Love will always save you.

{Please note: This story is written by Kalimpong84 and not me.
The content idea purely belongs to the unrevealed author. }

Doctor-holding-patient-hand

Representative Picture.

Varinka’s health deteriorated every day but her zeal to live never died.

She always said “every day is a gift…. that’s why they call it PRESENT.” Now as she realized that waiting for death made her life more miserable, she decided to work. She knew her days were numbered and she wanted to do something that was worth the time she had on earth… so she decided to work in an Old Age Home with the hope that her journey would be little joyful living with people sailing on the same boat.

So with the help of her few contacts she managed to get a job including accommodation for herself in an Old Age Home run by an NGO.

Her new home was perfect for her… it was filled with positive energy and the love she got back from the elders was overwhelming. Every second she spent on caring for the elders was worth more than what she had lived before. She felt that she had found the purpose of her life, no matter how short it may be!

There were many girls like her caring for the elderly in the Home but non with a short life like hers. One fine day an elderly inmate was so sick that Dr Rohit had to be summoned to examine. He was the visiting doctor for the Home and was a renowned Oncologist (cancer specialist) with a heart of Gold. Dr Rohit was not only good clinicians but also a very good human being. It had been more than 5 years serving in the Old Age Home and he didn’t charge a penny.

Dr Rohit was very well known for his experimental drugs that had miraculously healed most of the cancer patients in the Home. His invention was on the verge of a breakthrough in the world of medicine.

When Varinka heard this from her friends she couldn’t stop herself from knowing more about this magical drug but on the flipside the drug did not work on all patients.

Varinka had nothing to lose; she decided she would go for it. One day she went to meet Dr Rohit in his chamber. Dr Rohit was a young, smart, 32 year old Bachelor. His achievements were a little too heavy for his age.

Varinka introduced herself and told him that she worked in the same Home that he was attached to.

When Dr Rohit saw her for the first time, he was awestricken by her beauty.. Everything went silent for some second. Varinka started talking but Dr Rohit’s jaw dropped as he was mesmerized by her beauty. Slowly Varinka’s voice started sounding louder and Dr Rohit gained back his consciousness.

Dr Rohit rebuilding his composure said,

“Sorry miss I was lost in thoughts for seconds, could you please tell me your problem from the beginning”

Varinka’s crease on her forehead indicated that her temper was not to be played with, but for sick people temper was unaffordable.

Dr Rohit sedately heard everything that Varinka had to say. He himself expressed his sadness for her sickness which was one of his virtues that separated him from all other doctors who treated patients like specimens.

Dr Rohit agreed to give her the treatment. He also explained that since the drug was experimental it would not cost much for her which was another boon for Varinka.

Varinka’s treatment started and her test results showed signs of healing. As her health progressed, so did their relationship. Both Dr Rohit and Varinka started seeing each other on a regular basis. They both liked each other.

But Dr Rohit was in love with her.

As days passed by, Dr Rohit was himself amazed at the rate in which Varinka was recovering, and deep down, he knew that she would one day be cancer free. He was patiently waiting for that very day because on that day he was going to propose her.

So the day of her final test results.

Varinka was looking more beautiful than ever. All the elderly inmates in the Old Age Home were praying together for her and anxiously awaiting the reports which Dr Rohit was bringing along with him.

You could literally hear the beats when 100 plus hearts were beating with the same excitement as Dr Rohit’s car entered the compound. Doctor enters the hall with a Poker face which he could not hold long as tears rolled down his eyes and with a smile he gives a nod. He then knelt and pulled out a ring and proposed to Varinka.

Yes, Varinka is now Cancer free but she had not at all expected this. She liked Dr Rohit but did not love him.

She was in trouble once again.

Back there in India, Varun was still missing Varinka. Varinka could not keep her secret for long and on hearing this Varun’s love for Varinka grew much stronger. Varun’s love compelled him to leave for Kathmandu in search of Varinka.

Here, Varinka did not want to embarrass Dr Rohit as he was one of the most respected and the most required person in the Old Age Home. So she said YES…thinking that she would clarify things later. Everyone clapped with tears of joy in their eyes.

Next day, Varinka decided that she would clear up everything and explain why she had to say Yes! When in reality she wanted to say No! She patiently waited for Dr. Rohit in his small chamber which was in the ‘Home’ itself. She heard the sound of his car. Her heart started racing as he walked closer to the chamber.

Gathering all the courage she opened the door for him and there in front of her stood… Varun.

Varun! Varinka! A moment of silence!!!

The situation was so intense that the whole chamber was burning in an invisible fire.

Without saying anything further, they hugged each other for as long as they could.

‘I’ve missed you every day and I’ve come to take you” said Varun.

 

Enters,
Dr Rohit with flowers in his hands, watching Varun in Varinka’s hands!

 

(ENDS)

 

“Sometimes choices are not easy to make.
And ‘everytime’ risk is what you CAN’T take.
The choice you make today,
Can make you suffer tomorrow.
And the risk you don’t take today,
May be of regret to you tomorrow.”
-Varinka 

 

 

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Cafes and Conversations…till LOVE and UNLOVE.

-a short story (fiction)

cafe and conversations

Spring hadn’t sprung at all. It was already April and the thread in my whatsapp was overloaded with our conversations. This time, Varun had just come from America.

My excitement to see him, plus not to see him at the same time had me confused. I was afraid, as usual because my effort of understanding him would fail each time he would come back to Kalimpong. He is a different person in the virtual world and he is different in reality.

I would always think that there is no point for us to hang out often but Varun would eventually act that he has always been in love with me. And I’m sure I’ve always tried defending myself with the thought that Varun doesn’t actually love me.

So, I received a message one morning.

‘Good Morning sunshine… Rise and Shine’

‘And get ready, we have to go Munsung.’

….

‘Good morning.

Wait!

What?

Why?

I can’t go.

In fact, I can’t meet you.’ I replied in a row!

He has been obsessed with driving towards countryside, just to escape from reality and just to escape from civilisations.

I rather chose to stay on bed that day!

One message received!

‘Hey, what you doing?

You missed it.

This place is amazing.

And I’ve just ordered a dhungro!’

Why don’t you just come? He wrote.

‘No Varun, I’m not well’ I replied without giving a second thought.

‘What? What happened? Why didn’t you tell me in the morning?

I’m coming right away to see you!’ was Varun’s reply.
He always over-reacts. It’s been years but we both don’t know who we are to each other. When he introduces me to his friends, he says, ‘Meet my friend Varinka’ and when we chat, it seems we are more than ‘just friends.’ He knows my like and dislikes. He knows me inside out. He knows how much I hate drunk-drives and how much I love poetry. And after all these years, and all the conversations, yeah, we are just friends!


No Varun, you don’t have to come.

I’m fine.

I’ll see you tomorrow.

In café Kalimpong at 11 am. Done for the day!

And after that, he just didn’t reply.
I started working in some micro poems.


‘The paralyzed night, its shiver
Blurry stars, navy blue, and mist.
In the distance, yes, without you’

And just then I got to access some of his haikus, amazing poet he had become with time. But he always told me that he gets inspired by my words when in contrary, I got inspired by his, always!


Next day!

‘Morning!

Café Kalimpong is it?’

Shit! It was 9:45 am when I opened my eyes. And his message beeped around 7:15 am.

‘Yes, be there. Be punctual, time really exists for me’

I got off from bed.


14th Mile, Kalimpong…

Here it’s December, every day. You are enveloped by fog all the time till you reach Dr. Grahams Homes. Then the sun smiles your way till you reach Dambar Chowk- a ridge adjoining Delo and Durpin hills.

I reached Café Kalimpong by 10:55 am and asked masala tea for my own satisfaction.

This Café gives amazing masala tea which costs money and an amazing view of protruding Delo hill, for free!

While I was carelessly sipping tea for the sixth time, Varun entered the café. It left my heart skipping its rhythmic beats. I was meeting him after two years. I looked at him and smiled.

He approached towards me. We didn’t hug!

He sat in front of me. The café was suddenly filled with SPRING.  He smelled good like the fragrance of those sweet-peas that bloom in the onset of spring. I don’t know much about the café and people in it, but to my heart, he literally changed a season.

How are you feeling now? He asked breaking the silence.

I forgot that I had to speak. I was lost, lost in something so beautiful, so stunning and so amazing. I was just staring at him.

Better. I said

What would you like to eat? These guys make amazing burgers and blueberry cupcakes. I just wanted to suggest something of my choice.

Hmmm…burger and tea! He said.  

He loved tea as much as I did. And that was one thing how my attraction grew towards him.

So, how are things in the U.S of A?

Oh! You know what? I forgot to tell you that I am selected for an international course, I have to choose a university from five countries, and I think I’ll go for two year’s master degree course in Duke University or University of North Carolina at Chapel hill, U.S.A.  What do you think? There’s no full stop once I start speaking.

He was staring-a blank gaze in my eyes.

We will talk about it; let me do a background check about the universities. He said.

Meanwhile, our food arrived.

We started gobbling.

I ordered for the third round of masala tea.

He smiled.

He suddenly leaned forward, trying to reach my face with his hand, hurdled by a table in between us. Teenagers there were taking selfies around. My hair was blown by the wind, tangling it roughly. And an unexpected music started playing in the background, it was Elvis Presley. His hand did reach my face; his fingers slowly ran towards my upper lips and with this thumb, he wiped my mayonnaise moustache.

I smiled, only to see tissues right next to my hand.

We talked about other cafes and foods.

About paintings and books,

Seasons and moods,

Jobs, satisfactions, etcetera!

We had so many things to talk and we visited as many cafes that we could visit in few months. We shared as many conversations we could share in those times.

We would go to see a river and sometimes we would go to see the sunrise. We would stand and watch the rain drops fall and he would ask me to dance with him in the middle of the road.

We had shared endless stories, some stupid, some genuine. We often dropped one another home and talked for long hours as we dispersed.

We became each other’s unbreakable habit. And this time I really got to know and understand Varun better. I liked being with him.

I started bunking work just to meet him. And he stared walking in the rain, just to see me.

Many months passed!

One day, he didn’t write to me the whole day. I was still at work. In fact, I was overloaded with work that particular day. I was 3:30 pm.

Bling! I got a message.

‘Hey, I’m in Gangtok today, will be returning tomorrow, early!’

Then, I had this weird feeling. What? Where? Gangtok? Why?

The person who messaged me to tell that he is eating, sleeping, reading, writing, listening music, etc. goes to another state and I don’t even know? I was petrified for no appropriate reason.

‘Oh! Okay’ I replied, but only this heart was aware of the hurricane that I was withstanding.

I didn’t write to him further.

We didn’t exchange message for few days. And it was weird, I wanted to know, I wanted to ask him, I wanted to talk to him, I had to understand but I chose to kill myself silently without doing any of these.

He was online most of the time and it killed me more.

After two weeks of torture, I changed my job, so that I could be busy- learning new things.  I was being able to cope up with situations. I was slowly able to break my habits.

Things felt quite odd for few days but then it worked well with time!

Slowly, I started visiting cafes, alone. I started writing alone and tasting teas alone.

At times, some café owners would ask, ‘bhai ayena?’ and I wouldn’t know what to answer. I would just smile and ignore. And sometimes, I would bounce by his friends who would ask, ‘hey, where is Varun these days?’ and I would end up saying, ‘hey, I was about to ask you the same.’
I was tired of escaping questions and inquisitions of people. I was tired of pretending. Then, I started looking for a ticket to South-India for the fifth time in my life.

Was I in a mission to run away from a circumstance that life threw hard on me? Well, yeah!

Bling!

Hey! How and where are you?

Need to talk.

What? Do you think life is a joke? Or do you see me like a clown selling balloons?

But this heart gets enticed so easily. And without even realising I replied,

Hey, I’m still here. Then I cursed myself instantly.

Next moment we were trying to avoid eye-contacts in Aroma café. We had two large cups of Darjeeling milk tea in front of us.

We had looked out of the window for 18 minutes already and I was getting late for work.

Priority changes!

What is it that you had to talk about? I had to break the silence.

How have you been? I missed you! He said.

I was angry from within. He was the one to walk off from my life without saying anything.

I was fuming with anger. I had just taken two sips of my favorite cup of tea.

I walked off from the café.

‘Varinka, wait!’ he came running downstairs but I made sure that he wouldn’t reach me.

I reached home, I didn’t work, my peace was invaded. I was very angry.

He kept calling me but I didn’t receive. I instead chose to take shower and sleep. I was 3:26 pm and I started thinking about my work.

I’d received many messages by 6:30 pm and I didn’t read any of it.

My anger faded with time and I read his message one by one. His last message was,

Let me talk to you for one last time.

‘One last time? Why? Was he going back? Oh No! I can’t live without him.

I think I Love him!’ I talked to myself!

Okay, we have to talk then. I replied.

Paris Café, tomorrow 9:30 am, see you there Varinka!

What? Why so early? His timing seemed so odd and my curiosity rose higher.

Next day.

I had prepared what to say and what not to. I chose to wear a shirt with an Indian print; he used to say that I look good in it.

This time too, we were silent half of the time. The guy in the reception didn’t bother us only to realise that he is deaf and dumb. Varun doodled the order in a piece of paper. And the guy prepared Darjeeling tea without milk.

How much I hated tea without milk, he knew it better. Still, I somehow struggled with a milk-less cup of tea.

‘Varinka, There is something very important that I have to say.’ He said in a serious tone.

‘Go on, I too have to say something important’ I said.

Okay! He took a deep breath and said, ‘I’m getting married next week’

I froze with that statement. Or I don’t know if it was my heart that froze. I started sulking. I couldn’t react.

‘I wanted to tell you this the day I went to Gangtok but I couldn’t’ he went on.

I’m so sorry Varinka, I don’t know what happened.  I…

With that, I stood up, kept half price of the tea on the table.

‘My share’ I said and I walked off.

I don’t know why, but, that was the only thing I could do at that point of time.

I didn’t realise that I walked off from his life the same time I walked off from the café.

We stopped talking and meeting.

He got married in another week. I could just stay home and scroll his facebook profile to see many new pictures of his wedding…

He seemed happy in all the photographs taken by my very good photographer friend.

It’s been years now and I’d stopped visiting cafes, for, his memories haunt me when I have to suffer with a smile.

He is now expecting a kid. 🙂

ENDS!

Keep reading and supporting. 

Much love,

Nisha Varinka Chettri.

Scroll to the end, check this author’s other pages. (Facebook and Instagram; Like and follow for more stories) ☺️

I was Sabre Rattled by the police (A.S.P) while I was doing my duty.

This is what exactly happened on 15th September…   

before bursting tear gas shells

(POLICE- before bursting tear-gas-shells) 

Friday, 15th September. 

Fresh violence boiled the town when the news of arresting 14 approximate picketers by the police spread like a wildfire. The mob gathered in the motor stand by 11 am took my interest. I was accompanied by my Photographer friend, BishanTriva.

Out of curiosity, I asked one of the agitators about their assemblage. We got to know the reason. We got isolated from the crowd and stood in front of the last shops in the left hand (from Mijju) side of Motor Stand.

Soon, the police arrived.

SP leading the troupe

(SP-Ajeet Singh Yadav leading the troupe)

We got in action, with our cameras.

The troupe was led by the S.P, Ajeet Singh Yadav.

We started shooting, the shutter sound and the action.

They started blocking the road.

‘Jai Gorkha’

The bikes were able to escape.

The vehicle which had the picketers was blocked. Police got down in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

MOB stopping police van

(MOBs stopping police van)

They started lathicharging.

Their intention was just to shoo away the mobs.

They were dispersed and the motor stand was free for them to carry on with their duty.

When the mob dispersed.

(MOBS dispersed, Motor-Stand empty.)

Out of nowhere, the Assistant S.P, Amlan Gosh came and shoved me with a baton in a full swing, using force as much as he could. 

It got it at the back of my heart. I couldn’t breathe for five seconds. Bishan caught me. We both were in the state of shock. 

The ASP, didn’t intend to hit Bishan. 

(I still don’t know what grudge he had, with me)

 

Amlan Gosh after rattling baton on me

(Amlan Gosh after rattling baton on me.)

Then I got back to my senses and I ran towards him, shouting ‘ASP, wait!’ 

Bishan followed me. I kept running till I caught him. 

‘On what ground did you lathicharge me?’ I questioned. 

Who gave you the authority to lathicharge? Answer me!’ 

This is not the first time that you are manhandling a Journalist’ 

 Then, Bishan started shouting at the ASP, ‘on what ground did you hit her?

 ‘Don’t argue’ said Amlan Ghosh and walked off. 

MOB in the backdrop.

(MOB)

The mobs started pelting stones to the place that we were standing.

We had to escape from stones. My back was already injured.

Our eyes caught an old man, injured from the wrath of Amlan, he was looking for a place to sit. He was in pain. He got hit on his (right) shoulder.

Old man got injured- by ASP

(Innocents injured in lathicharge)

We had to protect him from stones too. We had to rescue him and take him along.

Boom*Tear Gas Shell burst.

Our nose and eyes started burning instantly and we were filled with tears.

A strong irritation got stuck in our throat.

I started feeling the burning sensation on my face, maybe because of the reaction of gas with moisture caused by tears on my cheeks.

We reached Baradhuray and asked water to wash our face and eyes. We walked toward Dambar Chowk and saw just one scooter in the parking and that was mine. We parked the scooter near District hospital.

We could still hear the sounds of firing (of non-lethal bullets.)

Firing-non-lethal bullets

(Tear gas and non-lethal bullets)

My wing bone was injured and it was hurting awfully. We had taken most of the photographs in sequence. We had evidence of whatever happened.

We later reached our low-roofed-office which was suffocating enough because of the heat and its absorption by the aluminium sheet.

I called my editor and he asked me to do the medicals as soon as possible.

Bishan and I then left towards the District Hospital where my doctor friend helped me with all the formalities. I got my x-ray done and my medication started, that’s how my pain was eased and I could carry on with shooting (the second incident that took place around 4 pm.)

Action and Chaos

(Action and Chaos)

Before that we met the District Magistrate and narrated him the incident, he just said that he will look on the matter and take necessary steps. Which in other words mean, ‘yeah, heard it, now get lost!’

When we thought of meeting the SP, he was in Dambar Chowk. The second violence was caused because the mob pelted stones to Army vehicle. Police started firing and bursting tear gas shells again.

Police in action

(Police in action)

The situation was not right and I left home with a quick lunch at the hospital canteen, arranged by my doc friend.

In the other hand, Bishan’s girlfriend had packed dinner for me. Got it and reached home.

Then, mixed emotions drove me. I missed mom, I seriously wished that I had a dog with me. I was lonely, I was cold. But the amount of calls I received faded my emotions and I got back to my form.

Then, I took medicines and slept…

those who are not in uniforms are Reporters, this is how we have to work.

(Those who are not in uniforms are Reporters, this is how we have to work!)

Saturday, 16th September 2017.

I was finally able to meet the SP.

I was backed by my fellow workers, I narrated him the incident. At first he tried defending ASP wondering that he might have been driven by the mob-pressure.

I clarified that motor stand was empty and the crowd was dispersed. I gave stress to it saying that I have photo-evidence (in sequence) of the place and incident.

I also told him that I’d come with FIR against ASP, to which, he said that FIR is not possible but General Diary could be done. He explained that judicial matter would eventually land up in, Gosh paying a fine of 100 rupees, that’s it!

When I constantly talked about taking action, he said he will ask Amlan to give an explanation in a written form stating why he manhandled me, which will be sent to the DGP as he is now aware of the incident.

That way, an action will be taken and it will hamper his career while trying to upgrade himself as SP in the future.

He will also have to pay fine of 10,000 rupees, it seems.

I asked him to set a timeline so that I can get back to them to enquire about the action. Yadav assured me to wait for 7 days till I take help from the judiciary.

I have also demanded a press conference where ASP has to explain his excuse regarding the lathicharge. ASP was not around while we were in the police station. I asked SP to call him but he came the time we left from Thana.

I have also consulted things with few lawyers who have suggested me to write to the judicial magistrate. But first, they have to reject my complaint (in a written form) giving reasons why can’t they entertain my FIR.

(The PS where I am complaining can’t arrest their own police. That’s why only G.D can be done.)

Then the judiciary can play their role.

My co-workers have been really supportive, also my friends, editors, readers, and my well-wishers. I can’t stay silent without thanking all of you.

I’ll get back to you guys with more information and photographs shortly.

Till then, take care and keep supporting this Author.

 

Love and regards!
Nisha Varinka Chettri

BIRTHDAY BLAST !

Representative picture from google!


19 August 2017.
 

Booooommm* 

Checking time…. 

12:15 am.

Phone rings… 

Probably ‘Happy Birthday! call’

‘Hello?’

Hello baini, Darjeeling ma bomb blast bhayo! said the caller. 

‘What the….? Anyone dead? How many injured?’ I uttered. 

The phone got disconnected.

Then I tossed and turned. I couldn’t sleep. I was getting many birthday calls. I couldn’t respond. I was shaken up. I had never heard of blast in Darjeeling after I was born. 

2 am… and eyes wide open. My dog scratches its body making annoying noise in my metal gate. 

I somehow passed out to open my eyes at 7 am. My phone started ringing. 

Birthday wishes. 

Another call. 

Call. 

So many calls after that. 

Off to work around 2 pm after a whole lot of family drama.  

Internet restriction in the hills has badly hit the reporters along with others. Besides using twitter and Instagram, attaching and mailing documents are our priority. Gmail!

Carmichael ground.

View from Carmichael ground!


The swifts make a rapid fly above us and the frogs harmonise a symphony below. We stand in a different hill that is elevated from the ground. 
Heaven gently opens up to shower us the magical droplets of love. 

This is Carmichael ground, recently renamed as ‘jio-dara’ where people from all backgrounds are found fiddling with their phone. 

This gets so interesting to recall the days when we lazily sat on the couch the whole day spending time on our phone or laptop-updating statuses, posting pictures in Instagram and sharing the same in facebook again. We used to switch from one app to another for hundred times! 

The elders at home must be very glad with the idea of internet-ban because you respond to their call-for-dinner immediately these days. Else they call us for the fifth time and we were found chatting with someone in whatsapp .

Our habits have been changed after 18th June, when the government undemocratically blocked the internet service in the hills. 

So on 19th August, after riding back from chitray, I met my co-workers who were waiting for me in Carmichael ground. 

Photo shoot after singing birthday!

Greetings and blessings were received in abundance. Then they sang me a birthday song. Meanwhile, three of us (one photographer, one filmmaker and I) got isolated just to take few parched gulps of Jacob’s creek. What’s more beautiful than a bottle of wine in twilight with gentle breeze? 

Songs! 

I’m yours, Jason Mars to more than words with an amazing instrument-Ukulele.  

Luckily it was Saturday and my day-off. 

It turned darker. Songs, dance, and wine made a good combo. 

We all dispersed towards home in a very good mood. 

My Home! 

A set of friends waiting for me to knock the door so that the already intoxicated people could raise a toast in the name of my birthday. It was 8:30 pm when birthday was sung in a small, neatly arranged room. My sister had taken the effort to ruin it the next day. 

By the time wine was over I started strumming guitar for sometime. Then we sat and talked about the agitation that has been heading aimlessly towards a state of chaos. 

Starting from day 1 of the indefinite shutdown, I narrated the story till the firing that happened in Kalimpong after the miscreants torched the wine shop on 5th July. 

‘The S.P along with other police have been…’ 

Booooommmmm*

I was stopped by the sound of an explosion. 

10:15 pm.

I called my sources to find out that the blast was in the police station. 

It was a grenade blast! 

This agitation took so many arsons, vandalisms, lives and injuries to reach towards an unexpected incident of grenade explosion. 

This became a very sensitive issue, rather a controversial one. 

What actually happened, no body knows! 

The 5W’s and 1H of journalism was tickling me from within. 

I had to know. 

I had to find it out. 

Phone rings*

‘Hello? One civic police dead. His name-Rakesh Raut’ my source said.

‘What??’ Shit! No! 

What exactly happened? How did it happen? Are people okay there? I asked. 

‘No, two are injured, others are okay, I had to carry Rakesh on my shoulder and run to the hospital, he was declared brought dead’ He replied.

‘Okay, thanks. 

Goodnight.’ I hung up the call. 
What’s happening here? 

Why is it happening? 

Why so much of violence? 

Why to take innocent’s life that way? 

It was 11:45 pm when I started collecting informations to send it to my newspaper. 

I got more than 12 calls in between. Some called to give informations and some to receive. 

11:50 pm. 

Phone rings* 

‘Urgh, not again!’ 

Hello? I said. 

‘Hey, happy birthday, sorry I’m late’ he said… 

‘Something is more important than birthday.’ I said. 

‘What?’

‘The situation!’

Securities work actively after the explosion!

 

Hello from the hills!

The record of GNLF’s 40 day’s strike of 80s is broken with today reaching the 45th day of the indefinite strike in the hills of Darjeeling/Kalimpong.   
Executives, ready! 

Law and order, check!

Barricades, all fixed!

Khakis and camouflages everywhere.


Thousands of people march towards District Magistrate’s office for dharna-shouting slogans like ‘Bangal hamro chihhan ho, chihhan ma hami basdainau.’ (Bengal is out grave, we don’t reside in graveyards) We want Gorkhaland, Hamro maang Gorkhaland.   

Escaping the splash of water hit hard by the wheel of an ambulance, I started riding, pillioning another reporter to reach an evening with pattering of gentle raindrops in the tin-roof of a stranger’s house, attic they are probably going to construct.  

Perhaps the construction was incomplete coz of the strike-as the labours are seen around the building often when we are there.


Now the rain is accompanied by a low rumble of thunder!

‘Hurry up and mail your stories!’ Shouted a photo-journalist whose bike’s headlight isn’t working.

‘We need to leave before it gets dark! Half of us don’t even have a raincoat’ he added.
 

I imagine myself working in a newsroom with no story ideas.

Such landscape and open atmosphere would definitely compliment my work process at a newsroom.  

Then, the pressure cooker whistles next door and the tungsten makes the environment in the other side look more depressing that the present scene of the Darjeeling hills.  

Urgh! Mail sent!  

Phew!

Whole day we work, looking for better stories than the previous days. We sit and write in a low-tin-roof-office with semi-terrace-where the tenant downstairs keep coming to the terrace to pick or dry cloths.

We’ve written many stories inside this tiny office. From GMCC meetings to violence, and from arsons to blogs like this.

So, the story which I really had an urge of writing ‘comparing 40 days strike with 1987 to 2017′ was finally published and I have been looking for an opportunity to interview a very interesting person.


Recent things happening here in Kalimpong.

The health of three people who are participating in the fast-unto-death are deteriorating day by day. They are complaining lower-abdomen and low-back-ache, though the doctors have suggested them a medication to which they have firmly denied, they said that they are not ready to take medicines. They don’t even want to drink a single drop of water before acquiring a state of Gorkhaland.

In the other hand, the crowd which assembles in DM office are guarded by a tight security of almost 50 law enforcers and other forces.


With passing of time, Sahid Diwas is also over. I don’t know why it felt so different today. There were so many factors, yet right angle for my story was not found.

But I’m sure this was the first time that leaders of all political parties commemorated the martyrs together. The unity of GMCC-thanks to the agitation that made them unite. 

Okay,

This message is for the readers who are outside Kalimpong as of now.

The ever bustling, noisy, covered with crowd of people-the heart of Kalimpong town- Dambar Chowk is now the silence zone ever since the fast-unto-death started.


I’ll get back to you with more stories.

Driver’s sacrificing their daily income to support Gorkhaland movement. 

Drivers leading the procession!

The driver union of Kalimpong led the mass procession today with paints like ‘We Want Gorkhaland’ painted on their chest. The procession started around 11:15 am from Motor stand and encircled the town.  
The indefinite strike reaches its 28th day in the hills.

Definitely, the economy of the hills has decreased drastically as vocation like driving is all about earning in a regular basis. 

Moreover, ever since the strike was called, the drivers have parked their cars at their house forgetting about their income only to support for the cause of Gorkhaland.

The drivers even from the outskirt of kalimpong had turned up today, thousands of approximate drivers have asserted to support and accelerate the movement of Gorkhaland. They believe, if young drivers have the strength to carry and change tires, the older ones have more strength comparatively.

‘This agitation wont calm down and we drivers have never steeped back and we are not even going to step back, any situation may occur at day or night, if we are called for a gherau at any place, we should move ahead and participate in such events till the people from where we are protesting comes out and listen to us’ said Wangyel Bhutia, a driver from Driver Union.

He went on criticising the Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee for not having a calibre strong enough to take proper care of Bengal. ‘Look at 24 Parganas, she has successfully divided two clans there’ said Bhutia who has his angst with the policy of West Bengal Government and he further tells ‘I am not in politics but I am ready to do anything for my birth-right, Gorkhaland.’

Bhutia told that he has been seeing the Gorkhaland agitation since 1986 who, then was a kid, today he wonders what is taking the government this long to provide justice to the Gorkhas who has been doing so much for the country.

Bhutia had been in the Indian Army for half of his youthfulness, he has been driving after retiring voluntary from his service. He served the nation for 28 years and he remorsefully tells that this place is still not provided with justice-that is nothing less than a state of Gorkhaland.

Wangyel Bhutia and other drivers feel that they have been earnestly pleading for the constitutional demand by raising the National flag of India, they further clarified that they are not terrorists and they don’t even have foreign links to take the agitation forward.

In the other hand, after giving ultimatums to the chairmen and vice chairmen of development boards to resign by 14th July-6pm by the GMCC yesterday, some miscreants were impatient enough not to wait for it, the Limboo development board’s office which is located in Dambar Chowk was ransacked today morning damaging the computers and other things used for official purposes.

However, Meghraj Rai, the executive member of West Bengal Rai development board resigned from his post from his board in order to support ‘people’s movement’ by keeping a constitutional faith in the demand of Gorkhaland.

Meanwhile, the local leaders have appealed the public to come for the procession in the traditional attire tomorrow as tomorrow is Bhanu Jayanti- birthday of a famous Nepali poet.  

Thanks for reading. 😊

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Today, the emergency GMCC meet at Mirik decided that…

1. Strike to Continue.

2. Leadership from all political parties to sit for fast-onto-death at Chowrasta, Darjeeling from 15th of July. 

3. On 13th July, which coincidently falls Bhanu Jayanti, Bhanu puraskar along with other awards received from West Bengal Government will be returned.

4. The chairman and vice chairman of all the Development Boards have been given an ultimatum till 14th of July-6 pm to resign from their respected positions in the boards. 

5. The GMCC has also demanded a strict CBI enquiry for all the violence that had been going on in the hills. 

6. Gherao at DM and SDO office against blockade of essential goods from 14th July 2017. 

Lastly, they have also decided that People will march down to siliguri with an empty bag in a form of protest if people from siliguri continue with the blocking and vandalizing of food vehicles that plies to the hills.

Humanity to tackle food crisis!

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People consuming food provided by the UFCSG in Motor Stand. 

The unrest in the hills has been going without thawing, today marks the 27th day of the indefinite strike. In the prolonged days of the ongoing strife, the rations have somehow reached to a point of exhaustion. The groceries are limited and most of the food items are in a verge of scarcity. And in the midst of everything, the ‘United forum for the civil society of Gorkhaland’ has been distributing food to the people in Motor Stand.

The revived stir has definitely hit hard on the normalcy of the hills as the business, education and tourism has been shut for almost a month now. The shopkeepers have been denying to selling the remaining stocks of sugar, and flour here.

Although, there are less ways of purchasing good, another problem stands as a challenge to the civilians-the monetary crisis!

When the strike was called, people were unprepared, they failed to withdraw cash on time leaving them with no option than go cashless!

But in the other hand, the government has been making policies to appease the agitation by restricting the transportation of goods in the hills. ‘This is their trick to stop the agitation in Darjeeling hills’ believes the members of UFCSG

However, the United Forum for Civil Society of Gorkhaland, understanding all the problems of people has come to the street and they cook food in large quantity to distribute it to the people who come for the procession.

‘A set of people are quite vulnerable, the labourers specially! They are in huge shortage of food and water. Providing them one-time-food will ease away their one-time-worry, believes Bishnu Chettri-the convenor of the forum.

The fund of 1 lakh rupees for the food was contributed by the farmers of Krishak Kalyan Sangathan and more than 500 people were able to fill their stomach today with the help of food cooked at the community kitchen which they have named as ‘Gorkhaland Kitchen’

‘This kitchen is an answer to the government who has been restricting groceries to transport to the hills, our effort will also keep the momentum intact’ said Chettri adding that the kitchen will continue till the food crisis will go on.

Meanwhile, Who-Cares, an NGO working for the street beggars have decided to contribute its support in the kitchen work. The team have assumed that there will be more people to consume food from the Gorkhaland Kitchen from tomorrow as they have found through survey that more than 500 families are working as a daily wage labours and it is more important to feed them at this point of time.

 

Thanks for dropping by.
Stay tuned for more stories! 

 

 

The resolutions of GMCC meeting

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Binay Tamang briefing the media after the GMCC meeting in Pedong. 

The fourth All Party Meeting. No, it’s not AP anymore; it’s the GMCC- Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee. So technically, for GMCC it was their first meeting. Perhaps, they were meeting for the first time as GMCC… after it was formed in the last all party meeting held on 29th June 2017.

Today the GMCC decided that the strike would continue for indefinite period-NO RELAXATION, NOT EVEN FOR SCHOOLS.

Then, they condemned on the police firings, the atrocity of the West Bengal government and the lathicharge of police to the innocent driver. Also, to the police and SDO of Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Othlabari, and Malbzar for harassing the drivers of vehicles bearing SK number. They transport essential commodities like groceries from there.

The also appealed and requested the development boards’ of Tarai-Doars-Nepali-Development Chairman, Vice Chairman and other executive members to resign from their posts and come back home as soon as possible.

Another GMCC meeting is decided to be held on 18th July- venue not decided.

Yes, they took 5 long hours to decide the resolutions.

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People who were waiting for the result of the meeting-capturing the briefing in their phone. 

 

When Kalimpong suddenly turned into a war-zone!

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The poster-pasted on a wall of Dambar Chowk!

 

5th July 2017:

I was caught amidst the mobs and police, I saw, the police were on the spot to maintain law and order. But somebody pelted stones at the police, they fled from the spot, the mobs torched the wine shop, some more police reached after they got updated with the news of arson.

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Police with the help of locals, trying to put off fire! 

Later, a pick-up-van drove towards TMC office building and the police lathicharged him and removed the flag. Everybody got informed about the ‘innocent driver’ in no time. Then, an outraged mob…started collecting stones to pelt at the police that were below them. The mobs had a vantage point for they were in the elevated part of 10th mile’s road and the police were below-in lower 10th mile (road.) Both roads meet at 10 mile fatak and Dambar Chowk.

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Police lathicharging the driver.

The mobs started pelting stones on the law enforcers from the spaces of the building which has steep staircase, a short connection for two roads. There are many such gaps acting as shortcuts for the walkers.

 

The size was not funny, okay? Six polices were injured with it.

The police force along with the S. P were in 10th mile, trying to put off the fire at wine shop. The packet-food store room next to it was also severely damaged. The smokes were emitting out from the broken glasses of the window.

Four of us were the first to reach the spot after police. Journalism is getting really interesting in the hills lately. Few people I know often tell me that reporting has lots of risks and threats involved-just get another job!

Find another job? This is my passion and profession.

Today I understood what they were trying to tell me. Never been in a circumstance so hostile in my life!

Anyway, the situation suddenly got tense. The police were already provoked. The mobs were already agitated-filled with rage.

They started throwing abuses after abuses- to each other.

Then at one point of time, the police drove us away from the spot, two of my companions were manhandled-they later apologized saying they were under pressure.

However, we landed in upper 10th mile, few meters away from the fatak. Then we saw some boys running, they had stones in their hands. Seeing that, we chased the children, young and old home quickly. I wore my helmet and fastened it in my chin. They started pelting stone to the police hastily. One police was already injured, got hit by a stone in his shoulder.

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The angry mob!

Then few more got injured, the fire brigade too couldn’t reach the spot as the procession that had passed by 10th mile minutes ago had blocked the way-not letting the vehicle move.

The police and the locals came with buckets of water and set off the fire partially. The outraged crowd got multiplied in no time and stones were flying frequently towards the police. They in fact outnumbered the police.

Then they started rounds of open non lethal firings-obviously with rubber bullets.

Firing? I had never witnessed firing like that. They say, three Morcha supporters were injured and they have been referred to some other hospital somewhere down in siliguri or Sikkim.

North Bengal State Transport Corporation office was also torched around 2 pm. And some fresh sound of open firing was also heard in the Main Road. Six approximate rounds of firing were made today.

Meanwhile, the owner of the wine shop started weeping. They were shaken up, their business, their effort, the hard work and wine- all got inflamed-emitting black smokes swirling up towards the sky.

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Owner of the wine shop weeping!

Got about 27 calls in a row.

People were worried, families kept calling, ‘Don’t go in the front’ they kept saying. But the better photograph I take, it’s better for me-jobs like that! 

The fight went for quite some time, still witnessing everything in front of me-my camera still hung around my neck!

The mob-some eyes were familiar, they had covered half of their face with a scarf.

Some were bold enough not to veil their face. Then, a senior reporter of The Telegraph and I stepped few yards backward.

This becomes the most interesting chapter of my life.

The mob walked towards me as they saw the camera-lens uncovered with a cap!

‘Why were you taking our pictures?’ Said of them. The voice was filled with rage. Suddenly 7-8 boys surrounded me, asking me to delete the pictures. I somehow convinced them that I was not taking their pictures but I was capturing the Polices’ activities.

One among the mobs was not convinced.

He suddenly said, ‘What do you think of yourself? So much are happening and you are still taking sides of those polices? Those Bengalis?? You should rather be supporting us!’

I was like what? Wait? What did you say? Taking whose side? (In my mind, Dude this is my profession, my job, let me just do it, I won’t expose your faces.)

‘Camera deu, Camera deu’ (Give is your camera)

I tricked them showing old picture, ‘See these the most recent pictures I had taken’ –

‘Okay then, if you were not taking pictures of these scenes then keep your camera in your bag’ shouted somebody angrily.

I rolled my eyes and kept my camera in my bag. Then they slowly left only when CRPF’s approached from fatak.

An officer called and asked me what happened.

My respond was ‘how did you get the information so fast, it occurred just a minute ago?’

Such a nice gesture to ask if they can do something for me at that moment.

All I could do was appreciate it, on call.

Then a blasting of tear gas was heard.

The sounds were scary, thanks to my right ear that got blocked since the time I got up!

Heaven finally opened up!

It slowly started raining harder only to thaw the ongoing violence.

We escaped the spot via CST school.

By the time we reached SUMI, sounds of another round of firing were heard, main road-we guessed.

We rode till Girl’s high school, parked our scooters and walked towards Dambar Chowk.

DC was surrounded with dark smoke- with fires ignited at three different places.

We tried calling other reporters. They were scattered, somewhere, trying to be safe. We walked towards main road, it was still dark. Rain had just subsided.

Only khakis and camouflages were seen as we approached Thana Dara. Then a reporter waived at us, he was behind rows of polices. We met saying ‘it was scary!’

Guys wanted to smoke and I wanted to drink tea.

Situation improved a bit by evening.

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FAITH! 

We waited for the S.P at the police station for an official statement is always very important in reporting.

Got back to newsroom around 7pm and wrote a story in 56 minutes and filed to our respected newspapers.

Rode back home the-same-afternoon’s-war-zone around 8:30 pm.

 

Stay tuned for more stories.

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(All picture are taken by me, I have not watermarked them, please don’t steal them)