In our neighborhood we had a newspaper vendor. The ones who distribute newspapers door to door? I used to do this work early morning before I would leave.

I was admitted in a nearby school, used to go there but never studied. I would start my work in the morning everyday and later attend the school.

School mai bhi Bhan Bhan, ab home-work nahi kiya hai, aray kahan se krega? Subah se leke sham tak toh kaam ke upar rehta hai, ek Sunday ka din hi araam rehta hai usme bhi tum home-work bol deta hai.

[In school too there was no comfort. Now, didn’t complete my homework. But when will I do my homework? From morning till evening, I’m working, there’s just one Sunday when I get to rest and in that too, you force me to do homework.]

My attendance was about 75-80 days out of 275 for an entire year. I had never crossed 100 ever.

Mangesh_Ola

Mangesh, taxi driver, Mumbai

Those days, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaenge’s lottery ticket could be bought in one rupee. One would get a candy, cadbury, cycle etc. My friends used to purchase it. Some would buy five, some two, they would always tease me. I used to feel bad- but what could I do?

Later, quietly, I started stealing money from my father’s pocket. 5-10-50-100 rupees in one go.

But once my mother caught me. Father hit me a lot that night. Papa ne bahut dhulayi kia- bola aray chori karta hai, teri maa ko bolta hun ki meri jeb mai se paisa kidhar ja raha hai aur tu chori karta hai. Tere chakkar mai tere bhai ko marta hun mai. Teri maa bolti hai ki Mangesh esa krega hi nahi.

[Father hit me a lot that night. Said, “You’ve been stealing? Everyday I ask your mother about money disappearing from my pocket and you are stealing it. Because of you, I hit your brother. Your mother says that Mangesh can never steal.]

One fine day I told my father that I won’t ever go to school- I didn’t want to study ahead. Master bolne lage dekh lo apne bête ko. Mai bol diya ki nahi seekhne ka hai- khatam kar. [Teacher asked my father to note how I behaved- I told him that I don’t want to learn anything- finish it]

Mere baap ne pakda mere ko, daal diya gaadi mai. Bola chal ghar. [My father held me tight and threw me in the car. Said, leave for home right away]

 

I don’t recollect having a great teacher at school. Personally, I didn’t like even one of them. Mereko ek sir ne maara tha, Matre naam tha uska.. Hindi padhata tha- mai bhi uska shot bajane wala tha lekin tab-tab maine school chhodh diya- maine bola tha wahan ke do-teen pantar logon ko ki Matre ko bajane ka hai yar-isne apne ko maara tha.

[I was hit by a Sir once, his name was Matre- he used to teach us Hindi. I had planned to beat him up- but by then I had left school. However, I had asked three friends of mine to make a plan to hit Matre- he had hurt me]

Wo mujhe befizul ka maara tha – homework nahi kiya. Ab sabko pata tha class mai ki Mangesh homework karta hi nahi hai. Wo homework chootne ke chakkar mai maine kya kya kiya- class ki monitor thi- Sheesham(name changed), wo mera naam batati thi.. “Mangesh ne homework nahi kiya- mangesh ne homework nahi kiya”. Mangesh ne seedha usi ko patta liya- Khatam! Wo patt gyi mereko- fir solve ho gya.

[He had hit me for no reason- I hadn’t completed my homework. Now, everyone knows that Mangesh doesn’t ever complete his homework. To get rid of this homework, I have done so much- we had a class monitor, Sheesham, she used to tell my name. “Mangesh hasn’t done the homework, Mangesh hasn’t done his homework”.

Mangesh started flirting with her and finally won her confidence- finish! She became my girlfriend- the problem got solved]

 Wo jo Sheesham ladki thi na- bohot acchi ladki thi. Mai toh shaadi karne wala tha uske sath- accha tha hum log ka- 8 saal chla school chootne ke baad- fir khatam ho gya.

 [Sheesham was a very nice girl. I had planned to get married to her- our relationship was pretty good- we dated for eight long years even after I left school- then it got over]

 

 

Ab galti bhi kiska tha kisi ko nahi malum. Wo ek din achanak mujhko bol di, Mangesh bohot ho gya- wind up karte hain. Mai bola, “ Sheesham yaar tere se bohot pya karte hain, mat kar yar esa”.. bohot roya mai- “mat kar Sheesham mai tere ko sochne ka samay deta hai”, usko maine 7 din diya sochne ke liye. 7 din baad gaya mai uske paas ki kya socha..boli maine bohot socha- wind up karte hain.

[I don’t know whose fault was it. One day suddently she said, “Mangesh it’s been a lot- let’s wind up”. I said, “Sheesham, I love you a lot, don’t do this”. I cried a lot – “don’t do this Sheesham. I’ll give you seven days to think”. After seven days, I went to her, she said that she’s thought enough–“Let’s wind up Mangesh”.

 

Par tab bhi bol di wind up karna hai- mai ro raha tha- mai kabhi kisi ladki ke liye nahi roya- first ladki aur end ladki- toh usko face to face dekha, fir jaise mai ghooma na, uske baad usko kabhi dekha hi nahi.

[Still she said that we need to end this- I was crying- I’ve never cried for a girl- she was the first woman and the end woman- I saw her face to face, and as I turned around, I never saw her again.]

 

 

2-2.5 saal baad uski behen mili mujhe- aray Mangesh, bola haan… boli mai Pranaya, boli abhi kidhar hai tu dikhta nahi?.. mai bola idhar hi. Boli Sheesham se mila ki nahi?- mai bola nahi, toh boli ja abhi ja aur mil le. Wo dekh kaisi ho gyi hai.

Mai bhi bol diya ab kya karu mil ke- meri shaadi ho gyi—meri shaadi nahi hui thi tabhi- mai bhi ese hi bol diya. Tabhi Sheesham ki bhi shaadi nahi hui thi- par maine bol diya sorry meri shaadi ho gyi- wo dhakka pahunch gaya tha us samay mujhe itna- uska thing hi nikal diya- kachra hi nikal diya- ek baar uska chacha ka ladka mila- bola Sheesham se mila ki nahi- usne shaadi kr li.

[After 2-2.5 years, I met her sister. She asked, “Mangesh? Me, Pranaya” She asked where I was all these days, I told her I’m here only, where else. She asked if I had met Sheesham, I told her that I hadn’t seen her since long. She asked me to meet her, and see how she has become. I lied and said, “ What could I do, I have got married”. That time, Sheesham was also unmarried- but for some reason I lied about my marriage. I was very hurt initially- I had to take her out of my life. Afterwards, once I met another cousin of hers- he asked if I had met Sheesham, she had just got married.]

 

Itna dhakka lag gaya na- bohot dhakka lag gaya- toh mujhe kuch samjh nahi aaya- mai chala gya uske ghar par, uska baap tha- uske baap aur mera chattis ka ankada tha- mujhe gaali dene lga- mai bol diya uncle mujhe gaali mat do- meri bhi shaadi ho gyi hai. Bola bête tera shaadi ho gya kya? Fir wo bhi khush ho gya-ladki ka peecha chhodh dia na.

Fir usne Sheesham ko bulaya- bola away Sheesham chai bana kar la na, tere school ke dost log aaye. Mera awaz nai suni thi wo-chai lai, mujhe dekhi, chai rakhi aur andar chali gyi.

[I was totally taken aback by this – I couldn’t understand anything that time, so I went to her place with her cousin. Her father was there- we two never got along- he started abusing me, I asked him, Uncle don’t abuse me, and lied that I’ve too got married. He got happy hearing this thinking I won’t bother his daughter anymore and invited me inside. He called Sheesham, asked her to make some tea for her school friends. She came, saw me, left the tea and went inside.]

 

Itne dino baad dekha, mujhe bohot guilty feel ho gya. Wo bahar nai aayi, fir mai nikalne laga. Bola uncle chalo ab nikalta hun.

Toh peeche se ayi aur boli sun Mangesh ruk tere se baat karni hai. Mai bola kya hua bol na.. boli yahan nahi bahar baat karni hai. Uske baap ke saamne boli ye sab.

[I saw her after so long, I felt very guilty. She didn’t come out, so I thought of leaving their house. I told uncle that I’m leaving.

Then suddenly, she came from behind and said, “Mangesh, wait. I’ve to speak to you”. I told her what is it, she said she wants to talk outside. She was speaking all this in front of her father.]

 

Mai gaya uske sath bahar. Bolti hai ki dekh yaar Mangesh, aj mera pati daru peeta hai mereko maarta hai lekin mai mere baap ko bura nai bolungi kyunki unhone mujhse poocha tha ki Sheesham tujhe ye ladka pasand hai kya? Aur fir mujhe pata chala tune shaadi ki hai isiliye mai haan boli. Aj meri zindagi barbaad hui na uska zimmedar khali tu hai. Tu zindagi mai kabhi khush nahi rahega.

[I went with her. She said, “See Mangesh, today my husband drinks alcohol and beats me up. But I won’t say anything bad to my father, he had asked me if I liked the guy.And then I go to know that you have got married, so I said yes to this fellow. Today, my life is in chaos because of you. You will never be happy,”]

 

Abhi mai bola ki isko pata chale ki maine shaadi nahi ki toh apni khair nahi. Toh mai bola sorry, chhodh meri bhi shaadi ho gyi. Par us ladki ne mereko shraap de diya, ki mai zindagi mai kabhi khush nahi rahunga.

[Then I thought if she gets to know that all this while I had lied about my marriage, that till now I haven’t got married, I’ll be dead. So, I said,” Sorry, leave it. I’ve also got married now”. But that woman cursed me of never being happy in my life.]

 

 

Mai bola theek hai yaar, abhi khatam kar, fir mereko itna guilty feel ho gaya us din. Mai ghar par aya aur mummy papa se bol diya ki aayi ladki dekh, shaadi karna hai. Meri mummy bolti ki daaru pee ke aya hai kya?

Aray daru pee ke aya hai, shaadi karna hai, khatttam kar. Fir wo baap ko boli, wo mereko puchta, maine bola han karne ka hai bas abhi khattam karne ka.

[I thought it’s okay, I need to end this. I felt very guilty. I went straight home and asked my parents to look for a girl, need to get married. My mother asked if I was drunk? I told her, whatever it is, I need to get married. She told my father of what I was saying, he asked me, I said, yes, I want to get married. Finish it.]

 

Shaadi kar diya, khatam kar diya.

[Then I got married, ended it]

 

Par uske baad wo ladki mujhe ajtak nahi mili..kahan par gayi, kidhar gayi… lekin mereko ek gam, ek bura baat lagta hai ki yaar mai tabhi jhoot nahi bolta toh? Mai uske saamne apna ego dekha na- aray ho gyi usse galti, uski behen tujhse boli thi.. tab jaa ke use milne ka than na..tu usko ye jhoot kyu bola?

[But even after that, I’ve never met that girl again- I don’t know where has she gone- I just have one sorrow, just one thing I think about, what if I hadn’t lied the first time itself? I saw my ego in front of her- she made a mistake, her sister came to me- then only I should have visited her, why did I lie to her?]

 

Abhi bhi na..kabhi bhi na..gaya na us side mai, toh dhoondhta hun usko. Ki dikhegi yaar..kar khattamm. Mai toh bol diya apni biwi se shaadi se pehle affair tha.. Boli shaadi ke pehle aapka kuch bhi hoye, shaadi ke baad aapka kuch nahi.

 

[Even now, sometime, whenever I go near her place, I search for her. I wish if I can see her somewhere.

I’ve told my wife that I had an affair before marriage, she said before marriage whatever is there, after marriage, nothing should be there at all.]

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