to Ma, Baba
guide SEKHAR MUKHERJEE
thank you ANUJ GADRE, ARUN PRAKASH, SONALI UPADHYAYA
“It was the worst of times... it was the season of Darkness... it was the winter of despair.”* Hindutva was on its rise, manipulating minds, igniting communalism and tampering history. On one such winter afternoon, Mother plunged in gloom, went to visit a doctor in North Calcutta, and she took me along with her.
Good afternoon Mrs. SEN, you’re right on time. Please go in
SHEHNAZ, CAN YOU PLEASE...?
NOT A PROBLEM
MA WILL TAKE SOMETIME... YOU MIND GOING FOR A WALK?
* CHARLES DICKENS: A TALE OF TWO CITIES
A few buildings away, Shehnaz and I discovered a small park, a patch of green squeezed in between the leaning balconies and facades of numerous claustrophobic buildings.
calcutta CALCUTTA municipal MUNICIPAL corporation
N.K. Deb PARK
N.K. DEB PARK
I STILL DO NOT KNOW YOUR NAME aBHIMANYU
Whom do you love more? Mom or Dad?
WOW! THE MIGHTY WARRIOR?
Neither of them. I love my friend Palash’s parents. they don’t fight.
PLEASE STAY HERE. I’ll bring you some sweets.
I felt uncomfortable to have divulged my feelings to Shehnaz who moments ago, was a complete stranger to me.
H ay y a ‘ ala -s att a l a ‘l al h ‘ a y -fala y Ha
shehnaz was right on time to rescue me...on our way back she told me that the man we met was just a harlequin - ‘a bohurupi’ who dresses up to perform and earn money. he had dressed as ram that day...
It’s the call to prayers
On our way back, mother started talking to me. She was more composed and looked a lot better. My birthday was approaching and she wanted to know what gifts Iâ€™d like her to buy for me. I narrated every minute detail of my experience and wanted to know more about the harlequins.
And you know what happened?
This huge bohurupi attacked me!
shehnaz gave him a good shouting.
a day before my birthday, all the local newspapers were flooded with the news of the demolition of a 16th century mosque in a place called Ayodhya. The army of soldiers dressed in saffron robes and ribbons had vandalized the site in order to construct a temple, as they felt it was the divine land where their God Ram was born. I instantly recalled the rendezvous with my Ram in the park where I was on the verge of breaking into tears, when Shehnaz came to my rescue.
oh my god!
your school will be closed
There was a curfew in the city. Reports of riots started flowing in.
it was my birthday the next morning...
your favourite pudding
and birthday cake?
The bakery was burned down after three days and we never met the man again.
YES, TELL ME
when are you seeing the doctor again?
It will not be necessary, Iâ€™m alright now.
ASH-HAD AN LA ILAHA ILLA LLAH H... N N A A U M D A UHA H A H AS LULL MM ADAN RASU
That night Mother put off in me the little hope I had to see Shehnaz again ...
BOHURUPI a comic book by ANIRBAN GHOSH January 2010
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