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Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Sailor: Part -3

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2 ....

He recalled that day when he made that decision... the decision that changed his life ...the decision that he now regretted. Since the he had seen Anshika, he knew he had to make it sooner or later but that day ... he took that harsh step.

He was in second year of his junior college...He could never have forgotten the day. Anshika and he were in the park. She had missed her tuition classes to be with him. The sun had set and the crimson sky was slowly giving into the darkness. They were chatting oblivious to their surroundings. It was almost a routine for him to debrief her about his day. Unlike the other couples he was the one who did most of talking. He was always known as a friendly talkative guy but on that day it was his “Ansh” who spoke the most. She was worried and afraid that her brother suspected her of having a boyfriend. It was precisely for this reason that she had decided to miss her classes in order to meet him.

While he tried to put her fears to rest, he felt a hand a hand on his shoulder. He turned around to find three strangers staring into his eyes. One of them was visibly upset; he could see his red face and blood shot ears. He didn’t recognize him at all. “Anshika go home!”, the man said in an ice cold voice that cut through the serene silence. Anshika stood there terrified and petrified as if she had seen a ghost.

He had opened his mouth to speak but was met with a punch on his face. “Bhaiya nahin”, shouted Ansh as he fell flat on his face. “Bhaiya...brother!!!”, the words echoed in his mind. How come he always landed in such situation? Damn Ansh, why did you have to call him your brother, that single sentence took both the fight and flight option away from him. He stood up slowly, and tried to speak to the Ansh’s brother but the moment he opened his mouth he was met with a punch in the stomach and then another one on his face.

Ansh tried to rush to him but was stopped by one of his Brother-In-Law cronies. Ansh cried and pleaded her to leave him but in response his brother-in-law kicked him again in his stomach. Ansh begged again and declared that she loved him but in response he received another kick. In a very calm voice the Brother-in-Law asked him to declare, that he did not love her and would not meet her again.

He just stayed still, and this infuriated the third guy and he kicked him. Like a fool he kicked him the third guy back with a “Sweep” and the stranger fell down. This infuriated all of them and they attacked him all at once! When they stopped, he found himself flat on the ground.

His brother-in-law then went on his knees and took hold of his collar forcing him to sit. He then said in a calm voice, “Tell her, that you don’t love her and I will let you go.” Had it been anyone else beside his BIL, he could have broken his neck but he was Ansh’s Brother and because of him, he could not even fight back.

Ajatshatru just smiled back, and received a punch on his bleeding face. He fell again and gave another smile. He realised for the first time that if he was better than anything beside music it was in infuriating people. His smile was met with hurl a kicks...

He felt that he was kicked at every part of his body all at the same time. He had never known that three people could have thirty legs. When they grew tired of kicking him, they stopped. The BIL then asked him in a panting voice, “tell her that you don’t love her and you won’t see him again.”

Like a masochist he smiled again. His BIL stomped on his face with all the strength that he had left in him. Ajatshatru howled like an animal. In a calm voice he spoke again, “I don’t like your face when you smile perhaps with a broken nose you may look better”. He smiled with a broken nose and a blood smeared face. The BIL kicked him again on his face and spoke, “alright guys that’s enough he will remember this till the end of his life.” With that he dragged Ansh into the car waiting outside.

When he was able to drag himself to his home, the safest place where he could be, he was met with hostile eyes. Nobody seemed to care for his feelings; to them he was just spoiling his life. A loafer, an idler a disoriented youth...

After his parents had arranged for the medical treatment at home along with loads on lecture on he should be living his life and how he is ruining his life, he laid himself down on his bed. He reflected on his life and how others thought of him. He could not understand what had he done wrong? What was wrong if he loved Ansh... What was wrong if he did not want to become an engineer or a doctor? What was wrong if he loved music? What was wrong if he wanted to become a musician? What was wrong if he wanted to learn music professionally? What was wrong if he taught himself music all by himself? What was wrong if he could play better drums than anyone in his college on empty tin-cans than anyone could on those fancy instrument? What was wrong if he was not a topper of the class but an above average student? What is wrong if your sister has a boyfriend, when you could have a girlfriend?

The next morning, when he got up every part of his body carried a bruise. Every muscle in his body ached, his face was swollen like a pumpkin but what pained the most was his heart. He had one last look at his room. His karate dress lied in a corner. Beside it on a rack, laid all the medals and trophies he had won in music and karate. In another corner laid three large cans and their lids that he had improvised to make his own drums, the small plastic guitar on which he could play any lead. The small keyboard which an uncle had gifted him on his tenth birthday, a flute that he had purchased from a roadside hawker, a musical instrument made of earthen cup and one string that he made his dad purchase on a train journey and a mouth organ which his friend had given to it after he lost interest in it.... And he could play all of them better than anyone he had met... The only time he had played on real instruments was at the school band where he learned it from the other band members and quickly surpassed them in their own art.

But all this had to go... the world around him had no place for such trash. It wanted people who were engineers and doctors, people who were educated, people who were polished and people who were successful and rich. It had no place for an uncultured Stone Age warrior who could make music out of trash cans. Such people belonged to a circus not in a cultured society as his. For Ansh, he had to be one of those successful people and he had to do that in shortest possible time. Ansh’s family would never accept a struggling musician and that too from a different caste as hers. And he needed to be very rich and successful in order to be accepted in Ansh’s family. A senior had told him that marine engineer earns a lot of money but his social life is a mess. He decided to become one for Ansh... It is a small price to pay for her...

With tears in his eyes, he cleaned each of his instruments for the last time, before packing them away in a large carton. He went on his bruised knee and took his black belt in his hands for the last time before laying it on the trophies which he packed in another carton. He lifted those two boxes and put them in the store room. He never ever touched them again...Never.

He remembered the pleased look on his parents face when they saw him leaving his instruments in a dark corner....If only they could ever understand that he was leaving a part of his life in that dark corner of his storeroom...

3 comments:

RiVa said...

try n write the whole story at one go...u r goin gud...

Sakhi said...

good one... loved this part the best! :)

Intriguiging Answers said...

..good one with a nice ending...very well written..compact and descriptive throughout..specially the description of loss..or a sense of it..