Friday, November 11, 2005

A Real-life Thriller

Gobindapur Rail Colony, with its 30,000 population and its ongoing dynamics, could - should - have been a good theme for a novel. If you don't want to write it as a literary fiction (It's not cool in today's market), you can write a thriller out of it.

The colony is dangerously stretched along a rail line. And the people have been living here for about five decades. If you ever board a south suburban train from Sealdah, you cannot miss them doing their daily chores - washing, cooking, eating, shitting, pissing - in the ghastly environs by the railway tracts. Because of the speed of the train, it's not possible to scan the whole scenario, still you feel like puking from your seat. But they look kind of settled in their own ways.

Now they face eviction, thanks to a Kolkata High Court order. They have only two weeks to leave with their belongings. Or their shanties will be demolished by the state machinery.

What's wrong with them? They're polluting the Rabindra Sarobar lake, and its surroundings, according to a PIL lodged with the High Court quite a while ago. The High Court has since then been directing the government to remove the population elsewhere. It being a sensitive issue, the Government was sitting on orders issued at different times. But the High Court now comes up with the final order for the squatters: leave or take the heat.

The order sets off the tension necessary for the thriller. Five top police officers, all ACPs, have now parked themselves in the colony to convince the sqatters to leave the place without any fuss. They're actually registering the names of those willing to leave on their own. Interstingly, not a single man comes up to them for registration. Instead, they're all united, firm in their determination to stick in here come what may, and ready to fight the state with the ordinary weapons they have in their posession. (A TV channel shows the womenfolk of the colony armed with bati, da, khunti, and vowing to fight to the last drop of their blood.)

So, there would be battle and bloodbath. Don't try to read any sub-text here. That would spoil the fun and excitement out of it. Enjoy! I'll be reporting on the run-up to the day of demolition on a regular basis. But are you interested?
MRINAL BOSE

1 comment:

'Thought & Humor' said...

Seek the LORD
while you can find
Him. Call on Him
now while He is
near. Let the people
turn from their wicked
deeds. Let them banish
from their minds the very
thought of doing wrong!
Let them turn to the LORD
that He may have mercy
on them. Yes, turn to our
God, for He will abundantly
pardon. "My thoughts are
completely different from
yours," says the LORD.
"And my ways are far
beyond anything you
could imagine. For just
as the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are My
ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than
your thoughts. "The rain and
snow come down from the
heavens and stay on the
ground to water the earth.
They cause the grain to grow,
producing seed for the farmer
and bread for the hungry. It is
the same with my word. I send
it out, and it always produces
fruit. It will accomplish all I
want it to, and it will prosper
everywhere I send it. You will
live in joy and peace. The mountains
and hills will burst into song, and the
trees of the field will clap their hands!
Where once there were thorns, cypress
trees will grow. Where briers grew,
myrtles will sprout up. This miracle will
bring great honor to the LORD's name;
it will be an everlasting sign of His power
and love.

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