Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Dad's sacrifice

by KParthasarathi Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Gupta was busy working on his laptop when his 10 year old daughter Meenu came rushing to him. She had her three friends in tow. She asked in plaintive tone “Dad, can I go and play in the park with my friends. They have put new swings and slides there. Lot of children play and there is no need to be afraid of” Gupta hesitated for a while. His wife was away at her office. He finally agreed as the park was very close by and told her “You four must all be together. You can play for just one hour. Take care. Do not talk to strangers” The memories of Nitihari killings were fresh in his mind. He would have liked to accompany them but the work on hand had to be completed that day itself.
It was hardly ten minutes when the three girls came running towards him. He could not see Meenu with them. He became highly anxious that something untoward had happened. The girls panting for breath spoke in chorus”Uncle, one young man who came in Maruti dragged Meenu inside his car even when we were proceeding to the park. She screamed and few passers by also saw. He drove the blue car in a matter of seconds.” They started crying telling that they could not save Meenu although one of them held her skirt tightly. He rushed with them to the spot. There were a few people talking about how unsafe the city had become. There were no clues from the children except that he was about twenty in blue jeans with whiskers and long hairs and that he had dark glasses.Gupta went to the police station and lodged a complaint. They visited the spot and made enquiries there. They promised to trace the child and nab the culprits immediately. The inspector was very nice and put a couple of men on the job as he knew the media would flash by the evening their reports in headlines.Gupta and his wife who had returned from office were praying intensely in their puja room. Some relatives had also assembled to give moral support.
It was at four pm that day when there was a call from the police asking Gupta to reach there immediately. The Inspector took him to an isolated part of the road leading away from the park and showed him a naked girl of ten lying unconscious amidst bushes.Gupta identified his daughter. She was badly battered. Her one eye was swollen, her lips cut and there were bruises and cuts all over the body indicating resistance by her and blood was smeared on her stomach and legs. It was evident she had been criminally assaulted by a brute repeatedly as Gupta came to know later from the hospital. She was rushed to emergency room in the hospital. Luckily the timely efforts could bring her back to normal in a week. But she was yet to recover from the trauma and the horrible memories remained etched in her mind. The entire family and friends were all mentally agitated needing a very long time for the scars to heal. Despite the best efforts of the police and the sketches published in papers and shown on TV, they could get no clue of the culprit. There were assurances that the police would nab him soon and they were in hot pursuit of some leads.
Meenu had not started going to school. One afternoon as Gupta was reading the news paper and while Meenu was watching the TV, she suddenly yelled ”Dad, look out. It is the same fellow come again.” Gupta quickly turned to see the young fellow with wickedness writ large on his face approaching Meenu.Quickly he realized his intent. He was trying to remove the one witness who could see him behind bars.Gupta pounced on him and grappled with him. He thought of his young daughter and how her innocence was robbed by the brute in his hold .He wished to strangle him and tightened his grips. But that beast was too strong for the middle aged Gupta. In a jiffy he pulled out a sharp knife and started repeatedly stabbing him in the arm and stomach.Meenu seeing her dad falling hit hard on the head of the young man with the cricket bat that she found by her side. She hit him twice and stopped when he tumbled down. She went out and screamed for help. It took a little while for the neighbours to rush and take Gupta to the hospital. The best medical attention could not save him.Meenu was shattered at the great loss and a sense of sadness descended on her. She cried inconsolably along with her mom. But deep within her, she was proud of her father for taking revenge on the wicked man by fighting with him till she came to her dad’s rescue. He did not die in vain. The man was sure to be hung. Her dear dad gave his life to save her from what he perceived as a threat to her honour again and also her life.

1 comment:

  1. Good one again, Parthasarathi.
    Meenu will remember how her father fought for her safety and honour. Though the loss will pain her, she will remember his fatherly love and this will help her to heal. Moreover, it will reinstate her faith in basic human-goodness.
    Best wishes,