During my childhood, my perception was different, I did not notice many things but now in my retirement when I go back in time and try to analyse some of the things of the past, I feel baffled. One of the observation is about my immediate neighbours. Some of my neibhours were in complete social isolation. They never used to visit people or take part in the social and community activities. I did not see the people visiting them also. There was nothing else to participate or entertain that small town of rural settings. I now wonder as how they managed their lives . Following is the story of such persons in my neighbourhood.
A sad and isolated person: RAM NARAIN:
Just on the north side of our house on the other side of the road was a big house, there used to live two single lonely persons, Ram Narain and GHARIB DAS. I think that they had no family or family members , brothers, sisters, uncles or cousins etc.or relatives over here or else where. No friends either. Since how long they lived here? I never asked such questions? I know they did not leave any heirs , sons or daughters after their death. Ram Narain by himself or through his ancestors, was a rich man, having a big house and other properties including a well by the side of his and our house for the use of community though he had a separate place out of four places reserved for him to fetch water from the well. He used to bring his own pulley whenever he wanted to fetch the water from the well ( Of course, it used to look strange for me in those days , perhaps, he had his own reason for that). Ram Narain was most popularly known as Master Ram Narain. I never knew his caste ( perhaps, he was Vaish/ Agrawal by caste ) or Gotra. He used to have a smoking tobacco shop which was most popular and famous for its quality of tobacco. He used to prepare the product by himself by using the raw materials.Since morning till evening, was busy in his shop, all alone, after that he will confine to his big house from the back door of his shop.I never saw him going to temple or performing any religious rituals, celebrating any festivals like Diwali or Dussehra etc; participating in socials or community activities, attending wedding ceremonies….. etc. visiting any one in the town or any body visiting him. Very lonely and isolated person. I know he had a young and very handsome son, name ?…………( he himself was also very fair and handsome person ).His son died from a prolonged illness. I never saw his mother or wife. Perhaps, Ram Narain,s wife died early enough when he was young and then he took care of his son. Only father and son used to live in that house. After his death, perhaps, Ram Narain became very sad ( obviously loosing only child and family member ) and lonely. I never saw him talking to any one. I had free access to him. I used to visit him often.. He was very affectionate to me, though very quiet but caring. I remember that once, he took out his HIS master,s voice gramophone , a needle and a gramophone record and played it for me , perhaps never again for any one else. Later, after his death, I saw his daughter-in-law, Magno from Hapur , once or twice to visit him and later after the death of Ram Narain, to settle down the matter of property etc. She sold out every thing and went away for ever. That is the end of the family and the property.
Now, after a long time when, I am recollecting the facts about him and writing here, I feel sad about the whole thing as why he came to this world? what did he do except suffering through out his life ? what was the purpose of his coming to this world? what a kind of destiny? He had his small world, lost every thing one by one, first his young wife, then his young son and lastly every thing and no body in his heirarchy to name him or any property to name him. What a miserable life……
POOR GHARIB DAS:
Gharib Das was poor but not sad and lonely person like Ram Narain. Gharib Das lived in one of the corner of the house of Ram Narain as his tenant. It was just one small room of 8×10 feet with two small windows which never opened; one window will open to the porch of Ram Narain,s house, will remain closed for most of the time.One room was his bed room, living room, kitchen and every thing for his life time. In one of the corner of the room , he had Chulha to cook his food and CHAAT for selling for his living. I never saw him taking bath except once in a while at the well site. I wonder as where he used to go for toilet etc.In the morning, he will preapare his stuff , MOONG DAAL or CHHOLA which he will sell till noon and that is all for his daily routine.His bed, I never saw clean, though I used to go very often to visit him and his place and I used to sit in that bed. He did not have any family or background that I know of. Almost the same story as of his land Lord, Ram Narian except that he was not sad and perhaps, never felt lonely as he was alone and lived alone.Once a year, he used to go to SHAKUMBHRI Devi temple and annual festival to visit. He was jolly in his nature as most of his customers were primary and middle school children. I do remember going to his place very often, listening to his stories of the day . He loved and cared for me all the time.
Almost the same story of social activities as of Ram Narain having no relatives and friends in the town or elsewhere. No one knows from where he came ..He had nothing as his possessions like money material or house etc. What a destiny? What was the purpose of his coming to this world , just like any other creature.
I wonder as who took care even of his funeral after his death.
Shri RAM SWAROOP MAL TOLLA:
I often remember him and his family; He had three daughters; Daropdi Devi, married in Kiratpur, had children, used to visit her parents with several children; Shanoo Devi, married in Bijnor; Her husband was working in a sugar factory; I used to visit them in Meerut. She was very affectionate and I used to enjoy her delicious meals whenever I visited her; Shanti Devi, married in Bijnor; Shanoo Devi and Shanti Devi did not have the children.Ram Swarop;s wife who was very simple and modest lady, died when Ram Swaroop was old enough. He was left alone. I wonder as how he managed rest of his life alone.I waguely remember that people in neighbourhood never took care of anyone socially or otherwise.Ram Swarop used to work only on Friday in Friday market as TOLLA ( middle man ) for yarn selling. I wonder as he must be earning enough to support his living for the rest of the week as I never saw him working any other thing on other days of the week.What kind of life was that? He was not involved in social or religious activities at least after the death of his wife. He must have lived a miserable life though not expressed.
Having three daughters but still alone; I especially think as how he was managing in his old age? Again the same kind of question about the purpose of life and how his destiny treated him to live that miserable life.
I wonder that there many more cases of such miseries and social isolation in my town . I may not knowing about them but I feel sorry about them