Drama Tragedy Others



Drama Tragedy Others

Bitter and True...!

Bitter and True...!

9 mins

It was the horrible condition of panic and tumultuous tides of uncertainty, doubt and prohibition owing to COVID -19 (Coronavirus) pandemic situation. Everything was changed unexpectedly and there was no idea how tough the times would be for every human being all over the world. We here at Dhemaji, Assam had been also experiencing all shocking news daily...TV, Radio, Print Media and social talk right from home (as many regions were under restrictions -- being divided into zones as per Government notifications as and when situation demanded) had only confusion, confusion and confusion!

Yes, thereafter each and every day we had to pass through myriads of untold stories of social stigma attached with all haphazard concepts and improper information or unjustified information -- which made our life literally stagnant -- no progress...no development...no hope...no way out!

Then, one day Covid Test was done at the Dhemaji Civil Hospital and that very afternoon the shocking confirmation of my wife Deepika's detection of Corona Positive made our life totally blank -- and the rest is history.

Total nine days, I could not even see her...as I was under restriction in my rented room at Bhehpara, Ward No. 4, Dhemaji and she was admitted at the Covid Ward. Those days, I was totally hopeless and helpless regarding my actual life -- the high price of temporary separation from my wife, my compulsion to stay at home (as our housing complex was under Covid restriction...more pathetic condition was that the list of the persons detected with Corona Positive was pasted at the gate which made the situation more tense. Obviously, people used to gossip on others ' pathetic condition owing to the pandemic situation. We all know how easy it is to gossip about others" problems in life (without any humanistic approach, kind-hearted attitude and honesty). And it was totally clear that not a single person was out there who could honestly come forward and help us amidst those tumultuous situation. As Lockdown was still not ordered, there were miscellaneous options when those people whose children I had been serving for many years as a school teacher (without any negligence)...the peculiar mindset of the so-called people who happened to praise my sense of service and dedication...the so-called people whom I often used to meet outside at the market or otherwise, at school and so forth, the so-called well-wishers never turned up to ask me even over telephone if I required any help -- such as marketing of grocery and other things for myself and even necessary help to my wife (under treatment there at the hospital)--- but the tragedy was we found no one known to us, from my workplace, neighbourhood or anywhere -- everyone behaved as if we were UNTOUCHABLES!

Indeed, my wife had asked for help from a so-called well-wishers' family residing at a walking distance from the Civil Hospital for some necessary items for her daily use (with a promise to pay back after all the prohibitions were over.) But to her utter shock, that lady (the so-called family friend often meeting at tea table talk) directly refused to help her with mant excuses such as "The air nearby hospital area was dangerous."    "I am outside at an urgent work.",  "I am out with my son at the   market." "No! No! I can't help you.", Even I had requested her once to just listen to my wife's request, but in vain! That family had shown its real colour of nature. And then, she had made her mobile phone 'busy"... That's the bitter truth!

We recognise people during our own crisis. Those who are beside you that crucial time, are your real well-wishers and the rest are not to be trusted at all. And believe me, not a single person (who already knew and discussed about our condition) neither turned up at the main gate of our housing complex (for help) nor even took us on value as human beings to enquire about our actual situation. Thereafter, we could identify the callousness of the so-called people (familiar but not friendly). Obviously, COVID -19 (Coronavirus) pandemic situation opened our eyes to the selfishness and myopic view of the so-called advanced, established and able people who happened to wear mask and act as creative directors and actors. That's why we keep distance from them who behaved with us inhumanly -- with utter selfishness and apathy. We don't require such people who are utterly selfish, selective, rude and unkind.

My words will be insufficient to fill up our unending pain and agony that we had gone through during our hard times amidst undefined stigma and discrimination being created by the shackles of lockdown period, social discord and pressure of stagnant lifestyle compulsion. So, I speak up quite clear and loud that only one noble gentleman had enthusiastically come forward (after I described our problem over phone during one late evening regarding miscellaneous requirements of my wife Deepika at the Civil Hospital, Dhemaji, as she was very rudely refused by that so-called lady, very close to her during our normalcy) and he was Sri Lilen Buragohain, a renowned businessman dealing with miscellaneous wholesale items at an affordable price. He just asked me to enlist my wife's requirements over cell phone and again confirmed if she required anything more. I was spellbound, as she understood my helplessness and felt my pain of hopelessness within due to the social boycott on the part of those so-called familiar people who were, in fact, very good actors as per their selfish needs from time-to-time...

The next morning, Lilenda sent one salesman of his shop, named Sri Bikash Narah, of No. 2 Botuwa, Matikhola, Dhemaji. He went to the Hospital and delivered all the necessary items from outside as per the need. I would remain ever grateful to him.

In fact, except a few people, no one, no one among our known people here at Dhemaji even enquired humanistically about our pathetic condition during COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic situation. Only our near and dear ones -- my father Sri Narendra Kumar Topadar, my mother, Smt. Swapna Topadar, my younger brother, Sri Victor Topadar, living far away at the village BHAKUAMARI, ALISINGA, SONITPUR, Assam; my younger sister, Smt. Banashree Paul, my brother-in-law, Sri Pradip Paul of M/s. Shankar Medical Hall, Rupahi, Nagaon, Assam; some of our relatives at various place in Assam; my wife's elder brother, Sri Hiren Dutta, living at Bhadrapara, Ward No. 4, Dhemaji; Sri Dipak Kalita of M/s. Dhemaji Book Stall, Chariali, Dhemaji; Sri Lakhi Narayan Goswami, the then Principal of VKV, Dhemaji and Sri Siddharth Dey, the then Office Assistant, VKV Dhemaji had given us emotional support over cell phone. I do acknowledge their humanity during our hard times. I can never repay their utmost sense of responsibility (from a distance) during Covid restrictions!

Anyways, I had to speak up loud and clear all my unspoken pains and agonizing moments of hopelessness and helplessness. I don't hesitate any more, as I really don't care what others have as their enviable bank balance, luxury cars, luxury bikes, multistoreyed building and their social status -- as nothing was found useful or reliable during our real crisis. The moral of the story is people will keep in touch with you if you are 'useful' to them.

And in my case, I was praised, applauded and given positive vibes till the time my teaching skill was of some value and use to their children. But to be very honest, it was in vain, as not a single person had ever enquired how I had stayed within my rented room (under blokade at the main gate) without even proper food items for a week or so!

What a great joke! Once upon a time I was a favourite teacher -- a familiar face in every student's home, if I am not exaggerating, anyways -- a person always given a positive response from a distance -- and all those facts made an opposite turn, the moment I had got an aftershock unexpectedly! 

More peculiar was the fact that students were attending Online Classes over mobile phone, yet not a single call came from any home -- leave the children, they are always children -- but the shocking fact was that no elder person even thought of enquiring how the once familiar "Sir Jayanta" was living life under the stigma and ill-treatment owing to COVID restrictions in our area. The reality was that those who had a better condition and ability to come forward at least to the main gate and supply me with something that I really needed...

In fact, I was not a beggar; I was a scapegoat of the pandemic situation and the result of social discrimination and blatant negligence. I could never ask for anything out of my undying 'atmasanman' (self-respect). And so, I remained 'mum' --- conducted my Online Classes -- literally empty bellied, as the food stock had nearly finished and there was no option for any humanistic approach (even not from the so-called healthy family of our landlady, living at the front side of the housing complex).

I was honestly rendering my school duty (staying at my room), without any complain or grievances, because this society had become symbolically 'dead : null and void' by the time -- during our actual crisis -- as, they were 'safe' and 'secured' in their cozy corner with all lavish lifestyle and standard of living. 

I just dropped my tears at this end and my wife had cried and suffered in agony and pain of loneliness and social apathy. Only Eshwar-Allah-Jesus-Buddha-Mahavira-Nanak and all Nature Gods had poured their holy blessings -- because I had felt the universal truth that there is no borderline of religion ; we must follow 'manavata' (humanity) as the highest form of worship and rest remains value less in the jungle of social discrimination. 

So, I just pray to all, "Just be human beings, first, then you come closer. Don't play with innocent people's emotions just for your personal selfish grudge. Don't praise a teacher for your own needs. Respect humanity. Respect the times of crisis in others' life. A cup of tea and snacks won't make a cordial relation, if you turn your face with utter apathy while a teacher is under real crisis."

I had really faced the worst situation during Covid situation. Hence, I sound Bitter and True. 

Last but not the least, I, hereby, extend my heartfelt gratitude towards Dr. Binod Gogoi, the then COVID incharge, the medical team, nurses, doctors, safai karmacharis, cook and food supply staff and all other members of the Dhemaji Civil Hospital for their untired selfless service and care to all patients...

along with my wife, Deepika. Only because of their dedicated 'SEVA' , she is back to normalcy again. The ambulance service of the hospital was also standard. Every aspect of the hospital got a real development due to the Modi Government's right plan of action at the right time during the Covid situation.

Finally, my happiness knew no bounds when my wife, Deepika was dropped back at our Main Gate on board an A-Class Ambulance on the ninth day after she was first admitted at the Covid Ward on July 24th, 2020 and got discharged in the evening of 2nd August, 2020.

This is my story -- Bitter and True...!

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