Archive for November, 2011


The Ballad of Bakersgunj

“Can you hear the voices? Can you hear the cries? Do you know they’re here with me? Watching you through my eyes?” – Angel of your darkness

He was the smartest retarded person I ever met and for some obscure reason reminded me of the dog in ‘The Zoo Story’. He disgusted and fascinated me. His real name was Wilson but people called him Pagala!

I remember the day I met him. It was a cold winter morning, and I had huddled in the bus that groaned itself towards Bakersgunj – its last stop and my destination.

“What a name!” I had thought when I received the invitation from the Mission school. I was thrilled, as the residential school was well known. But to teach in a girls’ school run by nuns?

“Shit!” I said to myself, confirming my own realization that I would have to watch my language there.

The letter from the school had very politely informed me that my “name had been recommended by Fr. J____,” and would it be possible for me to “accept this short assignment”. The fee wasn’t much but everything else was provided for and as I was between projects, I sent in my acceptance looking forward to Bakersgunj – which incidentally, had nothing to do with bread, cakes and biscuits!


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