"Sir, do you remember me? I am from Little Rock, Arkansas."
Yes I do. I named you Bengali.
"True. You did not believe that I was raised in Little Rock."
True. I assumed that FBI or CIA was giving me therapy for ego-mania.
I assumed that I was on somebody's list.
Not like that. You may call it love list!
"You are on my list also. I remembered you after a long time"
True. What brings you here?
"I feel sorry for you. I don't want you to die so young."
So many people die younger than me. What's so special about me?
"Sir, I like you. You are not just another fellow. "
Why do you feel sorry for me? What is between me and you?
"You named me Bengali."
True; otherwise my God would say that I do not know how to raise a family.
"I want to become a reader in politics."
That's interesting. Why not in Catholicism?
"True. But I am not sure."
Why not in Hinduism?
"True. But I am not sure"
If you cannot be Hindu professor I am no good.
My God would say that I do not know how to raise a family.
"But you can be American."
What's so big about me being an American?
"Sir, you are Angry. you do not like me, you do not like my mother. And you do not like UIC"
Why should I be angry?
"We have bad attitude. We are arrogant. They say Americans are like that. That's why you are not interested in coming back to Arkansas."
What is wrong in Americans being arrogant? They are rich and powerful. Why should they listen to me?
"Sir I do not want to argue. But I feel sorry. You should not die so young."
Why should you be sorry? No body cares about me.
"I am angry. No body married you in USA. No body married you at the Den. You know so many people. Why people are so stupid?"
I know more people in Kolkata, Delhi, Bombay and Bangalore also. Did I become any body?
"Why? Party management?"
"You know so many big people. You are also big."
I am no big man. But I know big people.
"I am so angry. Big people you know did not make you big. They are jealous."
Why are you angry? Who says that big people are jealous?
"Most big people are Congress or BJP. That's why they call you Naxal."
Now you know more than me. You can join SFI.
"Why cannot you be CPIM?"
CPIM in Delhi and Kolkata are also rich and big. They know how to run government; how to manage money, and how to organize srtikes and protests. Many trade Union issues were dealt by them. They are succcessful. They are not me.
"Why cannot be you be Congress?"
They are very powerful and successful men. They think that I am "foreign".
My behaviour and appearance may not appeal to their constituency. So I cannot be successful.
"Why cannot you be Naxal?"
They are revolutionaries. Make enormous sacrifices for their party. Sometimes they live in jungles. Sometimes they organize protests; carry arms and bombs; take violent action against thier enemies. How can I Naxal?
"Why cannot you be American Communist"
They have their own organization. They came to Delhi and danced with Prakash Karat. Did they care about me?
"But you are no ordinary man."
What's so special about me? I want to live like ordinary men, raise family, buy house and firmland. And was not succesful. Those who are successful they are better.
"Why cannot you be small town Republican? You can marry any bad girl an raise a family"
Did it happen like that? Would I become a professor if I were to marry a bad girl of your choice?
"True. But you are a Professor. They used to say that you were an llinois Professor."
True. But it was more than hundred percent gas. Difference is money and house.
"And of course the girls. Party mangement!"
"Why party people do not like you?"
"Because they think that I cannot fight, cannot organize srtike, cannot get vote and money"
"If people of your qualification were partymen, it would become a better world."
Good idea. Now you are talkg like SFI. But what is so special about my education?
"IIT, UIC etc. "
What's the point having such labels? Others are better in managing money, vote and girls.
"True. I do not what is wrong."
"Can you become Professor in the USA?"
Absolutely zero percent chance. I have to have twenty good papers at this age to become Professor.
"We are stupid"
"We don't listen. We mesh around."
It is not you fault. My physical fitnes is not good. Appearnce and voice not good. I do not know how to manage money better. I waste money and time.
"We are worse than you."
Perhaps. Is that why you are feeling sorry?
"Sir please pray that I become better. Please pray that I become equal to Hindu".
"Then you would become Professor"
I would become rich then; but I do not know if I could become Professor.
"Sir, I do not yell. I can eat in soup kichen like you. I can eat idli like you. We were not used to spicy food."
You can eat plain rice like me. Sometimes I add chutney powder and salt and ghee. And sometimes I do'nt . Just steamed rice is simple and good for you.
"Sir I waste too much money. I want to become better."
Me too. I also had to learn. It took a long time. I was too slow. They say my Professors were slower.
"Sir slower is better. We waste too much energy."
I feel sorry for your guilt trip.
"Nice talking with you. We should do better next time."
I feel sorry for you. There would be no next time for most of us.
"Sir you forgive me."
I shall pray so that you become better.
"I shall feel happier then."
And I would die happy as a bokachoda.
March 16, 2010.