The Duo - Vijayotsavam
The Duo - Vijayotsavam
What is 'Dharma'? The Almighty says in Bhagwadgeeta , that whichever is adopted, and followed that is 'Dharma'. The greatest warrior Arjuna then requested him with folded hands at his feet "Oh God!...please clarify, what kind of adoption is to be said as Dharma?...and Why?....guide me Oh Lord!. Krishna said with a smile "Dear Paarth!..to protect the welfare of society, to protect the common good of Cosmos; in order to ensure the collective benefit of mankind, whatever is adopted, would be treated as Dharma. Nature is looking upon you Son!, and waiting for your response.
Nature is watching how this son of Kunti will counter injustice?...and will he even do this or not?. Not countering injustice will always promote it. Humanity is watching what Arjuna does? Will he raise his hands against injustice or not? If he will not raise his Gandiva, the upcoming generations will remember him as a person who abandoned his duty of protecting larger interests of humanity, and preferred his microscopic views. He left the just cause and helped injustice. Remember Dear Arjuna!!...to follow truth and justice never means being neutral in the conflict of right and wrong, of justice and injustice but it exactly means that you must take stand for only truth and justice and must fight against injustice in each and every situation. History will record that when it was needed the most, Arjuna did not follow his duty i.e. Dharma and betrayed Humanity, betrayed the justice. He behaved like a coward and immoral person and left the 'Dharmakshetre Kurukshetre'. O Great son of Pandu!!.....it is your Dharma to raise the hands ,and to fight today.
ātmaiva hyātmano bandhurātmaiva ripuraatmanah.
"You are actually the best and strongest companion of yours and your worst enemy as well. Thus it is in your own hands to shape your destiny. You should work in such a fashion so that you ascend towards the higher pedestal of morality and humanity. You should never lower yourself by your deeds."
Morning news were being aired on TV, and 27 years old Aruna, her 16 years old brother Lenin were just about to leave for University and School respectively. Suddenly landline phone of their house located at Georgetown area ranged. Their father Vijayraj ran inside and picked the phone while mother Geetika was waiting for him with kids outside. Vijay ended the conversation in seconds and came outside. Children were getting late.
"Its enough...we are getting late and you are attending calls." Geetika angrily taunted Vijay. He replied with a smile as usual "It may be anybody's call, maybe some important call.....lets move fast in the car." "Mom, Papa can't listen to you come what may" Lenin teased Geetika. After a few seconds, their white Honda City was on course towards Lenin's School. Children were on rear seats while parents were on the front.
They dropped Lenin near his school, located in Civil Lines area of district Azadnagar and proceeded to University for dropping Aruna, from where they started towards their office.
Their office was located near Railway Station in the Civil Lines area's famous Gothic Church. As they reached near the office Geetika saw decoration work was being carried out there and more than office staff, the local people were doing that enthusiastically. Office peon Neeraj saw the car and shouted "Hey!!...Babuji and Madam ji has come!!" , and ran inside the office. He again shouted their many times and ran outside from the office premise towards the car. He reached near the vehicle and thumped the bonnet. He was gasping for breath but was very excited. Geetika yelled at him " O Neeraj , have you gone mad?", meanwhile Vijay lowered his windshield and said with a smile "Calm down dear!!....we are here now.....let us come to the office na?". Geetika was shocked. Suddenly the people of locality along with their children surrounded the car and Geetika had to close her ears. She shouted at Vijay "Please take the car out of this mess....don't know what the hell is going on in the morning?". Vijay was smiling as usual and he was slowly steering the car forward. Neeraj said to Geetika loudly "Not hell madam!!....our office has got name and fame ....not in India but in the whole world madam ji!!.....TV has gone berserk since the morning..have not you watched news this morning madam?" . People around the vehicle were so happy and repeatedly shouting "Congratulations!!.... Congratulations!!.....our locality has been honoured. The name of the locality has appeared on TV screens......now TV channels will come here also...Congratulations!!"
In such super-charged atmosphere, Neeraj was helping Vijay to get the vehicle out of the crowd "You people, please make way for the car....please be aside....don't block the way....please be aside”. Slowly the car arrived near a small, 3-floored, old building. Vijay emerged out of the car in brown cotton Kurta and Paijama with his characteristic smile while Geetika ,in light green Saari was still surprised.
Staff secretary Joshi ji hugged Vijay and said "Years of hard labour of both of you is paying off now, Vijay ji. It has happened just because of you. World has recognized your efforts and this is the matter of pride for us that we are associated, though marginally , with your work. Vijay replied "No Joshi ji, only we two could not make any difference. This is the result of collective efforts and togetherness of you people, the faith you people have shown, in our vision, in us.....and you are not marginal collaborators, in fact you people of this organisation are the real force."
Geetika was irritated and yelled there "will somebody tell me too please.....what is going on here?"
One of the senior staff Mrs. Kamla laughed and said "Someone should learn to speak lie from you Madam.....you are speaking such that you don't know anything.....but let me tell you madam....you can not act" and all staff members burst into a big laughter. Geetika was frustrated "I swear Kamla didi ,I dont know about all these things", then he asked Vijay "you....will you tell me please?".
Kamla madam again laughed and teased her "Madam, please don't tell us that you don't know about prestigious Magsaysay award, bestowed upon both of you." Geetika was surprised further "What?.....what did you just say?...which award?...repeat it again?". Then Kamla madam lovingly put her palms on Geetika's cheeks and said "Yes Madam!....our organization 'Annadata India' has won this year's Magsaysay award for our continuous and tireless work for farmers for the last 20 years. There are only your names have been running on TV since 5 AM today and you are saying that you do not know anything?.....ask Vijay ji, does he not know this?". Surprised Geetika turned to Vijay and he replied calmly, with a smile "That phone call.....when we were leaving....it was from Manila ...they informed me about it.....I could not tell you, because of the hurry....so....that was it."
Meanwhile, an OB van of a news channel was approaching the office, Neeraj saw this and screamed with joy "look at that, Babuji!!...people are coming!"
Geetika was unable to find words to describe the feeling. She was overwhelmed. It happens. If some unexpected joy suddenly appears, one can't express it and that feeling emerges through eyes. Geetika was biting her lips in nervousness and tears started to ooze through her eyes. Kamla ji hugged her and said "This is not the time for tears Madam....the mission started by Pathak ji and Krishna Babu, their dreams that we should voluntarily dedicate ourselves to the welfare of our farmers, and we should do our best for them.....certainly their souls would have felt immense satisfaction and joy today. Once again Congratulation to both of you!!....yes, I am facing Diabetes but today I will have a decent amount of sweets for sure.... I will take one more tablet, that's it." Geetika became emotional and said "Didi, it was never possible without the support of these people like you. You people are our real asset, our everything....this award is actually not for us, it is your award." She then again hugged Kamla ji. Somebody from staff teased her "Madam!..there is another person with you too", staff laughed loudly and Geetika was blushing and smiling, then She hugged the right arm of her husband Vijay.
Vijayraj ordered 5 k.g. Motichoor laddus for the staff, then a furious Geetika objected "have you lost it, Vijay?....Magsaysay award and 5 k.g. laddus?.....do you not feel ashamed?....you are just like that only.......utterly miser". Vijay made her calm and said, "Geetika, you know all that, I am not good at arrangements.....tell me what should be ordered, I will." Then Geetika insisted on 2 pieces of Smosas and Ras malaai from the famous Kaamdhenu sweets for each staff member and every person from the press.
Many OB vans of news channels had arrived by then, and reporters were competing for a bite of Vijayraj ji and Geetika ji. Some correspondents started interviewing office peon Neeraj, some were asking questions from locals and what were the questions? ".....yes.....which snacks Vijayraj ji prefers with tea?.......Which songs Geetika ji does like the most?.....which kind of clothing Vijairaj ji prefers?......yes, do you want to sing?......do you want to dance?...". The whole day passed in giving bites to reporters. Congratulatory messages were pouring in from every corner of the country. Landline phone of the office was continuously busy. Geetika and Vijay became hell tired as they were answering people over their mobiles. Batteries of the phones had been discharged by the evening. On any usual day, they left their office at 4 PM and by picking up Lenin and Aruna, they returned home by 5:30 PM. Today, it is 5 PM here in office. They had already informed the school principal about the possibility of being late so they requested him to take care of Lenin for 1 hour after closing of school. The principal replied "NO problem Mishra ji, you have been honoured, our district has been honoured, its a matter of joy and pride. You have your own staff too. Don't be tensed. Your ward will be safe here, after closing of school. I myself will be here". They had also informed Aruna about it and said that she had to go to home on her own. Aruna screamed with joy over the phone "Mommy.....Papa.....Congrats!!.....I came to know this only after coming to college......my friends told me. I am so happy today....it would be grand party today.....papa can not play excuses today."
Around 6 PM, they reached Lenin's school with sweets for the Principal who were there. Vijay and Geetika acknowledged the generosity of Principal They gifted sweets and proceeded towards their home. They stopped in mid-way at Kaamdhenu sweets again which was perhaps the best sweets shop of Azadnagar. They entered into the shop with Lenin. Vijay asked him "Lenin, choose anything, we will buy that." Lenin was surprised, at this gesture of his father who was notorious for austerity. Vijay asked him again "tell us Lenin, what sweets do you want?" Lenin smiled "Papa, have you won Lottery?" Vijay smiled and said, "you may assume such". Then Lenin said, "O.K. then, we will have milk cake for Didi and Rasmalaai for me, along with Faluda Kulfi too for us, rest whatever you want."
They bought sweets and reached home where their neighbours were present in large numbers. They cheered and welcomed them raucously. An overjoyed Aruna came outside and hugged her mother "I am proud of you Mom!", she said and kissed on Geetika's cheeks. Then she hugged Vijay and said, "you are simply amazing Papa!!". Lenin said to her "Didi, we have pretty much of Milk cake". Aruna kissed upon his forehead and all of them moved slowly towards the door. Neighbour were saying to the children "guys....your parents have made us, this district Akbarabad so much proud......you will also have to do like this." Slowly neighbours departed and the family came inside the house. Children went into their room with sweets and Parents went to their room for change.
Geetika was changing in front of the dressing table. She saw herself in the mirror and said "I am hell tired now. The whole day was so much hectic. On any other day, it would not have happened, but today I am completely exhausted." Vijay came from behind and hugged her by the waist, put his chin on her right shoulder, looked at the mirror and teased her "It is still so much left in you!!....that too at this age", and gently kissed upon her neck. Geetika smiled and gently pushed him aside "Mr. Vijay...is your heart and head on the right place?" Vijay smiled and said "If a refreshingly beautiful woman is standing in front......what do they say?.....yes, beauty with brains....that too in these clothes.....how one can control his heart and head?" Geetika laughed at it and hugged Vijay, she said "what beauty? what brain?, Vijay.....its all yours, otherwise we have also seen many people. It has been not a single relation which we have not witnessed as a ruined, corrupt relation. But today I myself and my Aruna are in such a situation because of you, otherwise....you know, I am a bad blood." Vijay kissed upon her forehead and said "you filled divine music in my life Geetika, just as your name is. All of this is not because of me, but actually, it was a possibility that somebody would have finished me and my body would have been recovered from some drain. I was weak, so much weak....i could not do anything. Today I am existing that is because of you.....and you are not bad blood at all.....you are a noble soul……..please don't say this again."
They were quietly watching each other with so much love. Their faces were so close. They were feeling the warmth of each other breaths, they wanted to be one. Vijay teased her in front of mirror "It is still so much left in you!!....that too at this age", he said this just to pamper her but he was not at fault for sure. Geetika was looking actually so much b'full even at 55. Though every person takes care about herself so that she may look beautiful and elegant, but perhaps their are some special people, beautifully created by The God. May be Geetika was in this bracket, or there is another possibility that may be her intellect and noble character got fused with her physical beauty and this presented her as so much beautiful person. Akbarabad University was among the best Universities of not only Uttar Pradesh but of the country those days where students always wanted to get enrolled. Geetika got her graduation in 1st class from this very institute followed by 1st class M.A. in 'Social Work'. Then she opted for an M.Phill from Akbarabad University in 'Social Work', and she scored 75% marks in it.
Then she got admission in Law Dept. of the University from where she completed her L.L.B. in 1st class. Meanwhile she started practice in Akbarabad Highcourt and District court. She was very active in raising issues related to farmers, labourers, poor women, etc. and filed many Public Interest Litigations on those issues. She wrote articles, and critical analysis extensively, on a continuous basis on these topics in news papers, news magazines. After her marriage, she continued her work with the help of her husband Vijay and both of them formed 'Annadata India' NGO, through which they were tirelessly working for farmers and labourers. It has been more than 20 years since then. Even after being a wife and a mother of two, she continued her activities with the same vigour and not only this, she regularly told her children about the importance of farmers, women in our society and encouraged them to think over it. Aruna was persuing M.Phill., after a B.A. and M.A. in Economics, because of this reason. So Geetika's natural beauty gracefully gelled with her intellect and professional endeavours which presented her as a complete women personality which everyone desires. Also, it was a fact that Vijay liked her so much and why not so?....everybody wants such lady in his life.
Suddenly a knock at the door played spoilsport in their ultimate romantic moment, Aruna was at the door "Mom!..Papa!...come here please!...its a surprise for you". Then both of them came back into senses and changed their clothes, and came out of the room. Children were ready with a homemade cake. Vijay was amazed "What is this Beta?...when you did it?". Lenin said "this is apple-oatmeal cake, Didi has prepared it and it is without egg also, so you may eat." Geetika felt overjoyed and hugged her daughter. Kissing her she asked "Why have you done this baby?.....we have so much sweets today, why you took such task?". Aruna said "No Mom!..no task as such...it is straight out of the heart. Today when I reached University and friend told me, I felt overwhelmed. Whichever teacher came, he first asked "who is the daughter of Geetika pathak ji?".....then every teacher congratulated me, and I did not have words to explain it. Then we came to know that teacher will not attend last period, and I immediately rushed towards home, thinking all the way that I would have some preparations today for sure." Then she said to Vijay "Papa!..it contains not much sugar, there is also no maida into it, it is made of oatmeal, and aata, so you may have it easily." Vijay smiled and hugged her "baby, be it easy or not, i will enjoy it certainly today...you have put so much effort, out of love into it....definitely, we will have it." Then Lenin brought a knife from the kitchen and both Geetika and Vijay cut the cake together and Aruna shot it on her phone and updated her WhatsApp status.
Geetika then smiled and said after this celebration "O.K....we have been on sweets since this morning but I know that only daal-chawal-sabzi would serve the purpose for us, so I am going to the kitchen now. Aruna smiled "Mom!!...I have already prepared daal and sabzi, you will have to do only chapaatis, as nobody will have my chapaatis." Vijay said "no issue at all baby!....you don't have to won certificate from somebody for chapaatis. You have enough time for it certainly.....so you don't think about chapaatis now...think about what you should have to."
After dinner, the children went to their room and Parents came into their room. Vijay very quietly sat on the bed putting a bulky pillow behind his back. He removed his specs off his eyes and put it on a stool adjacent of the bed, then he started rubbing his eyes by his right-hand fingers and thumb. Geetika interrupted "how many times I have told you that you should not do this?" and she set aside Vijay's hands off his eyes, and cuddled him, put her head on his chest. Vijay said "there is a bit irritation in eyes." "then you should use eye-drop instead" Geetika remarked. Vijay smiled "then how will I see you?". Geetika smiled and gently patted upon his chest "just keep you mouth shut...understand?" After a few minutes, Geetika raised her face with a smile and asked "irritation in which eye?" , Vijay said "..in both" , then she gently kissed on both of his eyes one after another. Vijay kissed on her neck and said with a smile "..now it would not." A shy Geetika again embraced him lovingly.
For some minutes they were just sitting like that quietly. Then Geetika raised her head. Vijay was looking upward in a pensive mood. She put him off gently and asked "Vijay,..what are you thinking so seriously?" Vijay replied with a sigh "I am thinking about our times....25 years back....who were us?...in what circumstances?..then what happened?....and how we are here? I seriously think that a very different and exceptional fate would have been written for us." Geetika laughed "exceptional fate?" ,then she became serious and said "..not an exceptional fate, Vijay....in fact not a fate at all I think. When fates were being allotted at the office of Almighty, I think we might have stood at the end. Vijay denied "No, I dont think so...had it been true, then we might not be in the situation, that we are in today." Both became silent again. Then Geetika said, "...but one thing is for sure, when husbands were being allotted then definitely I might have stood at the front." Vijay smiled " well...thanks for this misconception, madam." Geetika also said with a smile "O.K., Let me live in the paradise of this misconception." Vijay kissed her cheeks and hugged her again. Geetika again teased him "..you received that call in the morning regarding intimation.....why did you not tell me?....now I feel offended....now you will convince me."
Now Geetika was looking at her husband's face and was feeling immense joy. Actually her frequent phrase "I feel offended, you convince me" worked such that Vijay felt helpless and his smile disappeared every time she coined that phrase. It had been continuing for the last 20-25 years. Actually, the problem was with Vijay that he was simply unromantic. He was just so simple that he did not even know how a beloved could be offended and how one could convince her. He considered all these things as a melodrama, originated by Hindi films, which was definitely true although but these very things always buzz in a woman’s mind. Every girl or wife definitely wants that her beloved or husband will cherish or pamper her always. Geetika was not an exception.
This was not Vijay’s cup of tea and she knew it perfectly, so Geeta frequently left him speechless by throwing this line at him. She knew that this man could not find the way, as he did not know this female psychology. Therefore She frequently tossed it and Vijay became the laughing stock repetitively. Interestingly, He also knew it that this was Her ‘Bramhaastra’. He answered somehow “please do not feel offended,…we were getting late for Lenin’s school, so could not tell this to you”. Geetika burst into laughter and said “O.K.,…I pardon you. Vijay, you should feel blessed and fortunate that you have such a wife…who is so much easy going….who is not stubborn." Vijay said with a smile "I feel this fortune every now and then Dear!”. Then again he embraced her lovingly.
After some time, Geetika felt some heaviness upon her right shoulder. She muttered “Vijay!!....Vijay!!...” ,but no reply came. She guessed it right that Vijay had slept by then in that half-sitting posture. It was usual for him to sleep in a sitting posture on a chair or bed while working late at night. She carefully put his head off her shoulder and was trying to lay him on the bed “yes…Vijay….yes, just like this….yes, a bit low….yes..”. Vijay was in deep slumber and he slept soon. Geetika also laid herself beside him but She was a bit restless and not sleeping. After a few minutes, She turned to a sleeping Vijay and bent her right elbow so that she rested her head on her right hand’s palm. She caressed gently his face and started to looking at Vijay so lovingly. She was thinking “What a person the man is?....so calm, composed and honest! He can not think how to convince or pacify her beloved if she says 'I feel offended, convince me now'. He won the award like Magsaysay award and could not tell her wife and children because they were in a hurry. They were getting late for the schools of their children and He was thinking this rather than the award. He ordered just 5 k.g. Laddus for staff over this mega success. It was Geetika who objected vehemently, then He ordered Samosa and Ras malaayi.
He was utterly bad at dressing too. This was not a recent case but actually, it was his habit since his college days. He was Geetika’s batch met at Graduation and she knew that his dressing sense was pathetic. He wore anything and he was just like that even now. It was Geetika who always selected his clothes for any outdoor or formal occasion. Geetika had to try too hard to change his dressing sense after marriage. But, despite all of his flaws, he was the best person of this world Geetika can have. For Her, He was the only person who can be fully trusted. He was most loving, and the best person in Her life who came as a messiah for Her when Her life was facing only destructions.
The 57 years old man who is sleeping here, there was a time when he was an aggressive, radical and a firebrand youth of Akbarabad University. After having a first-class graduation, he opted Political Science and International Relation for his Masters. After a first-class Masters, he completed a first-class M.Phil. from this very subject, followed by a Ph.D. in European studies from Akbarabad University. He was among the top-class students of the campus and remained untouched of any evil. His clothing and his extremely simple, friendly behaviour did not indicate even once that he was the son of a sitting MLA. Due to his popularity ,his friends insisted him to contest the university Student Union election, which he did and won the Vice-President post of extremely prestigious Akbarabad University Student Union. He served for a year as VP and raised extensively the issue of university's hostels, women safety in the campus and poor students belonging to the marginalized section of the society. Students did not know who was the President but they certainly knew who was the VP, such was his dedication during that stint. Not only this, he relentlessly worked for farmers, labourers, pensioners out of the campus. He got the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship during his Ph.D. and went US for 1 year too. He refused the fatty paycheques of US Universities and returned back to India. Students in the campus used to joke about him that 'tell us one thing what Vijay does not know'. He was almost unmatchable in a debate, discussion and what to be said about his oratory skills!!. But this man always managed to maintain long distance from the girls folk of the University. He would have rarely talked to a girl, and even if he did, instantly it became a news in University that Vijay talked to that girl. Irony was that the girl herself used to spread the news among her friends in the campus that Vijay chatted with her.
Vijay continued her work for marginal sects of the society relentlessly even after marriage. He formed organization “Annadata India” with her wife Geetika, which have been working continuously for the farmers for the last 20-odd years. The only negative element of this persona of Vijay was that he did not know how and where to restrain himself, and thus he had to sacrifice a lot in his life. It was indeed a blessing that He got Geetika as his wife who always stood with him through every thick and thin.
Today after almost 25 years, after getting the Magsaysay award, the love and affection towards Vijay in Geetika’s hearts was oozing out profusely and She began to lower down her face upon His. Her lips were pretty much close to his. Vijay was sleeping. Then She lowered her a bit more and very gently put her lips upon his lips. Vijay was still sleeping quietly, with no movement at all. After a few seconds She opened her lips and put his lips inside her mouth delicately. He was still sleeping.
After a few minutes, She separated her lips from his. Slowly, looking at Vijay, her mind started to run backwards and She began to think about their journey in this life. The journey which was forced upon them by their destinies. Nobody performs such a journey by his or her own willingness, but definitely, there is no other option for a person too.
Geetika was thinking continuously, about the times…..about their old city of Akbarabad……about Akbarabad of 25 years back,…..as all of this happened just yesterday….