Thursday, 14th December, 2017

Snippets

20 years after fall of his boundary wall, Manoj still can't think straight

10, Nov 2009 By Pagal Patrakar

Etawah, Uttar Pradesh. While the whole world and the Indian media remembered the 20th anniversary of fall of the Berlin Wall yesterday, nobody spared a thought for poor Manoj Tiwary who lost his senses after his boundary wall fell on him exactly the same day twenty years back. Manoj, a 19-year-old flamboyant youth then, was sleeping in his backyard when the wall came crashing down on him causing him grievous injuries.

“It was the night of 9th November 1989 and we had built a new boundary wall to keep our home and backyard safe from some Yadav houses in the neighborhood. Manoj offered to sleep outside to guard the wall but in the midnight we heard a loud thud and his cries for help. We rushed outside to find that he was trapped under the debris. Although people blamed bad quality of cement, I guess it were those Yadavs.” Manoj’s younger brother Sanoj recalled the turn of the events of that fateful night twenty years back.

Manoj’s family, one of the richest in their neighborhood, had a large house and a larger backyard where they had several mango trees, seven cows and other such luxuries. They usually used to scare away or beat up people who came to pluck mangoes or take away cow-dung. Things were kinda cool for them until Janta Dal started a movement around Mandal Commission in 1989 and they feared retaliation from people whom they didn’t share the cow-dung with. They decided to make a concrete wall to secure themselves from perceived threats.

“True, that Robert Frost had said – good fences make good neighbours – but Tiwaris never made good fences. They used bad cement quality that they got after bribing the local contractor (the government had de-licensed the cement industry only in 1991) and they ended up hurting themselves. There is no point blaming others when you have suffered due to your own deeds.” Tulsi Chaudhary, a local historian said.

Manoj was taken to hospital that night where he was declared brought senseless. After six months of bed rest, Manoj could recover his health but he had lost his ability to think clearly. His head had suffered from concussion and doctors were clueless how to treat him.

“I can still recall that night. His family had rushed to my home in the midnight and requested me to go to the hospital, which I immediately did. Manoj was in bad shape but we were confident of saving him. But unfortunately we couldn’t treat his mental condition.” Dr. Puneet Yadav, the local government practitioner who is still practicing there, told Faking News.

Manoj has been unsuccessfully trying to bring down walls between homes for twenty years now
Manoj has been unsuccessfully trying to bring down walls between homes for twenty years now

Although twenty years have passed after that event, Manoj’s family still blame their neighbors of having pushed them into building the wall that caused Manoj to go crazy, but Manoj seems to differ.

Manoj is seen with a big laathi (bamboo stick) these days and he hits any boundary wall that he comes across with his laathi. Compared to 1989, there are many boundary walls in the neighborhood these days and Manoj keeps on hitting them, trying to bring them down, as he considers these walls as his enemy. People laugh at him as the walls keep on standing strong between their homes despite Manoj’s attempts.