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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hyper Paradox

‘Beggars cannot be choosers’ neither they can be losers. With this end to my thinking here is an absolutely different perspective of a beggar and stands contradictory to my last blogged perception of an alms earner. Have to assess if my thoughts are infringed by these section and why is it all over me.
Here is an interesting episode narrated to our course group of Distance learners and is worth sharing either for laughs or for contemplation. It was a pleasure to have with us Mr. Pankaj Thakur an eminent writer, translator and editor of Assam who shared his experiences with us. He has given a thought provoking element as he described the incident of one of his acquaintance with a beggar. It was more like an anecdote to me and wonderful to listen to the interestingly placed facts. I hope I am able to do justice with this piece.
It so happened that this man was on his way to his office, expected to be overwhelmed as it was going to be his first day at work. As he walked out of his house he came across a beggar and an existence of satisfaction and generosity provoked him to offer alms. So, the man gladly took out from his pocket a Rupee ONE coin and placed it on the beggar’s platter. The latter was overjoyed and blessed this man several times. (Guess he had a superlative day at work) Once more to satisfy his humane urge the next day the alms & blessings give n take episode took place and continued so for about a year.
The following year the alms came down to FIFTY Paise. Unable to understand the dropping generosity and fear of questioning why so, the beggar apparently accepted what had been offered (probably by suppressing his facial expressions).
The following year was even haplessly unblessed for this otherwise happy go lucky beggar. To his astonishment the alms further dropped down to TWENTY-FIVE paise. His trepidation never formed into a question, assuming some kind of alarm. However, as this phase continued for a few days, the situation was beyond the control of this irate beggar. One fine day, he made an agreement with his audacity and decided to flush out his apprehensions.
So he did, by approaching his bread giver with all his might presented the hard age of inflation. The man poised and calm defended his plight with the same facts of inflation thus, saying when he was a bachelor life was different and could afford to offer Rupee one each day. The following year he had added expenses like satisfying the needs of his girlfriend whom he later married thus, he settled down to fifty paise. Again family broadened and with the newly born kid expenses further mounted on him and how he decided to offer twenty-five paise each day. Yet, he never stopped showing kindness towards the beggar.
Now hold on! Here is the irony and the moral of this story. The generous man was at the receiving end by the perception of this beggar. After listening to the dilemma of the former, the beggar took to his wit and said “So you have been running your family at my cost!”
Several facts can be deduced from this however, each perception may have a foundation of paradox.  Enigma!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Error in Destiny

Akbar Ali is often seen on the street adjacent to Guahati University with his auctioned destiny. He is a beggar of about 12 years in age amongst many others older or younger to him.  Taking a peek into his utensil (which I assume has multipurpose usage both for food and accepting alms), I found that he generally manage to collect more alms than the rest of his peer group. Just as you might see, he and the rest wears filthy clothes (even if someone donates better ones), maintains dirty legs and hands, uncombed hair (perhaps with lice) and makes sure that all other measures are taken for successful begging.
Yet, what makes the difference for Akbar Ali is his unique condition called Omphalocele which is a congenital malformation in which ‘variable amounts of abdominal contents protrude into the base of the umbilical cord’ (for further details look into http://www.pedisurg.com/PtEduc/Omphalocele.htm ). He piddles and excretes through this organ right outside his abdomen. Talking to him I was informed that his parents did consult doctors however, a treatment recommended for this is often expensive, approximately 15K to 20K. This is a massive amount for those that live below the poverty line and they can never achieve it. Here I must mention that I have least knowledge to what extent Akbar’s parents made an effort to get him treated.
As is obvious, his Omphalocele has made it possible for his comparatively soaring alms. He makes sure that this protruding organ is displayed well and ample sympathy can be earned. Flies sitting on it throughout the day make him infection prone and we don’t know what more disease has been developed due to this.
Prior talking to him I wondered if he is also a member of the so called beggar’s racket which again is an open business for some unscrupulous lot.
I was in fact finicky in touching this topic but digging the matter has revealed a much bitter truth – A foiled fate at Akbar’s disposal. His future is too far away. What prevails to infinity is the materialistic gain in part of his parents or the medical institutes or should I refer to as ace business houses.
An age where whole of India is making news and views for Right to Education, we have one here with no kind of reach and motivation. What could be deduced about his destiny or many others like him definitely jolts our souls but these jolts cannot be possibly implemented in mending the future of this boy.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Stripping Our Assets?

Talking about Assam can bring many pictures to one’s mind however, for those who have visited this region will surely relate it to as abode of beauty. Being a native of this land I have much shared about its enchanting beauty. Nature has enormously showered its blessings with mountains, rivers, hills, flora & fauna and above all the rich heritage.
BUT, maybe not for long the mystic land will continue to be so. This land might gradually cease to be a poet’s dream. The resources here are in abundance but, its proper utilization has been in question ever since.
Development has definitely taken place in the region. But here is something which is not acceptable in the name of development. The environment of the Northern bank of Guwahati is being challenged by the vested interested of a leading cement brand named Topcem. Recently it has been in news that this said company has acquired a huge plot and sought permission to come up with a cement plant. This has faced strong opposition from the locals and the matter is being addressed to Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh. Further enquiry is going on though the concerned authority has been trying to convince the use of modern technology to reduce environmental hazards. Whatever be the technology, it cannot stop the emission of hazardous pollutants that arises from a cement plant.
The tract of land for the proposed cement factory is surrounded by a number of educational institutions including IIT Guwahati, Kamrup District Civil Hospital and also some other offices. North of Guwahati is also known for its historical relevance which is now put to stake. This area on the banks of river Brahmaputra is densely populated and also home for cultural heritage.
Not getting into depth though it cannot be ignored either, it is well understood how the environmental license will be acquired. Sadly, in the name of development the natural bounty will be tampered. Health of the people and the flora and fauna will be facing danger. Even the cultural legacy might be affected at some point of time. No doubt the locals will be accommodated as lower grade employees but the big bite will be the diet of someone sitting far away in luxurious offices. Once the production starts, as a standard practice by such companies, they will not take responsibility of so many adversities that they prepare to bring along with production of cement.
This objection should be treated big. It is a move to save our land, a call to retain its natural beauty. We need to oppose this lest we feel stripped and deprived of our age old assets. With this aspect of development, our coming generations will never see the land as we do. They will be bereft of living in a green land. The world will never again remember Assam for its beauty.