Me and My Activism
Today one of my old friends from school days called up from Lucknow, U.P. He had been reading some of my articles, seen something on the YouTube and sounded worried like hell.
He asked me if I was aware of the consequences of the kind of activism, I had got into? He stated that he knew well that I was this crazy even in my school and college days on account of which I was not permitted to stay in one institution, particularly, the schools for more than a few months.
This phone call stirred a thought process because of which I am writing this piece for my blog.
Unfortunately my dad wanted me to be educated in the very top rung schools of the country, the Indian Ivy league kinds and managed to get me enrolled as well despite and in spite of the usual problems these top rung schools create. But every few months he was summoned to each of the schools that I was admitted in, to be told what kind of rebel and trouble I was. I stood up for each of the coward fellow students who felt that they were wronged in one way of the other, only to see them retracting back leaving me alone in hot boiling soup to face wet canes . I was the perpetual eye sore for school managements, many of the faculty and my seniors.
My dad was summoned to each of the school I went into and after a few of his visits; I was always unceremoniously thrown out. My reputation had spread almost all over the country and a stage came when each of the new institutions that my dad tried, refused admission to me. Everyone, my family to top them all, was sick and tired of me. But I remained the same with my ‘idealism and revolutionary spirit’. Sick and tired, my dad declared me to be a misfit in life. Halfheartedly and without any other choice, he got me admitted into a semi rural kind of government school in a small town of Uttar Pradesh. This small ‘semi rural’ district of U.P. is, however, a major town now days.
Getting admitted to that ‘Rajkiya Uchchtar Madhyamik College’ (Government Intermediate College) was no less than a massive cultural shock, set-back and ‘insult’ for me. I just could not identify myself with my fellow students, faculty, management and even the building. I became totally quiet and depressed, forgetting my idealism and hero worship of souls like ‘Neta Ji Bose’, and the likes of Bhagat Singh who were my ultimate ideals. I started sitting on the last bench of the class, doodling over a copy lost in unknown thoughts. I did not care for any of the teachers and all of them also gradually started ‘loving to punish’ me by either making me stand on the bench or out of the room. Worst of all was the Shastri, a dirty old man wrapped in a rag of a ‘dhoti’, his yellow teeth in a perpetual grin and saliva dripping out of the corner of his mouth. He taught us Sanskrit, ‘an alien language’. But the guy I hated most was a fat old ‘Drawing Teacher’. He was gay and adored me, all the time replacing my horrible drawing with his master pieces and then announcing to the world that they were my creations. Even in the class, he used to keep leering at me. Disgusting creature he was. My disgust for him ultimately made me break an earthen pot which we were supposed to ‘model’. His nut got cracked. Scared that a police case would expose him, he made up a story that he had slipped and cracked his head. But the incident had happened in front of the entire class and news reached the principle in no time. He also tried to hush-up the matter ‘in the interest of the name of the college’. And this brought in a teacher whose name I will not mention, into my life.
This gentleman, a tall and dignified youngish man in late thirties or early forties taught English to some other sections of the college. In the principle’s room, he tried to talk to me in an effort to make me cool down and I, in chaste European accent which I had somehow picked up in my previous schools, pounced on him. Coolly, politely yet firmly, he retorted back in perfect Queen’s English. It was my turn to be taken aback. He went on unmindful of my astonishment, stating how pained he always was to see me standing out of the class rooms as a punishment and how unpopular I was amongst students and teachers alike, particularly the Shastri Jee kind of teachers. I just listened to his short speech, duly apologized at the askance of Mr. Taj Mohammad, principle of the college and went home, tacking leave from him.
Later I came to know that this particular English teacher working in that semi rural school was a top rung pass out from The Oxford. I could not fathom and never ever could even ask, why and what for he had come back to this stupid country, leaving his teaching job in Oxford itself? Somehow I liked him instantly and gradually, he started coming to our house, counseling me off and on and discussing everything except the studies. He asked and discussed my revolutionary ideals and idols. He told me about ancient, medieval and contemporary political thinkers and their ideologies and how they were relevant. He discussed all ‘isms’, nihilism, radicalism and the entire gamut thereof. He taught me how to draw line between things real and idealistic. He helped me coming back on the ‘rails’ and to take life seriously.
And this tall lanky fellow in his white spotless khadi pajama and light brownish kind of khadi kurta; brownish khadi shawl and jacket included in winters; carrying his walking stick (which of course he did not need) in one hand and a few books in the other became my ideal and guiding spirit. I put him on the same pedestal as that of Subhash Bose and Bhagat Singh. He was indeed one of the greatest revolutionaries that I can ever know of. In my life he attained the same status as that of my parents. He reformed me from an idiotic angry and wild colt to what am today, a revolutionary and radical idiot. Lol. He is no less than my own parents to me.
This friend of mine who had rung up today knew it all and tried to persuade me to leave this path which I have chosen for myself. I had no answer to his worries except saying that I am doing what my inner conscious tells me to do. I have no ill will against anyone and want standby ‘justice; social, economic and political’ which does not exist today because of which the society appears to be moving towards an anarchic revolution, in this country. I know that I am going to suffer at the hands of the so-called politicians, a dignified word for the criminals and mafia.
I know it well that no one will stand by me.
But I do not give two hoots.
But, yes, I do miss my late Dad and ‘That Revolutionary Teacher with a Walking Stick’. Wish they were there to stand by me.
(The reason why I have not mentioned my teacher’s name is that he is the ‘password to all of my mail, face book, twitter etc, etc, etc accounts J ) Lol…