By Hiranya Borah
Copyright 2016 Hiranya Borah
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Dream makes a person competitive and tougher in life. But unrealistic dreams and non-achievement of those lofty desires may hurt the dreamer. But I found two persons in my life who dreamt great, achieved nothing, but still they were smiling to all they met. I salute the indomitable spirits of these two persons.
In this story, I tried to superimpose each other’s character to make the character funnier. However, in the last chapter I portrayed him as a hero. Therefore, the character of the story became a fictitious character which does not resemble to any living or dead person.
I thank all my friends and relatives for their encouraging words. I am thankful to my family members for their constant support. My sincere thanks are always due for Smashwarods for their support.
Chapter I: The Dreamer
It is an old story, rather off repeated story in different languages. A writer could not sell his book; a friend bought all the copies and dumped in his room. The poet friend came to know about the sacrifice of his friend only after death of his friend who had to starve due to spending all his money while buying the books of his friend. Many of us who read this story as child, shed our tears and promised not to write any book on poetry who might kill a good friend to satisfy the ego of the poet. But unfortunately, I could not keep my promise to myself and wrote few rotten poems and distributed free with the noble intention not to force any of my friends to sell his /her property to buy my unsold books to satisfy my ego.
Now I am going to tell you a real story of a childhood friend who was nicknamed as Rajesh Khanna, the first super star of Indian Cinema by the villagers of all ages. He was three to four year older than I and he was a day-dreamer. He used to dream always something extremely big. He wanted to be a world class writer, wanted to be an actor as successful as Rajesh Khanna and as rich as Tata or Birla. He was a son of a marginal farmer of a remote village of Assam.
One day he told me, ‘By 1980, I shall publish at least five books and decided the names of the books also.’
‘Are you going to write novels or poetry?’ I asked him, controlling my loud typical laugh of a Hindi Films’ villain. One of my junior officer in Delhi once told me about my loud laugh, ‘Sir do not laugh like Amresh Puri, I may faint!’
‘Out of these, two books will be poetry and rest will be novels. The names of the books will be—’ He wanted to tell me the names of the books. But I cut short him and left the place citing that I had to do an important work which my father had given to me.
At that time, I was hardly fifteen-year-old, but I was sure he would not be able write a single book not only before 1980 but also not before 2080, if he would have survived up to 2080.
Chapter II: The Actor
Babu alias Deepak Das (names changed) was a stupid boy who used to take at least two years to clear one annual examination. Despite of his repeated attempts, he could not clear his matriculation (tenth examination). Hope, I need not have to elaborate his intellectual ability further.
You must be wondering, he must be having a beautiful physique which is a precondition for an aspiring actor of Hindi cinema. Yes, he had a wonderful physique with five feet two inches’ height, with chest measuring hardly 34 inches and biceps--- no I should not say. If I am 10-30 PM, he was at least 11 PM in his colour. So, you can understand, he was the most suitable for candidate for a Hero of Hindi cinema.
Therefore, all villagers called him the most stupid boy of our village at his back; but never said before him. Instead, every one of our village referred him as Rajesh Khanna or Deepak, the actor.
However, he was finally selected for a role in a Bhaona (It is a drama which is based on different mythological themes introduced by spiritual Guru of Assam, Srimanta Sankardev, during 15-16th Century) organised by our village. In upper Assam (Eastern part of Assam), the roles of ladies are played by males. Considering his capability, he was selected for the role of a queen. He was damn happy and boasted that he had arrived in the acting world.
Normally for those plays, we used to assemble in the evening for an hour or so for rehearsals. But the over-serious Deepak used to be present much before time of rehearsals on every evening.
I also got a supportive role in the play as a devious prince, who tried to rape the queen after treasonously killed the king who was on a hunting tour to the nearby forest.
Every day, he requested me to rehearse my role as the rapist prince. Initially, I did whatever he was expecting from me as the rapist prince. However, within a week, I was so disgusted with his request to rehearse the rape scene again and again, I told the village elders to change my role. They gladly obliged my request as they also understood that the role was not suitable for a fifteen-year-old boy.
Finally, play was enjoyed by a full house and rape scene became so funny, each and every audience present in the Namghar had found no option but to laugh.
The performance of Deepak was appreciated by all not as the role of the dignified queen but as a comical queen. Thereafter, I heard, he featured all the Bhaonas in the neighbouring villages as a comedian in funny costumes of a medieval rural lady.
After few appearances in those Bhaonas in different villages, he put up a name plate at his father’s residence, ‘Deepak Das, The famous Assamese Actor of all time.’
In front of him, everybody acknowledged that none in the world could compete with him so far acting talent was concerned. Some of our friends even used to ask him, when he would be migrating to Bombay (Mumbai).
Whenever, I visited my village from my College or University, I also used to ask him, when he would be seen on the silver screen. Always he used to smile back and say, ‘I have been approached by many top Directors. But I told them categorically that I cannot move before the harvesting season as I have taken advance payments from many to help them in harvesting their paddy.’
He had one extreme good quality, he used to give his answers to each and every one with a smiling face whenever he was posed with any question to him for fun.
Chapter III: The Writer
After he established as an actor by his own words, he was adamant that he would be a leading writer of Assamese literature.
One day, when I was in my village on a vacation, he came to me with a manuscript of his first book. Handing over the manuscript he said, ‘Please go through the book. There may be some spelling mistakes which you have to correct as a younger brother before giving it to the press. But remember, it is my book, do not print your name as the writer. I have already thanked you for your help in the preface.’
I tried to read the manuscript. If I say, hand writing was bad, it would be a gross understatement. The words which I could decipher, not a single word was correctly spelt. I kept the manuscript at my father’s residence till today. Every time I visited my village, he used to ask me whether the book was printed or not. Every time I used to tell the book had been under printing! He used to thank me for my efforts to print his great book.
Both of us knew, both were lying; but none wanted to face the truth.
Chapter IV: The Poet
After achieving two major milestones, his next venture was to establish himself as a poet at the par with Kalidas, the immortal Sanskrit poet of the fourth Century of India. Thanks to God, he did not handover the book with hundred poems to me to publish. He told me about his compilation but said, ‘I am not handing over these priceless poems to you. Anyone can steal this compilation, I cannot trust even you, though I always consider you as my younger brother. Further, I am taking your help in publishing my epic novel.’
I was relieved to say, ‘You are right! There is a saying, a poet cannot resist himself from stealing a good poem from another poet, like a king cannot resist himself from stealing a beautiful wife even of a farmer.’
I do not know if there is a proverb like that or not, but he was very happy to hear my answer. Particularly he was happy to hear that I compared him with a king.
Till today, I do not know what happened to that poetic book.
Chapter V: The Hero
Five years back, he died in a road accident while saving a kid from a speeding car. He died instantly, but he was able to save the kid from the speeding car.
Everyone in the village attended his funeral with moist eyes. Everyone in the crowd acknowledged, he might not be the greatest actor nor the greatest writer nor the greatest poet in the world but he was an extremely good person who tried to make everyone happy by telling his lofty dreams. Everyone agreed in unison that he was the live wire for both young and old of the entire locality comprising more than 100 large and small villages. He harmed none by his unrealistic dreams and lofty claims. Everybody was aware that he said those absurd things for giving some enjoyment to them.
When I was informed about his death, I murmured to myself, ‘He was the greatest hero in my life with whom I interacted personally many times.’
The author is a Government servant and a man of vivid experiences derived from his official postings across the country, travels across India and numerous visits outside India. He is presently placed at New Delhi.
His earlier publications are:
1.Random Thoughts through a Coloured Prism
2. Dilemma of a Young Mind
3. Funny Statistics and Serious Statisticians
4. Melody of Fragrance
6. Few Cities through the Lens of Hiranya Borah
7. Guilt: Gift of Winter Spring
8. Beautiful Ghost
9. Great Fighters: Grace of God
10. All Blurred
11. Putting kids to sleep
12.How to become unpopular
14. My grumpy Face
15. Love and Worries
16. Discussion of own Birth: A Taboo
18. Indecent Love Affairs
19. My Fair Lady
21. Two Stories
22. My Mother: Dashami Borah
26. First Attempt
27. A father
28. The Portrait
29. Snapped Thread
30. Only He Knows
31. The Stupid Mother
32. The Same Old Story
33. The Old Scoundrel
34. Third Attempt
35. Some of my First Days and First Nights
36. Snubbed Twice
37. Have You Met the God
38. Frequent Flier
40. Forgive and Forget
41. To Win or to lose
42. Call Girl
43. Beyond Blood Relation
44. Lady with a Black Car
45. My wife
47. Diwali Gift
48. Romance with a Lady
49. Open Hear Surgery
50. My First Love
52. Pebbles on My Way Home
53. My First Bengali Book
54. Murder Mystery
57. Make a Habit to Thank God
58. Killing of A Bird
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Dream makes a person competitive and tougher in life. But unrealistic dreams and non-achievement of those lofty desires may hurt the dreamer. But I found two persons in my life who dreamt great, achieved nothing, but still they were smiling to all they met. I salute the indomitable spirits of these two persons. In this story, I tried to superimpose each otherâ€™s character to make the character funnier. However, in the last chapter I portrayed him as a hero. Therefore, the character of the story became a fictitious character which does not resemble to any living or dead person.