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Abu Siddik

Abstract


5.0  

Abu Siddik

Abstract


The Day That Clears My Slate

The Day That Clears My Slate

4 mins 221 4 mins 221

It was a sunny morning. I reached the author’s home on time. His two-storied white house stood silent in the sun. The front garden was fenced with bamboo railings, and it boasted of roses, marigolds, chrysanthemums, dahlias.


I rang the bell, and a minute later the cook let me in. The half-lit room was small. It had a single bed, a sofa, a table and a chair. The author was sitting cross-legged on the bed, eyes closed. Left alone I closely surveyed the room. A pile of old, fat, dusty books and files lay desultorily stacked on the table. Through a crack in the west side window timorous rays of the sun was peeping into the room.


Ten minutes passed and he opened his eyes. His face was ruddy.


“Who sent you? Taj?” plainly he asked. His face was expressionless.


“Yes,” I mumbled.


“You’re a poet. Fine! Ah! To begin a day with a poet and poetry…” he cried for the cook, and she brought a glass of milk, two pieces of bread.

The author with his shaking hand hurriedly took out a plastic box from the drawer. It was stuffed with myriad coloured tablets, capsules, tubes, bottles. He gulped half a dozen pills, took two spoons of velvety liquid. After breakfast he again took a capsule.


He was over seventy, whitish, and hair receding, portly, clean-shaven, and face plump, limbs lean and languid.


He was writing a book on Indian Farmers and Farming for ten years. He visited the whole country, interviewed thousands of farmers, and collected their diaries and memoires, deeds and relics. He was an institution. 


He also had a keen interest in preserving historical buildings and ruins of his area. Today we would go to visit a near-by ruined temple.

A cab was hired.


It was my first visit, and I was impressed. I had no idea of the author’s physical challenges. Only left hand he had and it was shaking twenty four hours. And his shaking hand was his lone saviour. Reading books and journals, taking notes, scribbling pages after pages for years, and even wearing his usual dress, pyjamas and panjabi—his hand rescued him. At this age the way the author was handling his creative and material life left an indelible impression on me.


Physically challenged, eyesight poor, body failing, but his childlike smile stole my heart. Frankly, I fell in love with the guy. I wondered about the fountain of his energy and will power. You might ask if his spouse and children were living with him or not. But such a curiosity never struck me. I got a chance. I spent two hours with him and made the most out of it. And my idea about creative life got a sea-change.

Why?


His simplicity, his penchant to his work, his cause and commitment to his neighbouring peasant masses, his patience, his indomitable spirit, his unassuming talks and innocent smile, his loving personality, his wisdom, his sense of humour, his loneliness, his lone and long journey and his ill health—all made me worship him.


He never pined like Ulysses who was not duly recognized by “a savage race,/That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.” Rather he found bliss being neglected by his own people, and in his silence we found eloquence. He was an artist who could happily live with his despair and dream. He could sacrifice anything and everything for his chosen path. His body failed him, his people failed him, and even to his close friends he was an eccentric. And he bore all prejudices, criticisms, ill words with a merciful smile.


Only two hour-stays with the aged author sparked my dying embers, and gave me a new lease of creative life—the life I admire and adore.

A professional scholar works for his career and fame, whereas this author is burning his oil to kindle light in million distressed hearts. He is a farmer and he is not after name and fame. He reminds me of Shakespeare’s words,

“What a piece of work is man!”


The author exemplifies the power of will, determination, dedication, love and sacrifice, and he inspires me in hour of depression and darkness.


 

 



 

    

    




  







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