Kalyan Da- The Outcast Lover #A-ZChallenge2018

Kalyan Da used to call my mother Mum. He was an engineer and when our flat was undergoing renovation he was hired for some civil works. He was a friendly young man and instantly formed a bonding with my mother. Soon he became a regular visitor at our house.

He was a reluctant engineer. His parents, like numerous other Indian parents, had forced him to become an engineer but his real interest was in movies and theatres. He had dreamt of becoming an actor, he even acted in a famous Bengali Movie called “Hangsharaj”. But his strict Dad never liked his acting dreams. So he had to bury his aspirations in the debris of civil works to please his parents.




Poster of the Movie


He found a sympathizer in my Mom. Mom used to act in amateur theatre groups and that helped them bond together. Kalyan Da was a philanthropist and associated with SOS village, where he had adopted quite a few orphan kids. He did a lot of other charity work as well.

One day Kalyan Da came to our house in a pensive mood and asked my mother if he could stay at our house that night. My mom said yes he could but also asked why did he want to stay. Kalyan Da replied that his father had disowned him and thrown him out of his house. This was shocking and my mom asked why they would do this. She wanted to know the reason.

Kalyan Da kept his head hung for some time. Then he looked up with a faint smile. There was both guilt and pride in his eyes. He said ‘Mum, I got married.’ My mother felt happy. She excitedly asked why would his father disown him for getting married. He said softly ‘I married a widow.’ Mom paused for a while and then said ‘It is a good thing but for your traditional parents maybe it is little shocking to see their only son getting married to a widow.’ Kalyan Da kept quite. Mom said ‘Don’t worry; they will accept her in some time.’ Kalyan Da nodded and said ‘No, they won’t. She is a Santhal woman.’ I saw a visible discomfort on my mother’s face. A meek sigh skipped her mouth yet she tried to maintain a calm composure and asked ‘where did you meet her?’

Kalyan Da lowered his eyes and said ‘She was a labourer in my construction site.’

The frown deepened on my mother’s face, the approval on her face had vanished and replaced by shock, disapproval, and contempt. Kalyan Da looked up and almost pleaded ‘I love her, Mum.’  There was a stern look on my mom’s face; she just said ‘I think it is not a good idea Kalyan. I would have done the same what your parents did’. Kalyan Da’s face was now exposing disbelief and sadness. Probably he had expected support from my Mom, whom he considered ‘modern’ and ‘progressive’. He didn’t wait anymore and left our house in a hurry. We never saw him ever again.  That day I learned a lesson that even for ‘educated‘ and ‘progressive‘ people it is difficult to break the shackles of class, caste, and social status.


27 thoughts on “Kalyan Da- The Outcast Lover #A-ZChallenge2018

  1. Ryan says:

    I don’t blame his parents nor your mother. It is very hard to accept. Actually the more educated and progressive we are, the more difficult it is to accept what Kalyan da did. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. SeemaMisra says:

    It must take so much courage to write personal experiences with such honesty. And its reflective of all our homes. Sometimes, I try to imagine myself, very old and trying to come to terms with a changing world. Its difficult … and never absolute.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anuragbakhshi says:

    What a powerful, straight-from-the-heart story that was. Truly, even the most modern and progressive ones amongst us are still bound by the shackles of caste, region, and religion, and it comes out involuntarily/instinctively at so many times.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. mammaspeaks says:

    We can be educated and rational, but certain social dogmas are difficult to shed. We can only comment on other’s behavior. If we are put in that place, even we are not sure, what we would do. This is an honest story, Balaka! You have narrated it so well. And kudos to people like Kalyan Da who challenge the societal rules and try to change it.


  5. sayeridiary says:

    yes, it is difficult but with time we are progressing! The main issue is the society. We first think, how could we deal with our society? But things will change with time, rather it has started already


  6. Dipika Singh says:

    Poignant but true, some things are beyond our control and this is one such stigma. This reminds me of an incident happened post marriage, when I went to stay with his parents for some days. I along with mom-in-law went shopping in the local market at Lucknow, after running errands to and fro on narrow lanes got tired and settled for bangle shopping. I asked the store owner if they have water? He was kind enough to offer me bottle of water, when MIL refused to accept and suddenly got up from store. She did not speak to me whole way, and at home told me to wash off hands or go take bath. Asking her million times she replied he was from lower caste.
    I could not believe and told her – mom in the hostel and abroad I do not know who all fed me food or water. so do you mean I should clean myself from ‘Harpik’?
    But yes, as you mentioned it’s tough to come out from certain shackles, specially for those who have already changed a lot to get equipped with current flow of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shilpa Garg says:

    We are governed by the societal norms and sometimes it is difficult to break these shackles howsoever odd or outdated they may be. Hope Kalyan Da lived happily with his wife.


  8. Deepa says:

    Its a sad reality of our society. I know these things are deep-rooted in our society and difficult to remove. Hope he is happy wherever he is and leading a happy married life.


  9. kkwritessite says:

    That is what I try to explain my No Bengali friends when they ecstatically praise Bengalis for not believing in “Caste-ism” . There is no society in the world that actually believes in equality. I may not believe in caste but strictly believe in class. People who don’t believe in class believe is colour or race. And when they don’t believe in any other measuring factor, they believe in money – every society has own measuring system to define social hierarchy. One person tries to cross the line his\her society set, enters another zone where hierarchy is set depending on some other scale….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Balaka says:

      This is the best comment. You understood the crux of the matter. We Bengalis are progressive and trust me my mother was an extremely ‘open minded’ woman but even for her it was difficult for her to accept a daily wagers woman ad her foster son’s wife. She was okay with widow and even Santhal but an uneducated daily wager was too much for her to digest. Later on she defended that an unequal marriage between an engineer and a daily wager can never last etc etc. I am not judging my mom but it is true she had her own reservations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • kkwritessite says:

        Boris Baker couldn’t stay in own country for marrying a dark lady :). None is progressive actually – every society believes own myth to be logical and the other’s unacceptable 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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