Telegraph Calcutta

Where Mahadeb Comes Back

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Hmmm. That’s how. Hmmm. It is a way of saying it. You may say Om or whatever else, I prefer Hmmmm. Any problems? We all have our ways, don’t we? That’s who we are. There are no prescribed ways. You have yours. I have mine. That is how we are. Right? Hmmmm. That is how I say it. I am. I am at a place. I may not be able to, or want to, disclose where (you will all understand, I know, or should ) but I am. I am not gone. I am. Do not count me among those gone. Gone once and for all, forever, irretrievably. I am gone, yes, but I still am.

This is going to be a bit boring. I do know what has happened here before, what has filled this space. I have not the apparatus to fill it as it has been filled before. I cannot read. I cannot write. I most certainly cannot write some clever limerick in iambic pentameter (or quartameter because space will not permit a pentameter) at the bottom of this space week after week because, as I said, I cannot even write. I may not wish to call myself illiterate, but unlettered I most certainly am. I do hope you understand the difference. Most of what you see around you is like me, or a lot of it, at any rate. Unlettered but not illiterate. Not illiterate, but unlettered. There is a difference. A critical difference. Understand differences. This is not me Mahadeb writing. This is me, Mahadeb, telling. Dictating. This is oral rendition of my situation brought to you by, well no MNC or INC is prepared to sponsor it, so it is brought to you by me and my communicator, may the Lord be with him or her. I can only and merely hope that this communicator remains, even in this terrible age of misrepresentation, and wilful miscommunication, true to what I say and what is conveyed to you in this strange language that I am told some folks left behind in their rush like a sack of abandoned clothes but clothes that we chose to wear and continue to benefit from wearing. But there is more to complain about than clothes, I am of the firm belief. Aur bhi gham hain zamaane mein etcetera, etcetera. Like those who are complaining about being touched and those who should be complaining about being untouchable but can somehow figure no way to. Things such as that. Anyhow.

That is not the issue. Nor is it the news. The news is that there is BreakingNews and the BreakingNews is this: After being gone from my station inexplicably for close to a year or perhaps a little more, I am back. And I am announcing myself alive and around. I am. Somewhere. Somewhere I cannot yet disclose, but I am. This is Mahadeb speaking. To you, albeit through a communicator. I have no option but to speak through one such or some such.

Why did I leave? Hmmmm. Why suddenly? Hmmmm. Why have I been away? Hmmmmm. Why have I been silent? Hmmmmm. Questions. Fair questions. Perhaps even good questions. But why must I answer? Why should I? Am I responsible to you? Did you elect me? I am a chaiwala, yes, but did you elect me? Was I even up for election? I was not. I was there, serving you, yes, serving tea, and often when you so demanded, coffee, in cutting cut glasses or earthen bhaanrs. But I never sought your vote, or did I? No. I never did. I sat there and served you. And charged you for what I served out, no more, no less. You came perhaps, on the promise of who I am and what I may serve, but you never paid me unless I did serve you. Did I? Or did you? There are chaiwalas and chaiwalas and Chaiwalas with a capital C, I do know, but I was happy being a chaiwala. No more. Until being a chaiwala was not enough and somebody cracked a nasty joke about chaiwalas and TheChaiwala. Nasty to chaiwalas, I mean. I am thinking. I am thinking how nasty that joke was and how long I can take a joke so nasty as that. You shall hear from me again soon, oh yes, I am not gone, I am here.

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