Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sair kar duniya ki gafil, Zindagaani phir kahaan.

I do not remember the name of the One who ran away into the wild as much as for the sake of the love of Mother Nature and Ultimate Freedom as much as due to his troubled family background. Living as a destitute, he managed to survive for around 2 and half years in the wild, before he succumbed to death in the icy American state of Alaska. He had miscalculated the time when the river flowing outside the jungle will be full to its rim with water; and it was this miscalculation that proved to be his undoing. This is the story of the English movie “Into The Wild” that I saw a few months back.

Yes, there are people out there who choose to explore the Unknown over spending their whole life selling soaps or sitting in front of a computer. It is just that they are a bit invisible and you need to look keenly for them in order to discover them and their free spirit.

Even more interesting is the fact that you might not need to look far away to discover them. There may be people you are close to who have been on the Ultimate Journey of Life, have come back and have lived a successful life thereafter.

Last weekend, when Tudu came to my place, the conversation entered the topic of “How to live a life more free, a life in which you need not go to the office daily, and a life which is more exiting and full of adventure.” Both of us are already our marriageable age, and are quite perplexed whether we want to enter the institution of marriage or not. Marriage, after all, is a point of no return; isn’t it? And the decision to enter it must be a well thought out one.

It was during the course of this talk that he remembered that his father had run away to Burma by hiding himself in a Pani ka Jahaj in Kalkatta. He stayed there for quite some time before coming back to his familiar surroundings of Jharkhand. He has lived his life by working in the Trade Union of the Eastern Coal Mines and is planning to launch himself into local politics. He has even got an entry into the Kendriya Samiti of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and, God willing, will grow from strength to strength over a period of time. A life full of life and of activity, I would say.

I had also heard sometime my father saying that Babu (his father) had run away into the Himalayas just after his marriage. Since, I was not very sure of the facts, I called up Chhote Dadaji. He agreed and told that it was basically due to the love of adventure, for the attraction of the unknown that he had done so. The whole family was worried for a whole one month before my Grandfather dropped a postcard to his father from Lucknow. He was away from home for around 5 or 6 months - going through places like Badrinath and Haridwar with the unknown people that he befriended during the course of journey. Since my father was born in 1954, this must have been sometime in 1952 or 1953.

Later, after coming back to Mahnar, my native place, he, being a compounder by education, started a medicine shop and served as the local doctor for the village, treating poor patients for very small token fee and giving them medicines. The day he was cremated, after his untimely and sudden death, the whole Mahnar Bazaar was closed. Around 1500 people from Mahnar and near-by villages had come to my home that day.

Are these lives not as successful as the one that we are trying to lead? Yes, they definitely are. Unlike the present generation, which spends its whole life first in school and then in office, the people of yesteryears  probably did have a better sense of freedom and adventure. Where has that unbound spirit been lost? Why is it that the only fight that we are left with today is concerned with earning our daily bread and raising a family and nothing else? 

Let me have a peek at my own life.

The only time I have run away till date was on the day of my class 12 Mathematics Board Examination. I had run away to the Shankar Talkies, the only Dolby theatre in the whole of Deoghar district at that time, to watch the newly released Haan Maine Bhi Pyar Kiya Hai. And I was not alone; we were a group of 4 or 5 boys. We had sneaked away into the open and under the darkness of the evening had walked all the way to the Shankar Talkies. One thing that Vidyapith was really low on was movies. We had to wait for months together for seeing a Hindi movie, and that too after a lot of censorship from the office of Shakti Maharaj.

Chhote Dadaji, while telling me about the run-away adventure of Dadaji, told that that was an era when people were influenced by Sri Rahul Sankrityayan, who had apparently given the slogan - ghar se bhago.

Dadaji also told a very beautiful shaayari, which is –

सैर कर दुनिया की गाफ़िल,
ज़िंदगानी फिर कहाँ?
औ' जिंदगानी है ग़र फिर तो 
नौजवानी फिर कहाँ?

I find myself humming this sher very often these days. 

May be one day I will muster enough courage to go on my own journey. May be that day will be sometime in the near future. Kyuki zindagi me kam se kam ek baar to bhaagna banta hai, mere dost.

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