Bullock Bhaiya - Untold Memoir
Bullock Bhaiya - Untold Memoir6 mins 182 6 mins 182
My car raced in the narrow path, I peeped my head out of the window, inhaled the warm hot air, it has been 22 years, the “Kocheri” village has transformed its guise...I watched the few mini shopping malls which were minuscule vendors shelter then.
I met bullock bhaiya here.. twenty-two years ago... The same place where I used to peddle my bicycle and storm towards the school, it was a cold winter air which brushed my hair on that day, I started from my home and peddled fast.
Suddenly, a loud whip sound of whip startled me! I turned my head around and saw a tall bearded young fellow talking with bulls and racing it with a whip. It was a hilarious scene when he said “Go Rama... Soon... Rama”, I blinked at him. He smiled at me and came near my cycle, “why are you blinking at me like this? Already it's late for you, the bell has gone, go to school”.
He uttered these words and stormed off. He was looking very handsome, with a peculiar brown mole in the hollow dimple, the amiable look registered inside my eyes... I was a small boy of 12 years then, I didn't know which made me admire him..
The very next day I saw him sitting under the large banyan tree and giving ladoos to a few school boys. I stared at him hiding behind my cycle.. Suddenly someone patted my back. Bullock bhaiya stood there with the same amiable smile, "what is your name kanna? ” he asked with the gentle young man's tone.. Even that was admired by me. “Rama” I replied with a little shrug. He laughed hard “oh... I understand, why you were blinking at me yesterday, is it because I shouted your name? ”. He laughed hard.
The brown mole shimmered and swallowed by his dimples when he's laughing. I exhaled my reluctance and said, “it was one of the reasons ”.
“Oh! Then what was the exact reason Rama?” he said and there was a short pause and I replied, “I love the way you talk to your cows and the way you are racing your cart”.
“Rama, these aren't cows, these are bulls and I race bullock cart,” he said tenderly and gave me few laddus.
“OK then go ahead, I can hear your school bell” bullock bhaiya waved bye and stormed off in his cart.
From that day onwards I lied to my mom about school timings and went early to meet bullock bhaiya. He used to bring delicious dishes.. Like dhahi kachori, Khakra, the delicious laddus which are hard to chew yet tasted better.
Bullock bhaiya always looked like a prophet for me, sometimes prophet, other times an epitome of a gentleman.
“Rama, do you like Kocheri? ”he asked me one day wearily, which was entirely different from his disposition.
“I do” I replied chewing Khakra.
“What do you like here ?”
“My mom, dad, old Kali temple, this banyan tree, you and your bulls” I replied innocently.
He giggled and patted my back “then why these stupid village people are moving to cities and towns? Is it because these crops are getting dry? I will remain here till my last breath ”he said proudly.
Bullock bhaiya adored his farmlands.. He was such an exotic farmer, all he knew was millets, crops, and two Ramas ...his bulls.
“Don't waste food, you are killing thousand farmers' hardwork ” he said when I threw the carrot curry once.
I love wandering his farmland and touching his millet crops, I could see the same innocent look of bullock bhaiya in the crops, when rustled in wind.
Most of the time we met under the large banyan tree in his farmland, I love the shady place and enjoyed his company, sometimes I was baffled with bullock bhaiya 's intelligent talks, which were curious stories for me. He discusses various issues about politicians, crops, agriculture, etc.,
I never asked his real name all I knew was “BULLOCK BHAIYA ” an innocent twenty-two years old farmer... My childhood friend, my big brother...!
One day dad came rushing into home with a cheerful look. “Radha..god has shown us the way.. I got a job in Mumbai. We are going to live a happy life hereafter ”he lifted me and kissed my cheeks .. Mom's eyes were full of tears, she hugged my father. They started talking about my studies in mumbai. “Ma.. Are we going to leave Kocheri ” I asked naively. “Rama, you are lucky, your dad is going to give you a posh life in Mumbai which our parents couldn't afford. You're going to live in Mumbai... ” she brushed my hair softly while saying this.
They started planning about shifting our luggage.
“Even we are going to move from this village, all crops are drying, farmers are selling their lands and moving to cities. This government is not considering our village farmers' petitions” I heard Murari uncle talking to my father.
I thought of bullock bhaiya and pedaled my cycle to see him. I searched under the banyan tree, he's not there .. I searched the entire farmland... I couldn't see him. I was tired and came back to my home. Mom informed me that we're shifting our home tomorrow. I saw Raja, my classmate, playing near my home... “Raja, did you see bullock bhaiya” I asked him my voice was quivering with disappointment.
“Don't you know? His crops got dry..he's now under debts, villagers told him to run away somewhere... But he was very adamant not to leave his village and not selling his farm land..no one saw him for the past few days... Maybe he would have gone somewhere ” Raja widened his eyes, narrated, and went back to play.
I was very worried that day, I couldn't sleep...bullock bhaiya's innocent smile flashed inside my mind!
The next day, we packed our luggage and started in the sprawling cart. When we crossed bhaiya's farmland I saw a huge crowd near the banyan tree. I asked the cart driver to stop the cart and went near the banyan tree... I got startled, a thunderstorm passed inside my head... Bullock bhaiya was there with the same amiable look but was hanging in the branch of the tree.
“He hanged himself... He didn't want to sell his land for buildings, he wrote many petitions to the collector, he didn't seem to care.. So eventually he hanged himself in this tree last night ” one of his fellow farmers cried. My dad clutched my hand and dragged me to the cart. I saw those two bulls “Ramas” staring at his body.
I cried my heart out. Those dimples were shrunken, dad comforted me, cart moved fast... We left Kocheri hurriedly. We were now far from Kocheri village, but I could still remember those words of bullock bhaiya.
“WHY THESE STUPID VILLAGE PEOPLE ARE MOVING TO CITIES AND TOWNS? IS IT BECAUSE THE CROPS ARE GETTING DRY? I WILL REMAIN HERE TILL MY LAST BREATH ”
It has been 22 years, I still hear several voices of bullock bhaiyas, who lost their lands due to urbanization and industrialization.