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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 

Just Another Day in front of the Subway

"Come to the light...don't remain in darkness anymore", the thick bearded mad man in semi-tattered clothes was shouting on the pavement .He held a placard that said in red letters "Jesus loves you all". But he was no beggar as there was no hat or any other alms-bowl lying to accept charity. He looked like someone passionate about his belief and was in much hurry to convert the whole world right here, right now.

Passerby people busy with their demanding jobs and troubled marriages choose to ignore his scream while they headed for the subway. No body had the time to spare to miss the next train to their destination for such trivial things. Even mental conditioning had much to do with this mass behavior. Being used to see homeless doomsday preachers on every other corner their entertainment value must've gone down the drains. The script was crying for something dramatic other than the insane preacher and his passionate sermons.

There were three punks, glorious in their full gothic attire taking leisurely strides on the pavement. Even if they wouldn't have been in their gears, the way they walked demarked the trio from the surrounding flock of mere mortals. The common dream in their eyes could be attributed to the crack they just had. The dream had taken them inside the maze of a video game, where they needed to find the evil one disguised among the hordes of people going in and coming out of the tunnels of the subway.

If there was anything common between the evangelist and the trio of addicts that none of them quite fitted into the background of the common folks rushing towards their routines. The confrontation between them was inevitable. Maybe the trio thought they finally found the villain, may be the preacher thought these people were badly in need of some illuminating discourse. The conversation started with some mumbling from the preacher followed by some grunt from the stout looking leader among the trio and a cynical giggling from the only woman among the three.

The third member of the trio might've been the most avid gamer.Not willing to loose any more of the precious gaming time he kicked the preacher in his crotch. Taking the cue from him, the others immediately jumped to the action. The next moment the bearded evangelist was rolling on the ground trying to protect himself from the heavy boots showering kicks from all three sides.

The whole things lasted for about a minute or two and the trio left laughing this time their pace slightly faster and prouder at their recent feat. The evangelist had managed to drag himself up from the pavement and was picking up his placard. Almost at the same time I had finished smoking my cigarette. Being forced by my routine I decided to take a leave from the place and dive into the tunnels. As I was passing by the preacher I heard him saying towards the skies "Oh Holy Father in the heaven forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing".

I barely had a look at his eyes as I rushed towards the stairs down, down into the depths of the tunnels to be deported to my destination.

One can only feel sorry for the evangelists in stories like these but maturity comes only with age alone. What happened was unfortunate.

yes that was unfortunate.but what moves me is this man's forgiveness to those who attacked him.And to think of it we think these people as deranged!!

very nicely written, i must say ...

Bona-dada:Coming from someone like you who can play with his words yet sound so simple I take this as a very high compliment.

Good to see you back, was missing your stories...
Holding onto a belief even when down...that shows strength!

Don't know what to say. This was fiction, right?

@Aparna: Yes that's the strength of belief,but unfortunately the strength could be prove to be a bad thing as well.Ironically I was trying to pen the story after Pope ka tope hit the muslim world.On the other hand my created characters had other intentions. Still not sure whether I like the final outcome,but to me a story is like a shooting arrow.Once written it'll be as it is.

@M: Sometimes the first-person narration makes the narration so real.Thanks for this tip.Will try to use this tip more consciously in future.And rest assured that the whole incident happened nowhere else other than my mind.

ps: Happy Dugga Pujo to all.Let fun and festivities rule for those 4 days that every Bong look forward to.Personally I'll be missing Ballygunj Duggabaari and pretty girls at Maddox Sq, the two of my favourite Puja hunting grounds.

I'm glad.
Also my mamabari was near durga bari :) Arjun was the resident heartthrob in the Pujo there. And maddox sq was my fav place to be during Pujo. I'll miss Pujo too.

I guess you mean Arjun Guha Thakurata aka Piku. Arjun and me were good friends although we were rivals when it came to swaraswati pujo. And his sister now famous or infamous for Saas-Bahu soap opera was an excellent dancer at the Pujos.I still remember Buron-di dancing with the jesus-look-alike guy (can't remember his name...even he was famous in that circle). Other than Arjun another heart-throb and good friend was Babua the boy who acted in Utpolendu's Chokh.I guess our paths have crossed at Durgabaari. The saddest part is when I went there couple of years back I had two realisations :
1. Guys and girls of my time have elevated to the married class and it's no fun being the odd man out when everyone is busy managing spouses or babies.
2. Only ppl who seem to recognize you are folks with the chanda-booklet. Not that I mind giving the money but it doesn't have to be so crude.

Thanks for bringing back all those memories.

:)) I wasn't really part of that circle. I just went there because my dida was there big time. And I happened to know a bunch of Arjun's girlfriends incl his wife. As for your realizations, its true. But the saddest realization is that thiings have moved on and they do not match the memory that you carry in your heart. That hurts bad.
But nevertheless Sharadiya shubhechha...have a nice Pujo.

Nice story! I feel bad for the preacher. Though I'm a nonbeliever, I respect those who truely do what they preach. I wish Pat Roberson was like this guy. :)


Panchu-da,welcome to my humble blog.Good to know that my characters are instilling emotions among people who read them :) Pat Robertson does it more for his TRP ratings than his faith.I guess if his research team came back saying our survey says if you denounce God & Jesus openly in the next show our TRP ratings will shoot up the sky, he wouldn't given the alternatives a second thought.
ps: Sarod Subhechaa..aar ekta sarodiyo obhigota niye post-r opekhae roilam.

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