It was almost midnight and I was going to sleep when I got a string of messages on whatsapp from my younger brother. I read the messages and after that I could not sleep. Now I am here to write a story..a true story of which me and my family had been a very small part.
I still remember that chilly winter evening, when my mother and all other family members were eagerly waiting for my father to return. For me it was ordinary but the tension spread on the faces of my elders was telling a different story. They were whispering to each other but I managed to decipher few words like witness, court...judgement. I was able to comprehend, that matter was something very serious but could not find any link. Soon my father was there with a wide smile on his face and all of us were relieved of that tension. He told "Kashi has won the case. Justice has been done to his family God is really great." Everybody was happy but my grandfather took a deep sigh and said "As far as justice is concerned, it has been delivered, but that alone is not sufficient to lead a life. How will Kashi manage his livelihood? His son was his lone support." He was very right. Kashi baba was a mason. He and his son Rampal Uncle were the people who built my house. It was an era of early 90s and in small towns like mine house construction was done that way only. Get a plan ready, arrange the raw material, get some Masons and labourers and they will do the needful. Since construction of our house took around 3-4 months, Kashi baba and his son became like members of our family in limited ways. Why am I saying limited ways?? We were upper caste and they were from lower strata and there was a not - so - rigid wall between us. My grand parents used to live with us and they were very particular about their ways. Issue of untouchability was still in their mind and Kashi baba and his team always respected their choice. How I came clean out of this environment is a different story. In spite of his deep rooted beliefs my baba and Kashi baba became fond of each other. Our house got completed and we shifted there. Kashi baba used to visit us occasionally. One day we got the news that Rampal uncle has been murdered. I can not remember the matter clearly but some money related issue was there. He lended some money to a friend and when he asked for return, matter took an ugly turn and he lost his life. Case was filed and accused were caught too. I remember my father too appeared as a witness for this case and that evening final justice was delivered and culprits were behind the bars for life. Life never remained the same for Kashi baba as his son was his biggest and strongest support. It was very tough for baba to manage even food for the family which included his widow daughter in law, his wife and his three grand children. His visits to our house became more frequent as he used to get some help either in terms of money or old clothes etc. Kashi baba' s share of ordeals was still not over, as one fine day his daughter in law left the house with her youngest kid, in the hope of finding a future with another man. He was broken in all respects. Baba and his family somehow managed their lives. His two grand children (one boy and one girl) were still with him. Life kept on passing and my younger brother who was born after we shifted to our house, joined new school for class 9th. He told us that Ramesh (grand son of Kashi baba) too is in his class. He used to go to the school with my brother and became good friends. Ramesh too was good in studies and passed his board exams with flying colours. After completing plus two, my brother moved to another city for graduation. Slowly and steadily this boy Ramesh kept struggling for betterment of his life and cleared recruitment exam of Indian Railways. Last year when my brother broke this news to me, we all were very happy for that family.
Today my brother shared a screenshot with me through a whatsapp message. This is the whatsapp profile of Ramesh and he asked me just to read his status. I scrolled through the screen and read it. His status says "Education is the most powerful weapon, that can change the world." I know this is not just a status, this is the mantra of his life. This screenshot will always remain with me as this is not just a beautifully arranged string of words, it is the story of a life lived and lived positively, successfully and beautifully.