5 comments

Creative Nonfiction

32 sunny days are over including three Sundays, since I landed in this big City from my small town, where I have left my wife Nova and our two cute babies Ava and Adi. This one is a need based change of my workplace, with a promotion as-well-as a decent hike. However, I could have said “No” for the transfer of my job, as one more guy Arnab, who is a bachelor, is also working in the same domain, who could be my alternative. But, so many friends of my Engineering College days and also a few relatives stay here, in this City. After getting the official mail, about my transfer order, I talked to some of them. All congratulated me for my job promotion & hike and said “Come to Mumbai. It’s a beautiful city. We all are staying here, for a long time. You will enjoy.” This was the overall summary of whatever they said, when I asked for their suggestions.

It’s difficult to manage the day-to-day family matters, when either of the spouses is away from home, even for a short time. Even though, we got a full time maid, yet I could understand that my family would suffer, in my absence. Also, my babies would miss me, as I would play every day with them. But, my friends and the relatives already staying here, encouraged me to take up the new assignment. And Nova was ready to take the challenge and insisted me to accept the new assignment, with hike and promotion.

On landing at the Airport of the City, after collecting the luggage, I called some of my friends again, to share the good news of my arrival. All said “Welcome to Mumbai, Krish.” But, they all were busy; said, “Get your room and set everything. We will meet soon. In case of any need, give a ring.” I actually expected more; at least a dinner invitation from any of them. But, the first enthusiasm got punctured, at the formal replies of my friends.

I have already taken a 1 BHK Flat of 500 sq. ft., on rent in the Company lease @ INR 25000 per month. Good enough, for a single person. In these days, I have met only one friend, Karnail; that’s also for 20 minutes only, at a local train platform.

This is a fully packed city, people are living everywhere – in skyscrapers, in congested & damp huts, in palatial bungalows and on the foot paths. Even, in the housing society, where my room is, thousands of people live; majority go out in the morning and come back at night. On the streets, lakhs of people are walking and running, non-stop. From Monday to Friday, I am loaded with works. But, as a new comer, in this packed city, I feel lonely, specially at the weekends.

In the town where I belong to, every newcomer from outside will naturally get introduced with the existing ones. Intermixing happens there, by default. But, in this big City, all are too busy, among themselves. And, acquaintances and relatives are busier. In the last three weekends, I have been walking on the roads and have crossed so many physical milestones, to desperately find out, at least one familiar face, but in vain. There are so many, with smiling faces, running-walking-crawling on the roads – but no one stops, in front of mine – to share their internal feelings, face to face, keeping eyes on eyes. My College days friends and two relative brothers are still busy and are not able to find free time, to come and meet me or to invite me to their houses, for the dinner. Interestingly, all are equally busy, in the Social Media, like before.

++++++++++++++++++

90 Days are completed here, in this City. Works of my new assignment in the Company is nicely going on. The novelty that has happened recently has completely snatched away my loneliness. Nowadays, 24 hours in a day is less for me.

+++++++++++++++++++

That was the usual desperate start of my new weekend, just like the previous ones. I was walking on the road, searching for one familiar face. As usual, everyone was busy on the road. On the footpath, near a tree, I saw a guy, working on a drawing, with full concentration. I stood by him, he was still doing his work. “Hi, this is Krish.” The guy looked at me and said “Good Morning, Sir.” His art work was exceptionally good, but still at the incomplete state. The guy pulled an old chair and offered me a seat. As there was only one chair, so he stood, near the chair.

He is Mohan, at his 27. He came from a small village of 1000 miles apart, to this City of Dreams, 4 years back, with a big dream of becoming a Film Actor. Went to every Film Producer, with his torn pair of shoes, with a bag containing so many medals and Certificates, as the credentials of the awards that he won, in acting. He did auditions at many places and got offers; but, not for roles, but as a tea serving or umbrella boy. Literally, he went to all the producers, but did not get a role, anywhere. He decided not to go back to his village, but to try with his another skill - Art. Currently he gets 100 INR per commercial drawing, he makes, for some advertisement agencies. Every day, he completes 5 to 10 drawings. He pays for the place, he sits on, near the footpath, as this one is in a commercial belt.

The idea that sparked in my mind, when Mohan was explaining about his struggle, was really the winning one. Since that day, every day, I have been utilizing and enjoying every moment of my days. Every weekend and on the holidays, I go out and search for those talented persons, who came to this City, to fulfil their dreams of becoming film actors, but failed and yet decided not to go back to their villages. I have formed an NGO named “NURTURE THE DREAMS”. In the last 40 days, so many talented persons are added in the NGO. I just initiated; but, the persons, I discovered, brought so many other persons that we have 500+ now. I sent applications for financial helps to some Global Foundations that support for noble causes. Two big Foundations have already come forward, for funding, after studying our Project Outlines. So, the groups of talented persons will go from cities to cities, villages to villages and will perform Live Dramas, related to various social causes.

++++++++++++++++++++

My new assignment in the Company is going on, in full swing. But, in this packed city, I no more feel lonely, being a part of a big movement called “NURTURE THE DREAMS.”

September 18, 2020 16:11

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5 comments

P. Jean
21:04 Sep 22, 2020

I loved the progression you worked into your words. I wish, no hope, his two little ones do not escape from his mind as he succeeds in helping others. Separation from loved ones ...even strangers you feel connected to is a lonely way to live. Enjoyable reading!

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Khagesh Mahanta
21:08 Sep 22, 2020

Thanks for the lovely comment.

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P. Jean
21:20 Sep 22, 2020

You are welcome.

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Raymond Kelly
15:54 Oct 21, 2020

I like it, but I feel that the ending doesn't mesh well with the character—he's busy and tired and lonely and sad he doesn't get to be with his family, so he spends more of his free time away from family? I was able to sympathize with his feelings of loneliness, however, which were well explored. The conversation with the actor should have been a conversation, with dialogue, I feel. It would bring out more expression in both the main character and investment in the actor's journey.

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Khagesh Mahanta
17:19 Oct 21, 2020

Thanks for your feedback and useful suggestion. The main character accepted the new assignment in the city of Mumbai that was far from his house, after discussion with his wife, as that new assignment gave him salary hike and job promotion. His new job was running in full swing, in the new City, He was free only at the weekends. But, due to busy schedule of the new assignment as well as due to long distance, time required and cost of travel, he could not be with his family. So, tried to get rid of his weekend loneliness by getting engaged...

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