Friday, November 9, 2007

Shyamali’s escape


KParthasarathi Friday, November 09, 2007

The whole Kolkata city was then under the grip of panic. People were afraid to stir out of their homes after 9pm.They avoided secluded spots and desolate roads. A maniac was bashing with a heavy stone the heads of the hapless men or women sleeping on the pavements or outside their huts. He derived pleasure in killing solitary individuals he encountered on the way. Police did not have any clue. The media and the public raised a hue and cry at the inability of the police to nab the murderer. He changed his venues depending upon the place where the police mounted its vigil. One day it was Behala, another day at Kasba and Ekbalpur on another day. The homicidal maniac seemed cunning and shifted his operation easily from Ranikuthi to Salimpur baffling the police on where to increase its patrol.Rikshaw pullers refused to pull after 9pm and sought the safety of their homes. Even the homeless beggars found safety in numbers and stayed together. The middle class people avoided moving out alone except in cars.
It was during such fearful times that Shyamali had fallen in deep love with Sayan.He had promised to pick her up around 7PM for a dinner at an exotic restaurant. She wore a bright coloured chiffon salwar suit for the occasion. He came in his two wheeler on dot at 7PM.The dinner was a leisurely affair though not heavy. They had so much to talk about and the time went stealthily unnoticed. Around 9PM.he quietly took out a diamond ring and surprised her with his proposal. She did not expect it so soon although she knew it was coming. She readily accepted. They left immediately and when they saw the moon lit DhakuriaLake, he suggested a small stroll. Both were walking with hands clasped together along the lonely area though they kept close to the main road.
When Shyamali saw a police patrol van moving on the road, she remembered the maniac on prowl. Worried she told Sayan “I am scared about the killer with stone. Let us get out of this place quickly and go home.” Sayan was unwilling to go home so soon after the proposal as he wanted to get a little amorous with her. He put his hand on her shaking shoulder and assured her that she need have no worry as he was there with her. She knew what was in his mind but discretion won over valour. But when he found her pleading with tears in her eyes, he agreed. She was looking hither and thither till she took her seat in the pillion.
When they reached her place, she asked him to drop her at the main road itself. She didn’t want to be seen coming with her lover around 11pm.He demurred and said “I will accompany you up to the gate. This area is dark and surrounded by big trees.”
She said it was hardly two hundred yards to her house and waved her hand for him to depart. When the motor cycle started with a roar and moved on its way, she turned towards her home. She let out a shriek when she saw someone moving behind the trees. She stood there frozen with fear unable to run. The dark figure emerged with a big stone in both the hands. She let out a loud scream again and fainted.
When she opened her eyes she found herself surrounded by family members.Sayan was holding her hand. “It was by Ma’s grace that you escaped narrowly. I did not leave and was waiting for you to reach your home. When I heard your scream I turned the motor cycle and could hit him with the vehicle just as the killer was raising his hands to drop the stone. He is now in the custody of the police “he explained.
When she looked at him admiringly, he mischievously added with a twinkle in his eyes “We could have avoided this unpleasant episode had we stayed at the lake and enjoyed each other’s company for some more time.”

1 comment:

  1. good fiction based on the very real 'Stone-man' terror in Kolkata.