N K Jain and Vimla Jain PDF Print E-mail

Age – 65 approx.


Non Verbal Cues – Old man, dark complexion, visible wrinkles on face and arms. Wearing a white cloth on the head, sitting on both feet with a small steel bowl placed in between. Carrying a white cloth bag on the side along with a long wooden stick as if needing support. Instead of sitting with the entire bunch of beggars that are sitting on the opposite parapet of the Ghaat, he sits alone on the steps. Hands are joined at most times, as if praying, either to the Narmada or to the people along her Ghaats.

 (At the time of being addressed the first time, looks surprised and confused. Eventually as we begin to explain the purpose and objective of the project, eyes brighten, the restlessness settles. But still there is not much talking)


1. Do you stay in Hoshangabad only or have you come from XXX?

Tomorrow Is ‘Purnima’ and there will be a mela. I came here two weeks ago and in some days (indefinitely) I will go somewhere else, to some other ghaat. I come here every day in the morning and evening. In the afternoon I stay with whoever gives me shelter and I have some known people here. Otherwise I stay on the banks of the river.

(Looks away, towards the river and lets his gaze settle on her and her quiet motion)


2. How many people stay in your family?

Only my wife and me. Our kids have gone to their respective destinations, as destiny demanded.


3. What does the river mean to you? Aap ise kya mante ho?

Ye to humari maa hai. My entire life I have prayed to the Narmada and now, when I’m old and unable to work, she is my support. 


4. Kya aapki gruhasti sirf yahan tat par aanese chal jaati hai? Is it sufficient for you to come here and sit in terms of economic importance?

Narmada nadi jo jab ‘maa’ mana hai, toh.. as I consider the river to be my mother, she takes care of everything. How much ever I get from here is enough for me. This mother is so great and so powerful that there has not even been a day that I go hungry. If not in monetary ways there is always somebody who gives me something to eat. Sub mai ki krupa se chal raha hai. Everything is due to the grace of the river.


5. How much do you make here every day?

Apne kaam chalne jitna ho jata hai. How much ever I get, it satisifies my needs.

(Starts to get restless and gives indication that he does not feel like answering any more probing questions.)


6. Have you ever thought of doing the Parikrama?

Haan, Socha toh hai. Yes, I have thought..


Non verbal cues – We join our hands, leave a coin or two in his bowl. As we walk away we hear him say ‘Narmade Har’ several times, as if inviting people to leave him some money in the form of worship to the river.


“Every great journey comprises of a few detours, a dozen slips and a hundred falls but one and only one comeback.”