Satire and Fatkar
Shramdan Changing into Sharamdan
Thanks to Information Technology department that the department erected mobile towers in each area of my Patti and adjacent Patti in Garhwal . Now, my all relatives in Garhwal are having mobile phone. My relatives in Garhwal are happy but my wife is annoyed that every month , my mobile bill is increasing progressively.
Today morning I get a missed call and I could not recall the caller . I got six missed calls from same cell number. At last, I called the miss caller and asked,” Who is there?”
The answer was,” I am your far elder cousin Bahwani. You don’t have manner to respect your elder. I have been giving you missed calls and you did not recall me.”
I apologized,“ Sorry! Bahwani dada! I was busy with my other daily routine. Tell my why were there so many missed calls from you?”
Bhawani dada said, “ From future, see that you call me on my missed calls. You write a letter to Jila Parishad Pauri about reconstruction of collapsed Sanjait Batu (public road) in Banjan (where Oak tress are abundantly) . For six years, we villagers are facing difficulties in that path. Now , it is high time that government reconstruct the ruined road.”
I asked, “ You mean the road on hilly side which, our great grand fathers and great grand mothers built on Shramdan( cooperative basis without charging to anybody for labour ). Cant all villagers do again Shramdan and rebuild the path, which is very important for the village?”
Bhawani dada said, “ Why should we do Shramdan when we have democratic government chosen by us. Don’t waste time on this petty matter of Shramdan . You just send a strong letter to Jila Parishad”
I wanted to go for bathing but another caller called but again it was miss call. The callers called three time and all were miss calls.
I had to recall the caller and I asked,” Who is there?”
He answered, “ You don’t have good manners. I am signaling you through miss calls and that means you should have called me immediately. I am Mahipal from your Bua’s Sasural and by relation I am your uncle.”
I apologized, “ I am sorry Mahipal Kaka ! Tell me Kaka ! why did you put missed calls?”
Mahipal Kaka said, “ Our Sanjait Baudi (public water reservoir for irrigation) is washed last to last rainy season . The villagers are facing difficulty for irrigation for last two years. You write a strong letter to irrigation department Dehradun for rebuilding this Baudi “
I asked, “ If I am not mistaken hundred years back , your villagers built this Baudi on cooperative labour basis. Each family used to earn at least fifty thousand buck in one season by growing potatoes and onions due to that reservoir. Why don’t your villagers build again on Shramdan (cooperative labour basis) this life line of your village?”
Kaka said, “ From Mumbai, you don’t teach us what we villagers should do and what we should not do. We are living in democratic country and it is shameful for we villagers of modern time if we build our public water reservoir on Shramdan (cooperative labour) basis. You see that you write a strong letter to the state irrigation department for building public water reservoir .”
Instead me , he put off phone.
I was just remembering my late Bua Ji and Fufa Ji and in between there were ten signals for missed calls . I called after fifteen minutes the caller, “ Who is there ?”
There was answer,” You don’t have manner. I am signaling you to call me back immediately by providing missed calls and you did call me very late . I am Raija Arya from your Mama kot (the village of maternal uncle) . By relation, I am your Mama (maternal uncle) .”
I asked,” Tell me Raija Mama ! “
Raija Mama said,” You post a report on local papers of Uttarakhand that even after so many reminders from our village the horticulture department of Uttarakhand is not responding.”
I asked, “ What is there for horticulture department to respond immediately?”
Raija Mama explained, “ Nine decades ago, our grand parents built fruit garden in our village.”
I said, “ Yes! My mom told me many times the story of building fruit gardens there. Every family contributed to build the garden by way of labour and some money for fruit plant. It was marvelous example of Shramdan in our area.”
He interrupted and said, “ Now, that beautiful and beneficial garden which you have seen many times is no more. That garden require major reconstruction or repair and re-plantation. For last six years, we have been requesting horticulture department to reconstruct the garden but there is no response at all.”
I said, “ MamaJi! The villagers can reconstruct fruit garden by Shramdan and by way contribution from each family.”
Raija Mam Said, “ You don’t know ground reality of Garhwal by sitting in air-conditioned rooms in Mumbai . From Mumbai, don’t teach us what we villagers should do and what should not do. We villagers are no fool that we spend our hard earned money by contributing on public utility . We are in democratic country and we should not spend money by way of cooperative methods on public utility. You make pressure on government by publishing news of non response from horticulture department on all local papers of Garhwal and specially Dehradun” Instead of me, he put off phone.
By evening, I got hundred miss calls from ten persons from my village area and I had to recall every caller . Every body was bent upon asking grant from government to construct something, which , at older age villagers used to construct by way of Shramdan (contribution by labour and money) . Every body taught me that in democracy, no body should do Shramdan.
Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti, Mumbai, India, 2010