Friday, December 31, 2004

Adha Gaon

Dr. Rahi Masoom Reza was a distant granduncle of mine. He was particularly fond of my father. I remember one of my earliest meetings with him. I was, I guess, in the sixth grade. We had a story called 'Chote Aadmi Ki Badi Kahani' in our Hindi textbook. Rahi Saheb had written that story. When I mentioned at school that I am related to him and he is a guest at home these days, people didn't believe it. So, like any 11 years old I had a point to prove. I went back home and found him relaxing in the lawn after a sumptuous lunch. I took my textbook to him and asked him can he autograph his chapter. He was amused, he said why do you want that. And I narrated the whole tale. He smiled and signed my textbook and then he asked me what have I learnt from this story. I scratched my head and said, 'you don't have to be big to do big things!'. He laughed aloud and his laughing face got etched in my memory forever.

Many years later I read 'Adha Gaon'. First in Hindi and then the English translation. But unfortunately he wasn't alive till then for me to say thank you and to tell him as to how he inspires till date to bring out these little tales tucked in the recesses of my brain.