I thought my love for animals was something that no one would have for any other living being until I met and heard this little yarn of a 73 year old man, Manjar Kaka (Eknath Patil)
My work has let me meet people whom I think I would have never heard of because I don’t follow news, thought I write in a newspaper don’t really read them. There was no woman who would accept him for the way he is with his cats. He lives in a dingy house with
zilch cleanliness, when I asked him the rationale he said “If I keep the house is according to my requirement this would be my house not my cats house” he has an empire of 35 and has taken care of more than 150 cats he at times looses his count too. He spends most of his profits he gets from his English tutoring on his cats and makes it comfortable for them and lives in filth but is content looking at his Meeoow’s Purr to sleep peacefully. I heard his story of how attached he is to his cats, but didn’t have the nerve to ask him the what he does when any of his cats passes away, so I asked a neighbor of his, a young chap of 28 years working as a set designer and is very dear to Manjar kaka. He narrated me this little story. One of Manjar kaka’s most darling cats was Bokya, he laid one of the mornings in front of his house with no purr and the neighbor Mahesh happened to see him and inform kaka. Kaka came running to see him but realized Bokya had already given up serenely. Kaka shed no tear... But a smile, that Bokya has slept in peace. He asked Mahesh to help burry Bokya near by because kaka didn’t have the heart and vigor to do it. On that Mahesh agreed without a hitch and went ahead. They reached a small piece of barren land near Dombivli station 10 mins away from his home and asked Mahesh to start digging. Kaka wrapped Bokya in a fresh silk sheet and laid him in the clean mud. Along with Bokya he put a bottle in which he planted Rs.500 and a small note with something written in it. Mahesh was a little nosy and asked him why he had done that. On that Kaka ignored his question and asked him to do what he was asked to.
Mahesh didn’t bother him for some days but the money and the note in the bottle bothered him a lot so he went and asked Kaka with innocent eyes, on that kaka told him “If in case they take that land for development in future I would want them to take my Rs.500 as a token of understanding and read the note carefully .That message till date gives me tears and shrill when I think of it, it said
“ PUDHCHA GHAAV SAMBHALUN MAZA BOKYA ZOPLA AAHEY”