It was a calm and fresh July morning when I was looking through the gaps of the bel leaves to capture the most perfect image in my D.S.L.R. camera.
Goodness Gracious! ” l exclaimed out of fright; on seeing 'Burobaba' motionless in his only asset; his ‘riksho-gari' .I rushed in to call my mother. She said ‘His pulses are falling I'll call up the ambulance.’
The ambulance arrived within fifteen minutes. The ward boy connected the pipes to the renal region of ‘Buro-Baba's left hand. The fluids kept dripping into his vessels as the vehicle negotiated through the jam-packed road.
“Don't worry, he'll be okay', consoled my mother; even though the same anxiety filled up her mind. ’Baba' is of Bengal origin. He crossed the borders and stepped in our country in search of his lost son. Five years have passed since then. He and his 'riksho-gari’ found eternal peace under the shade our Bel tree.
The ambulance stopped in front of the huge sky building with a placard that ‘Hooghly hospital!
Baba was made to lie on a wheeled patient bed and was immediately taken to the 'Intensive Care Unit ' where the doctors gushed in hurriedly while my mother completed the necessary formalities. Meanwhile, I got a call from my father.
‘Bapi, Buro-Baba, that old man about whom I‘ve been talking to you since the past few months is in a really serious condition. He is in the ICU. Please be at the Hooghly hospital as soon as possible.” I said.
'Buro-Baba' was not just any rickshaw puller. He bought me my asthma medicines when no one was around. He helped ‘Ma’ with grocery shopping and stayed in front of our house all day. Throughout the past five years when Dad wasn't there after his transfer: “I am landing at 3:00 pm, will be right there. Don’t worry!” said Dad.
Ma came and sat beside me after the formalities were over. Somebody patted me from the back. I turned to find my father smiling at me. Ma went out to get some snacks for us. Bapi sat beside me and enquired, “Now tell me. Who is the man? And what is the matter?”
I started narrating Buro-Baba's biography. I told Bapi that he was a Bangladeshi man who had come here in search of his son. He said he had promised to stay with his 'khokon' till the last breath when he sent his only ward to India for security reasons. But he only had a silver chain as the sign of his son.
"You tell me Bapi, how is it possible to identify his son by means of a simple silver chain? Like for instance even you are wearing one. "
The doctor came out with a pale face,” Sorry, he is no more. "I started weeping against Bapis's chest and heard him whisper softly,
"Baba kept his promise. ..."