Visit to discover Indian blogs Direct from heart: Celebrating life of a moral fool!

Direct from Heart

Direct from Heart
1 2 3 testing....anybody there?

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Celebrating life of a moral fool!

He was there again. 10 years back, when Riya had gone to her old society of childhood, he was labouring through the many errands of locals to earn his livelihood. "Madan uncle", as fondly called by the kids from society, was a septuagenarian and had seen some good and some not-so-good (as he would like to call) days in this South Bombay locality since he came there with his family at the age of 6. A distant sister still calls him back to his ancestral village in Kanpur, but Madan prefers being an old immovable ass. Madan, who was now 75 and staying in a dilapidated shanty, that can be best described as the bare essential fabric on a woman.

Not so long before Riya's last visit, Madan used to work as a full time house servant for an old Parsi couple at Colaba. After their death, Madan couldn't find a regular work and had to stay starved many a days. Still Madan was so engrossed with this city that it felt him just like a step mother, who will surely melt her heart someday for him. No one, but only death, could move him out of this city.

Riya's parents used to stay in the same locality where Madan worked as a house servant; Madan, having never married and no child of his own, was always close to kids. He could never bear the sight of a wailing child and would even, instantly, pose as a joker to bring smile to the kid. And their numerous, innocently played out, pranks with a tired and sleeping Madan uncle would never make him mad at them. Perhaps he tried finding his own childhood in them.

Spring of this year's Riya visit was the last one for Madan. He succumbed to his deteriorating health and a long stint of suffering due to loneliness in this most densely populated place on earth. However, it was not always the same about Madan.

Madan had completed his Masters in Law in the 60s and was one of the most eligible bachelors in the locality in his hey days. His 2 elder siblings could never match Madan's educational qualification but were more practical than Madan. They settled early in their lives and Madan kept himself engaged in search of true meaning of life. "You have to play by the rules of the game, if you want to stick to this game". "You need to think about yourself first and then others". "There is nothing moral or immoral; all the conscious guilt is just a point of reference in your psyche which means nothing to the world". Madan would receive such remarks from his peers and friends, but an unsettling force would never make his core agree with them. Little did he know then that he will be left alone & much behind, while following his heart. During this course of time, Madan had a few shots at matrimonial life; alas, they never materialized due to what fate had in store for Madan.

Madan practiced law for some years, from his late 20s till mid 30s. The last case, that he lost, while defending an innocent (which was later found out, but was too late), withdrew Madan's trust on legal system completely. Madan usually took cases for the under-privileged ones whom no attorneys would take up. This case had the defendant, who used to be a daily-wage labourer, accused of murdering his own wife in cold blood. The court, due to insufficient proofs and all cooked-up testimonials against Raman, the defendant, ordered death sentence - to be hung till dead. Raman loved his wife more than his life. If only his chawl wouldn't be at the place where an industrialist wanted to set-up a sprawling apartment for more affluent class.

Raman was the only one in his locality to oppose the rehabilitation offer, another chawl, in the other part of the city; Raman was never comfortable to leave his parental place, where his childhood was spent. There were often boisterous arguments with his wife, as reported by neighbours during the investigation process, on this subject; but never did the fights go to a physical level. Raman was also very hard working and sincere. This had earn him good reputation among many quarters, but not good enough to prove his innocence - which appealed Madan, who took up the case to only lose at the end of it.

After that case, Madan pulled himself out of his legal profession. He started earning his livelihood like most migrant commoners would do in this city - engaging as daily labourer at construction sites, carrying out menial errands for households. For some reasons, known best to himself, he could never leave the city. Madan's folks were not happy of his decisions and Madan knew deep inside that he is making his parents suffer due to his own miseries; however, his heart just didn't know how to compromise on moral issues. His parents had already gone back to their ancestral village, before Madan had left his legal profession, and lived there for the rest of their lives.

Any vestige of raw innocence, around, would draw Madan's attention - be it in those innocent pranks by local kids or that smile on the face of a tired labourer who still knows how to share. Stray dogs were his favourite, with whom he would share a large pie of his day's earnings; in return, they would give him back the most genteel affection by listening to him for hours in his lonely nights. Madan didn't die a coward's death, but just gave up the life that effuses nothing but inhumanity. May be not the best decision in an able man's life, but he had no regrets, whatsoever, when he died.


  1. Sometimes life can be pretty cruel.. you never know what future has in store

    1. You are right, can be....but friends, like you, make every moment of that uncertainty worth living

  2. Replies
    1. hi Sunaina...yes, it glad that you could connect & felt touching about this story