Dr. Ved Mitra Shukla
After spending two and a half months at Bahraich, Dhanpat Rai left for Pratapgarh. Bahraich district was good for him in many ways. For the first time in his life, he was able to live in peace under a government system so far away from his home, Lamhi. Rest assured that the first work of the government began from here. This government work was also a guarantee that the future life would be spared some degree of hardship. After Bahraich, getting the job of First Additional in Pratapgarh District School was also in a way his promotion.
The 20th century was right on the cusp. From July 2nd to September 20th, the date of the nineteenth year, he lived in Bahraich, a city connected with Shravasti, the shrine of Gautam Buddha. These days were proving to further strengthen their revolutionary character. How to bring change to society and the country together with work? His project was almost ready in the heart and mind of the educated young Dhanpat Rai.
Dhanpat Rai had to ride a tonga for some distance while going to Pratapgarh. A Tongawan, who had known him a little, had assumed this responsibility. Tange has a different music. The disciplined rhythm of an overlaid animal like a dirty horse can be heard over the sound of hooves. Dhanpatarai became one with the same music:
‘Master Sahib, very few have lived in our city? Talking to you used to be very easy to understand and explain the world. The tonguewala spoke to young Dhanpatrai.
‘Monality….’ Saying all this, Dhanpat Rai smiled with his taut moustache.
“Why… Why, Master Sahib!”
This Dhanpat Rai, who is in his twenties, is clumsy in worldly matters. And you are the worldly one… Hey brother, before I came to your city, I tried according to my custom to support the truth and I failed in the world. You wouldn’t know that, friend!
‘How is it?’ asked the tongaiwala.
‘Brother, before this job I had a small job. I thought it was small, but I was walking home, so it was really big for me. It so happened that where I was working in the Chunar Missionary School, there was also a Maulbi Saheb. Name Ibn Ali. They were being harassed more and more continuously by the British school officials. I was excited bro! He did not stay He began to openly support Maulbi Saheb against this officer. Even before that, a few times English pride had tangled with knotters. There was plenty of tea and tea, but I remained adamant, oblivious to worldliness. What happened then, I was also expelled from that school in Chunar along with Maulbi Saheb. There was now neither money to send home, nor any means to meet my expenses. The man has come to the road. In today’s age, losing any job you have means the ground is slipping from under your feet.’
Remembering that poverty-clad darkness, Dhanpat Rai was lost in himself. He began to think that for a person who is unsuccessful in manipulating worldliness, a flickering light of truth within is a very great asset. All I have is a miracle of this capital. It was lovely to listen to people and convey their point of view in simple words. For this reason, he added:
‘The friend, after leaving Chunar’s job, returned to Banaras. It was a coincidence that the well-known Principal of Queen’s College was introduced to Bacon Saheb. When I met him, let me tell you the truth, he strengthened my belief that honest and hardworking people get some help or the other. In Bacon’s eyes, there were remote schools where hardworking people were needed. He wrote letters to some of the principals of the schools. The result of the efforts made in a few months was that I received an invitation to teach as an assistant teacher in a government school in your city, Bahraich. Brother, your Mr. Bacon is a man of English courtesy. Informing me very well, he said:
‘Dhanpat Rai, would you like to go to Bahraich? You will have to teach as an assistant teacher in a government district school with a monthly salary of twenty rupees.
This is what the English father-in-law says, Master Sahib! Tell me, how did Bahraich feel? The tonguewala said adding his point in the middle of the chatter.
‘Bahraich district has been very good to me. Hello brother, Bahraich has been the center of pilgrimage from Rishi Bala to Gautam Buddha. Here there is a dargah built over the sacred Suraj Kund. He regretted not being able to see Jeth’s fair.
“Master Sahib, on this pretext he will come once more to Bahraich.”
“Yes, why not, but to be honest, when Bacon Sahib told me about a job in Bahraich, I was less excited about the place it would be… and more about the twenty rupees a month salary. Who needed a lot of money . At present the Apna Bori-Bed dam was to go from Banaras to Bahraich. One of the districts bordering the Awadhi area from Kashi, central Purvanchal. Terai district touching the border of Nepal.Brother I have come from Kashi from “Har Har Mahadev” to “Jai Siyaram” area.The Saryu flowing here and there with its tributaries is keeping the whole area green.Haharati Ghaghra river forms the boundary of the district . Here I found that the business related to agriculture, garden and orchard is for income. The smell of Gulab Khas.. Aa ha ha what a mango! Brother just keep calm in you themselves
Saying all this, Dhanpat Rai looked at the growing brightness of the tongawala’s eyes. Really, who doesn’t like to be praised for their country-samaj? For now he continued with his talk:
—According to the English calendar, brother! This is the first academic session of the 20th century, which began this year in the month of July in the 19th century. July 1st was Sunday and July 2nd was Monday. I had to register my attendance at school on time. Without understanding the value of time in the British Raj, the path to a government job is not easy. To save the excitement of the first job, I calmly reached Government School Zilla Bahraich on 2nd July at the right time. There were four teachers in the school and I was number five. Look, it’s time to go today.
“Okay Master Sahib! You have stayed here alone for so many days, we don’t know much about your family, but who is E Ramkali and Amritrai? One day they were murmuring in our tonga with a pen-diary.
Hearing this, laughing loudly, Dhanpat Rai said:
—Brother, these are the soldiers of our pen.
‘Meaning!’ The tonguewala had asked a great question in one word. About this Dhanpat Rai while narrating a story from his childhood said:
‘There was a distant maternal uncle. Without a mother, I used to be very proud of my son. Speaking of getting worse. I used to scold my father and get beaten up from time to time. The age had passed, but no one was ready to marry Mamu. Because of this, he used to get even more irritated. One day Mamu was found in a closed room with a woman of another caste. The villagers beat him a lot. He continued to drink turmeric milk for months, but his behavior towards my son remained the same. Nothing had changed. It had fallen from my sight. He used to spit all over the village, but he was not able to understand. One day I wrote his story as a funny play and went to school with it in my head. There was news of a lustful character like him in the play. Reading it, Mamu felt so ashamed that the character in that play did the work that could not be done with the thrashing of the villagers. Mamu became nine two eleven of the village the next day. My slim thirteen-year-old self had found a great weapon that day to teach bad people and evil people a lesson. Brother, I can’t be a revolutionary tied to a government job now. In this situation my characters like ‘Ramkali’, ‘Amritrai’ will now take up the job of awakening the society.
The tonga trip was about to end, but things were happening. Dhanpat Rai was neither ‘Nawabarai’ nor ‘Premchand’ in Bahraich, but yes, a solid story had already been made.