Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Traitorous Identity

With standing ovation, all the salutations and profound humbleness…here I am going to share a character sketch of Mr. Gopal Kumar Jha (Original name only). Well as the name suggests, Mr. Jha is a fifty something bespectacled human being working in a government organization which deals in infrastructural development. Mr. Jha did his diploma in Civil Engineering from ‘Single Storey 4 BHK University’, UP with 41 % marks. Then he cajoled Mr. Manmohan Tiwari for almost seven years and finally got deployed as a Junior Engineer. And the revolution started. What happened next, as they say is history.

Today Mr. Jha is the Executive Engineer. He owns a bungalow worth millions of bucks. He has got three cars, one luxury car and two above ordinary ones. While he uses his luxury car for daily office, the government vehicle he has been provided is being used for carrying vegetables from market and other numerous household works. He has two sons. The younger one is soon going to settle in US. And the elder one is readying to take his father’s position. Every day he has been teaching him as how to save govt. tax, what is the engineer’s share of black money, which people are to be asked for bribe and how to ask, how to tackle probes and audits etc. Basically, the same home tuition given to make your son practical, he has been giving his son.

Mr. Jha could be seen in white dhoti, saffron kurta and probably green chappals, truly representing the Indian National flag. One last property of this great human being is that he has a sweet tooth for paan. Once I got a lifetime opportunity to meet him. And here’s what happened.

Mr. Jha and I were waiting at the IGI Airport. I was there to receive my distant brother, while Mr. Jha was there to see off his son. It was raining heavily outside. I was enjoying a cricket match between Pakistan and England. Well actually I am not very much like those diehard cricket fans, but when you don’t have anything else to do; watching cricket isn’t a bad option. Mr. Jha entered the waiting lounge fully drenched and seated himself in the sofa. He didn’t even care to take off his raincoat. A part of the water dripping from his raincoat got soaked in the sofa and the rest wetted the floor. Few minutes later, a boy slipped on the floor. I gave him an ‘it’s your fault’ kind of look. But he was hardly bothered.

Then I thought it better to concentrate on the game. And here Mr. Shahid Afridi was on fire, two sixes in a row and the third one in air. I could not stop the excitement rushing inside my veins. And I shouted…SIX. Mr. Jha gave a hateful glance, went to the dustbin, spit the paan and came back to me. And he asked me, with the paan still in his mouth.

“What is your name?”

The moment I told him my name, he had a triumphant smile. He said.

“That is why?”

We kept silent for couple of minutes, while Mr. Afridi kept on blasting our one time enemies. While he left he could not stop himself from saying that usual word.


I didn’t say anything, but just thought to myself.

If this is what I need to be, to be called a Patriot; then I would love to live Mr. Jha’s life.