Saturday, October 09, 2010
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Sunday, May 02, 2010
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Name: Sukhi Patel, Age: 52, Profession: Farmer, Married with no kids.
As I stood by the Ganges, watching his body consumed by fire, I kept asking all kinds of questions to his relatives and friends. They responded with courtesy, but I could see that they were confused about my relation with him. I stood out separate. They knew that I am not one of them.
Answers I got to my questions helped me construct his life. Brought up a series of images.
Sukhi Patel's only son died of an accident days before he was to get married. Sukhi was never the same again. He took to drinking and now - died of kidney failure.
This is how it mostly ends in small towns and villages.
I thought about his wife and wondered what would happen to her and how she would survive with no child to look after her. I wondered what she must be thinking having gone thru the rituals of breaking bangles, removing sindoor and changing to white. After having lost her son a while back.
I wondered where would he be, had his son not been killed in that accident. I wondered how he might have felt when he had showed up at the same Ganges with the asthiyan of his only son.
I stood there for an hour. Alone. My mind racing in all directions., thinking of anything and everything Sukhi Patel had experienced - like the first crops at his farm, the first look at his wife and how he must have reacted when he found out his wife had delivered a baby boy. What were his dreams for himself and his family. What did he think about world affairs if he ever did, and what was his favorite sport? What kind of movies did he see and who was his favorite heroine?
And then a thought occurred to me.
When I was thinking so much about a stranger whose existence I had no clue till about an hour ago...
What was his "creator" thinking about when Sukhi Patel's kidneys failed?
ps: As I was leaving, his friend asked me who I was and whether I had known Sukhi Patel. I told him that I just happened to be at the Ghat, stopped by to see a cremation, and did not know him at all.
Magar, Main us ke dukh ko jantaa hoon....
Sukh sab ka alag alag ho sakta hai. Dukh sabhi ka ek hai.