A small kid (Rana) when started growing up, he saw a couple of strange things around him which made him curious as a child but later understood the reason behind such acts - Starting from the Demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 which was a disaster in Indian democracy to the Hindu-Muslim riot of Gujarat in 2002 which was not only shocking but a national shame.
Rana grew up seeing such negative side of the contemporary urban India but fortunately his parents had a different lesson altogether to teach him.
In Kolkata his father who is a Hindu constructed a lavish house from a Muslim contractor whose workers were also from same caste (Mostly they were distant relatives of Mujib Rahaman -the contractor, if the name recalled is correct)
Later the nephew of Mujib , his name is Moidul - a boy of 13 years , whitish screen color , green eyes was lending helping hand to his uncle to construct the house along with his fellow brothers attracted Rana's mother's attention.
On asking Mujib, she came to know - Moidul hails from a small village in Bengal. After his father expired, his mom was not able to run the house along with the expense of Moidul's study so she has sent her son to her elder contractor brother so that he can earn his living in this big city - Kolkata.
Rana's mom felt pity and while the construction of house was happening, she used to bring food for Rana along with Moidul in the same Tiffin - Rana was too small and im-matured to understand any complications and most of the time enjoyed the small Tiffin shares along with Moidul.
Four years passed, after many delays the house got constructed properly - everyone praised the design and architecture. Like a vice versa process even Moidul got attached toRana's mother and he regularly paid a visit to her and took care of minor house hold stuffs. At the beginning when money was offered to Moidul by her for taking care of small house hold stuff , he protested strongly but later after lot of hesitation he was convinced to accept it.
I recall one incident here - Ancestral Kali Puja is hosted in Rana's house every year which followed from generation to generation. The first Kali Puja in their new house was grand and many relatives and friends were invited from all across India - Though it's an one day event, little different rituals are followed for this Puja where a Laxmi Puja is done somewhere in the evening and then the actual Puja starts around mid-night based on all assessments done by the Brahmin pundits'.
While assisting Rana's mom in the Puja room with garlands and other Puja stuffs before evening , Moidul overheard someone ,who eventually turned out to be Rana's Pishi (Pishi is Aunt ) talking to someone outside Puja room - " God Knows , ram ram , did Suren ( Rana's father ) go mad or he has forgotten what is religion and culture"Another female voice reciprocated "Why Pishi, what’s the matter?"
Now tone came a little loudly from outside Puja room and it was understood to be deliberately done so that Rana's mom can also hear "Taking help from that Muslim servant for kali Puja ... ram ram , I can never imagine of doing something like this , god knows how I will get cursed after such misdeed "
Rana's mom and Moidul both looked at each other. After few seconds of silence, he got up from where he was sitting and said "Masima, I think I should leave now. I will send Jagadishda to help you out"
The reaction to this was unexpected for Moidul. She without getting up in a very loud and commanding tone said "You sit right here Moidul and help me in finishing the work here. I do not care about curse and religion, if someone is not comfortable with this can leave the Puja, you are like my son and it's your duty to ensure that Puja is completed without any hassle, do you understand?”
Moidul did not utter a single word and quietly sat down to begin his unfinished work.
Pishi's voice from outside the Puja room also disappeared and after evening all the rituals were followed with grand celebration.
Later many relatives came and raised concern over limitation in Hindu religion for a Muslim boy taking care of Household stuffs but Rana's parent paid no attention to it and never differentiated Moidul for his belief towards Islam.
More than two decade has gone and Moidul even after getting married visit's Rana's mother - he has become a Raj-mistri (Head of worker's working under a contractor), he earns more and manages his living decently along with his wife.
Rana understood when he grew up that , religion is just a rule set to categorize a human being from one another but end of the day it's same animal created by god in different form with blood and bones inside.
The day everyone understands the meaning of Humanity and be the change in the system - there will be no riots, there will be no killing, there will be no minority class, and there will be no war - that's what Rana learnt from his parents when Moidul was treated equally like his brother.
I Rana am proud to be nurtured by my parents with such great lesson of life - Humanity above all and that’s what your religion should be......