Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Now it can be told

This article published way back in "Now" weekly newspaper from Gangtok holds a memorable one for me. The year was 2003 and then I was working as a reporter in Weekend Review, a reputed weekly newspaper from Gangtok. In one of assignments I had to visit Kopchay, a small hamlet on the way to Rongli, where a man was supposedly reincarnated as Lord Vishnu's avtaar was performing miracles curing illness beyond medical limitations. I was at Kopchay by 10 am that day, looking at the queue that was around couple of thousands followers I thought it was not possible for me to have a chat with the person. Yet I went to the registration counter and took out my journalist Identity Card and immediately I found myself just at the door of the so-called "Kopchay-Baba". As I was about to enter the closed door from inside, a person from behind took my camera and my hand-bag, I was led to enter the room with empty hand.
As I entered the room, I could see the man in jagged and torn trouser with stinking shawl around his shoulder murmuring something in the ear of a mentally ill girl brought to his attendance and she was shaking all around. With his locked hairs it seemed he had not taken bath for over months. I could see he was moving his toe on the surface in a circular motion and his one arm raised as Lord Vishnu does holding his sudarchan chakra. Little later he placed his dirt ridden shawl around the little girl and I could figure out there was something that all of a sudden the girl stopped shaking. I was silently watching all this as I waited for my turn and there I was with the person I had to interview.
The Kopchay-Baba denied any interview as he did not want any unwanted publicity and after few minutes of talk I departed from his room along with all my belongings. He just told me that he would be visible for another year and would then vanish. With many question around me about the strange looking baba I returned back to Singtam on that particular day. I did not write any article of my visit. The same week, an article about the Kopchay-Baba was published in "Now", another newspaper from Gangtok.
Moment the article got released I began to receive numerous calls from my relatives from Rhenock, Rongli and Gangtok about the said Baba getting upset with me for having written an article when I was told not to do so. I had hard time explaining that I work for another newspaper and the article had come in another newspaper. What was strange for me was the messages send by the Baba said he would destroy me and my family! It really took me off my feet since during that particular moment my mother was at Chennai for Kidney transparent and I feared negative thoughts coming to me and I immediately send my message that if any sort of un-wanted happening happens to my mother than I was not letting that the Baba off.
Though nothing as such happened and at the same time I too never received any reply of my message. But more than seven years later I have shifted my profession and that Baba who was suppose to vanish after a year still survives and does jhak-phuk for his living. His two minute fame had even the Chief Minister of Sikkim visiting his house and over 4-5 thousands followers in and across Sikkim each day for over half a year.