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The Compassionate Chronicler – Part 2

The Compassionate Chronicler – Part 2

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Acollage of Biswajit Jha's younger days

The first part of this series narrated how the author met Biswajit Jha. The discussion continues over cup of tea, discussing the life of Jha and what inspired him to write about Karimul Hak.

By Somashis Gupta

It was a windy morning in Darjeeling, and as we waited for the food which arrived in a while, I suggested Biswajit Jha the chronicler of ‘the ambulance dada’ to narrate his story, I said “So let’s hear your journey”

“I was born in the village of Rajganj which lies in the north of Jalpaiguri district” he said sipping his coffee “I was home schooling till my 4th and it was only in my 5th standard when I joined a Bengali medium school.”

My eyes remained fixed upon my companion with an expression of amazement and my Onion and Cheese Pie remained unattended. I finished off the porridge though. But it remains unknown whether it was lack of appetite or the fact that I was fascinated to listen to the remarkable story of Biswajit Jha which led to my ignorance.

“It was when I was in my 8th standard that my father approached an English teacher to train me up” something in his tone caught my ear and I turned to look at him as he continued “but he upfront rejected the proposal and also claimed that I will not be able to study further at all keep aside English.”

“That is rather unfair on his part I would say. As a teacher one cannot reject a student this way” I commented though inwardly had a wish to use more adjective but I controlled my outburst and asked instead “so how did you react? And more importantly how did you achieve your achievement?”

“I had nothing more to say except that I was angry, but that anger made me promise to myself that I will learn English with my own effort” Biswajit reacted with a raging anger “it was when I was in my 11th standard when I started reading English Newspapers” he expressed with writhing inward merriment “and went on pursuing my education in English Literature.”

“So after that you went straight to Journalism?” I asked

“Not exactly, you see,” he continued sipping his coffee “I was always interested in sports and politics, so I continued my Mass Communication from Burdwan University, and then went straight too Delhi. I joined ‘The Pioneer’ and subsequently in ‘Mobile ESPN’ and finally in ‘Zee News Digital’ as sports head”

“Ah! That is a charming story, so when did you shift back to Siliguri?” I asked

“You see I am hopelessly in love with my village, I can relate to the people, I missed the purity of the place, and finally decided to come back and do something for my village.”

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The more I saw the man the more I was amazed at his works. I asked “So what made you write about Kamirul Haque?”

“One day while I was working here I learnt about Karimul Hak. I learnt about his amazing effort to save human life by taking the patients to hospital in his bike. After his mother died because an ambulance could not reach her, he made it his mission in life to help others. He has struggled a lot – he started with a cycle, then saved to get a motorbike on loan, and still spends about a third of his earnings on helping others. I was hooked to his story! I wanted people to know about him and thus started writing the book.”

“I must say you have done a wonderful work with this book. So what else are you doing?”

“Well, I have opened up two schools….

To Be Continued….

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