I was posted to sit at the main gate of the temple, while the priest would enjoy a nap in his room, under the strict instructions that no one would be allowed to climb the stairs. In case, someone persistently asked for letting him or her enter the stairs area, I would ask the name of the person; tell him/her to wait before I personally got the priest's permission to let that visitor go upstairs. ........... Bhoomika had given her Didi a brief account of Barun's narration, without making any mention of the incident of temple priest's attempt to sodomize Barun. Neha considered it imperative to enlighten Bhoomika with the 'true facts', as under circulation about the exploits of Barun Hemilaltan, that she learnt, courtesy Prof Ganguli. ........ "With whom are you living nowadays?" Bhoomika asks in a very soft tone. "I sleep on the platform of the railway station." "What is your name?" Bhoomika asks her. "Barun called me `Burfi`, I am sure you knew it, as you have brought me a sumptuous quantity of this item." ......... Then, she asks, "Burfi, where do your kids live?" "The son, Kuku died a year after his birth. Three girls, all sold out to richer persons of our community, by Barun, you know that he always wanted money for purchasing it," with these words, she fished out from her bosom, one tiny pack, with something visible in fine print on its surface. Bhoomika asks, "What’s it?" "It's a powder that all members of our community use, during our worship of the god `Shoala`, who is son of `Agni` (fire). the god lifts us to heaven, where we enjoy meeting our community members, living or dead, for unhampered conversation, before falling asleep, to have sweet dreams." ..... Hardly a couple of days later, Minocha feels like meeting Kavita, so he calls her. The faint voice reaching his ears puts him on the alert, as he hears her making extra effort to pour out, "Hello, Minocha Saheb, how do you do?" "I am fine. I just wanted to know, if you feel like roaming about in my company, this evening." "I should have availed this very good offer of my adored friend, if I was not stuck to bed, on account of high fever, for the past two days.” ........ At the moment, they are basking sun at the terrace of Delhi Metro Railway Station, Rajeev Chowk. The feelings, expressed by this 54-year-old lady, by using the words, “`being sandwiched` between my four siblings, getting suffocated and I compelled my parents to let Savita bypass me,” makes Mr Minocha express his sympathies with the one, who is living a solitary life, because she desired to see her youngsters lead a fuller life. He says, "Kavita ji, I don't think that I have an authority to pass any judgment over your ideology, and acts taken or the resultant rewards desired, or at least expected by you in this case. If you permit me to take the liberty of expressing my own feelings in this regard, I believe that man being the rational animal, has two distinct capacities for load-sharing with others of his kind. As one relates to his load-shedding tendency, while the other concerns his load-bearing tendency. ...... “ ........... Ms Kavita had been impressed by the mannerism, views and the alacrity of the 27-year-old girl, Bhoomika, who had been requested by Mr Minocha for the purpose of giving company to Ms Kavita during the period of her illness. Even having completely recuperated herself, Kavita expressed her unwillingness in allowing Bhoomika to return home. She was full of tears in her eyes, while thanking her quite affably with the words, "Can't you live longer here, as my younger sister, till you are married off?" ......... Having sent their wards away, the seniors entered into a dialogue, aiming to clear haze from each other's mind, in respect to the particulars of her own side, subject, however, to the constraints and restraints, under which she is, at this point of time. So far as Miss Kavita is concerned, she did not feel pressure of any sort, in declaring that the girl has been living with her for just over a year. She further illuminated her listener with yet another fact about herself. She frankly tells her that Mr. Minocha is one of the about a dozen persons, who love to enjoy their evening over a cup of coffee together at a particular spot in Connaught Place, quite often. "It was Mr. Minocha, who recommended me to accept this girl as my companion, as I was feeling loneliness around me, because remaining spinster, in spite of the fact of my parent's earnest efforts to see me married off during their lifetime.” ........... Immediately thereafter, Kavita extends her hand towards Mr. Minocha, for the purpose of placing him beside herself, while Nancy is likewise treated by the boy's mother, who had already heard about this distinguished guest, from the mouth of Bhoomika, as classifying Nancy Madame as her mentor and benefactor, during her period of tribulations, just on her entry into Delhi, almost a decade ago. ......... Then, after the ritual is over, this disgruntled person, while personally receiving the greetings from his friends, business colleagues and relatives, is moving about in the sitting lounge to request the invitees for moving towards the dining area. Here, he observes to his dismay that Mrs. Bhattiyaran is herself pushing the wheelchair, occupied by an old and infirm lady. He could not digest the idea of a bigwig rendering such type of service to someone in a public, howsoever close may be the relationship between the two of them. ........ It happened to be the Onnum festival. They were served with traditional food and sweets. Kammo spoke a few Punjabi words, sporadically, almost into the very ears of Hariharan, to convey that they should shelve, at least for the time being, the task of parting with the things, they had brought for that blessed person. Hariharan appreciated his companion's timely suggestion. Soon, they wrapped up the meeting with a note of remembrance for the departed soul and also throwing a cursory hint of maintaining contact with that couple, for the sake of paying their respects to that `sweet soul`. ....... Meanwhile, Nihal Didi, I mean your mother was also taken into confidence, by her sister. Soon, Kumud had realized, after a fortnight's stay there that she should not stay in Delhi, like this, it being inhabited by a good number of devotees of that 'muth', particularly, in the light of the information that she had gathered from her Didi that Maharaj Ji of those days, had died of a curious ailment, developed as a sequel to a bout of continual 78-day-long spell of sneezing. ......... Having mulled the above information, Kavita had come to the conclusion that Nancy must be involved, to compel the habitual offender, to deliver the goods, may be performing under duress. With this end in view, she sends an SMS to her, to fix venue and the timings for the confidential talk she wanted to have with her, preferably when Bhoomika is not at all expected to be around. ....... Hansa had already been introduced to her by the bride herself, as "My Neha Didi, This man gives her one packet, to be delivered to the bride. Perhaps, she is receiving some instructions from him, as she takes out her pocket diary and pen to write down something therein. Of course, the pen and the diary are slipped back into their original place, while Neha walks down to the bride, followed by that man. ....... Madhu Lata had felt like admonishing her friend, because it seemed to her that Madhu failed, as she did not take the realistic view of her personal circumstances, at the time of entering into the matrimonial contract with a rich person, maintaining a hi-fi lifestyle. So she had said, "I wonder, how a non-earning girl can afford to enter into this type of marriage contract. ........ "To my mind, it seems that mankind has not only devised two very fundamental concepts, for its preservation, continuity and the enjoyment of its material prosperity in an orderly manner, but has also kept itself almost pinned down to them since ages. No doubt, these concepts, religion and politics, have played a great role in the satiation of one of the most prominent instincts, called gregariousness, essentially available in its members. In fact, both these concepts have helped the human society to come out of savagery. Whereas religion plays its role in rinsing out the evil in the man as an individual, politics uses its influence and power, doing the same task on a collection of men. The connotations given to religion may look differently, at various places and from time to time since the advent of civil society on this planet. To lead a civil life, one has to accept the domain over oneself, of one or the other form of government that controls the management of a sovereign state. ............ “ ...... Thus, on Kavita's suggestion, a meeting with Abbasis was arranged at the latter's residence. During this meeting, Kavita had proposed to ensure for themselves that this couple, who had done a marvellous job to safeguard Ankur's interest, to the best of their capacity, without succumbing to the threats coming from Naresh Vaswani, must be given due recognition. The result of the deliberations in this respect had made its appearance, in the form of a short skit, in which all of them had acted their respective role, before the audience of invitees to the wedding celebrations. ..... ... Thus, all the three of these ladies were enabled by mutual trust, to utilize this newly found treasure, for the benefit and welfare of the downtrodden. Eventually, a trust, headed by Bhoomika, was formed, by way of including Nancy, Kavita, Kalpana, Ankur and Maitri Mala as members and Bihari Lal Ji, as patron. The team of these seven persons has been constituted on the basis of their distance from Bhoomika, keeping in view her guardians and the relatives on 'the in-laws' side. .............. However every time, he ends this exercise with drawing solace for himself, as he would say, "Anyway, everything is not lost for me , a staunch Hindu, in the wake of my having assured at least one benefit out of this 'real son of mine, that Ankur would definitely forward himself to offer `mukhagni`* in my case, whereas Devika has by her will, handed over to Maitri Mala, beforehand requesting for this privilege for the issueless Hindu `Bhua` of Ankur, when he was just a child, in his teens." ........... *A prerogative of the eldest son, to kindle fire, close to the face of the dead body of a Hindu, to initiate the cremation proceedings, at the pyre.

 

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