I took admission in a college located in Hooghly district of West Bengal. Since it was much away from my then hometown, obviously I would have to stay in the college hostel. But there was a minor glitch. There the convention was to give first priority to the students of Arts/Science! But I was in Commerce stream! So had to stay in a relative’s place nearby till I get my seat in hostel.
In that hostel used to stay one MJ studying in 3rd year. Now MJ was the roommate of a close friend of my cousin. One day, through his friend, my cousin introduced me to MJ and requested to see to it I get a seat in the hostel. Actually MJ was a leading student union figure and he has an unofficial voice in ensuring admission to the hostel. I saw MJ as a man of very few words, speaking in soft tone with a gentle smile in his lips. He just said that he would look after it.
Months pass on, yet I am not getting any response from MJ. So on a couple of occasions, I enquired him about the latest status. But the smiling MJ gave the same concise soft reply — “Wait a bit”!
3 months later, MJ came to our class and addressed me — “Tomorrow morning come to hostel with your baggage” and vanished from the scene! Next morning I made the entry. After dinner, MJ asked me to accompany him for my introduction with the Superintendent of the hostel.
MJ :–“Sir, he is Kajal Chatterjee of commerce stream. Today morning he has arrived here”. The Superintendent turned extremely furious. In booming baritone he thundered — “On whose permission you have asked him to arrive here”! It was turn of my surprise! What! Without any green signal from the Superintendent, MJ has directed me to arrive with baggage! With bowed head and that gentle smile MJ softly said “Sir, he is without hostel since last 3 months. Returns very late at night at relative’s house after attending the classes. So I thought that perhaps his case is very genuine”. But without hearing his defence or my case, the Superintendent continued to rebuke MJ for “trespassing” his authority! Still MJ maintaining his cool smiling composure said — “Well when he has already landed, let him stay on”! Few minutes later after few more exchanges, the Superintendent grudgingly accorded the permission!
Coming out, MJ said — “I was left with no other option but to take this risk. He was unnecessarily dilly dallying your case”. My soul offered MJ a respectful Pranam. After all what is my relationship with him! Just roommate of the friend of my cousin! Yet without any self-interest, MJ digested volleys of angry words from the Superintendent just for my sake!
Also I got amazed by his values! MJ actually knew very well that himself being influential, the Superintendent would finally give green signal to this “trespassing” admission! Yet in honour of the Superintendent; MJ didn’t offer any curt or disrespectful reply. Rather he continued to be at his humble courteous self because technically(if not morally) he was in wrong for acting as the “de-facto” guardian of the hostel! My respect towards him also increased very much because he did not exert his influence in a wrong way. He could have asked me to land in the hostel one fine morning months ago! But he did not do so. Rather he continued to wait. Only when he got convinced that no more Arts/Science student would arrive, he took up my case! Yes MJ did exercise his influence; but not in an immoral way!
Now let’s introduce MJ in correct way. The Superintendent of the hostel who got extremely furious was Mr.Mukherjee affiliated to the same religious cum caste camp as me. And MJ was nobody but Mohammad Abdul Jalal — an “infidel” Muslim!
Officially we have come to know that terrorists from Pakistan killed 40 of us in Pulwama. Of course no question of mercy to the killers/conspirators, but scandalously “all Pakistanis” have become “terrorists”! Thereafter the denigrating tag has got extended to “all Kashmiris and Muslims” as well! Thank You, my dear “nationalist” brigade for invoking my memory to go back 30 years and allowing me the opportunity to get reminded of the “terrorist” Mohammad Abdul Jalal!
Also I take this opportunity to beg pardon of respected Jalalda and millions of his absolutely innocent co-religionist on behalf of the sane Hindus for the verbal terrorism unleashed against them by a large insane lot who claim themselves as “liberal Hindus”!
American journalist H L Mencken said — “Morality is doing right, no matter what you are told. Religion is doing what you are told, no matter what is right”. I pray to the Almighty that it continues to lead me on the path of morality so that I can remain respectful to the right persons irrespective of their demographic credentials instead of blindly dancing to the fanatic tunes of “religious” brigade and say/act/think whatever is told.
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