Bhogoban Mali with the violin he received as a gift from the Kolkata Police (All pictures courtesy Twitter/@KolkataPolice)
His instrumental rendition of some old Hindi classic songs on a Kolkata roadside had won thousands of hearts on the social media recently and brought joy during the Covid-19 pandemic. This same man, Bhogoban Mali, received a surprise gift from the Kolkata Police, which could not have been apt.
It was a twist of fate that brought Mali to the City of Joy just a month before the second wave of Covid-19 hit the city and the country. The second phase of the pandemic brought in its wake travel restrictions and lockdown in West Bengal.
So then, the instrumentalist, Mali who had come from Malda (from where he hails) to Kolkata with his wife, Sarita, with the aim to take care of their daughter, who was in the family way, could not leave the city.
Now, in order to survive, as he had no place to live and no livelihood at hand, he took to what he did the best and what till now had kept his body and soul together. He took to playing his violin.
Fortunately, a good soul recorded Mali playing on empty streets and uploaded it. The clip went viral, with people eager to know he was, what he did and where he lived.
Mali, talking about the video clip going viral, told India Today: "I was playing the violin like I generally do, did never think that it would gain so much appreciation. Have been playing it since childhood but feels good to get so much appreciation at this time."
Bhogoban Mali with the Kolkata Police Commissioner Soumen Mitra
The clip of Mali playing the violin was shared on Facebook, while it was also uploaded on Twitter, thus getting a lot of popularity and applause. Raj Chakraborty, an MLA from Barrackpore and the city police, also took notice of this clip.
The Kolkata Police, who had appreciated him, have given him a new violin as a gift.
Mali told India Today: "Officers of Kolkata Police met me, they gifted me a new violin. I asked them if they could help me with some work, they have said that they will definitely do whatever they can for me. If I get a decent job here, I will stay in Kolkata.”
Describing the meeting of Soumen Mitra, the Kolkata Police Commissioner with Mali, on their Twitter, the Kolkata Police, tweeted: "Meet Mr. Bhagwan Mali, who is a very talented musician. Few weeks ago, a video of him playing his violin in the city streets, had gone viral on social media. Last week, he was financially assisted by our Community Policing Wing. CPkolkata gifted him a new violin.”
Meet Mr. Bhagwan Mali, who is a very talented musician.Few weeks ago, a video of him playing his violin in the city streets, had gone viral on Social Media.Last week, he was financially assisted by our Community Policing Wing. Today, @CPkolkata gifted him a new violin. pic.twitter.com/750lYhZX0x
— Kolkata Police (@KolkataPolice) June 28, 2021
The replies for this tweet ranged from acknowledging the gestures of the cops, to coming forward to help Mali in other possible ways.
Mali gushed with appreciation for the Kolkata Police for giving him a violin, something so close to his heart. He never thought that he would receive so much admiration from police and people.
Along with his wife, Mali stays under the Posta flyover. He looks forward to getting a place to stay and a job.