The Night We Met
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. – BM
This is Second part of the story, which further has two parts.
Part B(1) – Going Away
Sumit dada son of my father’s sister, was my role model. His intellect and confidence really touched me profoundly. I always look up to him with extreme gratitude and respect. He after completing his high school from Danapur moved to Brahampura to live with his grandmother. Even though he had lived in village since childhood, no one can say that, as he has a fancy style of living as that of the people in cities. We were really good together and I always enjoy his company and especially his talks. Brahampura was miles away from Danapur but dada still pays regular visit to our place. He was Chacha’s student, Chacha thought him Sanskrit and Mathematics. Chacha has his Phd in mathematics before I was born, he developed his interest in Sanskrit after that, so he again went to college for his masters. Even after his marriage he was willing to go Oxford to be a professor but my grandma always has this fear of losing him, so she didn’t allowed him to move overseas, as she had denied in grandfather’s case. But it was past, and your past always haunts you down no matter how many times you repeat “carpe-diem” in your mind.
There was another reason why Sumit pay regular visit to Danapur, it was because of Soni, daughter of Ranvijay and granddaughter of Bihari ji. Soni was true goddess, she was tall, fair in complexion, charming and caring. I had met her once, in London at that time she was practicing as a cardiac surgeon, I was really drunk that night though I never usually drink that much. The reason for that shall discuss later, but it was long after, Sumit dada died.
That reminds me to turn back to the old and good for nothing days. As I have already mentioned that past haunts you down no matter where you go and how you disguise yourself.
Soni at that time was doing her medical, from Jharkhand University, during summer she came to Danapur to live with her grandparents for a while. Me along with Sumit daily walked towards Bazar, at least three times a day, sometimes Soni’s grandma, recognize us and offer us to come in for some supper, we thank her, for her compassion and return to our house, sometime a glimpse of Soni was hard to get and that hurt my brother Sumit, until that evening when they finally met.
Meanwhile I had developed a huge crush on one of our neighbor’s girl, Radha. She was of my age, and we usually sit together for hours talking. I don’t remember exactly what, but sometimes that binds me to her profoundly. Even at night after dinner we use to look at each other, from the terrace, one night she came over and I remember we end up kissing and then blushing for the next twenty minutes. She was not beautiful and unlike Soni she was not even fair in complexion, but I still liked her. There was one more guy Ayush, son of Kotwal of our town, Ayush was smart and quite patriotic, we never get along with much happiness. He was eccentric, never believe what others said and always questions everything, he always nag about stuff, which is good up to some extent, the reason for his constant contempt for me was the fact that I was a Brahmin, years later I came to know that when he was a child of six, his mother eloped with a Brahmin from that time onwards he started hating Brahmins. His father the Mr. big belly button always stays at the police station, he has the duty to maintain peace in seven village, with the Rifles of 18th century and red bamboos sticks of Vedic era.
Soni’s primary education took place in a junior school at Danapur, then she was sent to hostel in Ranchi. At that time she came for her tutions to chachi. So one day she came to visit us especially to meet chachi. Sumit and I were on the terrace and we were thinking about some plan to talk to her and then suddenly,
“Look she is coming this way” I pointed.
We both bent down,
“What…. should… I …do…” Dada panicked.
“Calm down dada, and go downstairs…” I said in assuring tone
“Are you insane, what if she come here to complain about us” Dada still panicked
“No, she is here to meet chachi” I said and explained
He relieved a little bit and stood up. “Ok, let’s go down. ”
Soni was sitting in the room next to mine, Chachi was making tea and asked me to brought some sugar from the bazar . I came to my room, me and Soni had a eperhmal eye contact, in which she bowed for a moment and I being young and foolish, didn’t reacted with much chivalrous. Although she was seven or eight years older than me, but still she was obligated to bow to everyone regardless of there age, in a Brahmin house. This is something she had learn from her religions grandma. Sumit was nervous, he had no idea what to do, he was restless and unable to figure out his move.
Sumit came out of his fear and stepped forward and their eyes met, it was hard to say as if Soni actually recogniz Dada but there was a little bit glow over her face, a promise that she had made to herself which is to smile and bow in a Brahmins house. And then.
Soni- I am certainly glad to see you again.
Sumit- I am certainly glad to see you too.
They both were literally blushing, and embarrassed of all those childhood days.
I ran towards the bazaar, on the way I saw Ayush, sitting under the tree, and writing something, ignoring him I ran to the store a brought sugar and returned.
When I came I watched everyone laughing, so I put the sugar in kitchen and came out to join them, “He is my brother,” Sumit Dada said to Soni, “oh hello” she said. Perhaps that was the first time I looked at her properly, she had a kind of eyes that is rarely seen in Indian girls, they were brown just the way a girl’s in Persian painting with round eyebrows, She was a goddess of purity and that just arrived from the heaven with flawless voice, and face that you wish to capture and hang it in your room and watch it every morning in order to have a great day.
“Hello!” I said for the very first time.
“So you two were in same school?” Asked chachi
“Yes Mami ji, and we were good friend, but then she moved to Patna and.. the rest is history” said Sumit dada
“So what are you doing these days? Sumit ”
“I am doing B.Com from Rajendra college” Sumit dada continued “what about you,?”
“MBBS from women’s college Ranchi” Soni said
“That is fabulous” Sumit dada said.
Chachi got a call from her school, she excuse herself.
“So how long are you staying here” Sumit dada asked
“May be a week and half, why?” Soni said
“No just asking.” And then there was silence for some time.
“So would like to go around” out of the blue, Soni breaked the ice.
“Yes…. What…. Sorry” Sumit stammered
“Go around and see our old school, and may be the river. If it’s ok” she said.
“Well, why..why not… ” sumit said nervously bobbling his head.
Then they met daily and spend quality of time together. Talking, and walking for hours and hours. A week flew like eperhma for sumit wanted her to make his forever. On her last day, sumit brought rose plant for her, from near by nursery, she was happy as she had not only find a friend but a good friend. She promised to write him letter. She kept her promise, within first week she wrote a letter to sumit thanking him for showing her around, and also to be a good friend she also said that she couldn’t wait to come back and visit all those place all over again. Dada loved the smell of the letter and also the politeness with which it was written. He replied, and this series of posting letter continued. Meanwhile Ayush the son of Kotwal started publishing a small weekly named ‘Hind ki jai’ in which all his thought regarding Hinduism was compared to patriotism. His extremist thought and offensive voice targeted the people who were doing nothing for the welfare of this country, who were not patriotic enough. Soon his thought turn into action and a major revolution at Danapur as well as neighboring village took place.
My vacation was over so I returned to Delhi. I promised Sumit Dada to return soon. I never did.
New Delhi 1985
I return Delhi with a very warm feeling in my heart for my home town. Dad during those days was too busy with all his work. A new government had just formed, in the center, all the finance related corruption that took place under the governance of previous government was to be checked. Mother remained the part of her daily big social gatherings, life in city was now a trouble for me I just wanted to get rid of all these fancy lifestyle and go and live with an uneasy life at my native place. I missed Radha, I wished I could spend some more time with her, I remembered our first kiss on the terrace. Whom was I kidding with this whole social life in city stink, here people only respect those who carry checkbook in his coat pocket, here smiles were plastic, and love was unrealistic, animosity was in the veins of people, the greed for money and power can be easily seen in the eyes of these social animals.
I scored sixty percent in my terminal exams, father was not so happy about that, I choose humanities in college, again dad was not much happy about that, I started working with a Non-government organization and again dad was not so happy about that, My father wanted me to join defense, but I on the other hand wanted to help people, so my path was crystal clear.
Sumit dada wrote me once in a month, last time his letter really got interesting, he told me about how he and Soni are really getting along and how he asked her to go out with him on a movie, I must admit Sumit is really hitting it off! I asked him about chacha and chachi that how they both are doing and does Radha asked about me and what does that douc-bag Ayush is up to these days. His reply was still pending so I was waiting eagerly to hear something from Radha. But I didn’t herd anything back from Sumit Dada.
Ayush’s weekly “Hind Ki Jai” gained not only a wide numbers of readers but also a large number of followers. His thought provoking ideas and attitude burn the flame of nationalism in the heart of his community leading to a serious damage to people’s mindset, very soon these patriotism in the heart of people converted into jingoism. All the big businessmen and zamindar’s were the first target of Ayush’s unsettling philosophy. According to him, If you want complete freedom then first you need to shut down there big businesses and capture their capital for your own support, the way he justify himself in his wrong doings, was outstanding. Supporters listen to this twenty two year old patriotic sculpture profoundly, his ideas became there action and his words become their motive. Big zamindars and businessmens from neighboring villages started to shift their business and those who couldn’t afford to shift had to surrender themselves to this “freedom fighter”, those who don’t agree to surrender were ambushed and there family had to suffer a lot. Bihari ji when heard about this, called home ministry asking them for security, as Bihari ji was loyal to the miniister and provide them funds annually. Morality called and they had to send security. A dozens of commando, in black attire with SMG and rifles arrived by evening, Ayush came to know about that by next day. By this time his confidence and power both were at pinnacle. He called a meeting and conclusion were made that the arms and ammunitions is to be brought and attack should began as soon as possible.
Soni was at her grandparents’ those days, Sumit asked her out for movie, she agreed but it was indeed tough to take permission from her grandmother. So she lied to her and told her that she need to go to a friend’s house to study, grandmother hesitated to send her out in this situation, she reluctantly agreed to send her.
Ayush arrived at Bihari ji’s house, with a moto of negotiation, but ironically there was nothing to negotiate about. The security guards didn’t allowed Ayush’s followers to enter inside. Ayush was checked thoroughly and send in with a guard. Bihari ji was sitting, reading Bhagvat Gita.
Ayush entered in the proximity of the Bihari ji and said-
paritraanaaya sadhuunaam vinaashaaya chadushkritaam |
dharma samsthaapanaarthaaya sambhavaami yuge yuge ||
(For the protection of the good, for the destruction of the evil and for the establishment of dharma (righteousness), I (the Lord) am born from age to age.)
Bihari ji smiled and seeing the incompetence of knowledge of this young lad, said
krodhaadbhavati sammohah sammohaatsmritivibhramah |
smritibhramshaadbuddhinaasho buddhinaashaatpranashyati ||
(From anger comes delusion; from delusion, confused memory; from confused memory the ruin of reason; from ruin of reason, man finally perishes.)
Ayush get irritated and furious too. He didn’t wanted to his time much speaking to this old man. So he directly came to the point,
yatkaroshhi yadashnaasi yajjuhoshhi dadaasi yath |
yattapasyasi kaunteya tatkurushhva madarpanamh ||
(whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you offer (in sacrifice), whatever you give away, whatever you do by way of penance, offer it all to me.)
Again Bihari ji looked at Ayush and smiled, he knew that all the point that he was making, all his claims to make a better country were false and he was incapable to be a leader of such a huge mass. Bihari ji then said-
kaama eshha krodha eshha rajogunasamudbhavah |
mahaashano mahaapaapma viddhyenamiha vairinamh ||
(Desire and anger which are born out of passion are insatiable and prompt man to great sin and should be recognized as enemies.)
Listening to this Ayush knew that this old man was in no mood of negotiation so he left the house with red eyes, and returned with the mob in the evening, and crossfire took place.
When Sumit came to leave Soni, they herd hooding and gun fire, Soni was really worried about her grandparents. Sumit settled Soni at a safe place and ran towards the mob, grabbing Ayush from behind he asked him to stop, the tears of rivalry and agony in the eyes of Ayush could be seen clearly,
“Pandit you better get out of the way” said Ayush,
” No, I won’t do you realize, what are you doing?”
“Yes, this should end, today” Ayush said and reload his weapon.
” No, Ayush nobody will get anything, this just bring destruction and nothing more than that.”
” Pandit, destruction will let this capitalist understand the life of 65 percent population who lives under destitute and leading a life animal, nobody stands for their rights, none care about them, their mother and wife’s are treated as a mere slaves by these capitalist and there children die in hunger.”
Clearly Ayush’s mind was baffled and he even had a proper logic to justify himself.
“so instead of targeting them, why don’t you help those who need help, why don’t you think about their welfare why? Why??”
“Get out from my way Pandit, just get lost”
Soni ran toward Sumit, some of Ayush followers located her and tried to capture her, they also came running towards him.
” Pandit you stay away from all this, otherwise it won’t harm anyone if a Brahmin die here.”
“leave the girl and I will forgot what you just said” Sumit said.
All of them laughed and one man came forward to take Soni,
Sumit grabbed his hand and rolled it instantly,
he screamed with pain, and fall on the ground grunting.
Another man ran forward and kick
Sumit ducked grabbing the leg of that person and pushed him over the first man, they both fall at some distance. Then another came running forward Sumit punched him on face hard that a narrow stream of blood came out of his nose, he then again came running forward, Sumit bend and kicked his chest that he smashed himself on the wall and fall there.
the security guards were able to clear most of the mob but still some of them were hiding and firing at a regular interval, very soon the guards captured them all seized there weapons. Bihari ji came out and witnessed blood of his fellow villagers, and some from neibouring village, bodies of young boys lying stiff and dead. Suddenly he heard Soni’s scream from a corner, he saw Ayush fighting with Sumit.
“leave her pandit , I don’t wanna to harm you”
“minutes back, accomplice of yours said the same thing to me, look there, how they are lying on the ground with all the pain and helplessness”
“we can sort out this later, but first give me this girl”
“NO, I love her, if anyone, anyone try to put his hand on her I will destroy that bustard…”
finally Soni heard what every girls desire to hear some day in her life, she was not afraid anymore she held Sumit tightly,
“okay then we’ll see ”
Ayush came forward and Sumit too,
Ayush pushed Sumit defend,
Ayush jumped and kicked Sumit slide sideways,
Ayush pushed his elbow sideways,
Sumit catches his elbow and pushed it away, Ayush lost his balance and fall on the ground Sumit came forward and hit Ayush with his leg.
Bihari ji grabbed a refile from the guard and moved forward to take an aim.
Ayush grabbed Sumit leg and pulled himself up, Sumit controlling his balance stood, Ayush grabbed sumit by neck and in this time Sumit saw Bihari ji taking an aim towards Ayush.
Bihari ji fired the rifle,
Sumit instincts were fast, he pushed Ayush back and came forward,
bullet embed into Sumit”s chest and he instantly fall on the ground.
Soni didn’t understood what happended, neither did Ayush, Bihari ji came running towards Sumit, Soni and Ayush too, Sumit was hardly breathing,
“pandit….pandit…. pandit….. You saved me, why WHY?” Ayush scremed.
The guards captured Ayush,
” leave me, I said leave me, PANDIT, you cannot die pandit, pandit…”
Bihari ji stood there looking at his sobbing granddaughter.
To be continued.