So I am charged again. Amongst the despair and the sad bad news I saw glad news. It was not news of some happy event but a series of sad events but which has taken a turn towards happiness. Not again automatically but by sheer will power and grit and determination of human spirit. I am still watching the news and as it is unfolding, I am getting agape.
It’s the story of a gal called Baby Haldar. A girl born in Kashmir, Her father was in army who was always absent form the home. And whenever he returned there would be fights between him and his wife. And once he left the home not to return to them. And one fine day when baby was 11 years old, her mom taking her younger brother told her that she is going to market. She went and never returned. So the girl, now left alone lived in homes of different relatives. She discovered that her father had married three times to different women. Having lost her all chances of studying after 7th standard, her relatives married her off at the age of 13 to a youth who was 26 years old.
With marriage started another long saga of physical and mental torture. The father as expected never cared about the 2 children they had and hence baby started working as housemaid. This resulted in further problems and her husband stopped giving any money for the house. Having suffered thus she left the house with her children. Now working at peoples homes as maid doing sweeping and cleaning. From one city to another Durgapur , Kolkatta ,Delhi and now Gudgaon . Here she met a family who treated her well. Having lost her education opportunity she was sad. Once, the head of the family an old man who everyone called “Tatush” (meaning father in Bengali) saw her trying to read. He encouraged her to read and write. And gave her a copy and a pen to write something. As she didn’t know what to write he asked her to write about her life. He used to read what she wrote and corrected her mistakes. He once told her that she was the grandson of “munshi premchand “.
Once it so happened that “Tatush “ gave her a Bengali magazine to read and she was flabbergasted to see her name and what she used to write in the magazine. And another day a publisher came to her home and asked permission to publish her whole series of articles as book. The book now is “ AALE ANDHARI” , already making waves in literature circles. “Tatush” himself translated her book in hindi. And now the book has been translated in many languages. A sweeper of yesterday is now today a writer.
Her children who used to be ashamed to telling about their mother’s profession now proudly say that “My mother is a writer”. When TV channel’s wanted to talk to “Tatush” he refused the interview. He didn’t speak anything on camera and just said one sentence “Maine jo kiya wo to bas kartavya tha”( what I did was just a duty as a human.).
This blog is not meant to promote her book or anything, but through this I wish to express my HATS OFF to her for her spirit to fight and live against odds and to “Tatush” for his being a really good and exemplary human being. My regards and Hats Off to both of them. May god bless such souls and inspire our spirits.