Rajani Kant met me yesterday,in the park.Quite unanticipated.He started telling me many things about his village where I have worked for some years.I felt the days of yore in front of me,of course not all happier moments though.Sometimes I was planning to fled from the village.To be in an executive post as a school head master was not an easier job.One has to withstand the politics of the staff and tussle seeking village leaders as well.
But,I would dare say now,those days were not at all toughest moments in my life.How ridiculous I was then.A naive teacher sans the knowledge of worldly ways turned into a high school head master on promotion has so much to learn how to deal with different people and which taught me new lessons.Enough of tribulations all along these years made me shrewd to face any given situation.Time gradually hardens my nerves.
Don't go away with Rajani Kant has something in common with that super star Rajani.In fact,this fellow's real name was Vikas.A student in our school once upon a time.Pursuing business administration course at present.One day,he had been sent to my chamber when he was in class ten.The complaint was simple but complex in nature.This fellow kept writing his name as Rajani Kant,not only on text books,even on the answer sheets of home exams.Teaching staff tried their level best to prevent the habit.But he never heeded to their words.So he was in front of me,with folded hands.
"What's your name..?" I questioned him.
"My name is Vikas sir" He replied.
"That sounds good.Your parents gave you a beautiful name.Then,why are you writing your name as Rajani Kant all the time.Teachers complaining against you.If you do it again,I will call your parents and the last resort would be issuing the T.C. and you know one more thing,your name is not to be changed in the admission register according your fancies.."
"Yes sir...I won't do it again" Vikas said.
Thereafter,no complaint received about him.Our teaching staff was also on high five about the change in that boy.However a strange fact came to my notice.His friends,some how, learned the episode that has taken place regarding the nomenclature, wide spread over the village.Villagers too started calling him as Rajani kant in mockery.This brat was reported to be happier over the unexpected popularity.
I returned to my guest house soon after paying obeisance to the Lord Rama at the temple.My guest house was exactly in front of the park.This pilgrim town changed a lot in the recent years.On weekends and holidays,It's very difficult to get a room in the hotels.And what to talk about Sri Rama navami and Mukkoti festivals with swerving visitors..!
I have taken rest in the room till evening.By seven'O clock,came out for a fresh air.Entered the park located nearby.Here,our Rajani kant,sorry Vikas the old student met me unexpectedly.He was first to identify me.He was no longer a boy now,transformed into youth.I connected to the past when he reminded me of the incident of his passion about the name Rajani kant.
"Oh...Vikas..! What a pleasant surprise...what are you doing now..?" I asked him.
"I am pursuing business administration in Hyderabad sir.Came back in vacation.In fact,I have been waiting for a friend here.Really I am happy to meet you after some years.." he flushed.
"I am here for having a darshan of Lord Rama.After retirement,I settled at Khammam.Seeing you like this is great.I would never forget your village where I worked and retired, my boy"
"Things changed a lot since you had exuded your services sir.A new state carved out from Andhra pradesh.Bifurcation hit our area unlike any other place.Our village merged into Andhra,of course,along with many villages adjoining to this temple town.Students got problems with both states in terms of getting different certificates from different offices.Joining hostels became a big task.And nativity issue cropped up when attended recruitment drives.."
"Yes...I am also reading in the news papers.All of a sudden,some areas cut off with old division and district administration due to the bifurcation.Adequate arrangement should have done before separation.This is what the real bunch of woes to be faced by the inhabitants living in the border areas of the states.."
"Sir...nowadays, we people keep boasting of global citizens,can't we solve it all with a meaningful dialogue by sitting across the table..?Whatever the states could be,we are all living in one country.Both state heads should come to amiable terms to soften the lives of the people.Am I wrong..?"
"You're absolutely correct Vikas.See the further irony,Lord Rama's temple falls into Telengana.And his hundreds of acres of donated lands have gone to Andhra.Even some streets of Bhadrachalam merged into that state.If you wish to visit Parnasala,you have to cross Andhra merged villages.People of the area were never concerned when the act was perpetrated.."
"They were saying it all due to Polavaram project"
"Whatever the project,people are to be preferred.Well..how about the iron gate we fixed in our school to prevent the stray animals...?" I diverted the heated topic.
"That was fine sir.Hmm...I happened to meet old staff like Vasu sir and Raghu sir a couple of times.Ramesh sir was said to be passed away.I don't know the exact reason.."
"Have you changed your name..? In those days , you were passionate about..!"I smiled.
"I will never ever change my name sir.How foolish I was in those days to have such a crazy idea.That very thought drives me nuts even now.."
"Vikas...It was not an act of shame or so.Childhood should be like that,fun and frolic.Well...convey my best regards to all of the village.It gave me a lot of sweet moments in my life" I said.
Moving towards the cement bench located in a corner.Godavari flows with a faint sound just behind the park, beneath the bridge which would never fail showcase the best view of the Lord Rama's temple. (The End) ----Written by Murthy Kvvs