Saturday, October 31, 2009

Graduating to bigger things

Muthu had no job.He had a wife and two children.He had no skill and was a daily wage labourer doing odd jobs in the construction site.Due to down turn in the economy, construction activities had slowed down.Not many houses were coming up.He was not getting jobs daily.Many days he had to remain idle.His wife worked as domestic help in a few houses but the income was not adequate.To add to his woes, she became pregnant.She had no parents alive or siblings to seek help.In a few months she had to leave a few houses.The children were starving and she could not get any help from the neighbours who were themselves poor.

When the younger son cried in hunger, his wife gave him water.The child was not pacified and cried loudly.In frustration she beat the child mercilessly till Muthu intervened saying”Are you a human being or a demon? Can’t you see he is hungry? Why didn’t you get some food from the houses where you work for the children atleast?”

“Who will give food daily? If you have some sense of shame left in you, you would not be idling here in the house without getting some money or food for the children.Don’t sit here.Get out and get something for the children.If you cannot, get atleast rat poison for all the three of us to die.You can continue to remain happily idle.”

He left the hut in a huff stung as he was by his wife’s cruel barbs not knowing where to go.He saw a bakery.Bread packets were being kept in a cart for delivering elsewhere.When he saw the freshly baked bread and remembered the hungry faces of his children, he could not suppress the foolish temptation to pilfer one piece.When this was noticed by the bakery owner he set his employees behind him.He ran with the bread as fast as his legs could carry and was soon near the hut with his chasers close on his heels.But one man caught up with him and tried to grapple him.Muthu to save the bread pushed him hard and freed himself from his grasp and ran faster.He did not notice that the man fell down and hurt his head badly on a rock in the platform. Once he reached his hut he threw the bread inside before they caught him and rained blows on him.

In a few days he found himself inside a jail along with many inmates in a single room.They looked terrible and wicked.They were carefree and enjoying their stay in the place without any regret.He could in a short time know that they had many vices and were hardened criminals coming back to prison very soon everytime they were let out.Some were there for physical assault, some for house-breaking, some for molestation of children and some for ganja. They teased and taunted him when he said he was caught stealing a bread.They could not believe how a man could be so foolish like him.Muthu was struck by remorse for his stealing and cursed his fate for being awarded six months jail for the first offence.He wondered how could a judge could be so heartless and the law insensitive to the pathetic circumstances in which the offense was committed.

But he behaved well and kept himself away from the other inmates.But they made him do all the lowly jobs as if he were a servant.He longed to be free soon from these men and the jail to be with his wife and children.He was determined that he would never come again to a prison and do nothing that was against the law.He started counting the days but the days seemed very long. He did not relish his food when the thought of his hungry children haunted his mind and more often than not he kept it aside without touching much to the gless of his cell mates.

Six months later, he was allowed to go free with an admonition to turn a new leaf and never to come back.He was given some money he had earned there.He got some sweets and some dresses for children and virtually ran home.He wanted to tell his wife that he will learn a new skill and would be never out of work and that he loved the children most.He wished to whisper in her ears that he missed her most and that they were his apple of his eye.

It was midday. He found the hut closed.Most people had gone out for work.He wondered whether his wife had gone for work, where she would have left her children and whether she delivered the baby.He stood there waiting for someone to come that way.An old woman who lived adjacently saw him and called him “You petty thief.Where had you run away? Don’t you know, you loafer, that your wife and the small kids committed suicde the next day eating rat poison? They were ashamed of your being dragged by police before everyone for theft.Go and hang yourself you worthless fellow” and she spat in disgust.

He cried inconsolably and locked himself inside the hut.At midnight a police jeep stopped before the hut and hauled him up as a suspect in a chain snatching case that day.He was back in the jail within a fortnight in the same cell to the delight of his mates.In their eyes he had now graduated to bigger things than pilfering bread and would soon compete for a place with them.


  1. Sad...!

    Let's hope and pray such things never happen in real life sir...

    Will check out other stories I missed...esp something with a happy ending :-)

    BTW, am glad that I'm the first to comment on your well-narrated story! Yaay!

  2. Oh god! It was sucha d epressing story yet very well narrated..I thought there would be a happy ending to it. But I guess, real life is closer to what you have written. Great work! :)

  3. Depressing, but I guess it does happen. Sad to think it can be true.
    Thanks for dropping by at my blog.

  4. the harsh realities in life. but whose to blame KP? the government, their ancestors or they themselves?

    if we live in a third world country, our gov't is surely helpless to address this social problem, as poverty is rampant and though help would come their way, this remains insufficient.

    if born to an impoverished family and there was no way of improving their lot, they will remain poor.

    and sometimes, it's the person itself. if he lacks the will to improve his condition in life, then he will remain poor.

    so much realities have been presented in this post of yours.

    you really write so well of this kind. you haven't tried any other form like poetry? sure you can.

    by the way, i am not updated here, i guess you've clicked my other blog. please check on it, so you will see updates from me.

    have a nice day KP!


  5. oops ... i think i had a smile when i was reading down the lines, but it slowly vanished as i realized he story was only going from bad to worse ...
    oops ... i m just wondering what made you write this one and what are we to get from this story ...

    i thought when got inside his hut, his wife n kids would appear from nowhere to delight ... but you had him placed back in the cell insted oooops ...

  6. vry well framed hw sad na..wish, such things remain in fictional views nly,never turn out to b realstic..!!!

  7. Dear Partha,
    Good Evening!the story is a tragedy.we have this type of vicious circle existing in our society.we never allow someone to improve his behaviour.the family should have been alive!
    wishing you a great weekend,

  8. Oh, such a depressing ending!
    I liked the narration very much.

    First time here, and I'm happy that I found this blog.

  9. A very well expressed story.Thank you.

  10. Wonderful narration! The story is depressing though- but it is realistic, I suppose...

  11. Sad, but I find this thinking about suicide must be discouraged at all level...

  12. I have no words to express my appreciation for this story, its extremely well written. It targets the issue in our society which everyone is aware of but nothing is done, coz sometimes destiny leaves us with nothing else but remourse, but the fighters still fight their way towards truth. May be this is the most difficult test taken by God.
    Thanks for the amazing story!

  13. Tragic story, but closer to the truth I guess. That's how our society works. Once labelled a criminal, always looked upon as a criminal. And suicide is more of an escapism. Frightening to even think abt it! As usual, well written.

  14. Oopss.....
    It a little sad story
    but you write it so wonderful !!
    Thanks for sharing ....
    Anya :)

  15. 'Reflections' is more interesting KP. But the way you narrated here is awesome!!

  16. sad..

    but fr bread ...6 mnths jaill?? ammoo..:(..

    nice narration and as usual..suffered with ur vocab..:(..hahah..

    Thank Youu fr teaching me many words..

  17. interesting me engrossed and really believe the likes it.