Source: pexels

‘He is a father of four sons and land-lord of more than a hundred cotta paddy fields’ - Any person who hears this clue can predict undoubtedly that a circle of peaceful heaven revolves over the father, around his house and kindred.

‘Oh! Call Moral…’

The ordered person would run soon without any hesitation.

In any personal especially social matter people used to order one before him shouting loudly when it is unbridled. People called him ‘Moral’ that is what the whole village has been hearing; hitherto they don’t know his real name. If an issue goes to Moral, he would exclaim:

‘Today, the decision will come!’ And the victory of truth would always be balanced. No one passed his or her issue to Government Grievance Officer. People preferred judgment of their Moral. He was their Chief Justice.

People forgot his name and called him ‘Moral’. Actually, even his sidekicks couldn’t count all members of his family one by one. No one could name their names without pronouncing ‘yamn’. His house was always set for new coming guests. They were well treated and hosted wholeheartedly. They were sincere in their service of village people. Under his tenure, an ashram, two pathsalas, a madrasa and a high school was built in the village. Bus transport was introduced. One of his close official once said that Moral was thinking to request the Indian government to set up railway track through his village, Moralpur. Within 2030 it will be a big metropolitan city of India as per the recent data of an NGO working in rural areas. Farmers there use the most advanced technology for their cultivation that even didn’t come to Punjab and Haryana. The Green Revolution 2nd would emancipate from this small village of Moral.

In a bid to secure the protection of people, he had himself written to the regional government to set up a police outpost there. Now it has been a Police Station nationally awarded for best administrative service. The village was nominated for best Panchayat model albeit it was Moral ruled village. The district administration officials have taken several initiations regarding to promulgate the Moral policy beyond the country.

The word ‘Moral’ apparently means in the vernacular language North East Indian regions ‘one who leads a village’. Every Moral rules a village for a fixed time – the full life span – but, the father of four sons became Moral for our entire generation. His stories of chivalry, unbiased judgment and simplicity, some preserved in lyrical stanzas, are bedtime lullabies for children. Ironically, some children would threaten their father when they are forced to go to pathshala or do a household work. When a father narrated such like an event to the Moral, he laughed and said, ‘Soon your son will become Moral’.

‘Your blessings’, the man replied.

‘Send him tonight to my house’, Moral denoted for giving his son some moral lessons and showing him that he was not a formidable creature. His house itself was his office. The father became very happy and felt blessed.

There was no even a tenuous difference between Moral and his persons in the view of people and him too. All his members were fully dedicated to him. Moral made them his representative not in personal need but in social fields. They were well served and paid for that.

But his sons – four sons – revealed opposite wings to him. What Moral and his personal people were respected, they were not minded. They used to cheat people. For example, making delay in field registration. They didn’t welcome anyone neither were welcomed. After marriage, they were deviated more. They forgot their far-cherished traditions. They brought new theory becoming separated from root family and setting up homes only for couple-not the old father. No one stayed in the village. Two of them settled in the national capital city Delhi. One son went to a nearby regional town. The last one went abroad. People scolded them for not inviting the village in their marriages. Moral felt deprived of a play-child on his lap in this desperate time.

Now Moral became in three storied clay-built house while the sons in cement-concreted palaces. After Moral was attacked by serious cancer disease, he could not get out of bed. It becomes strong cage for him. His whole body got dirty. But his teeth were shining, for he never quit brushing. There, outside his house was designed as garbage of tooth-powder packets. Children would go there and collect those packets to play selling, buying and bargaining. Now his whole bungalow is a good spot for village boys to play hide and seek.

One bad habit Moral always had was his excessive drinking. He would immerse himself with some of his playmates of childhood in drinks and hukka. They dragged him to the gravest mistakes of his life. In some exaggerated occasions, he penned a big part of his property to some mischievous persons. Where the weekly haat takes place was his three acre paddy lands. Now some unknown persons from alien descent impose tax on shop keepers and vegetable sellers. The village people lament on his fate of ups and down; honour and humility.

The time was coming to Moral that once comes to every life but, still he was paid no service. His left leg had been bent because of placing the heap of his body in a rope twisted bed for a long time. Still no one came to put it right. It would last even after his death. Village men sometimes went to him but, intended to do nothing. Instead, they would engage in talks of his virtues and regret for the fate with a fair person. Some of his own people inwardly prayed for his immediate death. No one was stood by him. One of his sons once had sent a strange person only to get his news whether he is live or…

He was alone. He would travel alone. Stop! The breath has stopped. He quit everything now but, his bent left leg. Until now there was no one by him with a glass of water but, uncountable people were flocking behind his death ceremony splashing tears in eyes. The four sons were carrying the four-legged bed upon which their father laid with funeral custom. While he was coffined and facing up, the sky only cried on Moral of Moralpur.

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