Arijit Bhattacharyya

LIFE STORY: Ramnagar

While making our own story based comics in digital format, slowly very slowly I was getting connected with the local village people in Sundarban’s . Half of the student’s didn’t have money to pay our fees, but I had to travel every week to that distance. I was running because of the love those young minds were giving me. As they can’t pay, they sometimes used to bring fruits from their own trees, sometimes vegetables.

I forgot to mention that I made some money to buy a mobile handset with command as connection; it was a Nokia phone with black and white display. On those days when I used to get calls, for each call I had to pay money and people used to look at me, a college going person holding a mobile phone. The network used to work till diamond harbor, after that it was a dead phone. Well, one day Shaku told me there is a nearby village where the school wants us to open a computer center, I got exited and after breakfast in Shanku’s house, we started for Ramnagar. Have you guys even seen remote village in Bengal? Well after couple of kilometer we saw the electric connection doesn’t exist, the lines are broken.

One of the local in bus told us, it’s due to the dacoits; they cut off the electric and if we are coming back on the same day, try to avoid the evening bus, but to stay in Ramnagar. Shanku, got a shock where exactly we are heading to. Well after few hours of bus journey, the locals said it’s Ramnagar, you two should try and find the school. A local tea stall owner helped us to find the school, and we saw a high-school in a village like this. Out of curiosity, I was talking to school student’s they were playing football. One of them asked me if I am geography teacher, as there is no geography teacher in that school and they really wanted someone to teach. Two of the kids asked me if I am here to train them on science, well, Shanku was inside so it was no point for me not to teach them whatever small knowledge I have. It was a great experience for me to teach kids in a open ground. The fun was ruined by Shanku when he shouted from far to come and talk to the school head master.

They really wanted that we should come and teach in that school, they were ready to give us free space and generator connection. Did I forgot to mention, there is no electric connection in that place? I said, we will get back to you. I don’t know whether I sounded like a business person or like a passionate human being. But I was practical, two of us can’t run another center that far. And there was another challenge, we have to leave the village by 3 PM else dacoits might attack for money. And I have my dear mobile set with me. So without food, sustaining with a glass of water we took the 2:30 PM bus from Ramnagar to Namkhana. After breakfast, which we did around 5 AM, we were really hungry. Anyway, the less-crowded bus started and after few hours, all of a sudden in middle of the road it stopped.

Shanku told me, this is bad; we are in nowhere, there is nothing nearby. Actually I saw only empty fields no houses. Few of the locals started walking they said there is another bus-stand after 7 kilometers. Well, we did the same, we started walking. But the question was, how can we go back? The all mighty GOD helped us, a truck was going towards the river, we asked for help and the driver took us in.

After few hours, we changed another bus for Namkhana and went back Shanku’s house. After dinner, we decided to give it a shot, let’s start another training hub, but we will do it in another format, we took a local person from Ramnagar area (please remember, on those days telephone was not available in that area, hence, we had to wait for someone to take news from us and give to someone. In any case, we got a guy after several round of interview, whom we can trust and teach computer. Taimil, stayed back in Namkhana, and my role was to create a teacher within next 3 months. When he was ready, he went back to his place near Ramnagar and we started a institute with one computer only.

From that day onwards, I learned a lesion, "impossible" means "I am possible" .

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog, narrating my personal entrepreneurial journey. While on this long journey, I have come across different people, companies and unexpected quarters; each of whom have helped shaped my life. My writing is an attempt to reflect and capture some of the moods and emotions that have occurred over the last two decades.

Kindly excuse any grammatical errors, typos or mistakes of any kind. This blog is written from the heart and is purely an expression of my experiences.



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Arijit Bhattacharyya