With all the negativity and the hateful rivalry between various media houses in India, what surprises me the most is the coverage of Sushant Singh Rajput’s death and the investigation associated with it. Not to be forgotten by the warrior cops, who is second best known after the Scotland yard police, popularly known as meme police these days.
Yes, the one who helped the judiciary to pass the famous verdict and made the pavement dwellers believe, “Karma is a bitch, and one of the five persons who got crushed under the luxury Land Cruiser of Salman Khan died due to their karma of sleeping over the pavement.” Isn’t that an impressive record?Also, they are the one, who shamelessly working days and night to prove their loyalty towards their newly appointed backstabbing political master in the state, by compromising the justice in Sushant’s case.
And, when a section of media houses are behind them for the suspicious irregularities and ambiguity in carrying the preliminary investigation of the mysterious death of SSR, then out of nowhere, the commissioner of Police has declared it to be a suicide under the state of melancholy. It looks like they are parroting a self-proclaimed psychiatrist Dr. Susan Walker, who revealed some clinical report on Sushant’s mental health in an interview with Barkha Dutta, openly in public, breaching the law to protect the patient’s health-related information.
Twitter is trending with several hashtags like #babypenguin, #SSRwasmurdered, etc. But, it would be interesting to see who is going to have the last laugh after the involvement of legends like Dr. Subramaniam Swamy in the case along with the famous advocate Ishakaran Bhandari, who is also seeking a reply from RCI on registration of Dr. Walker.
The journalists who are questioning the adamance of Maharashtra government for not allowing the cop from another state to carry out the investigation is worrisome. Even the supreme court of India has given a noticeable remark on the act of detaining a senior IPS officer Vinay Om Tiwari by the local municipality body, in the name of Covid-19 situation, but was later released seeing the wrath of the apex court.
I will quote Mr. Tiwari on the overall staged drama by the warrior police, “They did not quarantine me, but also the case.” I mean, why a senior cop from another state was forcibly under the house arrest? What are the facts, which are scaring them off?
Advocate Bhandari says, “Bollywood is a kind of black hole due to the nexus of Police, politicians, and the underworld. Historically, there has been not a single case related to Bollywood, which has reached to any judicial conclusions so far. Be it Divya Bharti, Gulshan Kumar, Jiah Khan, or Sridevi. But, this time, the armageddon seemed to be invoked by the killing of Sushant Singh Rajput. He must be a noble soul, that entire country is outraged else nobody would have cared.“
There are some disturbing facts in the case of Disha Salin-an ex-manager of Sushant Singh Rajput, who died a few days before SSR.
According to self-proclaimed high IQ indexed cops, Disha Salian jumped off the balcony of her flat in a highrise building. The reason stated in public was the financial crisis.
When Bihar Police reached Mumbai for investigation and wanted to look into her case file, then it was found to be deleted from the records of Mumbai police(second best after Scotland yard).
Disha Salian’s body was found naked, and there has been no such record of a suicide case, where a person disrobes themself before jumping off a cliff, balcony, or hanging themself to a fan.
The CCTV of the Sushant’s apartment was working fine till that day, but the videos were damaged or secretly kept somewhere by the Police to blackmail the murderers at a later stage.
The resistance of the Maharashtra government to go for the inquiry by the central agency creates a widespread suspicion in public, and the trolling of Aditya Thackrey in social media is evidence of the same.
Nevertheless, the government of Bihar has filed the request for CBI inquiry in the matter, and they seem to be in commitment to the cause, which their counterpart in Maharashtra is considering as an election stunt. Irrespective of whatever government of Maharashtra has to say, the probe by CBI is nearly inevitable, and many will flee the country like the music directory Nadeem after being named as one of the prime suspects of Gulshan Kumar murder case.
Like many Indians, I too pray for a fair inquiry in the matter, and may the departed soul gets the justice.
Around six that evening, when the doorbell rang, Eshan was busy getting things ready for the evening’s party. Wondering who had turned up so early, he grumpily went to the door. It was Nathan. “I’m here to help you,” he said with a smile. “How much can you possibly do all by yourself.” Holding forward a single rose that had a long, slender stalk, he bowed dramatically. “Congratulations. For now, you could stop being jealous,” he sneered. Eshan knew that the emphatic ‘all by yourself’ was hardly intentional, but it bothered him.
“That’s so kind of you, Nathan. But I am almost done with it and was going to give a bath to Bruno. You can make yourself comfortable if you wish, or else, I will see you in an hour,” Eshan said reluctantly. Somehow, he wanted to get rid of Nathan. He never wanted to invite him at all, but as a colleague, choices were limited.
“Alright, then. I will see you at seven like others,” Nathan said. Eshan found that a deep sigh of relief and went back to wrap up the mess around when the phone rang. It was Laila. “Where the hell are you? I am waiting for you for almost an hour. On top of it, that jerk turned up and was offering his help.” Laila laughed over the phone and said, “I always knew it, he is gay and has some sort of inclination towards you.”
“Oh, really? You are ignoring the fact that he is happily married,” Eshan said irritably.
Laila quickly responded to it by saying, “Come on. Happily married is not something meant for men. And his marriage has always made me feel deceptive. Do not worry. I am almost there and cannot wait to hear more about it.”
Eshan was frustrated to the core and fumed over Laila for those remarks, but before he could even respond, she hung up the phone.
She invariably cherished the heated exchange of words between the two at work. Nathan was senior to both Eshan and Laila at a pharmaceutical company named Pfizer. A couple of days back, Eshan was reported to be promoted at a senior position than Nathan which was announced through email notification by the senior leadership.
Till that day, Nathan exploited every subordinate who worked under him, specially Eshan in particular. He often asked Eshan to prepare the presentation deck and presented it himself to the client without keeping Eshan in the loop. That way, he earned a good reputation among the leadership team, which got him remarkable hikes and promotions in every appraisal cycle.
Even the best of boot-licker ability was of no help, and on the other side, nothing stopped Eshan winning the sympathy from across the board. Getting promoted two-level up in the hierarchy was something that had never happened before within the organization. The hard work of all those years finally paid him off. He got promoted to the position of General Manager for the sales team. Patricia left the job immediately after her marriage because she could not face Eshan any longer. But Bruno continued to be in his life as a symbol of their love. It was a gift to Patricia when she was down with a high fever last year. After breaking up with Eshan, she abandoned the dog as well. Maybe intentionally!
While giving a bath to Bruno, Eshan remembered his girlfriend Patricia who broke his four-year-long relationship with Eshan and eloped with Nathan to marry him. Everyone at the office knew that Nathan took advantage of his position and deputed Patricia as one of her assistants. They used to gossip that he seduced Patricia to snatch her away from Eshan to envy him. That caused a severe loss of reputation for Nathan at the workplace, and that year he failed to receive a single penny of hike in his salary for the first time in his career.
Laila came within ten minutes of their conversation over the phone and took the charge of catering services and checked the arrangements for the drink and cocktails. She had prepared two cups of coffee by the time Eshan took a shower and found it entirely mesmerizing to see Laila in a red gown. She looked fabulous. “So, what do you think? Why did he turn up early today?” she asked while sipping her coffee.
“I don’t know. Maybe Nathan wants to rub the salt over my wound like always or maybe to satisfy his ego by taunting me for being single after he snatched away my girlfriend. By the way, who even cares about the wisdom of a dumbass like him?” Eshan said reluctantly.
“Ah, how many times do I need to correct that he was not the one who snatched away your girlfriend. The bitch never loved you truly and was looking for an opportunity to dump you. She was living with you and worked with you. She saw you being hunted down by Nathan at work on multiple occasions, and you never resisted it till the time she was with you. That certainly made you look like a spineless person who could not defend himself in an adverse situation. She might have attested you a looser in her mind,” She growled.
Now, it was Eshan’s turn to tease Laila. “How could you be so sure? You are not a psychiatrist, and your life is itself a hell. I mean, a lady who herself had more than three breakups all in one year is preaching me about infidelity. I mean, that certainly deserves an applaud. By the way, thanks for the coffee,” he said and was about to leave to get dressed up for the party. But she was not going to give up that easily.
“I may not be an expert and might have suffered a couple of more breakups than you, but I certainly know about a woman slightly more. You are forgetting the fact that she was a close friend of mine before she dumped you and fled with the favorite foe. We had many great conversations, and as proof, I know a lot of secrets, which she told me about you.” She said that and looked at me with a tilted head.
Eshan preferred to put the conversation on hold and walked towards his room. She followed him there. While combing his hair, he asked, “What secrets did she reveal to you?”
“Don’t ask me. You can ask her directly as she too is going to come today.”
He was about to faint hearing that. “What did you say? Is she coming over to the party? That’s not possible as I did not see any sign of her when Nathan came at six.”
Laila smiled to see his uneasiness and said, “Let us wait and watch. She texted me in the morning today. And why are you getting excited about it? Maybe she is coming over to check on Bruno. She often misses him.”
“Huh, let her come. Bruno will bite her ass off. The boy is eagerly waiting to avenge his master.” Eshan said while slipping into his pant carelessly.
“I know. Even dogs are insane in this house.” And she burst out in laughter saying that.
Eshan grabbed her in his arms and locked her lips into his own. For a moment, time stopped in between their mouths, and then he slowly kissed her neck. She too embraced him tightly as if never to let him go. Laila was the only hope left in Eshan’s life. She provided the required solace to him after the betrayal from Patricia.
“Leave me else I will remain unstoppable throughout the night in case you pour any more romance in me. We have guests to come,” with that Laila managed to untie herself from his grip. She loved Eshan insanely from the very inception of their friendship at work but silenced her emotions seeing Eshan’s love for Patricia. Soon after their breakup, Eshan proposed Laila for marriage but she asked for some more time citing the reason for the ongoing treatment of her mother.
Quickly after the bell rang seven, guests started to assemble at Eshan’s house, and soon everyone started enjoying the ecstatic combination of champagne and lobster along with a soul-nourishing Jazz that was being played over the gramophone. Eshan had a great collection of music albums. He traveled across the world with the sales team to have a great collection of wine, scotch, and folk music.
He was overwhelmed to see Laila playing a perfect host at his house and while he was overlooking at everything from a corner, someone kept her hand over his left shoulder. “She blends naturally with your house. Isn’t it?” It was Patricia, who looked elegant like always in her long black dress. “I hope it doesn’t bring much discomfort to you seeing me here,” She said while picking a glass of wine from the tray. For a moment, Eshan was not able to utter anything as words simply did not find a way to emerge out of him. There was a magical radiance present all over her face.
“Is she expecting a baby?” He murmured to himself.
“Did you say something?” She asked which made Eshan think whether she can still read his mind.
“No, I did not say anything. In fact, I was so captivated by your magical presence that I could not hear anything you said so far. I am sorry about it.” Eshan was having no idea how to continue the conversation with her.
“Oh, really? Am I still so desirable to you or is it just a fling of yours?” she worded it again in her usual style of questioning every intent around her, making it complicated for others to answer.
“Ah, I had always been a great admirer of beautiful women and you know that. As per me, every woman is desirable irrespective of her relationship status. Now, for you, the answer is no because you are married to one of my colleagues, and I can be anything but not a wife poacher,” Eshan knew how to handle her tantrums. Both knew about the worst secrets of each other.
Laila was keeping a close eye at them and her concern was the irritable character of Eshan. It was easy to break him specially by a witch. But the moment she started to walk towards them, Nathan stopped her and asked for a dance, which she politely refused.
“You are forgetting that even though Eshan got the promotion, I am still your boss and I guess this is the first time I am asking you for a dance. You should oblige me today,” He said giving a devilish smile, but unknowingly got on her nerves.
“Why don’t you ask your beautiful chirping wife for the same? Or maybe it is your personal ambition to try charming every woman in Eshan’s life. Trust me, I am not among those bitches who can be inspired to taste the filthy stinking tongue of yours. Now, please go and settle off your butt somewhere else. I got a lot more people to oblige,” Laila gave it back for all the trauma she and Eshan had to bear due to Nathan’s superiority over them at work. But the shameless creature continued smiling even at the worst response.
On the other corner, Eshan could not say no to Patricia for dance, but before they could even start, Laila came and joined the duo. “Hello dear, I was telling it to Eshan that you look more natural and insidious to this house,” Patricia said to Laila.
“That’s true. Because I do not have any hidden agenda with me. I genuinely love him. By the way, how is your life with that jerk husband of yours? Looks like he is still trying his luck with other women.” Laila was in no mood to give it up that day. Seeing Laila in such a fit of anger, Eshan decided to go along with other guests. “Let me see what all they need.” He said and left.
“Laila, my sweetheart. You know adequately how desperate he is and still questioning me. Unfortunately, both turned out to be the same.” She said keeping Laila puzzled with her last statement. “Anyways, you tell me. How is your mother and when are you guys planning to shift here?” Patricia tried calming down the annoyed Laila and it worked.
“Not anytime soon. Mom is going to have her last session of chemotherapy in this week itself and then most likely she is going to be discharged from there. All my savings are gone behind her treatment and so I need some time to restructure my life before I get into marriage and all,” Laila shared her feelings while sitting over the railing and covering her face with a face towel.
“Don’t overthink in such matters. You are simply doing great and every mother wishes to have a daughter like you,” Patricia was looking for something while encouraging Laila with her kind words. Somehow Laila found it to be metaphoric.
“Where is Bruno?” She asked Laila.
“Might be in the basement. That is where I saw him last before the party began.” She responded reluctantly.
“I think I shall go and look for him. Would you like to join me?” She said and started heading towards the basement.
“Sure. But, let me get some food for him.” Laila said. She picked up a torch and the packet of pedigree for Bruna. While they were on the stairs itself, they heard someone moan while making love in the basement in between the constant barking of Bruna. Patricia signaled Laila to remain quiet and slowly started moving down the stairs.
Finally, they reached the basement silently, and Laila lit up the torch. It was Nathan and Eshan sleeping over the floor in a semi-nude posture.
She continued to hold me tightly for almost 20 minutes and sobbed without a break. I was not having a clue about how to sublime her pain. But, then I whispered into her ear, “Are you serious about crying your heart out for a gutless person, and that too at a marvelous place like this? Moreover, I am still a stranger.” And guess what? It worked.
She rubbed her head on my chest and said, “Thanks a lot for taking the garbage out of me! It was stuck over there for quite some time. I will never forget your help, and I am not going to leave you now as you don’t even look like a stranger to me.”
“Hey, come on. Don’t scare me now. Just ten days back, I had a terrible breakup with my girlfriend. All this while I never cared about it, but today I am feeling ashamed after seeing you mourn for a story, which failed some two years back. I mean, are you kidding me? Either you are insane, or I am heartless,”
She gave a weird look to me, but then unleashed the magic, through her splendorous smile. “You don’t need to worry about it, Mr. Software Engineer. Neither I am insane, nor you seem to be heartless. Forgive me for ruining your evening like that. And, allow me to compensate for all of it by taking you for a boat ride.”, She pointed at a point meant for the jetty ride.
“That’s not boating. It’s a kind of public transportation, and you are simply ignoring the fact that its winters and we may freeze to death during such stunt.”
I guess she did not pay the heed to whatever I said and dragged me to the counter. Luckily, it was closed. “Now, what? I hope you do not have a plan for a filthy tram ride because you will never be able to compensate such stupidity.” I said while sipping the rest of my drink from the pot.
“Now, You being rude!”
“No, I am not. I am exhausted and may doze off like a horse in standing position. I need a place to sit and have something to drink. Maybe at a family bar, not a pub or disk.”
“Well, then I guess I know a place nearby. But, the treat will be mine.”
I was in no mood to argue a lady about who is going to pay the bill. Guess what? I always knew the answer :-). So, I hopped in a taxi with her, which took us to a place near Naya Bazar. In between the crowded market, she held my hand like some newly crafted love. For a moment, I felt the shiver in my body and tried to unlock myself from her clutch, but couldn’t.
Finally, we reached a vintage bar, most probably the one from the British era. Ugly looking from the outside, but inside it was decorated beyond my imagination. A band of music was playing Jazz at the center, and an elite group of people was celebrating it.
We got a place meant for the couples in particular, and she ordered a plate of pomfret fry and a bottle of red wine. After the waiter served us the wine, she raised her glass and said, “For the freedom to have a drink with a stranger, who got a pair of sad eyes over the happy face.”
“Now, you are judging me,” I said in a way to protest, but deep within my heart, I was quite amazed to see all that was happening from the last few hours. It was certainly an experience to live.
“I am not judging anyone here. I am a criminal lawyer, and my eyes can see things, which can remain unseen for years. So, what’s your side of the story? I mean, you mentioned that you had a terrible breakup a few days back.” She asked comfortably, but I mistook it as some kind of interrogation.
“Well, it’s nothing that sort of drama or emotional vengeance kind of story that I have. It’s just an ordinary thing which happens to any Tom, Dick, and Harry in India. So, forget about all that, and let’s live the moment.” I tried to avoid that awkward conversation with her.
She poured some more wine into my glass, looked straight into my eyes, and said, “Trust me! I won’t judge you. I just want you to get liberated with even a small ml of pain that you are holding with yourself.”
Before opening up, I calculated the risk associated with it and found it to be none. Seeing the time constraint, I was not sure which part of the story to begin with, but Patricia was interested in all of it.
“Well, here is the thing. There was a girl named Alisha, whom I met during a friend’s party, we exchanged our phone numbers. She was studying architecture at Pune University and had plenty of time to talk, and me being a professional had to manage time, but I liked talking to her.”
“You liked talking to her, or was it some sort of loneliness?” She interrupted in between, showing a typical behavior of a lawyer.
“I guess it was my loneliness because recently my flat partner had shifted to Amsterdam, for an onsite project. That created some vacuum, which got filled by that girl. So, nevertheless, one Friday, when I told her that my parents are seeing a match for me to marry, she mentioned that she has fallen for me.”
“Now, you are talking.” she interrupted again and served a portion of fish fry on my plate.
“I avoided talking to her for a couple of days and submerged myself totally into my work at the office, keeping myself sane. She kept dialing me day in day out, but I did not pick it up. One day, she turned up to my office, and with a lot of difficulties, I prevented a scene from getting created. Finally, I asked her about what she wanted from me. She told me that she was finding it difficult to live without talking to me.”
“And then what did you do?”, She had that smile over her face, which usually indicates that a person knows the rest of the story.
“I did nothing. I simply told that even I needed companionship, but was not in favor of getting into a relationship with a girl who was seven years younger to me and still not done with college. But, finally, I succumbed to all the mental pressure due to crying and those sad inventions, and that way unleashed hell upon myself.” I was done with my story and had no further desire to continue it.
She said, “Now, let me guess the remaining part of it. After you accepted her proposal, she might have shown you the real face. Violent, stubborn, demanding for expensive gifts, movies, dinner at non-affordable places, etc.”
By that time, I had it clear that the girl I was talking to all the time was a genius. I smiled at her and said, “I told you, at the beginning itself, that I got nothing new to share. An ordinary person with an ordinary story.”
She took hold of my hands and said, “But, you still got to tell me about the breakup part.”
“Yes, that is something which may interest you. In the initial few days itself, I realized the loss I caused to myself, and it was going to cost me dearly. So, whenever I tried to get out of the relationship, Alisha created a ruckus. Finally, I had to involve her father into it and explained to him that she threatened to commit suicide in several instances.” I went silent for sometime after saying that.
She said, “Then what happened?”
“Her father understood the gravity of it, and he helped me out to get rid of his daughter. He warned her daughter about breaking up all the terms with her if she continues to traumatize me emotionally. As a demo, he cut off on her finances.”
“Lucky you! Now, let’s go. We got to catch our respective trains.”
I felt like waking up from a dream. I even forgot for how long I was sitting there in that bar? I asked the attendant about the bill. He said politely, “Sir, it has already been paid by mam when I served you.”
“But, when? I did not see it.” I could not believe that I did not even notice her paying the bill.
“You are drunk, my stranger friend. Let’s go. We already got a taxi waiting outside.” She said. This time I allowed her to drag me out. I felt so light after sharing the story of that witch to her.
It was 11.15 PM, and we were back at Howrah station. We got our luggage back from the cloakroom and rested it at the waiting chair near the display board. Her train was at 11:30, some 30 minutes before my train, and so it was already stationed at platform number 3. I assisted her with her luggage to her compartment, which seemed to fill with college students.
She requested one fellow passenger, a girl, to look after her stuff, and came at the gate with me. It was time to say goodbye to each other. She requested for my phone, which I gave instantly. She dialed her number from it and then returned my phone. A long siren, signaling the train to depart.
I shook my hands with her, and before getting down from the train, I said, “Sorry, I was drunk in the last minutes at bar and might have blabbered something out of the blue. You had been nice to me throughout the time, and I sincerely thank you for that. You are a beautiful woman, and..” Before I could finish it up, she gently kept her hand over my mouth and kept looking into my eyes.
The train started to crawl, and I quickly got down from it. I waived in bye at Patricia but saw her typing something on her mobile. So, I turned back and started walking towards the other side. My phone beeped for the message. It was an SMS(short message service) alert from an unknown number. I quickly opened it up, and my heart pounded severely after reading the message, which said, “I love you too… Patricia”.
I looked back at the train, which had the last compartment visible from there, but slowly disappearing in the dark. Irrespective of whatever I was thinking then, my soul simply came out in the open and laughed out loud at me.
The story goes in the backdrop of post-independence era when freedom to India was something new to cherish. In those days, I used to work as an accountant for the last emperor of the Mithila region. It was 29th of July,1954, when the first misfortune ever known to me hit the kingdom. I was at the animal ward of the royal hospital when I was informed about Bhagwati, which Maharani was supposed to know in the absence of the King. So, I quickly rushed to the palace and looked for her everywhere.
After the constant hunt for an hour, I finally saw her entering through the main door of Maharaja Sir Kameshwar Singh’s library. I followed her over there and stood at the door itself as no one was permitted inside except Maharani Kam Sundari and some extremely trusted maintenance staff.
‘She stood by the palace window, tall and still, gazing absently at the blurred distance. She had two choices: both unattractive, out of which, she would have to take a decision…’
After the initial few moments of hesitation, I finally knocked on the door.
“What is it?” She asked firmly without caring much to look at me.
“I am sorry, Maharani, but there is an important message to tell. Trust me, I have already considered it more than a hundred times before bothering you.”, I wanted to say it all at once, but every word seemed to be exhaustible.
“If it is that urgent, then do not wait for any further to tell me, and then, please leave. It looks like rain is going to be relentless till morning, and you must reach your home before it gets too dark to see.”
With the best possible verbal techniques known to convey sad news, I said it all. She turned back and looked into my eyes. I bowed my head and was about to leave, but she asked me to wait.
“What has happened to her?” She further interrogated.
“I am not sure Maharani, but after verifying the autopsy report, Bhagwati was found to be poisoned last night itself. Doctors did their level best to revive her, but it all went in vain. I have asked them to send the report to you by tomorrow morning.”
She took a deep breath. Then instructed me to leave and went back to her position at the window.
“Shall I send the telegram to Maharaj?”
She pretended not to hear anything, and I then preferred to leave without troubling her with any further stupid questions.
Bhagwati was a beautiful female tigress brought up by the great King himself some five years back as a cub after her man-eating mother tigress was shot dead in the nearby jungle. It was a gift to the King’s third wife, Rani Kam Sundari, who was not happily married to the King because he was an elderly and twice married man, and as a result, she spent most of her time in solitude.
The arrival of a tiger cub changed the chemistry between the two, and it was well-taken care by the Queen herself who decided to name it “Bhagwati.”, which shortly became the symbol of pride for the princely estate of Mithila along with its unmatched beauty of forts and temples.
Things never remained the same for Mithila in the post-independence era as one of the most flourishing princely states of India doomed forever. The government decided to snatch away significant powers from the King, who was once the head of All India Association of Landlords, a member of the constituent assembly of India and a prominent member of the administrative committee of Banaras Hindu University.
That evening, on my way back, I kept on thinking about all the possible suspects who could poison a beautiful animal and dare to face the wrath of the King. It smelled like a much bigger conspiracy for a small servant like me to understand. On top of it, the mysterious silence of Maharani. What was about to happen? Maharaja was out to Delhi to attend the monsoon session of parliament.
The next day Bhagwati was cremated with state honor in the backyard of the palace. Maharani Kam Sundari was sobbing inconsolably while the other two queens were sharing some lighter moments with their servants. At that moment, it was evident and straightforward to understand why the King bestowed his love towards the youngest queen and deplored the other two.
She kept the pride of Maharaja in every aspect. She studied the old secret scriptures preserved in the library along with ancient architecture to design the famous Raj Kali temple as per the King’s wish and got it constructed under her own supervision. Her excellent reputation among the royal families and politicians was an outcome of her intellect and dignity, which she carried in her work.
That day, I could not control my emotions, seeing her cry. So, I went to her and said, “I will find the killers and will bring them to justice. Bhagwati was not merely an animal; she was the pride of our great Mithilanchal.”
Maharani asked me to accompany her till the sandalwood garden along with her trusted sepoys. I followed her there. In the lowest possible decibel of her voice, she gave precise instructions to the head of security, and they all dispersed in different directions to kill anyone found spying on her in any way.
“I have something important to discuss with you, Ram Sevak, since you are the most trusted sevadar(servant) of Maharaj. There is a ploy by someone from inside the family to put Maharaj’s life in danger. The killing of Bhagwati was just an indication of the power and advantages that enemies have. I wanted to tell you that I got only two miserable options at this juncture of my life. Either to accept all the horrifying things as my destiny or to kill everyone behind this conspiracy.”, She said.
With limited understanding of politics, initially, I tried to compile everything in my semi-literate brain and then asked, “And who do you think is behind all this? I mean, do you suspect anyone in particular?”
“I suspect everyone and most likely the queens because an ignored and powerful woman can burn the entire lineage to ashes, and we got two such burning souls in the palace. They hate me equally to an extent where they will not even mind murdering the King to ruin my life. But their significance is limited in the game, and so we can think about them later.”
I heard everything keeping all my senses awake as being trusted is one of the many challenging responsibilities a man can handle. Maharaj’s life was undoubtedly more precious than anyone else I knew in the state. I thought of confirming the killers of Bhagwati because it was vital for me to know that who could murder a tigress with the name of a much-worshipped deity in the region, and for sure, it was never considered a good omen in those days.
“It could be anyone. Trust is hard to keep these days. Even the daily suppliers of meat are under my suspicion, and I have already set up a team to investigate it silently. Whoever did so will meet a similar kind of fate? So, for now, focus on how to evade the danger lingering on Maharaj’s life.”, She said, interrupting my thoughts.
“I am a tiny person with limited education, and so I can’t think much like a detective. You tell me what to do, and I will not disappoint you. But it is essential to know who the real enemies are and by what interest they would like to murder a king who spent his entire life serving the humankind.”
She stayed silent for a moment and then whispered, “Have you heard of Shyam Nandan Mishra?”
“Yes, Maharani. He is one of the freedom fighters from our region and a famous congressman.”
“As per my information, he is the one behind this conspiracy, and the reason is pretty simple. He can never win the election from Darbhanga till the time Maharaj is alive, and he is desperate to go to Lok Sabha. You must be knowing; he is quite popular within the royal family and servants, and a lot of them are secret admirers of him. He has promised them all a gratifying job through the central government of the congress party. I hope you can connect the dots now.”
I heard everything loud and clear, but still was not convinced by her convictions. As a loyalist, I had to believe in everything that she was saying, but what bothered me that even if she was lying, Maharaj’s life was still in danger.
I tried to reason with Maharani, but she was confident in all that she said.
I knew Mr. Mishra and heard his speeches during my college days. He was a learned man like our King, who himself was the big supporter of democracy, unlike many in royal families. Mr. Mishra was in jail for almost 41 months and remained sick for a very long-time post-independence. He could be everything but not a murderer or a conspirator.
I guess she read my mind and thus spoke, “Look, Ram Sevak! I may be wrong, but at this part of the time, there is no one else who could be suspected based on the information I have. If you do not agree with me, then you are free to continue with your work. Think that we never had such a discussion, and I assume you will maintain the confidentiality of it.”
“You certainly misunderstood, Maharani. I do not see any reason for suspecting your words. It’s just my personal view about Mishraji that made me reason you, and I am extremely sorry about that, but then I want to understand how are we going to foil their plan?”
For the first time, she smiled and said, “It is getting late now. We will have a long hour of meeting and discussion tomorrow at my palace. You will get to know about the plan. Please be there at 9 AM sharp.”
That night was proved to be the longest one in my life. I could not sleep and vowed to kill any secret wisher of King’s death. Around ten years back I had to kill a British coup for putting Maharaj into a dangerous fight with malicious intentions. Later, I fed the body to vultures residing next to the railway station. Except for King and his personal bodyguards, nobody else knew about it, but that night I had the gut feeling that Maharani knew about it.
The next day, I reached the palace on time. She had organized the meeting at a secret chamber attached to her living room. The latest ammunitions were decorated on the wall, and in very dim light, her face was shining like a river on a full moon night. Upon her instruction, a white paper was laid on the wooden table. She took an ink marker and started writing things in English. Basically, she was laying out a plan.
“1. Ram Sevak will go to meet Shyam Nandan Mishra today evening at his residence and will engage with him in political discussions.
2. During that timeframe, Mohan Singh (head of security), along with his two associates, will secretly explore Mishra’s room to collect any sort of communication (letter or telegram) or personal diary.
3. Ram lochan Singh will spy on both the queens and their sons for the next five days. Make a note of their activities and visitors.
4. Nobody will allow any kind of letter or telegram to be reaching to Maharaj, which talks about the painful death of Bhagwati.”
She turned to me and asked me if I had any questions, which was none.
As per the plan, I went to meet Mishraji at his residence near the congress party district office at Hasan Chak. He gave a warm hug to me with the same generosity of college days. I touched his feet and asked about his health conditions.
“It’s all good now, Ram Sevak. Sugar is under control, but poor me can’t have the sweets to eat. You say. Got the news about Bhagwati but could not come to meet Maharani Kam Sundari due to election campaigning and all.”
I could not say anything because my eyes were trying to grab a glimpse of a treacherous man in him, but it was nowhere to be found. His simplicity was still mesmerizing, and the hidden socialist in me got into conflict with a loyalist.
He ordered two cups of tea from a nearby shop and then enquired about my family. Apart from Maharaj, he was the only one who would care to know about the miseries of a poor man.
“Ram Sevak, I always wonder that how come an educated person like you has opted to work as the slave of a kingdom. It is democracy now, and people like you are required to establish democratic values in a great nation like ours. I know you are burdened by some unwanted favors of King, but self-respect is equally important.” He used the same old philosophy of socialist movement to break the hold of aristocracy.
I was not delighted to hear all that, and so my quick reaction to him was like, “Sir, I had been a great admirer of your noble words from my college days itself and did arrange chairs for your rallies. You always dared to speak against Maharaj in many instances, but he always considered you a friend and never ever spoken ill about you.”
“So, why do you think kings are displaying the act of mercy these days? Especially when they got the rich legacy of slaughtering anyone in the name of honor and false pride? I will explain that to you. It is because even the Britishers were afraid to mess up with revolutionaries and freedom fighters. Do you think your King can afford to win an election by retaliating against a freedom fighter? Never in this life.” He smiled with his last statement giving a gentle pat on my shoulder and left for a walk with his party members.
He was very rationale and not a person to argue with, but still, he remained cautious while choosing his words. I was left with no further notions about him, but I was still on duty. I went on the other side of his unguarded home to look for Mohan Singh. It seemed like they were all gone leaving me alone in the darkness.
The next day, early morning, my son rushed into my room and almost dragged me out of bed. I furiously slapped him hard, but he looked so traumatized that I could not take any further action against him. I went out of my door and was astonished to see Mohan Singh weeping at my door. I could not understand anything at that moment. My wife got some water for him.
“A brave son of Rajput crying like a baby. What is the reason behind such pain, my friend? We both are childhood friends and work together for the same master. Tell me what ill has happened?” I asked Mohan about the well-being of everyone I knew common between us.
“Everything is over, my friend. We both had been used as the clowns in a dirty game, and sooner or later, karma will catch up with both of us. Last night I assassinated Shyam Nandan Mishra along with his four-party members as per the order.” He said with tearful eyes.
“You killed whom?”
“You heard it right, my friend. I killed the great freedom fighter along with his men on their way back from Raj ground after you two had the conversation.” This time he could not look into my eyes.
“And who ordered that murder? Maharani Kam Sundari?”
“No, my friend. It was our Maharaj who ordered me to do so. You know I cannot take someone’s life without his orders. Yesterday after you left the meeting, Maharani dialed the phone to Maharaj and made me talk to him.”
It was still not making sense to me. But I further asked, “Then what’s the need to cry. You have followed your dharma following the instruction from the King himself.”
“Because he too is dead, my friend!!” He said, interrupting me.
I heard it like a thunderstorm and was not left with the courage to affirm that. Did I hear about the Maharaja Kameshwar Singh? I looked at my wife, my son, and others, and their bowed heads confirmed what I heard.
“But how is that possible? I had received his telegram day before yesterday, which stated that he will be back in 7 days. Is this a kind of joke?” I was yelling at Singh.
“I do not have the strength left in me to explain all that to you. You can go and hear it yourself at the radio station. They have already made the announcement about the King being deceased at the official residence in Delhi.” He said, keeping his hands on my shoulder.
“Let me go to the palace. Maharani must be in distress.”
He laughed out loudly, hearing that, which I found quite rude.
“She has gone to registrar office to file the nomination for upcoming elections, my friend. Today is the last day to file it. We need to go to the aerodrome to receive the dead body of Maharaj. So, let’s go. It will be there at any moment.”
Maharaj was given the last rite with state honor in the presence of the first president of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, along with other senior politicians, and the name of Shyam Nandan Mishra will remain buried in the pages of history.
Mr. Paritosh was deboarding the train at Jamshedpur Railway Station, and I was thrilled to see the scope of an uninterrupted conversation till Howrah. Her generous smile was indicative of her being able to read my mind. Or maybe the childhood inability to suppress the devilish happiness was getting prominent with age.
I offered my assistance to him with his luggage(the demon was actually carrying hell lot of it), which he could not refuse seeing no one else to help.
“All the best my friend.” He said the moment before the train started to move and I was still at the gate.
I was taken aback. I mean what exactly he was wishing me luck for. To carry forward his failed legacies of the single-sided fascination towards a lady who was traveling alone. I went back to my seat with an internal quest and a much lesser enthusiasm to talk to her.
There were many who deboarded at Jamshedpur leaving the compartment semi vacant. So, I chose to sit on the side lower birth rather than the usual one which made me sit face to face with her. She looked at me a little puzzled as if she wanted to read my thoughts again, but I was already in a deep state of melancholy.
Soon, I started enjoying the scenic beauty from behind the glass window. There were kids playing cricket in an open ground adjacent to the railway track in the twilight, some of them were flying kites by holding the string with one hand and their pants from another one, and running carelessly in muddy water.
“Do you mind if I sit over here?” I had no idea about when she came over there. The fragrance of her perfume was so maddening that I entirely forgot all that I was thinking and for how long I was sitting over there in the corner. I quickly wrapped up my legs to make space for her without speaking anything.
“Are you alright?” She initiated the conversation.
“Yes, I am fine. Thanks for asking!!” The soul-nourishing fragrance was making it difficult. It was like I was surfing over the waves of some musical random thoughts.
Perhaps, it was discouraging. That’s what I thought, but in contrast, she seemed to enjoy reading my thoughts.
“I am really not sure what causes the sad state of your mind but all I saw today was the impact of your dry humor. People literally got down the train without completing their journey.” And she burst out in laughter.
I too wanted to laugh but was quite unsure of those remarks. It became difficult to decide whether my attraction towards her was simply an outcome of the law of nature or was it the byproduct of a bachelor’s desperate mind who recently had a break-up? My subconscious mind was able to read those questions profusely.
I continued my conversation with her, “Are you talking about the king of cheap jokes from Jamshedpur, who made you smile with heavenly PJs? I am really sorry for your loss in case you are missing him so much.”
“Maybe I am celebrating your presence more than his absence,” She said shrugging her shoulders off.
“Oh really. Then why do we even need to talk about him?” I guess my question was valid.
“Come on. At times you need to encourage boys for their efforts and he was doing quite okay to impress me. But your witty response against the stereotyping of your native state was the real show-stealer and I secretly gave you eight marks out of ten,” She said with her tight-lipped smile.
“Oh, I am so overwhelmed. I know it may sound insane but I did not get the chance to ask your name. And what you do for living apart from commemorating boys who show interest in you?”
“No, it’s my bad that I forgot to mention. My name is Patricia and I am a Criminal lawyer by profession at Pune district court. Precisely, I worked as a public prosecutor at Bombay high court till last year but then had to settle down in Pune.” Then we shook hands but this time her expressions were different.
All that I thought about her turned out to be wrong. She was not a college-going girl and was into a tougher profession. Before I could say anything, the train entered the platform at Howrah Junction. It was 7 PM then.
“So, you must be here in Kolkata to visit your parents,” I said.
“My parents stay in Mumbai with my elder brother. I am traveling to Durgapur to attend the marriage of a colleague. I have a connecting train at 11:30 PM.” She said.
“How about you? You must be heading to Patna if I heard it correctly at that time.”
“No, actually my journey will end in some 100 KMs before Patna. It’s a small town named Kiul. My father works there at an establishment of Indian Railways. I too got a connecting train at 11 PM.” I replied before putting my books and laptop back in place.
One of the co-passengers(a granny) requested me to assist her with luggage as her son was stuck in traffic. So, I decided to wait along with her at the platform until her son turned up. To my surprise, Patricia stayed there too. Soon, an elderly person came and the granny introduced him as her son. We said goodbye to her and walked towards the food court.
“I badly need a cup of coffee. Would you like to join me?”
“I am not a coffee person but can accompany you in case you change your mind to have lassi(sweetened curd) instead of coffee. I know a place near Howrah Bridge. We can keep our luggage at the cloakroom and then walk till the bridge.” She was defying all the laws that girls follow traditionally. Nonetheless, I was enjoying every surprise related to her. There are times when life serves you more than your appetite.
We kept our luggage in the cloakroom like she mentioned and walked over the crowded street. She took to me to the famous shop of Ganguram Halwayi. That was the best lassi I ever tasted. Even today, it is difficult to forget the essence it had due to the rose petals and it was served with the creamy layer of cashew nuts, almonds, and white butter in earthen pots.
She requested the shopkeeper to parcel it as she had no desire to have it in a crowded shop. In the meantime, I bought two chicken rolls from a nearby place.
After a few minutes of walk, we two were standing in the middle of the sidewalk of Howrah Bridge facing the breath-taking view of river Ganga(known as Hugli over there) having our share of lassi and chicken roll. The evening breeze was soothing and the river was shining blissfully. I had been to Kolkata before but never had the chance to be there. I wanted to thank her wholeheartedly for giving me such a beautiful evening, but she was gazing absently at the blurred distance.
“I assume you been to this place before,” I asked casually sipping my lassi.
She looked at me in a weird manner making me realize that I played the wrong notes unknowingly, but I corrected it before it was too late. I said, “You don’t need to answer that Patricia. It is actually none of my business.”
Her anguish melted away instantly seeing me apologetic. She said, “And you don’t need to contradict yourself, my friend. It doesn’t suit you. There is nothing wrong with asking the right set of questions with pure intentions.”
That was a big sign of relief else I thought it was all over.
She further continued, “Yes, a couple of years back I came to this bridge with my boyfriend. He subsequently turned out to be a spineless lawyer who could not stand for anything significant in his life. On the other hand, I certainly lagged the required level of maturity to identify his real self and went behind the deceptive outward appearance. Many boys and girls fall prey to such a facade due to inexperience and the necessity of love. I hope I am not playing the victim card.”
I had no idea how to respond to it. Being emotionally vulnerable can be very challenging and I too had my lessons in a hard way. But seeing a lawyer repenting a sin like love was surprising. Maybe I wrong once again. They too are humans with 10 ounces of heart and a lot of pain filled into it.
I still do not remember the source of courage that day, but then I asked her if she wanted to give me a hug. With some initial hesitation, she kept her lassi aside and embraced me tightly in her arms as if never to let me go, and cried inconsolably.
I was falling short of my breath while running over the bridge at Pune railway station to catch up with Duronto Express stationed at Platform number 2. It was about to depart at any moment, and for the first time in my life, I was about to miss out on a train. Unlike an IT guy, I pushed everyone aside who came in between, and finally made my way to coach number A2 before the train started to crawl.
That was an inaugural journey for Pune-Kolkata Duronto express, which kick-started as a prestigious project by then Rail Minister Mamta Banerji to provide a premium alternative to passengers who traveled within the rail routes that connected the capital cities of India. The train was neatly decorated like any unfortunategroom in India. But, I was happy to see the much-needed elevation of the services in trains although it was temporary in nature.
The train had already picked up the pace and shortly the refreshment was served. All my fellow passengers were extremely delighted to receive the evening snacks, which turned out to be delicious in every possible sense. And while I was totally engrossed with the delicacies on my plate, someone asked me politely if I wanted to have some more sweets. That was the time I first saw her.
An unprecedented beauty with a blend of kindness in every word spoken by her. She must be in her early twenties and a college-going student. My tender mind started calculating her age along with the possibilities of her having a boyfriend. She seemed to be a complete marvel created by lord Ganesha himself. A beautiful set of eyes carefully placed over the innocent face that shined like a snow-clad mountain range of the Himalayas in a broad daylight.
I was so mesmerized by her presence itself that I even forgot what she was actually talking about. Yes, it was absolutely worth running for, over the railway bridge to catch a train if one knew about her being a co-passenger. In fact, it was even worth dying for.
And before I could even answer, someone spoke in between interrupting the uncontrolled rhythmic wild imaginations of mine, “I guess I can have it”, he said. I looked for the intruder, which turned out to be a malnourished person sitting next to me. He appeared like a die-hard desperate Romeo in a constant hunt for a Juliet.
I gave a gentle smile to him without uttering a word, which might have happened subconsciously as a result of attending long hours of frequent grooming sessions at the office. Else, the ghost of a Bihari residing in me wanted to tell, “Haan toa fir tumhi kha lo saale manhoosh. Tumra baap toa kabhi laddu dekha nahi hoga ii janam me (Yes, you can have it, my ill fated-friend because even your forefathers might not have had the occasion to savor the sweets in their entire lives.) “
Sooner than later to be realized, they started conversing with each other and she was giggling over the most sub-standard jokes that can ever be ever heard, which further made it suffocating. Like an evident looser, I got up from my place and went straight to the never again to be seen a well-maintained loo, and lit a cigarette. In those days, it was my way of repenting a sin.
With mixed thoughts, I returned back and settled myself on the upper birth and started reading a novel. She too was reading a book titled PS-I Love You. Certainly, not my kind as my inclination was more towards Munshi Prem Chand kinda stories. Before I fall asleep, I heard her talking to someone angrily over the phone. Must be her boyfriend, I thought.
That night passed uninterrupted and I continued dreaming for long hours until woken up by the service guy for tea and breakfast. Mr. mal-nourished was back in the game of impressing the pretty lady, with his cheap tricks of praising every single word spoken by her even when she spoke about someone else. Not sure why, but I seemed to enjoy being jealous for the first time in my life.
I went down and sat near the window and continued reading the half-read book. They were chattering about their professions and then suddenly out of nowhere, he asked me, “So, you too work for a bank?”
“Even worst. I am a software engineer at an American MNC.”, I said suppressing my urge to kick his ass. The ghost in me was getting back in form.
“Oh, that’s great. I work at HSBC, Pune. Felt like I saw you somewhere in the head office at Kalyani Nagar.” He was not letting me get rid of him, so I decided to unleash the hell upon him.
“No, I don’t think so. I never met you or anyone like you before, at any stage of my life.” He seemed to be offended, which I surely wanted to.
She was hearing all of it silently and with clutched hairs, she looked more stunning and desirable. I avoided my level best to look at her. I had a feeling that she did not like me being rude to that guy. So, I chose my words carefully and avoided being resentful. Soon, I realized that every other boy in that compartment was passing nearby my seat to have a glimpse of her beauty.
For a precise moment, our eyes met each other and that was a breathtaking moment. I felt the tickle in my heart like a common protocol of love at the very inception of it. “Looks like you too are from Pune itself.” She spoke to me for the second time and I had no choice left other than addressing her, face to face.
“No. I actually come from Patna,” I said precisely assuming her to be a Bengali girl as they are known to have a beautiful skin, eyes, and hair.
“So, how long you had been working in Pune?” She wanted to know more about me, and I wanted that conversation to be eternal.
“It’s been nearly nine months and I am in love with it. I find it quite serene unlike any other developed city in India which are mostly chaotic.” I said cautiously.
“You need to find peace and harmony even in the midst of a cacophony of chaos,” She said with her pretty generous smile over the face.
With that one statement of her, I was able to estimate depth of her thought process. I could not believe my luck for having a beautiful girl seeking interest in knowing me. Even I wanted to know more about her, wanted to talk a lot, but then the guy sitting next to me interrupted again.
“Arrey Sir, aapne toa apna naam bataya hi nahi(You did not mention your name)?”
“Maybe it is not worth sharing for.” I was literally struggling to suppress my frustration but somehow managed to smile. I cursed the soft skill trainers from the core of my heart who made me so tolerant.
“Oh, come on. Every name is worth sharing. By the way, I am Paritosh.” He shook his hands with me without my consent.
“Paritosh. Such a unique name.” I said.
“Are you making fun of me? It’s a common Bengali name.” His broad teeth with black gum made his smile horrible.
“My name is Nilesh Ranjan.” I wanted to cut short that conversation with him as much as possible, but he was not giving up and I was losing my sanity.
“Dada aap toa Bihari hai. Aapko to UPSC dena chahiye. Hoye ki nahi?(Brother, how come you are in another profession. Afterall, Biharis keep chasing the dream of UPSC)” There he overstepped the line which protected him till that moment.
The outspoken ghost residing in me already took the charge of it and said, “With that kind of computation, you should actually be a lower division clerk at some Marxist, Leninist, or shitty communist party offices in Bengal.”
Everyone in that compartment burst out in laughter. He was devastated. From being a woman charmer, he found himself transformed into a snake charmer and I won the long-surviving battle against him.
She too was grinning cheerfully. The train was about to reach Jamshedpur station, which was a technical stoppage. Mr. Paritosh decided to deboard the train.
“But, you were supposed to go till Kolkata. Why are you getting down here?” She enquired.
“Actually, I belong to Jamshedpur itself. I had no idea that the train has got a stoppage here as well. So, it is better to get down here.” He said with a sad face.
In between all the negativity that we had in last couple of weeks through main stream or social media, let’s talk about some of the positive attributes that our beautiful nation is imbibed to. In a time like this when an entire country is locked down, there are some restless soul who are performing their eternal duties 24*7 without a blink. In the next few paragraphs I would like to highlight some of the ecstatic moments that nation has witnessed so far.
Today on 5th of April, 2020, when India is going to stand in solidarity fr the second time with our war like heroes at 9 PM to show the unity that is not very often shown and always stays deep within our hearts, I would like to pen down my thoughts for this great country in words through this article.
I am not undermining efforts of anyone, but let me start with the services rendered by our policemen so far. Some of the photographs that is being shared on twitter are enough to narrow down the prejudice against the cops at a significant level. I saw people tweeting a statement that nation will always remain indebted by the sacrifice of those khakhi wearing heroes. To make it more expressive let me share a picture from Indore where a policeman is looking at his daughter while having his food from a safe distance.I kept staring at the picture for few minutes when it popped up for the first time
We often forget about their personal lives and keep cribbing about misdeeds of few to blacken the face of entire force. In one of the episodes of the famous TV show ‘Satya Mev Jayate’ hosted by Amir Khan, the living condition of ordinary policemen was shown. The pain and agony they live with cannot be expressed even with best competency of a person with words. Still the kind of duty they perform is unthinkable by many of us. One part of their duty is to perform the last rites of all the unclaimed human bodies at their own expenses. At times duties like that can cause serious issues with a person’s mental and psychological health. I got to know about this during my discussion with a sub inspector of Police from Jamui district of Bihar.
Let me share another picture of a cop who slept in between a barricaded road and that brought tears in my eyes out of compassion because I too had a moment like that couple of times in my life during the treatment of my father.
12 years back when my father was operated for the removal of his left kidney in Chennai at a famous Railway Hospital (Perambur). Like many government hospitals nothing was provided for the attendants of patients to rest upon specially when the patient was in ICU. I slept on the floor of hospital outside the ICU by keeping few sheets of newspaper as a replica of a bed sheet cover. Surprisingly, I never had such a peaceful sleep again even on the beds of five star hotels. Not sure of the reason but today when when I see that policeman in the picture, I envy him for the kind of fate he has got to serve the nation under much more unprivileged conditions than me. He is doing the same thing for a much bigger family at a much lower cost. He has raised the standard at a very unreachable heights. My two lines for them.
राहों की तो जाने दो साहब,
आप हमें सिर्फ मंज़िल बता दो !!
Yes, we as a citizen of India should always remain indebted to people who are working days and nights in the best of their capabilities to serve the mankind in these tough times. We should pledge not to forget their efforts to contain the spread of virus in our good times once the danger of COVIDE-19 is over. In next topic I will try to cover the stories of our health workers. Till them stay home stay safe.
Due to the country wise lock down by Government of India , the only source of information to rely on are the news channels(minus agendas which they run) along with social media(if used responsibly). Everyday we seek the news on COVID-19 in a hope to see the downward trends of the spread and re-opening of the democracy in a much better shape.
What I mean in true sense is that we have had enough of appeasing special segment of society in the name of social harmony and secularism as nation has already started to pay the cost very dearly. We need to cater a discipline that is supposed to be obliged by all the citizens in this country irrespective of their various identities. Willing or Unwillingly. We have seen what has happened in recent times in the name of protest against CAA which subsequently led to a massive riots on the streets of Delhi. I still do not see a reason for government to stay mute spectator in that matter.
Now, when an entire world is facing the threat of human extinction due to Pandemic and government of India is doing every bit possible to contain the spread of virus in whatever limited capacity they have in between the population of 130 crores of people of every kind- patriot or non-patriot. We are seeing how the policemen(under the threat of lone wolf attack by ISIS), doctors, health workers, sanitation workers are working days and night for the survival of mankind. Still, the current situation is 62 deaths along with 1900 infected of Corona virus in India.
But, in between there are some sort of news that are catching the attention of the nation which are for sure not so delighting in any way. We can boast for still having the lowest percentage of infected souls of COVID19, but the reason behind the recent spread is shameful in every sense. We are getting the videos of the people living in ghettos praying to Allah for minimum number of deaths of 50 crores in India for kafirs or a Jihadist technocrat from Infosys Inc. encouraging corona infected people to go out and sneeze in public to spread the virus and destroy the nation. And the icing on cake is “Tablighi Jamaat” which is like creating the hot spot of disease in the name of religious gathering defying every rules and measures laid down by both central and state government.
Infosys employee Mujeeb Mohammad arrested for asking people to ‘spread the virus’ by sneezing in public, fired by the company.
If we rely on the news from various news channels then those dream peddlers of corona virus from Nizammuddin has been successfully able to spread the disease in 18 states of India which includes 6 deaths in Telangana. According to the Delhi government, 1,548 people who were staying in the headquarters were shifted to hospitals and quarantine facilities after 24 people tested positive for COVID-19 and 447 showed symptoms of virus infection.
God alone knows what code they refers to. Some of these jokers have really made the entire race of Muslims in India appear like an ambition less souls roaming on the chest of motherly nation of ours. Long before the rise of Taliban, Al Qaida, etc. on news channels in particular, I felt that its just a propaganda as none of my friends either of the Shia or Sunni community appeared to have the mentality anywhere close to the new born Jihadi Maulanas.
There are some disturbing video footage from Indore where health workers were attacked in ghetto when they tried to test and identify a corona positive patient. They pelted stone at security personals and then they along with liberal will use the terminologies like Islamophobia. This needs to be discussed and debated in India honestly to take the nation back to the real social harmony that we have seen during our childhood days.
In between there are people like Omar Abdulla, who already started playing victim card by saysing that some people in India will use the Tablighi Jamaat incidence to vilify Muslims and on the other side we have Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who shares an entirely different view.
‘A Talibani crime’: Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tablighi Jammat’s Nizamuddin congregation
I hereby leave it totally on the wisdom of people of India who in true sense need to decide whether they want to play the victim card or take a stand against the spread of the venomous preaching of those insanely radical jokers of mosque during such a bad times for the nation both health wise and at economic front. I heard the leader of the pack Maulana Sadh Mohammad saying in an audio clip played by several news channels that if you die in mosque then nothing can be better than such death. I request you to please think about the well being of your family and loved ones before getting infected by such fundamentalist idiots.
Due to lock down of Bengaluru City for a week or two by Karnataka government has brought to me back to blogging once again. Not sure about saying thanks to whom?The COVID-19 virus or government, but let’s focus on the series of events that happened lately in India in last two quarters which may have become one of the prime reasons for anxiety among many of us.
Both the houses of parliament passed the much awaited bills like revoking of article 370 in the state J&K and the introduction of Citizen Amendment Act popularly known as CAA. For Article 370, no one was able to do create a mayhem as such because of strong preparation from the Government of India. They put all the major leaders from the state in asylum to avoid any potential disturbance in the state but government definitely failed to contain the reaction came over CAA and it finally led to the communal riots in Delhi which took 52 lives as per the media reports. So, what loss to the mankind happened in true sense after the introduction of CAA? Absolutely nothing, but the Indian Muslims has lost the credibility once again by creating the ruckus in the form of protest against CAA all over Delhi and other parts of the country.
Whoever has instigated the hatred in them doesn’t have the proper estimation of the consequences of itching their bumps using fire sticks. Ask anyone of them what actually they are protesting against? The answer is hypothetical. Even most literate among Muslims are not behind pumping the self afflicted fear in the mind of semi literate creatures from Madrassas(which forms majority of them) that an elected government will implement a law named NRC(National Register for Citizenship) which will subsequently declare an entire community as refugees in their own country. And the shameless people are proud of making their grandmothers sit in protest even in the extreme climatic conditions just for the sake of Biryani and media footage. I mean are you guys serious? You want to destroy your nation just because the government feels the oppressed minorities in three neighboring Islamic nation(Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) who come to India as refugees should be given the citizenship.You want them to continue living in tents like nomads much like Kashmiri Pandits in the stinking colonies of Jammu after the exodus.
But, I am not blaming the Muslims as a whole and I will never do so and the reason is very simple. When I see a couple speaking the most shocking words after losing one of their infants during their days of protesting at Shaheen Bagh then it’s more of pity then blame. They said it was the sacrifice for Allah. Not sure which holy verses of Qua-ran they were referring to, but that summarized it up for all what they know about a religion. I come from a state where Muslims have cleaned up the roads for Chhath Puja and we have prepared delicacies for Iftaar during the holy month of Ramjan. There had been no rift at all and no such distinction were taught to anyone of us. Then how come the dangerous breed of Jehadis has popped up so dominantly in this country and who actually reproduced them? What is the source of their education and funding for their dirty propaganda against their own motherland?
During the entire episode of Shaheen Bagh and subsequent communal riots in Delhi, I did feel that a full fledged attempt was made to instigate the riot by fueling the hatred in Hindus who lost their patience by seeing the blocked roads and attempt to hijack the law and order situation in Delhi. There are channels who are shamelessly blaming Kapil Mishra(who is also among many losers from Delhi BJP) for all the mess, but they are silent on the tyranny unleashed by a local goon named Tahir Hussain and his ally. They threw acid pouch, petrol bombs and stones on Hindu’s houses in the neighborhood.
Throughout the media reports I did not understand one thing that how come central leadership allowed all this to happen. Either they are interested to show the real face of secularism in India to the entire world under the veil or they may have all together different intentions I guess. If Amit Shah is equipped with so much of inputs about the protests being a part of conspiracy and is funded by anti national agencies then what stopped him to break it before it took away the innocent lives on streets of Delhi. You are allowing people to openly conspire against the nation and throw acid on security personals. We have lost Constable Ratan Lal, IB official Ankit Sharma and many in this experiment and that can cost all of us very dearly in coming time.
20 years back I had never imagined that a day will come in the era of Artificial Intelligence and Modern Science that anyone of us will have to face two extremes of ideologies in a country which always had the place for everyone even the non-believers. History has been the witnessing the consequences of extremism but no one is ready to seek a lesson out of it. We have seen the consequence of a majority among Tamilians having faith in LTTE and the fools paradise they lived in to have a Tamil Eelum. We lost one corrupt prime minister and Lankan Tamils lost their future forever. We have also seen what has happened to Saddam Hussain and Iraq.
I hope someday all those stone pelting Indian Muslims will soon start loving their nation without caring much about what the ill fated Maulanas and fake scholars are saying to mislead them. Someday they will realize that they are about to sacrifice an entire race aimlessly fighting a nation which is meant to be nurtured and embraced for all what it has emerged for after the tyranny from so many invaders for so many years.
After months of feud with Pashtuns in northern most barren regions of Afghanistan, finally there was peace for some couple of days. At least, I thought so. But others in my regiment believed that hide and seek of bloodshed will soon begin.
Nevertheless, I continued being a soldier. A tough one who was trained to witness the atrocities around him without believing into any sort of classifications between life and dream. For sure I was never a demon however I pretended to be the one in the field, but there was a slogan “Allah ho Akbar” in particular often used by those murderers which made me hate them much like a demon.
I wanted to cut every throat which dared to speak those words while holding the gun or assault rifles into their hands. And I did it. On third peaceful night, they came back unleashing hell on us. They attacked us with rocket launchers and mortars. I took the position with howitzer gun, but my hand reached out to my army knife hearing the enchanting of “Allah ho Akbar”. My commanding officer saw me with the knife,” Are you going to counter those motherfuckers with that knife?”
“I will slit their throats half and will make them bleed slowly like they torture other beings on this earth. Let them reach to us and I assure you that not a single son of those Muslim bitches will see the dawning today.”
“Look son, we are not here to hate an entire race or religion. We are here to spread a message that no one has been able to find a safe heaven in this world after attacking Americans. Your motives look sordid to me and your words are actually giving me shiver.”
I partially heard what he said in between the heavy noise of artillery. In those peaceful three days, we fixed the barbs to ambush them. Everything was going as per the plan as they were slowly approaching our camp. Our sensor tracked total 60 of them. Our commanding officer executed a blast to create a shock as soon as all of them assembled within our premises considering us dead. And there I was, catching each one of them to slit their throats off. Within few minutes of it I was able to create several mini fountains of blood out of their necks. I kicked their bodies, laughed out loudly and mocked them by saying, “Allah ho Akbar”. Nobody in my unit could believe their eyes.
“What are you trying to demonstrate son?”, asked the unit head.
“Whoever is out there in the woods watching us, should know that there is no existence of Allah, Christ or any damn fucking god for these soon to be dying monsters.”
That night no one spoke to me and soon backup force was there to cover us up. We had to start in next couple of hours to change our base location. We got orders to reach to a nearby Pakistan’s border and wait for the next set of instructions. Our convoy started heading to Torkham from Jalalabad. By noon we reached somewhere near to Goshta where we decided to have our meals which obviously was nothing more than kebab.
Just 18 KMs before we could reach the small town of Torkham, a launcher came and struck to the vehicle ahead of mine. Surprisingly, such a heavy army vehicle toppled 4 times in the air before sliding down into the valley. Similar was the fate of the one I was riding along with 7 fellow commandos, but we were out by that time. It was blissful to see the sky full of fire from every direction and the target was our convoy. We took the cover behind the rocks on that hilly route. I was running out of the time as sun was about to set and that made me assemble my sniper rifle in less than 50 seconds. We were total 13 by now and so I instructed vehicles that followed us to abort their journey and ask for backup. After that I took my position with my rifle from behind a rock which provided me with a natural camouflage due to yellow light of sun. Once again, I was on killing spree.
Within 7 minutes of time, I executed and neutralized more than 12 militants over the hill who were bombing us with RPG. The copper rain of bullets was stopped quickly after that. We waited there for some more time and then slowly started marching ahead at the very first sign of the darkness. It was one of the biggest risks of our lives. A single flashlight in the air could have revealed our positions on the rocky street and we still had 17 KMs to cover before reaching the base camp of Torkham. We were running like marathon guys covering each other.
Soon we crossed the dangerous arena of hilly terrain, but now we had to run for almost 6 miles in the middle of a dense forest. Our radio stopped working due to canopy of trees and using the satellite phone could have led to us in vulnerable situation. So, we decided to proceed without letting anyone know about the coordinates in between the howl of dangerous wild animals. Through my night vision glasses I could see them, but luckily none of them chose to enhance our trouble. Within an hour we were close to the base and our radio signals were back, but fate had something else reserved for me.
As soon as I came out of the wood, a bullet came piercing my right leg. I signaled my team to back off and stay within the cover of forest, but I was trapped from the two directions. Going back into the woods was not a choice I was left with. They wanted to capture me alive for some reasons. Finally, I chose to jump off the cliff on the left side of me. God alone knows how many bones were broken out of that action of mine. All I could remember is that heavy package of my body and armors were rolling up while sliding through the rocky terrains in sheer darkness. And thousands of bullets followed me up, but none of it reached anywhere closer to me. I do not have any remembrance of when and where I lost my consciousness.
On fourth day, I woke up carrying an extreme pain on the left part of my body particularly in leg which seemed to be plastered using some primitive techniques. After several attempt to bear that pain, I finally gave up and screamed my heart out. An old lady came from nowhere and kept the conical tip of an unfiltered hookah stuffed with opium in between my lips and signaled to smoke it off. It worked magically as I felt the relief after just having few puffs from it.
“Initially we thought you are dead, but my son did not give up on you and forced me to listen your half-hidden heartbeats. Trust me it’s the benevolence of an eight-year aged guy that you are still alive.”
I turned my head towards the right to see the person who spoke those words. It was a tall muscular figure dressed much like those filthy Pashtuns whom I was slaughtering few days back. His name was Abdullah and he was the head of that village tribe. I greeted him like I was trained to. He came closer to me and sat on a woven chair next to my cot and took my hand in his hands and gently kissed it. Soon, a boy came out from another hut and sat on Abdullah’s lap.
“He is my son Zabir. He is the one who spotted you lying in those thorny bushes and informed us. Your left leg was badly mutilated. It took around 7 hours for us to take out all the bullets from your leg. Your main femur bone, tibia and fibula has got 6 fractures all together and it may take another 45 days for you to recover completely. I hope you understand that. We saved your life because I know you American soldiers are risking your lives to free this land from Taliban.”
“Are you from northern alliance?”, I asked with serious weakness in my voice.
“Yes, I am. I am also guardian of this village and you are safe here till the time you don’t do anything stupid. Be our guest for couple of months. Help our kids to learn some English.”, saying that he got up with two heavy assault rifles on his heavy shoulders and left with few other armed men.
In between Zabir came with a burqa clad woman. She said something in her language which I certainly did not understand but through gesture I thought it was a way to greet. She brought some food in a bone china plate. Since I was not strong enough to get up from the cot all by myself, few boys came to assist me to provide a semi-sleeping position. Her face was covered and so I could only see her eyes through that veil.
She wrapped some kebab into a piece of wheat bread and fed me. With first bite itself I cursed, “Is there anything else to eat in this god forbidden country apart from kebabs?”
She got little petrified, but I requested her through sign language to feed me more as I was hungry like hell. She gave me something to drink. Not sure what it was but it did the job to quench my thirst. I thanked her and tried to start some conversation.
“My name is Allen. What’s your name my dear lady?”
She quickly got up from her place and rushed back into the hut without saying anything. Obviously, she did not understand English. All this time Zabir was looking at me in puzzle. I asked him to come closer to me.
“Who is she? Your Mother?”, I asked while giving him some comfort. He nodded in no.
“Alright. Then she must be your Sister I guess.” This time he nodded into yes.
“So, what’s her name? I mean like you are Zabir, I am Allen. What’s her name?”, I somehow tried to make his understand what I was trying to say. He looked puzzled but then he said, “Alia! Her name is Alia.”
“Oh, that’s such a beautiful name.”, I then requested him to get my bag which was way too heavy for an eight-year aged kid. Still, he managed to bring to me. I took out a pouch which had some chocolates and energy bars. I gave some to him and the kids around there. Then I took out a bigger one and asked Zabir to give it to Alia. He went inside the hut singing something. I guess she was standing right there behind the curtain watching everything.
Days started to pass, and I slowly got comfortable with their language. I heard them sloganeering “Allah ho Akbar” at many instances but never felt threatened or found it scary. So, what was different between those Pashtuns and this tribe? Both were having the same religion and god. I tried capturing the moments through the lens of my camera, but women were very shy to come closer to it. Alia fed me two times during the daytime in the absence of any village men. One day I clicked the picture of her beautiful eyes with her permission.
I tried talking to her at multiple instances, but she never replied and preferred to watch me talking to kids and old women from behind the curtain. She looked at every equipment of mine with utter delight and one day I gifted my expensive watch to her. After a lot of resistance, she finally wore it over her left wrist. In those days I fixed many primitive electronic equipment they had like radios, television and transistors but none of my devices were working which could establish the contact with my unit. I requested Abdullah at many occasions to inform the headquarters about me being alive. Somehow, they will evict me out from there. He said it could be dangerous if the information about giving shelter to an American soldier spreads around as his village was constantly under the attack by Talibs.
On fourth week I was mostly cured but still had to use the crutches to walk. Thankfully, both my hands started to work to the extent when I could use my heavy weapons and the army knife. I woke up hearing someone screaming loudly with his gun pointed at me. Abdullah and others were flexing their muscles with that man. I quickly got down from the cot and aimed my 9 mm pistol at him.
“Put it down you fool.”, said Abdullah signalling me to put down my gun. I followed his instructions considering gravity of the situation. Soon that man left with furious anger. He spit on the ground and promised to return with hundreds of mujahids.
Zabir came closer to me and hugged me tightly. I asked him, “Who is that guy? And why is he aiming his gun at me?”
“He is among Talib. Every month he comes to patrol our village to ensure that we follow the Saria law as stated in Hadith. He is angry to find that we are protecting an infidel. He has threatened that every man and boy of this village will be slaughtered, and women will be taken away as sex slaves if we do not handover you to them.”, He started crying while saying all that.
I hugged him and said, “Do not worry. Nothing will happen to you or Alia.”
“Did you really mock Allah like that man was saying? He said that giving shelter to an infidel will bring anger from Allah to this village and we all will die of plague.”
“Yes, I did mock the god because of a very less understanding about it. I never thought there was any humanitarian side associated to it as well while reciting his name. Before coming to this village, I always heard the name of Allah by those monsters.”, I said that with brutal honesty. Entire village was gathered to hear me out and make their own assessment about an infidel.
“Allah is above all. He is the only forgiving force to those sinners and that is why it is even more important for those murderers to recite his name. We will have to shift you somewhere else as it is no way safer for you to stay here. Those Talibs can come anytime now after knowing your presence in this village.”, Abdullah came in rescue of mine seeing the mood of the villagers.
“What’s going on Abdullah? I told you to inform the US army base in Torkham. Look, now everyone is in trouble because of me.”
“I did so. They will also be coming but you never know who is going to be the first.”, replied Abdullah.
I decided to walk with them, but they put me on a donkey along with other stuffs and shifted me to a safe house outside the village. It was a small one room hut with a tin roof in between the campus of a small school which they termed as Madrassa. Next day Alia came with some eatables to me all alone and kept staring at me from behind the veil while I was having the food. I gathered all my courage and took the hold of her hands. In all those 26 days I fell in love with her without even seeing her face. She did not resist me and lifted her veil from the face.
“Oh dear! You are so beautiful!! Nothing can be more generous towards an infidel to see your face before leaving this world.”, I said looking at her blissful eyes and slowly kept her hands over my chest. We kept kissing each other for hours. It appeared like time has stopped there relentlessly. My life was changed, and I was no more a soldier. She took me back into my childhood when it was difficult to differentiate between life and dream.
Next day I spoke to Abdullah and shared my ideas with him. “I wish to take both Zabir and Alia with me to America after I am done here. Your country is a beautiful place but it’s war conflicted. I want to marry Alia and give her a new life far away from those gunshots.”
He did not reply to me instantly but after few moments took my hand and kissed it gently. “You are a noble soul indeed and I am sure I can never provide a better future to Zabir and Alia here. Who will look after them if something happens to me?”
It’s been a week since I shifted to this place and it’s constantly raining from last couple of days. Alia also did not turn up today. Around 3 PM I heard an attack from rocket launcher. I took the position with my rifle, but the village was beyond the range of it. Walking through the barren land till the village gate could be suicidal. I was worried about Alia who took my knife yesterday. With every sound of a gunshot my heart started to pound badly.
The rain is relentless. I hear it thrumming on the metal roof and running down the broken pipe into the mud, and I moisten my cracked lips with my tongue. I wonder if they’ll bring me food and water. I wonder if they’re coming at all…