You see, I thought to myself for a very long time...I must write about the journalist Amrita Chowdhary. She left us in a sudden dreadful road mishap on the 21st October 2012. It was a tragedy as we lost a brave journalist as well as a good human being.
I wanted to write a piece about her in my blogs, but somehow I was procrastinating due to laziness or fatigue or a lack of words to describe a talent - a personality, whatever the reason may be, but after around four months of her untimely demise a sudden instinct made me write about her today.
I was crossing the road in front of Sri Durga Mata Mandir near Jagraon Bridge, as it is my route to reach my office. I saw the lion face gate of the shrine and suddenly Amrita Chowdhary struck in my mind.
I can very well recall the head line of the story (Lalaji, it is an enchrochment) that Amrita had written in local edition of the Indian Express in 2001. She had filed the story about the encroachment made by the Mandir Committee. The Municipal Corporation had demolished that encroachment and the disciples were fuming over the issue. Former Member of Parliament, Late Lala Lajpat Rai was the then head of the management committee of the shrine. Lala ji had made some statements against the action taken by the MC and on very next day Amrita’s story was appeared in the newspaper.
I was working for vernaculars at the time. The story nailed itself to my mind and that’s why I can recall the story ...word for word even after 11 long years.
I met her for the last time face to face in Jagraon SSP in May or June last year. We both had gone there to attend a press conference. She was asking me about my experience as I had recently shifted from vernacular media to an English newspaper.
I had replied, though I was enjoying working for an English newspaper, but i felt like I was being boycotted. Some of my good friends had started avoiding me suddenly (can’t understand why, but don’t want to discuss it here). Well, Amrita smiled and said, don’t worry, it is yet another phase of life, except it. Then she said calmly, ‘koi na tu mainu phone kar leya kar je tere dost tainu nahi bulande’ (don’t worry, you can call me if you feel like that your friends keep their distance from you.)
That was the last conversation I had face to face with Amrita.
Amrita, today I want to talk to you, tell me what number I need to dial…