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Thursday, August 30, 2012


We initially named him 'Saikat' - meaning seashore in Assamese. To be honest, I insisted on the name, his mother was not very sure. Someone said, he was born under the sign Libra and his name should start with a 'S'. I wanted his name to be unique, representing part of me and capable of reflecting the moment of his birth - as long as I live or he lives. I felt a deep relief, found a purpose like a ship reaching a shore. I think all first-time father feel more or less the same. So, he was my Saikat.

His mother was not exactly happy with the name and we decided to give him a new name. She suggested 'Kabir' and I found nothing to object because 'Kabir' also adequately reflected my values. His first day at pre-school, the moronic head-mistress exclaimed that she got a Muslim scent in the name. A Muslim name for a Brahmin boy! She had no locus standi and did not go further. I also did not found it necessary to enlighten that outright stupid that Kabir, the 15th Century philosopher was the first true secular preacher who might have rolled in his grave that moment. Since then, I have faced curious glance from many people at the mention of his name several time till today but preferred to ignore them.

For seven years Kabir is growing with lots of love in his heart. He do not have a best friend - the whole class is his best friends. We have consciously made efforts never to asked him a very common but uncomfortable question for any child as to whom does he love more - me or his mother. He has grown up to be a happy child who loves daydreaming. When his first puppy died of ailments within 11 days of bringing it home, we took great pain not to put him face-to-face with death. Instead we told him that the puppy had been shifted to a dog hospital. He had doubt and kept on asking about the puppy for three months until I found another almost identical one and lied to him that it was the first one that have come back from hospital recovered. For seven years, we have shielded him from hatred until I had to teach him last week.

His school was collecting relief materials for the people in the camps in Kokrajhar districts. He came home excited with lot of unanswered questions. Why people do not have houses, why they do not have food to eat, why people are fighting, why people killed other people. And then he sprang the bolt from the blue and asked me what does "mein tumse badla lunga" means. It was one of those conversations in Hindi that he did not understood but picked up to ask me for meaning. I tried to explain what 'badla' means but could not quite make him understand. He did not pressed, and I was relieved. Someday he will learn, as you will teach him. But, I hope he will grow up as Kabir.

(People calling for banning Jism2 should think about fanatics. For both are capable of corrupting young minds)


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