Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kanchana's kindness

Manoharan was a vile man and had all the vices. Commencing as a party worker, he had come up the rungs of the party doing for the party and its leaders things that others would hesitate to do. He was a local leader and money was never in want. He had a palatial bungalow in the heart of the city and lived a life of comfort and luxury. He was more dreaded than respected by the people, the traders and the industrialists in the area.The party needed him as much as he needed it. He had many enemies but had a gang of sidekicks around him always as protection. He had no fear of the law enforcement machinery as it turned a blind eye to his various transgressions of law.
Manoharan had a wife, Kanchana by name and a daughter. The girl was married off even while young and lived comfortably in another state. His wife who was obese and a diabetic had become sick and needed help. A young woman, Lalitha in her early thirties and her son of nine years stayed in the house looking after the kitchen and ministering to the lady’s needs. Her husband had deserted her after falling for the charms of another woman. Life was cruel to a single woman without the support of a man. She had none to help her and led a miserable life in want till she found this job. Kanchana who was a very good person was pleased with the soft spoken Lalitha as she was efficient in her work and timid by nature. She took a liking for the boy and had put him in a nearby school and took care of his needs.Lalitha was happy that her boy no longer underwent the pangs of hunger and was well fed.
Her happiness was however short lived. The lecherous eyes of Manoharan fell on her youthful body and he started pestering her. She resisted his advances and kept herself away from him as much as possible. She did not tell the lady of the house unknowing how she would react and afraid that she may throw her and her son out of the house. Unrelenting in his efforts to get her, Manoharan cornered her one noon when Lalitha was changing the sheets in his bedroom in the first floor. Kanchana was in the ground floor chatting with the boy who had not gone to school that day. Emboldened with none around to come to her rescue he grabbed the shocked woman from behind and pushed her towards the bed. He put his hands on her mouth and her shrieks were muffled.Manoharan being strong and muscular had no difficulty in over powering her despite her fight to free herself from his clutches. When he let go his hand from her mouth when violating her modesty she screamed and wailed. Unmindful he satiated his carnal lust on the hapless woman. The boy who heard the distant screams rushed to find the landlord on his mom. The boy saw a gun on the chest of drawers and took it in his hands. He shouted “Leave her alone. I warn you.” When the man turned in disbelief and saw the boy with the gun pointed at him he shouted back “You fool. Drop it or I will kill you.’ The boy saw his mother in tears with her clothes torn and ripped apart. He could not contain his swelling rage and pulled the trigger twice at the approaching figure.Manoharan fell down when the two bullets pierced thro his heart.
The lady came up panting and breathing hard. She sized up the situation immediately and asked the sobbing Lalitha and her son to go to kitchen after changing her dress and not utter one word about it to any one. When they left, she took the gun, wiped it clean of all prints with her sari and left the gun on the floor. She waited for a few minutes and then came running to the portico screaming and shouting. The party men who were near the gate dashed in. Soon the police also came rushing with their sniffer dogs. The dogs ran hither and thither within the house and could not give any leads.Kanchana told the police that she knew her husband was getting frequent threats though he would not tell her from whom. He had many enemies both within the political party and those that opposed it. He had also ruined the lives of many innocent families through his extortions, out of court settlements and criminal assaults on womenfolk. She felt it must have been a vengeful act of some victim.
There was a silent jubilation at the people’s level. The police also surmised the killing must be due to political rivalry and in the absence of any clue felt the assailant could have made good his escape in the melee when all party men rushed into the house after the murder. Needless to tell that Lalitha and the boy served the lady for years sincerely and gratefully with Lalitha taking care of her as a daughter would do to a mother.

1 comment:

  1. another good post.kanchana does the right thing and lalitha is a grateful character.thus, their goodness was mutual.