UNDER THE SKY
No pains anywhere within my limbs; rather, I was as normal as I was just before that horrible incident. I could not recollect even as to whether my father had driven me out of the house, or it was I who had banished myself from the fold of my all beloved. The Sanyasins gift in the form of a few coins over there enabled me to be a truant and hence I decided to entrain in a train that it might carry me anywhere.
Due to stringency in our pecuniary condition I had nothing to put on, whatsoever. Round across the belly I had a black thread knotted. A strip of a rag only was hung upon this thread with a view to hiding the badge of my sex. That was all that I had then near-nakedness. A boy hardly in my teens, at time hidden under the bench or next time in the lavatory, as and when the train stopped at the platform, I could make good my journey, finally. Never in my lifetime up to that moment I had heard the name of Howrah station. Standing on that spacious platform I gazed on all sides. Non-plussed and embarrassed to the extent I was. Along with the multitudinous people I could come out of the station.
At any rate being a sojourner for the first time I had to beg for my sustenance day in and day out. Years passed by in this loathsome condition. I managed to reside on the banks of the Ganges, in the night, near the Howrah Bridge approach.
That awful state and the grim spell of poverty cast on me all its horror for years together. Intimacy, according to status with men of his category, is a sure occurrence in course of every day meeting. I had all these acquaintances grown with people of my fold and gradually I learned about the vastness of Calcutta.
Each province has her own folk song and dance. Orissa also has her own such surprising notes. Who knew that that typical approach would make me a curio and an object of laughter. Yet, it was all for the best in order to fetch a pice. And this way I could have my way out.
Nature is having her non-stop review in every phenomenon. In doing all these changes, either in the living world or in the non-living, she is never old. The form of changes in the cyclic way is pronounced in every individual case. With the very life within a form, it develops into stages, and the final development in the form of maturity would mean the only end. So, I had been heading towards my adolescence.
Days were rolling like streams in the water. Illiteracy I had within my core and all the way for years together my little grains of illiteracy got clustered into a vigourous illiteracy. My ancestors at least had certain knowledge; but, the poor self being a carrier of the posterity was getting doomed, doubly.
As a seed under the earth turns into a latex and then slowly becomes a tree by the law of nature, so, I was covering up the stages in order to be a man in my stature. Other than the affairs concerning food in my belly, the rest of the time I used to sit by the side of the Ganges and bemoaned. At times in that standstill state I used to be feeling sleepy. The morbidity in those times would not give me the scope to proceed even towards my usual bed improvised by means of a few gunny bags. I got those spell bound nights passed off that way.
The metamorphosis in my psychic field was becoming stout and sound. I could trace the chain of changes silently and even the way of viewing the worldly aspects transformed into a most sensational path. The typical mystic explosions that I was feeling and experiencing within me was getting accumulated in the form of lessons. But the other reality of life exists in getting a few handful of food in the belly.
Body and mind. One is dependent on the other. A sound body will have a sound mind. With the ordinary people what a severe fight they are to undergo for existence of the body. Because the sauce of mind gets withered due to lack of vigour in the belly, so, I would have had the same effect if there were not those mystic operations acting within me. The question of toughness of mind never arose in me. It was just like a shuttle cock I wanted to sway over my issues which were full of hardships and difficulties. I had already tasted all the barren life in my house at Orissa and my own mother used to exert her all-out effort only to fill up the void with whatever she would get within her clutch.
With my very start for life, at least, I was not given any training to get adamant. My father himself was wedded to a surrendering attitude, and in spite of so many feathers of horror were well on his every day life, yet, he had not the slightest tinge of sorrow, nor any reaction with the body politic of the society. So the gruesome poverty or the vortex of sorrow had not given me any impact of dejection. Society is formed according to the merit of the super-individuals reigning over the general mass. There also to think in terms of politics became a trash, absolutely, with me.
A man is not responsible for his chains of misery. It is the actual fatherhood in man which is infusing the secret destiny in his next posterity. Virtues with other bright systems, known as conscience, or the reverse being all the evils, will manifest from the very congenital state. But, a man blended with good and evil both. Yet, the varied life in this big city at times would make me perturbed and restless. The only question that would hover over me was really so very queer.
Next chapter: Livelihood