Father’s Name: Dilawar Hossain

Mother’s Name: Rupa Sarkar

Boy’s Name: Somra Marandi Sarkar Hossain

Surprised? Yes, I too felt surprised. The boy came to me with his mother for English tuition. He was in class 9 of the same school where my father was in administrative job. One of the teachers who knew about my tuition classes had sent him to me. Mother and son did not look from the same family, she was fair complexioned in total contrast to the dark boy. May be he has got the father’s complexion, I thought. I felt the shock when I asked his name. Somra Marandi Sarkar Hossain, the boy said with lots of pride. The mother, with vermillion on the forehead and the typical Hindu bangles of Shakha & Noya and yet the boy has such a name. I was in a visible shock, definitely.

The mother perhaps understood my dilemma and sent the boy away to buy a new pen. Then, narrated the complete story.

Rupa & Dilawar had a love marriage. The families were dead against, so they ran away from their village and settled in this moffussil town. They have maintained their individual religious beliefs in all these 22 years and stays near the brick-kiln factory. They had found the infant boy near the factory in a very bad shape while coming back from the Mandir on Mahashivratri. He was hardly a day old and maggot infested already. The husband-wife duo had picked him up, cleaned him and then took him to the doctor. Later, they found out that the biological mother was a tribal girl working in the brick-kiln factory. The boy was the result of the rape by one of the supervisor of the factory. The girl could not possibly take back the child to her village as her husband would not hesitate to kill both of them for adultery.

Rupa & Dilawar decided to keep the baby and asked the girl what name she would have given him if she was to keep him with her. They kept the name and added their surnames to it.

Rupa said, “He is my Bhole Nath, Shiv Ji. He came to me on the Mahashivratri. He is the apple of my eyes. Even his father also dotes on him. When he comes back after the day’s work, he sits with him and helps him in his studies, whatever little he could.” She took a deep breath and continued, “Somra would imitate his father as he offers his Namaz in the evening but my husband doesn’t allow him at all. He says that son, you know all about your birth, the tribal god is your god and if at all, you should pray to him. But right now your god is your studies, you must grow up learned and thereafter whichever way of prayer you choose, I will accept that. But if don’t study, I will not hesitate to hit you the stick.”

“I know my husband can never even slap the boy let alone hit him with stick. He loves him just too much. Sir, now you only can make him study by whatever means. We just want him to be educated and live with his head held high in society.” Rupa said before went away leaving the boy with me.

Rupa just renewed my faith in the humanity once again. Something unthinkable is happening in my India, a Hindu mother and a Muslim father is raising a bastard tribal child as their own. Jai Maa Bharati, I salute you a million times.

Jai Hind.

Note: Translated from Bengali as received in WhatsApp. Original author unknown.

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