Friday, August 30, 2013

The rendezvous

Swapan entered the bedroom looking for Divya.Not finding her, he found the bathroom was also vacant. He was to leave for Mumbai early morning the next day. Wondering where she would have gone, he looked out of the window to see her talking across the fence to Shanthi their neighbor. He saw her iPad open on the bed. He wished to shut it when he chanced upon an email. Not one given to reading her mails, he was impelled to read when he saw the salutation as Divya dearest. One can gauge what went through his mind when he read the following mail
Divya dearest,
After my chat with you yesterday I could hardly sleep the whole night. I need to meet you soonest. You were mentioning that we can meet leisurely when your husband goes on tour. You were also telling he may go tomorrow morning. Can we meet tomorrow at Dominos near your home at 10 am and decide the venue where we can spend the day together.
I have lots of things to share with you. I loved and married a wrong person. My spouse is a clumsy blunderbuss. We are incompatible in every aspect, physical, intellectual and emotional. We frequently quarrel and stop talking to each other for days. I derive no joy from that good for nothing. My marriage has utterly failed. I wish to put an end to this farce.
You are my only recourse. We have been very close since our college days and we keep our friendship as green as ever even after marriage. I need an outlet and look to you for my next step. You were mentioning that though your marriage cannot be termed as a failure it lacked the fizz and excitement of the initial years. We are in the same boat somewhat, lols.Looking forward to meet you tomorrow. Send me a sms.
Love and hugs
Swapan became confused. “Who is this R close to her since college days whom she has not mentioned about but whom she is meeting regularly? Is she taking off from work tomorrow for this secret rendezvous? What is the crap about lack of fizz and excitement? This tour is not important. I am having headache. I will not go but will leave home early as planned” he was telling himself. He left the iPad as it was and sat in the hall before TV.
Meanwhile Divya came in laughing to herself. On seeing him looking at her she said “Sorry, Shanthi was talking to me and would never let me go. She was complaining about her in-laws who were expected to arrive tomorrow”
“What is there to laugh about for you?” he asked rather abrasively
“Nothing” she replied hurt by the tone of his voice.
“I will call you at your office tomorrow after reaching Mumbai around 11am” he said casually
“No, I am not going to office tomorrow. I just wish to relax” she replied.
He did not react and left the hall quietly. He was now convinced something was amiss that needed to be probed.
The next day around 10.30 am he entered Dominos with his hat drawn, sun glasses and a false mustache, He saw in the corner Divya talking animatedly with another lady of her age. After some time they left and he quietly followed them to find them entering his house. Am I being foolish or has she got a scent of his reading her mail, he wondered?
He rang her up after a while and asked “How are you? I hope you are relaxing free from office pressures”
“I am enjoying with my friend Ranjana, my closest buddy since my college days. She sent me an email asking me to meet her today at Dominos. Poor thing, she is passing through troubled times with her hubby and looking to me for advice” she replied.
“I know. What advice can you offer in a personal matter like that” he asked
“How do you know”” she asked
“I know because you were telling me. Do you suspect me reading your mails?”
“No, not at all. I was just telling her that after sometime small differences crop up and that she should give him his space. I even fibbed to her that the fizz and excitement have gone out of our lives too though you know it has surely not” she said with a giggle.”I wish that you meet her one of the weekends at our home’ she added
Late that night when they were in the bed, he whispered into her ears” Is it that you miss the fizz these days” and dragged her close to him even as she hit him gently  on his chest in feigned anger.
“Thank god if he has seen just that mail. Let me clear my inbox first thing early morning” she decided

Thursday, August 29, 2013

A redeeming example

Bhilla’s granny was in her last moments and the boy of 19 was crying by her side when Ranga had gone there in deference to her wishes. They lived in the adjacent tenements in a chawl.There was a deathly pallor and she had difficulty in breathing. When she saw Ranga, he could notice a flicker of brightness in her eyes. As he sat by her side, she took his hand and with much difficulty she said “I entrust Bhilla in your care. There is none for him. He is a wayward boy given to bad habits. Still he is my grandson. Please promise me that you would keep him under your shelter and make a man of him.”
“Grandma, please do not worry. Rest assured that I will take care of him as my younger brother” Ranga replied.
There was a faint trace of smile in her face before her life ebbed out.
Bhilla though younger by 5 years than Ranga, had lot of vices. Under compulsion by Ranga, he distributed along with him the morning dailies and did some odd errands in the day time. He spent the money he earned on drugs and cheap whores.Ranga though he occasionally drank was more responsible as he had a mother and sister to take care of.Ranga’s mother did not allow Bhilla to stay in her house and even advised her son to move away from him.
It was 6pm and the two were sitting on a bench idly smoking cigarette inside the lawns of a government school. The school was empty as everyone had left. The durwan was also not to be seen and evidently he must have gone nearby as the gates were open. It was then a girl of about 17 came inside the school in a hurry. She looked around for the durwan. Bhilla asked her “What are you looking for. The old man has gone out.”
“I left my handbag by mistake in the class. I wished to take it back” she said innocently.
“If you know the class room, I can accompany you. You can bring it out in a minute” said Bhilla
“It is in first floor. I would prefer to wait for durwan. He should be here any minute” she said
“I am not so sure as he was carrying a big bag. It is no problem for me to escort you as the school is empty and getting darker”
The girl hesitated for a few moments and then agreed to follow Bhilla who was already moving towards the staircase. Ranga said “Bhilla, you must be back within a minute as soon as the girl finds the bag”
“Don’t worry” he replied as he hopped two steps at a time over the staircase.
Ranga was not comfortable sending the young girl with Bhilla into the desolate building but thought girl would be apprehensive if both accompanied her. Bhilla was fair and had a boyish face with dimple when he smiled. Ranga was not good looking and had a pock marked face. Ranga let him go and sat on the bench.
Within a few minutes he heard a faint scream from inside the school. He ran inside worried that Bhilla was at his mischief. Worried about the safety of the girl, he hurried looking for the two in the several classrooms filled with tables and chairs. When he neared one, he heard a muffled cry and went inside to find Bhilla overpowering the girl after tearing her clothes. He gave a hard whack on Bhilla’s head and pushed him away from the girl. The girl ran to a corner cowering in fright. Even as he was telling the girl to run away, Bhilla whisked a knife and stabbed Ranga in the hand and body. Ranga held Bhilla under his clasp and shouted to the girl “Run away to the road. Don’t stay”
The girl ran out of the room and Bhilla in a rage attacked Ranga again and ran behind the girl. In a few minutes many people came inside the room where Ranga was writhing in pain. They had caught Bhilla near the gate as he was chasing the girl.. While the police admitted Ranga in a hospital, Bhilla was in their custody at the station.
Bhilla had alleged that Ranga was trying to outrage the modesty of the girl and that since he was strong he had no option but to attack Ranga with knife to save the girl.
The next day as Ranga was drowsy in bed and in pain with bandages in several parts of the body with a policeman sitting by his side. When he heard shuffling of feet by his side ,he opened the yes and saw to his surprise the girl accompanied by her father and an inspector of police by his side. Ranga looked at her bewildered not knowing why she came with inspector. She smiled at him and asked him”Please extend your hand. Today is Raksha Bandhan.Let me tie a Rakhi” She gave him a big sweet packet after tying the rakhi and said “You are truly my brother. But for you my life would have been ruined. You saved me in the nick of the moment. I had explained the sequence of events to the inspector.”
Ranga said in feeble tone “I saw in you my sister of your age. I was alert as  I knew Bhilla and his character.”
The inspector patted him on his shoulders and said “I am happy that you acted nobly and very differently from many who indulge in gang rape on hapless victims that fell under their control. You are indeed a role model. The police would recommend your name for a reward.”
The father said “I would not be lagging behind. I will take care of you by providing a good job and also take care of your family. We are immensely indebted to you for saving my daughter even when you faced danger”

Monday, August 26, 2013

The deal

Suresh is a worried man. His business was nose diving with literally no order in the books.He had built his business big with men and machinery investing huge capital by borrowing from many sources. They were all idle. Since a year all the contracts were going in favour of his only rival Kartik.The others in the field were small time businessmen and were content with small orders. Till a year back Suresh got the lion's share of the business .Of late Kartik managed to clinch all the deals. It was a wonder how he was able to accomplish this as Suresh was very liberal in keeping the officials happy. They were virtually on his payroll and on festive days their family members were also kept pleased with gifts of jewels and fine clothes. May be his rival besides quoting at unworkable rates was also greasing their palms equally well. Added to that Kartik’s work was good with no time or cost overrun. It was clear to Suresh that Kartik was bent upon driving him away from the scene. Kartik was fully aware how Suresh was trying to harm him by compelling him to work with practically no margin.
The banks were on Suresh's heels as the huge debts were not regularly serviced. Even making payment of salaries was proving difficult. Suresh tried in vain to poach and bring Kartik’s key employees. There was no way he could dislodge his competitor from the scene. Outwardly Suresh maintained cordial relations with his rival but was really seething in anger. He attended Kartik's daughter's marriage and gifted a large silver pot. None can discern any enmity between them.
Things became very bleak and he had to find a permanent solution to this wretched problem.
Blade Babu was surprised to see the rich businessman Suresh at his doors early in the morning. The prefix  was the sequel to the blade he employed in his early pocket picking days. Why he would come personally unless the matter was important, he wondered. Babu was a history sheeter with every crime from intimidation, riot, rape, murder against him. He was a contract killer for a fee and accomplished his job smoothly leaving no trail to his hirer.
“Good morning, Sir. I am honoured by your visit. You could have sent a word and I would have come to your place” he said.
“It is okay. In fact I did not want you to be seen at my place as the matter is very delicate”
“I understand, Sir.Tell me what I can do for you. I am at your beck and call” Babu said in an ingratiating tone.
“Thanks. My business is in doldrums because of Kartik.I hope you know my competitor.”
“Sure, Sir, I know him though I have not interacted with him so far. He lives in Neelankarai in a palatial bungalow”
“Yes, the very same man. I pleaded with him that we two share the business equally without undercutting each other. He not only refused arrogantly but works at loss making rates only to eliminate me from the business. All my efforts to reason with him have failed” Suresh said
“Oh, I am sorry. Why he wouldn’t amicably work with you is beyond me. In what way I can help you?”he asked
“I want a permanent end to the problem. Money does not matter. You are talented in this.”Suresh said in soft tone almost inaudibly.
“I understand. He is a rich man and must have clout. But I have handled such people also. It would cost much as there is risk” Babu said equally softly
“How much?”
“25 lakhs”
Suresh opened his leather bag and handed over bundles of notes.”Here is 20 lakhs.I will pay you the balance after the job is done” he said
“Pay me the full amount. I do not want you or your man to meet me afterwards.”Babu said
Suresh paid the balance and asked “When will this be done?”
“Anytime within two days. Please do not contact me on any score. Have some buttermilk before you go. I will keep the money inside and come in a minute” Babu said
“Thanks. I will wait for you” Suresh said happily and smiled at the thought the job is done so easily
As he was sitting with closed eyes thinking about the likely big jump in business, he felt a metal pressing his head in the rear. Before he could turn in panic, he saw million stars exploding and a brilliant light as he heard faintly someone telling “K Sir... Luckily the guy himself came here and the matter has been settled to your satisfaction” All was quiet thereafter even as Blade Babu laughed loudly at his double fortune.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Food for the soul

Mariam, a destitute, begged daily near a church and traffic signal. She got enough coins  to buy food for one meal. It was raining that day and she had a small packet of bread given that morning at church by a kindly visitor. It was past noon and she was very hungry
“Grandma, my child is starving for two days. Can you share some?” she heard from a young woman with small kid in her arms.
Without second thought she gave the entire packet. What if there is no food for stomach, there is enough for the soul, she thought.
(This was written in response to 100 word Saturday prompt of  "Food For Soul" on WT.)..

Friday, August 23, 2013

The wrist watch

­­­­“Akul, Akul…. Where are you?” I heard my husband shouting from the study.
The Nepali boy of 12 who worked for me ran from the kitchen where he was making tea.
“Where is the wrist watch I kept on the table a while ago? It is only 8am and nobody had come to our house so far.
“Tell me the truth, you little rascal” shouted my husband.
There was silence. I was doing the puja that day being a Friday.
Meanwhile he had gone to the boy’s small room at the rear and had the box opened to find his watch inside.
I heard a slap and then my husband’s voice” You ungrateful thief. I have  never liked your shifty eyes. I don’t want you anymore. Take your things and get out”
I heard the boy sobbing without responding to the accusation.
I left the puja in the middle and rushed in to see my husband holding the watch and the boy standing before him averting his gaze by lowering his head.
“Why are you accusing the young child? I had only given him the watch a little while ago” I said
“Who are you to gift my watch without my permission? Why didn’t he tell me so?”roared my husband
“Do remember that out of the six watches you have, I had gifted you five. This one you don’t wear as it has a metal strap and it hurts your wrist. When has it become things in our house like yours and mine?"
“You can gift the other watches also to your friends, I don’t care. Who am I to question you?” he replied. Touched by remorse at having slapped the boy, he added”At least you should have had the courtesy of telling me beforehand. I would not have wrongly accused the chap”
“I was busy with Friday puja.Who ever thought that you would be in a foul mood early in the morning?” I said
After my husband left for office, I called Akul and asked “Why did you do this? Have I ever kept you in want?”
The boy fell at my feet and clasped them  as he said “Sorry, ma.I have betrayed your confidence in me. My friend from my village who works in the bakery across the road told me that his mom told him while he was talking to her that my father was hit by a lorry and is in hospital. He also said that his mom mentioning that my mom had no money.”
“You should have told me and I would have given you money. How can you steal? Is it not a sin?”
“I am very sorry ma.I did it in a weak moment when the devil took possession of my mind. I promise I will never in my life do such things again. Please do not send me away. I beg of you>”he implored
“It is ok.Never do again. I have faith in you. Let me go to ATM and draw some money. I will give you 5000 rupees and we can send it to your home immediately. Don’t open the door for anyone and take care.
I returned in 30 minutes and pressed the bell. The door was not opened. I pressed again with concern. When the door was not opened, I opened with my key and rushed in. I smelt something burning and rushed to the kitchen. I saw Akul lying in the floor in pain and crying .I saw an iron ladle by his side.
“Akul, what have you done to yourself? Remove the towel over your hand “I shouted only to see the deeply scalded hand of the boy from the hot ladle. I lifted the boy in my arms and rushed to ER.
“Ma, please excuse me. This will ever be a reminder to me in my life to stay straight. I could not bear your telling a lie on my behalf” Tears flowed from my eyes as I hugged the urchin

Monday, August 19, 2013

The phone call

Trring, trring....the telephone rang repeatedly. It was noon.
"Is Krithika there?"asked a voice softly
  "Madam is taking her bath. Who is calling?"
"Tell me who you are"
"Subbiah, I am the cook .If you tell me your name, I can inform madam"
“You can say Ravi. Do you work whole time?"
"No sir, I will leave in another hour. I work up to 1 pm."                                                                          "Is the master available at home? I will have a word with him"
"No sir, he has gone on tour and will come after two days"
"I will ring after sometime. Is madam going out?"
"No sir, the car has gone for service. Madam will be in the house watching TV"
"Why, is there no one else? Kids?"
"No one.She will be alone.. They have no children. Don’t you know?"
Ravi was very happy. Ever since he met her in a party, he was struck by her beauty. She even danced with him but was half drunk. Whether by design or accident, her body frequently brushed with his and he took that she was indicating her interest. But she never asked his name or details. She went away dancing with others. Ravi elicited her name and number from the hostess.
From then on he stalked her. But she never showed sign of recognition or interest  even when he accosted her once and mentioned about her dancing with him. She did not seem to recollect though she admitted that she attended the party. She brushed aside his advances and requested him not to bother her. But he was not one to take a no easily.
The opportunity he had been waiting for had materialized today. He had a shower and dabbed himself with deodorant. Exactly after one hour he went to her place and rang the bell hoping to catch her alone. He was confident that his masculine charm can overcome her initial resistance.
One man looking like a servant opened the door and asked him to come in and be seated. When Ravi looked questioningly, he said" I am Subbiah.I had informed madam about your phone call. Aren't you mister Ravi? She is expecting you"
"Oh, very good. You had said that your job is up to 1pm."
"Yes sir, I was held up. I will get you coffee and then go away"
"No, no.I don't need anything. I don't want to detain you. You can go. I will also go after a few minutes"
"Okay sir. I will inform madam. Please wait"
A couple of minutes later Subbiah in a clean shirt and pant with his arm on Krithika along with an inspector of police  entered the hall.
The inspector held Ravi's arm even when Krithika was telling "This is the guy who has been stalking me and frequently telephoning. He will tell his name and plead with me to meet him. When I stopped answering, he would still ring and I could hear the heavy breathing. I was hesitant to tell my husband initially and one day when he asked why I shuddered whenever the phone rang, I confided in him. Today he duped this guy as if he is a cook and made him come telling that I am alone."
Abruptly Ravi fell at the feet of Krithika and said" Please forgive me this time. I will no more trouble you. Since you were on intimate terms with my friends Subash and Kumar, I thought you would be friendly with me too. I am sorry"
“It is a lie, a blatant lie” she screamed
“No, I can bring them to you and make them tell” Ravi protested
Krithika's face became pale and lowering her head she ran inside her room even as her husband looked at her in utter disbelief.
Suddenly the inspector turned to Ravi and bellowed angrily " Get lost this moment, you wretch. Next time I see you stalking her or telling lies, I will put you in jail and torture you."

The inspector friend then gently put his arm on her dazed husband and led him to the sofa.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The cryptic letter

As she turned the key of the door to her apartment, she found an envelope projecting from the crevice in the door. She found her name Stella Mathew written clearly with proper address in long hand. It was a printed envelope from a church in a town about 250 miles away. Wondering whether it could be a request for a donation or for voluntary service, she pulled the white sheet from inside.
"Dear Stella,
Your presence is required at 4pm day after tomorrow at the church adjacent to the main bus stand. I shall explain the purpose when we meet. You will not feel sorry for having come. You can return the same day. Please do not fail to come.
Stella was wondering what the pastor had to do with her and why this cryptic letter. She missed her granny now. She had always an answer for all her doubts and questions. She passed away three months ago. It was her granny who brought her up ever since Stella’s mother passed away when she was five years. The relationship between her dad and granny soured when he married someone else within six months of her mom's demise. There was some heated exchange of words and he stopped coming and even being in touch with his daughter. There was no contact and even his whereabouts were not known.
Stella was brought up by her granny single handedly. After her Master's she is now an officer in a bank. Her granny's only grouse was that though 27 years, Stella had not found the right man for herself. The old woman wanted her well settled in life before her end. But that was not destined.
She was now alone and her thoughts went back to her dad. There is a hazy memory of a tall man from the photograph of her mom and dad taken soon after their wedding. She could never the see the picture again. She suspected her granny must have hidden it away. On only one occasion he had come to her school and asked her teacher's permission to take her out for one hour. That was refused as he had come without her guardian's approval. He gave her a silver locket with Jesus picture and said he loved her a lot. Stella said she missed him too and wanted him to come frequently. Granny was furious when she heard about it and she did not know what had happened but he stopped visiting her thereafter.
She reached the church by 3.45 pm.There were lot of people in an adjacent hall with all of them looking grim. It looked a solemn and sad occasion. Some of them went round an open gasket placed at one end. She was in panic as fear enveloped her that it could be her dear dad. Tears flowed from her eyes and the last visit at the school came to her mind. She started sobbing when everyone turned towards her. Was it for seeing her dad for the last time the pastor had called her, she wondered.Summoning courage she started moving towards the gasket when she felt an arm touch her shoulder. She turned to see the pastor looking at her with a smile.
“Stella, I assume. I was waiting for you in my room at the church. When you did not turn up, I thought you would have strayed here by mistake. Come with me" he said
She followed him meekly to his room."You must have been shocked to see the gasket and made wrong assumption" he said with a laugh.
"You are right. I thought it could be my dad. Otherwise why would you have called me?"
"I agree you were right in making such a surmise though it is wrong. Do you love your dad so much? You have hardly seen him except once. Do you remember the occasion?" he asked.
“How do you know” she asked as she opened her hand bag and took out the locket."This was given by him. I see this daily and get the feel of being close to him. Yes I love him deeply no matter what my granny felt about him. He is my daddy and none can take that away from me."
He laughed and said "I told you that you will not regret your coming here. Would you like to meet your dad? I can arrange it now."
She jumped with joy and implored him to take her to him that very moment.  "That will be the greatest blessing I have been praying for" she said
He hugged her and said "Stella, I am your dad. I came to know of your grandmother's demise only last week. I thought she will forgive me now from the Heaven and decided that I should meet you immediately. The cryptic message was to surprise you. Come to my living quarters in the rear."
As they entered hand in hand, she asked “Where is my mom? I don't see anyone here"
"She too passed away two years back."He showed on the wall two photographs of her mother and her step mother. He brought a box and handed it over to her and said “These contain jewels of your step mother. These are for you. Do come frequently. That would make me a happy man"
“Daddy, how lucky and blessed I am. Can I seek a transfer to this town and come here?”

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tell me honestly am I wrong?

Don’t look at me that way. I get upset. I am perfectly normal like anyone of you whatever others may say about me. There had been a few accidents in the last one year for which I was in no way responsible. You can ask my mom and she will vouchsafe for my sobriety. Though in the last two months she acts a bit weird and looks concerned. There is a reason for it which I shall explain.
 Let me give a brief background about me and my childhood. I am an introvert and not given to much talking. My dark eyes are round and big that my mother used to say proudly they resembled a lotus on my beautiful face. But most people are jealous and accuse me of staring or gawking at them even when I look normally. This naturally made me angry and either I  shout at them or scratch them with my long nails.
It all started when I was 12.But I looked bigger than many of my classmates. There was this mathematics teacher who always spoke to me softly and patted me saying ‘good’ whenever my turn came to receive the homework note book from him. He personally handed over the note books to the girls and generally patted on the shoulders or gently touched their cheeks to express his appreciation. I felt his hands lingered a little longer on me than others and invariably got a feeling of cockroach running over me. I used to shrug away and he would laugh. I dare not tell my mother lest she stopped me from the school.
One day as I was on my way to home after the school hours, he was standing at the entrance of staff room. He beckoned me inside saying he had something to tell me. There was none in the room and I was scared to enter. He put his arms around me and dragged me close to him. I struggled to get out of his clasp but he embraced tighter.  Luckily I had my pen in my hand with me and opening the cap I stabbed him hard with the pen and its sharp nib several times on his neck and face. As he loosened his grip I ran away as fast as my feet would carry. My timid mother instead of taking up with the school authorities stopped me from the school at the instance of my paternal grandmother who was living with us. My dad worked in another town and visited once in two or three months. All my friends stopped talking to me since then. Other schools were not willing to take me.
With nothing much to do, I did most of the chores in the house to help my mom. My grandmother disliked my mom and always would be hurting her with insults and her poor back ground. She will carry tales to my dad when he came home with many false charges. The couple of days he spent would be a torture for mother with his beating her. I developed a deep dislike for my granny ever since she stopped my studies and frequently quarreled with her taking cudgels for my mom. One day I was cleaning the bath room and found it slippery. I sprinkled soap powder and was scrubbing with brush. I left it midway when my mother called me to fetch water from the well. As ill luck would have it, grandma meanwhile went inside to take her bath and fell flat. She had severe injury on the head and was in coma for a fortnight before breathing her last. My dad accusingly pointed his finger at me for her tragic demise and never failed to mention that I did not shed any tears for her.
Two months later my dad’s brother came for the first time after my grandma’s demise. He called me a killer and a madcap. I was naturally hurt as I was in no way directly responsible for grandma’s fall. When I resisted his accusation, he hit me. I suppressed my anger and went inside the kitchen. I had kept the cleaner liquid inside a bisleri bottle for want of any other container and wished to clean the cupboard and electrical parts of dirt. How can I be held responsible if my uncle drank from that bottle mistaking it for water? He had to be rushed to emergency and given repeated wash before he recovered after incurring a hefty bill that included ICU charges. He charged me that I wished to kill him too making my dad let lose his temper by showering blows on me.
Another instance soon after this comes to my mind. My dad had come for a week. My mom had gone to the temple and I was away at the neighbour’s house. When I returned unannounced I caught my dad without his knowledge his hugging the maid and cuddling her. I was shocked at this monstrosity and retraced unnoticed. I thumped the front door hard as if I was entering the house just then. A week later the maid who had taken the left over rice soaked in water and buttermilk vomited many times at her place. She was taken to the hospital by her neighbours but could not be saved. The doctors it seemed said it was a case of food poisoning and may be a lizard the cause of it. I did not tell anyone that I had seen a long object in the rice I mistook it for a cooked eggplant vegetable. My dad was saddest and my mother was admiring his compassion for the poor when he paid in full her  hospital bill.

I have been truthful to you. Tell me now whether I am insane as others accuse me of. My mom hardly talks to me these days and dad rarely comes home.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Owning the blame

I heard the boisterous laughter and the cacophony of voices of the children as I neared my class IV.
It dropped to pin drop silence the moment I entered the class.After taking the attendance I started writing on the black board when a paper ball hit my back.
I turned round towards the class and asked "Who did it?"
None answered but I could see the suppressed glee in their eyes and muffled smiles
"The whole class will stand till the guilty one confesses" I ordered
Five minutes passed .There was no sign of relenting from the kids. I glared at the defiant small kids.
An eight year old Sundar stood up and said "I did it, Miss.I am sorry. You can punish me"
As I went near him with the cane in hand, a girl adjacent to his row shrieked “No, he did not do"
"Why did you then confess to an act if you are not guilty?" I asked the boy
He kept silent. I prodded him gently to come out with the truth.
He turned to Sunita, who had come to his support and said" She is in acute pain due to a boil in her leg. As none confessed, I could not bear her suffering in pain anymore by standing"
I patted him on his shoulder overwhelmed by his chivalry and said Good boy, you have set an example. All of you are excused and can now sit down"
A meek voice from a sobbing Avinash was heard from the last bench " Excuse me, Miss.I do not wish Sundar to take blame for my wrongful act. I promise I will not do again."

I broke into laughter when the whole class joined me.