Home Arts & Culture Laharpur Adventure

Laharpur Adventure

2896
8

Of course, damn sleepy is Laharpur. And wherever you’ll throw your glance you’ll find dogs, bulls roaming in the market. As if they too want to prove that India is the greatest democracy in the world.

Mind you, of which an unknown voice had said, ‘If this town had been thoroughly observed, according to the point of view of history, it would have come out as a marvelous miracle. Not because it had produced any, Newtons and Edison’s, but because of its minute historical remains, which are still taking their last of breaths in her magnanimous lap.’

Leo, a writer turned traveler, had been advised back in Lucknow to pay his visit to this place, with the beforehand arrangements of his free stay in the local landlord house, for his research on his magnum opus work that is to say, in the makings of, ‘ The Tales behind the Tombs of India,’ which he himself  had chosen at the  New York city’s ‘The Penguin’ office, for bald publisher, who had friendly relations with Leo, and had offered him, through it, both the peace of mind and a handsome contract amount that had a 3 month as a deadline.

Leo, originally known back in his own country’s municipal certification as Leopold Sheldon, took snaps and walked round the mausoleum, lively and imaginatively, along with a native Arif Pushkar Ansari, nick-named as Arip, due to the people’s poor pronunciation, or due to the effect of lack of appropriate education, on a small hilly top, a magnificent landmark which stood as if an ancient watch tower of the time, peeping from its past, and under it stood athletic Ansari,  revealing it’s terrible past to his guest, ‘’This place has secured it’s freedom from what you call in English, a terrible cannibalistic tribe, during Sultanate period through a saint cum warrior Shah Chermina Posh, who had fought a great battle for a universal cause, and is still lying silent in his tomb under Laharpur’s almost center.”

Ansari came out as a situational guide. He was a townish politician with a peculiar smile, intermixed with a habit of shrugging his shoulders a lot, and desi songs slipping from the tip of his  tongue, most of the time in excitement, whether it fitted the situation or not.

As a child, being a student of 5th standard,  these same naughty habits of his had paved his way for his rustication from his useless school, for he had been the tiny nuisance for his Teachers, his those teachers who liked to sip tea, talk to far away friends through their cheap and frequently hanging Chinese mobile sets and knit sweaters, and gossip about recent indianized Hollywood hits, in the staff rooms where the monitor, who himself  is originally the biggest nuisance of the entire class, delivers all the complains of the whole class in whispers. A government school which is full of  irresponsible government teachers hardly helpful in correcting a student like him. Hence, soon, one day, little Ansari was seen opening a tea stall on the crossroads, upon a cart, after a limping old man had told him waving his hands, in aggression, about one such a politician who had been racing for the upcoming prime minister’s post, after a cadre based party had shown him the green signal, to run for it. And in future this became his unique selling point, his this tea selling background of served tea cups facing the party members at the party house during his own childhood days. As a result paving a way into party member’s heart. Little Ansari, too had become really interested only in politics, right there on the spot he was standing on, like the latter politician, he had heard of. But ever since, he had not let go his old habits.

Hmm, Amazing history!” Ansari paused for a moment facing a puzzled Leo who could not understand much, but continued with a questioning face “Pardon?”

Before Ansari could answer, Ahmed, excitedly jumped into this conversation, dusting off the edge his white kurta, for he was immensely neat in nature. And that had become his eccentricity, to the extent of always concentrating  his clothes, in parties, at house and at work, and that was the reason why he had failed in a Metro city and had returned hyper-hurried, back to Laharpur, to resume his ancestral business, that is to say,  farming.

Do you like to sip Tea sir?’’ He politely joked. ‘’For every time is tea time here in Laharpur! come on chaps, come fast!”

So, occupying the place for the chief host right then, Ahmed voice gave a great sensation to the tea addict Ansari, and he hummed a Hindi song which well fitted the situation, and in due respect and in love of both the tea and the foreigner.

Leo’s nostrils stretched more and more, to take in the ripening smell of wild flowers. They had in them some sort of intoxicants, but not more than the soothing and lulling chirpings of mainas and some rare species of birds with long and colorful tails, not far from his eyes, fighting sparrows, and the vision of racing dragon-flies.

Leo turned around to notice a Green courtyard, clusters of grave, clear blue skies, shining with the intense rays of the rising sun. Few canopies of large home, verandas as guest rooms beautified with the old furniture of teak and bamboo, full of lordly environment yet so simple and hospitable in nature.  It had a parallel veranda. Three hours ago, when, for the first time, Leo had stepped into the main gate of this palace of a house, passing several guard room doors, doors which had given him an entry as a special guest, he had felt a unique adventure. He had an impression of getting into an old small fort of some kind, and had discovered right then, in it, a small heaven for free-minded, or bodily, absolutely free, the remains of a generation of medieval Indian landlords.

Leo’s nostrils stretched more and more, to take in the ripening smell of wild flowers. They had in them some sort of intoxicants, but not more than the soothing and lulling chirpings of mainas and some rare species of birds with long and colorful tails, not far from his eyes, fighting sparrows, and the vision of racing dragon-flies. The swiftly blowing Wind, as if patting his head and lulling him to sleep, was indicating the change of weather these days.

An hour past by passing of information, and talking, consisting of slow talks quickly drifting from the unheard foods to the unorganized thefts, unregistered robberies, to the new made records of weaving the carpets, and grass rope making, two of the foremost specialties of laharpur. And sometimes, the loose talks referring to the special page on Laharpur, of the Daily newspaper, and all this flying like a kite without the kite-runner.

 All of them were seated in a circular fashion.

Ahmed offered Leo the Hukka, which was resting under the wooden stool, and on his polite declination to take a little puff, himself puffed on it, and releasing it just by opening his mouth a little resumed the conversation with Leo,“So sir!

How’s trip to the Minara  mosque?”

Fine, thanks!”

And about this whole, Laharpur trip?” Ahmed grinned a bit.

Though, I had been a couple of times to India in the past but, but this one, it’s really special, memorable my friend, memorable.” Leo looked around just by moving his eyeballs, and stretching his neck forward.

Ok-Leo,’’Ahmed said. ‘’You’ve met a remote town of the east, how is the west going on?”

Well, everything is going great there except, global recession, tumbling of currencies not always bane economically.’’ He took a flight of mild laughter. ‘’And yes, the brighter side of it, is that it pushes global tourist to third world destination.”

What type of?’’ Ansari, now an ill-groomed but popular politics worm, like most of the Indian street Politicians, had all wrong notions about history, about general knowledge, about religion, about politics in particular, and so always failed in analyzing the ups and downs of his country’s booming economy, but instead he wanted to delve more into Leo answer, as a habit, for his curiosity never died down about anything.

Ahmed had just nodded, and Leo had just felt like home in the company of these people, just when appeared Hafiz, a blind man, who had grey beard, a long nose, a very tall old man, who had everything in his  physical features which attracts a visitor’s attention. Hafiz was a regular visitor. After offering every noon prayer, in a nearby mosque, he was used to paying his visit. He gracefully walked, wished all with his soothing voice, and while he was finding a vacant seat from his blind eyes without anyone’s direction, Ansari introduced him to Leo, and Leo sprang up to shake their hands, ‘’This is our beloved oldie!’’

“Well, everything is going great there except, global recession, tumbling of currencies not always bane economically.’’ He took a flight of mild laughter. ‘’And yes, the brighter side of it, is that it pushes global tourist to third world destination.”

The moment Hafiz took Leo’s palm in between both of his palms he said, ‘’Hello, Mr. foreigner!’ and then took his seat just as people with intact vision take.

‘’Academic research…’’ said Leo.

But, all of a sudden, Ansari’s giant mobile phone rung. It sang a local song which had been a favorite of the man for the past many years. He picked it up, amid their talks, consisting of concise phrases like, “Who, what, why, no-no not at all.” Imitating a mammoth of a leader, who consoles, and considers, in seconds.. Leo ignored it, because by now, he had been accustomed to mobile nuisance with which people here in Laharpur are busy, in otherwise a sleepy town.

Academic research, ‘’ resumed Leo. ‘’And middle class tourists- some for change and the others for peace of mind, which includes pot and places associated with cult.”

Hafiz was listening with utmost concentration, and his lifeless eyeballs were wandering in his sockets.

The topic took another turn from human understanding to ancient  literature, and from Sufi saints to yogic gurus.

Ansari was still busy on mobile, and Ahmed, a keen reader, who had an enormous library in his house, having good insight of economics and science, specially religious theology which had transmitted to him from his learned father, who excelled in various sciences, before he was no more.

Meanwhile, Leo sat quietly, holding his little diary, absent-minded, feeling somewhat lost in the loving environment of the present surroundings, while his hosts drowned in their talks in fluent Hindustani, throwing their mild smiles at him now and then with affectionate gestures, and put forth a silent question through their grimaces, ‘’Hope you don’t feel bored?’’

Leo cleared his throat, and addressing Ahmed, ‘’Would you mind, if I ask you to allow me to visit nearby shahar-bazaar alone, which I had seen while returning?’’

In response, Ahmed shouted, ‘’Mallan! Mallan!’’ and Mallan stood facing before his third produced shout. ‘’Yes  Sahib!’’ Mallan appeared like a rocket  stood very still A little brown man with big eyes. ‘’Tell me Sahab?’’ He  broadened his lips  and smiled meekly like a newly-wed bride.

‘’Listen! Take Sahab to the Bazar! He wants  to see the bazaar and write on it in his book. So don’t just disturb him while he’s doing his work! Just show him the way and talk less and wait for him to finish and take him back when he wishes…’’ Ahmed ordered sharply yet softly.

As soon as Leo had disappeared accompanying the little brown servant, Ahmed and Ansari resumed their talks on current political upheavals. And Ansari began waving his right hand in explaining the rumors about Lokpal bill.

‘’O.K.’’ Said Mallan. And showed Leo the way to the main gate, walking ahead of him like an injured grasshopper, turning now and again, while showing Leo the way to his desired destination, keeping his little diary in his coat’s pocket.

As soon as Leo had disappeared accompanying the little brown servant, Ahmed and Ansari resumed their talks on current political upheavals. And Ansari began waving his right hand in explaining the rumors about Lokpal bill.

After a while, when they were struggling to confront each other’s arguments, they saw one of the servants, a cook, shrieking and almost slipping and sliding, while running towards them.

‘’Sahab, Sahab!’’ the cook cried. ‘’The Angreezz! Come fast! That stray-bull has hit him down!’’

Without asking a question, all of them sprang up from their chairs like wild rabbits and rushed off to see what was wrong with their humble guest.

In a while, all of them amid much noise and with great care lifted him waist high, took him to a room and immediately called on one Government Doctor called as Daaktar Usmani, their childhood friend, for the quick arrangement of Ambulance and when Leo’s immensely aching body, at last, had rested upon the ill-equipped emergency room’s bed. His face became less distorted and when he was really worried over his present condition and when he stammeringly asked Dr. Usmani how much time his body would take in all to recover at that very moment, the doctor, by his enormous experience and clinical guesses, that almost always had striken the correct chord, informed clearing his throat politely, ‘’ A maximum 3 months, after the operation!’’

Leo shivered head to toe, ‘’3 months!’’

‘’I guess your femur’s head is broken.’’ And Dr. Usmani concluded it with, ‘’Don’t worry!’’ obviously, which Leo had taken the most to his heart.

‘’My God!’’ His spirits wept and wept from the inside. ‘’To hell with this Laharpur adventure! Woof!…” but, from the outside, asked Dr. Usmani with a really hyper-worried tone, ‘’wouldn’t it take less time then that? Ah, Doctor…’’

LEO had a frightfully fantastic vision ahead of his eyes. The faces of men as his hospitable hosts standing round his bed, amidst sea of consoling words produced by none other than their caring mouths.

And the waves of consolations rose and began striking his mind:

‘’Don’t be afraid my friend!’’ A voice rose. ‘’Our home is your home!’’ Rose a sec ond voice. ‘’We’ll take utmost care of yours…’’ A third voice had silenced the rest of them.

‘’But I think,’’ Concluded a toothless man who had just an hour ago had been bitten by a flee-bitten stray dog, and had himself been once escaped the horns of the same bull, and had just then rushed to the emergency room with his nephew who was a regular visitor of Ahmed’s home. ‘’That bull shit bull must be shot dead after having behaved in such a manner with our guest!’’

Featured Image Courtesy: http://www.artelista.com/en/artwork/4447633769648724-morning-village-tea-stall.html

 

 

SHARE
Previous articleWe have tamed the Nero and the Romans
Next articleCommunal Violence Bill
is a creative writer who is Chairman of an educational NGO called Academy of Mass Communication based in Lucknow. For more information about what he does and how he can help you, get in soothing touch with him via '[email protected]' If you have a question or want some advice about life, love, confidence, business, or overcoming fear email him. For him, your questions are worthwhile as it helps him in writing and in making him smart with each passing day. Alas! It will take a few days for him to get back to you. But if you're patient you are guaranteed a helpful reply. For his mission in life is to be successful in this very way.

8 COMMENTS

  1. DEDICATED TO LAHARPUR AND IT’S PEOPLE, ESPECIALLY JANAB ZUFAR FAROOQUI WHO HAD BEEN THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE HOSPITABLE LANDLORD IN THE STORY!

  2. I praise my friend Asad Yar Khan for helping me out expressing myself into a story which is inspired by our 2 hour visit to Laharpurs grand Bazar, My ancestral home where people are simple and loving to their hearts core. ”When you’ll come again?” is the question they ask me on regular basis on phone. ”Soon!” is the only answer i counter with. Sometimes i feel like abandoning my city life, and sett-lying there.

  3. Thanking Mr. Zuhaib Bakar, Itizaar Hussain, faiz, Nishant singh, all all of those who phoned me with their appreciative words, for this one and for other previous ones! And yes, i don’;t believe in writing for mass, and have been researching for my novel for the past two years. It’s the amalgamation of history, culture and economy and yes it’s a FICTION!

LEAVE A REPLY