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Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Kissa Kakori Ka #BeenThereDoneThat

Kissa Kakori Ka #BeenThereDoneThat




This story takes us to 9th August 1925, as told to us by my mother.
My mother was going to her in-laws house for the first time after marriage. My father with a pundit came to receive her. In those days, girls were married early and had to go to in-laws place after attaining puberty.
The ceremony, named as GAUNA, is still prevalent with some.
So my mother was a 14 year old shy bride bedecked in all the jewellery from head to toe wearing a heavy zari saree leaving the town for another town for the first time. My father was 17 years old then .
Practically they were unknown to each other.



But there was another first. It was her first train journey going from Bareilly to Lucknow.
After a few hours of the journey, the train stopped with a jolt. Somebody had pulled the chain near Kakori station. A group of people started running towards the train from the nearby fields.
They were yelling to close the windows and doors of the train, ordered that nobody should peek or get down from the train - otherwise they shall shoot the person.

They were freedom fighters. They were not here to harm the passengers but to take away Indian British Government's money from the Guards compartment. They looted the Government money and went away without really harming anyone. The whole operation hardly took a few minutes but left everybody in the train deeply terrified. My father asked my mother to put all her ornaments in a bag. They got down off the train walked down all the way back home with the help of a coolie.

My grandmother and Bua were waiting for them. They were taken a back from the look at my parent's faces. After such an ordeal first time in their life, both of them were crying right at the door. Though Puja Thali was ready to welcome the couple but in that melee, no body thought of it. My Bua holding the hand of my mother and embracing her took them inside. It was then that my mother worriedly asked for the ornaments bag. My
Father gave a blank look and asked why wasn't it with her? She remembered handing it to the fellow passenger before getting off the train. Before explaining anything, she started wailing loudly leaving everyone stunned. My father understood everything and couldn't help but shout at her. Apparently, another first - their fight.

Later on, my mother told everyone how the fellow passenger must have stolen it since he was in great need of money. It was the time of civil war in the country and the poor man had lost everything when his village was burnt down. Nevertheless, my newly married mother was already perceived as irresponsible and careless both by her husband and her family.



A week later, my mother woke up in the morning to start the day with puja when she noticed her red bag of ornaments on the gate of her temple, She was shocked and called everyone out in the verandah. That's when my father picked up the bag full of all my mother's ornaments and a letter. The letter was written by the fellow passenger who was apparently called the thief. According to him, he came back to the station few days later to find the same coolie my mother and father had left with. He asked him for the address at which he dropped the couple at. And so, this morning he decided to drop the bag at their house.

My family was both embarrassed and proud on reading the letter. In spite of the adverse environment, there was no dearth of noble and honest men. Circumstances don't change people.

The story has stayed with me to remind me every time I go travelling. There are always good people and no matter how bad a circumstance get, there will always be a helping hand.



As told by -
Usha Gupta's mom to Usha Gupta

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