Thursday, November 19, 2009


It was Monday afternoon time during the spring when most often my mother purchase fresh vegetables from the street hawkers who always invariable call at our home irrespective of whether or not we choose to buy any staff. The year was 1957 when I was just about 11 years old and was a student of class six studying at the Sibsagar Govt. Higher Secondary and Multipurpose School.

Unlike other days, the hawker that day carried a hardly a month old pair of white pigeon to sell. The hawker in front of our home argued to sell the same to us offering a nice discount but my mother was not convinced of the price and gently requested the hawker to break off. I however kept glancing at the pair of pigeon most intensely; completely stand still without taking away my eyes from them. I was instantly fell in love with them and was searching my pocket for any left over money I saved from the regular marketing I was doing on behalf of our family to buy our daily requirements. It was only just half of the discounted price offered to us found available in my pocket.

As the hawker proceeded to leave the compound, I kept following the hawker possibly for a half a kilometer together repeatedly requesting him to hand over the pigeons at the price I was having that time in my pocket. When I was unable to convince him, I requested him to wait for some time with the condition that he must not sell the pigeons to anyone until I return. I immediately ran for our home and requested my mother to give me the balance which she instantly agreed noticing my eagerness. Collecting the remaining sum, I purchased the pair of pigeon from the hawker who was waiting for me exactly in the same place as promised to me without offering the pigeons to anyone either to buy or to proceed to the market.

I was absolutely delighted that my mother had given me the money without rising of an objection or a single question asked on my decision to buy the pigeons. Accordingly I came back to my home with a prized possession in my hand. Once at home I repeatedly kissed the pigeons after offering them whatever grain I could able to collect from the surrounding to feed them mouthful and in the first night they slept with me in the cage provided by the hawker.

In the early morning next day, we found to our horror that our entire house was surrendered by hundreds of pigeons came from all nearby temples to settle down permanently with the one, I bought the day before. Following getting so much of company, I released the pigeons I was holding with me in the cage but they refused to go away to join the others. I accordingly made a small but strong cage for them out of a wooden box usually used to carry washing soaps in lots for distribution to vendors.

Being in the company of many, my pair of pigeon was full of joy often dancing around me sometimes sitting on my body to make my body and head dirty, but never go to sleep unless I fed something to them even if I come home late evening. My love towards them was extra special and remained so until one day I could not hear the call of the sweet crawl from both when I returned home very late in the evening possibly after six months long continuous association with them.

On making enquiries, my mother refused to divulge the truth in spite of my not taking any food. However after mid night when I continue resort to fasting and even refused to go to bed, my mother came out of bed to tell me that the bird I unable to find had died without elaborating further. When she unable to see me weeping aloud, she told me who had killed the bird but warned me not to become ‘violent’ and consoled me that the situation shall become normal shortly once another bird shall join to make the union complete once again.

However, I immediately lost my tamper, I opened the main door rushed towards the house of the boy who killed the bird and made their house dog silent with a firm kick before banging their bed room door very hard repeatedly to wake all of them up. As soon as his father opened the door, I without murmuring a single word, rush to their bed to pull their son out of sleep and from the house to outside and beaten him to unconsciousness against strictest opposition from all the family members of both the houses tried to stop me from hurting him more than a few knocks without success. Immediately after the incident I returned to still weeping which none could able to stop though tedious consolations.

I passed a sleepless night that day to make a request from the heart in the next day morning to entire pigeons settled in our premises to leave to their respective temples which they most faithfully obeyed excepting a few which we gave to others for sheltering but my single bird promptly found another mate to visit me often from the nearby temple. But I refused to accept her seeing something missing from her without the born partner or companion unavailable together and considered it as a deliberate action of her to please me.

When I one day broke off from my school early still heartbroken due to the said sad incident to take part in a football game, the boy who killed my loving dove followed me silently and was waiting inside a bush hiding and attacked me from the back after the football match was over and when I was returning home. Being attacked unnoticed; I fell down with my left hand twisted. I became immediately unconscious and my friends brought me to home carrying between their hands. On regaining consciousness, I found that my left hand broke apart to four pieces near the wrist and was hanging on the skin. Hiding the fact, I laid down on the bed with severe pain and silently weeping without informing my mother not to hurt whom I loved the most.

But my mother was sure that I was badly hurt and the wound was kept away from her and requested my elder bother to take me to the civil hospital after my father left for Office from home in the next day morning when I was admitted into the Hospital immediately. But the Doctors in- spite of heavy struggle for more than three hours in the operation theater unable to put into place the broken bonds in position and referred my case to Assam Medical College who operated my hand for putting steel plates for positioning the broken bonds and the entire hand was kept under plaster for a year; when they carried out the second operation to remove the plates. The wound is still vivid and became a part of my body although much weaker to do or perform all jobs unhindered.

As my healing took long period of time, being a brilliant student I was promoted to the next class without a rank even though I never appeared for the Annual Examination that year. However, that particular pair of dove often come into dream to play with. The boy who injured me slipped away from their home to join underground outfit and became an extortionist. When I joined my first Job after clearing many interviews and test, I was found medically unfit because of the wound. On giving an undertaking to the Organization that it shall never effect my delivery during my service career because of my weak left hand, I was offered employment conditionally, which force me to join my job a little late. However, I have never faced any problem with my hand although lowly built in view of plastering for a year during the time of growing stage. I shall keep bearing in the memory of the pain of the pigeon killed unnaturally in the ruthless hand of a cruel hunter till I die.

Remembering the scene once again, nearer the time when left the Company I worked for throughout my career, when I saw one of my colleagues taking an aim to kill a similar bird or a pair of dove playfully singing, sitting in a branch of a tree outside my Office with an Air Gun when I just murmured the name of the Lord visualizing the pain of separation No sooner I did so, he suddenly fell down slipping in a dry area and broke his leg. On standing up with the help of his friends, he accused me of cursing him; mistaking my silent pain in the heart which none heard. I was surely posing a question onto myself ‘what pleasure we are getting in drawing an imbalance into the Nature?’

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