FICTION-MY FRIEND- href=’http://www.blogsurfer.us/

We were friends and class mates, till he dropped out after the fourth standard. I continued and graduated. Some how, I did not relish my studies and soon set up my own business.
Though I occasionally wrote to him, he never replied. Through mutual friends, I learned that he is settled in some village, not far from Pune. My business was not running smoothly and I even toyed with the idea of winding it up and returning to India.
I have vague memories of my mother, who died after my younger sister, some two years junior to me. I was attached to my elder sister, whom I accepted as my mother, in all respects. Whenever I visited India, I go to her house even before going home to see my father and younger sister.
This time I got my friend’s address and went to Pune. First.I left my baggage in the hotel and changed over to native dress. After a strenuous journey, I located the house It was a mud hut with grass for roof. A fair woman in simple blouse and skirt came out and enquired: whom do you want to see?
Is Ramu at home? I am his friend.
He is in the field. You sit here; I will call him. By the way, what is your name/
Behal.
Suddenly she beamed and almost ran with enthusiasm. Apparently Ramu has told everything about me, from the day we were backbenchers at Nashik municipal school.
She called him, even as she ran. A man, mud allover his body, turned towards us. He stopped ploughing and called out my name. He told us to wait
I enquired: he never told me about his marriage. How can he? He has no phone? What is your name? How many issues have you?
She began to talk.
We have a son and daughter. As there is no school, we send them to a neighbour, who knows some English. We have only a few acres of land. We do all work ourselves; we have been working all along, even before we bought this. We have some cows and hens. All products are bought by neighbours.
When the sun was going down, we all returned home.
We washed at the well. Water was drawn by hand from the open well. For the fields, there were tube wells, worked my motor.
The food was simple chapattis.ade of wheat flour.and mixed vegetable dish, without any spices.
There was only one room. We men slept on charpoys (Four pieces of bamboo fixed at right angles and supported on feet of wood. A net of cloth ribbon holds the sheet) in the open front courtyard. It was summer. We lay there, talking.
Why don’t you engage workmen?
Am I to idle away my time like a zamindar?
At least you must have a phone.
I have no need. A post card is enough for communication.
Now you talk like a wise man. In the school, you were an idiot.
Silence…When I looked in his face, he was fast asleep!
My attention was turned to the sky. There was no moon; but myriads of stars brightened the sky. I lay awake for quite some time, before I went to sleep
Early in the morning, I was awakened by the sound “tea is ready”.
It was Ramu’s step-sister, dark skinned and uneducated, as explained by Ramu. Her childish enthusiasm and lithe figure, without even the suggestion of fat in her body, engaged my attention during that holiday.
I requisitioned a taxi car from Pune and told all to get ready within an hour. Only Ramu excused, saying he will hire a woman for help.
In the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Pune, all were happy. I bought cloths for all, not forgetting my girl. For Bhabi (brother’s sister), I bought a watch and a mobile phone, in addition to saris.
I extracted a promise from Bhabi to attend my younger sister’s marriage, to attend which I had come to India.
Do not forget to bring my girl, I told Bhabi. She at my beck and call during my stay there..
From Pune I flew to Bombay.
MARRIAGE
I gave didi a blank cheque and told her to buy all things, including gold and cloths required for the wedding. She was overjoyed. As my father was a policeman, now retired, he needed no support from me. I gave them some money whenever I came home. So my gesture impressed them very much. I added: let people know that I am really wealthy.
I deputed my men for supervising all services at the reception, arrangements for stay in hotels etc. I had deputed two men to receive my friends from Pune, for whose flight, I had sent air tickets.
When they came, I embraced them all, not forgetting my girl, who, in the dress presented by me, looked bright and charming. I told Ramu to remain with me all the time.
You may think it odd. The fact is that I am still a bachelor, though not a virgin. I have seen many society ladies but none like your sister. Will you give her to me?
Marriage must be between equals.
Will you allow me to write to her?
Do not give her any hope. First ask your father.
In my case, it is didi. I took her to Pune, after my sister was seen off to her husband’s home.
There I explained my scheme to her:
We must acquire a few hundred hectares of land here. It is dirt cheap and the money will come, if I sell my business. Your daughter can learn dairy science. We can have a big dairy industry here, built on modern lines.
A poultry farm, a fish pond and vegetable garden will also come. The wages are low. Demand for eatables will never cease
What do you say?
I then became the old boy whom she loved unreservedly. I embraced her. I asked:do you like Ramu’s sister?
She remained quiet for some time. Then she looked at me and smiled. Let us ask our father.
My heart sank. I knew the old man too well. He wants that she must be from the same sub-caste. Must get plenty of dowry. He looks at me as a lottery ticket. Only first prize will satisfy him. At the same time, I do not like to sow discord in the family. A woman is not everything!
The presence of bhabhi brightened the atmosphere. She is able and nice to look at. I intended to groom her as my Administrator. I withdrew “my men”from the business and started preliminary work for land acquisition etc. By influence, I managed to get administrative approval for a high way to Pune.
One day I approached my girl and proposed secret marriage. She told bhabhi.
A local poojari did the rites. My friend and bhabhi were the witnesses. Of course, I did not forget to take video photograpahs and to register the marriage

Advertisements

SHORT STORY – ANANTHU’S FAMILY

My name is Ananthapadmanabhayyar. As it is too long, all called me Anathu. As we lived in a remote village, father put me in a school in Bombay where my uncle lived.

I had some school mates who led me to women of undesirable character and soon I knew things which were very tempting, including alcohol.

Uncle arranged a stenographer’s job for me. I was very quick and accurate; so much so that I got several jumps in my factory. Then father thought of marrying me to a girl who was related to him

There was no thrill of the “first night”described in novels and shown in films; still I enjoyed deflowering her. For the first time, I saw hymen!

 She was plain but very docile and enjoyed our new life, seeing a city like Bombay for the first time.

We were living in the quarter allotted by the company. I found that my wife, Nina, was becoming very popular with the neighbours and one or two were always there, when I came home. I didn’t like it but could not find a way of convincing Nina, who was too innocent to suspect their intentions.

I was happy to leave her in her home in the village as soon as she became pregnant. I reestablished contacts with my night lovers who were too eager and adept in making love.

When she came with a son, everything changed. I never knew that a baby could be so sweet and precious. As son as I came home, the boy would come smiling and the next one hour would be spent in playing with it. On holidays, we would go for a movie or to some friends’ flat. Or simply moving around in parks or temples.

The years passed and my son was enrolled in a good school. As soon as the school bus moved away with the kid, I would be uneasy until the boy returned safe and sound, at two in the afternoon.

We used to attend parent-teacher meetings. The teachers were full of praise for our boy, except that he needed improvement in maths. So we engaged a tutor for him.

One day I returned at noon from the factory to search for some document. I saw a pair of shoes in our front veranad. The door was locked from inside.

I quetly went round towards our bed room. There were sounds from inside; when I peeped through the window curtain, Nina was lying on the bed with her skirt drawn up and Pawar was pumping with gusto…. More forcefully, more forcefully: she was shouting…….

I was dazed and completely lost my senses.

 Somehow, I managed to walk away towards the railway station

I was sitting on a parapet on the road side, where the road and the rail line were running parallel. I do not know how long I sat there, watching the movement of suburban trains and the red buses. A woman came and sat beside me. It was Mary. Both of us had learned short hand in the same institute together.

She said: after a long time I am seeing you; what are you doing here? You look terribly upset.

I was in no mood to speak. We new each other too much and all attempts at evasion were futile. I spoke out, about what I saw in my bed room.

She kept mum for some time; then she urged me to go with her: my mother is not well. That is why I am here.

We walked along, talking. I just listened.

I am working in a private company at Nagpur. You know I can manage any boss with my beautiful body. Now I am getting handsome salary. Still unmarried. I don’t say you marry me. Let us live together. I shall fix up a job for you. I have just to ring up my boss.

We reached her place. It was a rented house which her parents occupied long ago. Her father was no more.

Her mother was very pleased to see me She told me to sit beside her in the bed and kissed me on the cheek: I am seeing you after a long time. Now you have become a man. Aren’t you married?

Yes, Maji. How are you?

I am beyond hope. My daughter gives me all sorts of medicines. I tell her not to waste money on me.

Mary brought coffee and biscuits. Afterwards, we went to her room.

As was our habit, we lay on the bed. She cuddled towards my body and whispered in my ear: I am yearning for your warmth.

I was in no mood. Yet, can any man resist it? How long? Soon we were converted into the Khajuraho postures.

At last, when fully satisfied, she opened the subject: you must realize that circumstances make us virtuous or not. What will your wife do when you are away in the factory and the kid in the school? And this neighbour, having done his night duty is ready all the time. It is not a new thing. Fashionable ladies are always eager to have a fling. They are just afraid.

I told her I can come with her.

The first few months were somewhat pleasant. But I missed the joy we felt at home, with the boy a source of great comfort, especially when I return from the factory. He was a tonic, better than a glass of fresh fruit juice.

And those barbs…….Poor Mary has to satisfy her boss in the office and Ananthu at home…. some wags would say.

I told her about it.

She said: if you want, I shall give up my job.

That is a good idea, but I want my boy.

We decided to go to my quarter in the factory, but my family had already left.

One day I just went away, in spite of Mary’s protests.

First, I went to Hardwar and then Rishikesh. In those days the mountainous Rishikesh was somewhat scarcely populated, especially upstream along the bank of the Ganga. In my state of mind I approached several sadhus living in caves. No one impressed me, but their very presence was soothing.

A well known Guru in a math was different. He advised me about life in general.

He said: sanyas is not for young people like you. You have done Brahmacharya (schooling). Now you must complete your Grihastham, including looking after business, property, children etc. When all things are settled and your children grown up and able to look after the business, should you think of Vanaprasth. You may wander the whole Himalayas even now, as it will change your narrow out look and enable you to see things objectively. Stay here for some days and go through the books in my library.

I followed his instructions literally and then returned to my village, after wandering in the Himalayas for full six years.

I was able to locate my family after some enquiriesthough her people had shifted to Salem.

 Nina appeared like a shadow of her former self, very thin and wiry. The boy was grown up and could not recognize me. In spite of the presence of curious on lookers, I went and embraced them.

WHEN WE REJOINED, IT WAS A NEW LIFE.

IF GANDHI WAS NOT KICKED OUT FROM THE RAILWAY COMPARTMENT

HISTORY

Some unexpected incident can change the course of history.

M.K. Gandhi was just a practicing lawyer in South Africa, where a number of Gujaratis were doing business, as all citizens of the British Empire were free to move anywhere in the empire, where the sun never sets.

Gandhi was loyal to the Crown, he even fought against the Boers, who refused to be part of the South African Union under the empire, when liberal opinion in England was sympathetic to the Boers, simple peasants settled there. When he was kicked out from the first class compartment of the train by an uncivilized Englishman, Gandhi became so upset that he started a movement against the rulers there.

Suppose this sad incident never happened. He would have continued his practice there.

At that time, militant anti- British movements were sprouting in parts of Punjab and Bengal, which could have spread to other parts of the upper India. The Indian National Congress, founded by a British spy, to divert the opposition to the Empire along harmless channels, could not have succeeded in stemming the tide of revolution, under heroes like Bhagat Singh.

 During the second world war, Subhas Chandra Bose would have led armed guerilla fight against the government, here itself, and seen the dawn of freedom, as without our help, the British cannot fight against Japan, which was a big power. We could have easily disrupted the rail lines and made troop movement impossible.

The obnoxious treaty of 1947 woud never have been signed. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh would be one nation, led by Bose and Azad.

There are many ifs in history!

SHORT STORY- INNOCENT JOY

 I was brought up in an orphanage of a church, in a remote village and our Father was everything to me, parents, friend and benefactor. He was always kindhearted and friendly. Never scolded me, as I was a quiet sort of child. He taught me English and arithmetic and put me in a convent school in the town.

I was quite popular among boys, as I was good in sports, especially volley ball and had a way with all, with a ready smile and could talk freely with both boys and girls.

Father had introduced me to an uncle whose daughter was also studying in the same school, one year junior to me.

He used to give me some pocket money occasionally which I was careful not to spend it, as I knew Father was really poor. I asked him for money only when absolutely required.

Ann was the name of uncle’s daughter. She was not very fair but she used to sing and her voice was resounding and had a sexy attraction, if I may put it that way.

We met rarely, as boys and girls moved in separate groups.

Our school won the volley ball championship in the inter school tournament. As I was the captain, my popularity soared, needless to say. Even girls, some of them really good to look at, began to befriend me and I was elated, though I tried to dismiss it as of no consequence.

When the time came to seek higher education, Father told me a secret: your uncle was sponsoring the expenses of your education. He is still ready to continue his help, if you agree to marry his daughter. You know he has a big estate in the hills. Ann is his only daughter.

I had to agree.

Ann was very studious and got admission for MBA. My marks were not that good, but I got a seat for history in sports quota. I did not see her for a very long time.

 When I was working in a private school, Father told me to meet my uncle, who was in Bombay at that time. He reminded me about his intention to settle the marriage of Ann.

The meeting ended and uncle told me that we may talk in private if we wished; and moved away.  

She had become a lady, very graceful and well groomed. She is already in a good position in a multinational company, she told me. I felt that I am not a suitable match for her. I told her my opinion. She just kept mum.

I repeated the same thing to my uncle and also Father.

Father: have some patience. I know your uncle well. You are six feet tall, handsome and good natured. Your uncle wants a gentleman for Ann. If  he likes you, that is the end of the matter.

In about a month’s time we were married.

Uncle suggested that we visit his estate. On the way we stopped to see Father. He had become very old, hardly able to sit up in bed. I sat behind him and supported him.

They talked about money matters. The old dilapidated church was rebuilt according to modern tastes. Now there is even a big ground in front. All uncle’s money, I could understand.

Son, I may not live to see you again. Our Father in heaven decides all things. Be happy

His last words.

The estate was much more than I could have imagined. The landscape was fantastic. There was even a brook near by. A dozen vehicles of all types and plenty of servants. I was something like a Lord, presiding over all this empire.

As uncle returned to Bombay to be with Ann, I became the Manager. Now I knew why he chose me.

During Xmas time we all spent a week. Ann liked it here and I used to take her around, sometimes in our jeep, other wise by walk. By next October, I became a father. Our son was christened George and called Baby.

When Uncle went to the States, in connection with his business, I went there

 Now Baby became my constant mate. I could not leave him even for a moment. I thanked uncle for all the good luck, otherwise beyond the reach of an orphan.

One evening Ann brought a handsome young man with her, while returning from office. All the time they were talking, so I came away with Baby and did not go to them again. He returned very late. That night Ann was very hot in the bed. I had never seen her so sexy before. It may be my imagination, but whenever he came, she was so happy in the bed.

The frequency of his visits increased and I became suspicious. One day I told her I am going to Pune, but remained in near by hotel. At about three in the morning, I returned and pressed the buzzer. After a long time the door was opened and the fellow came out, followed by Ann. I just went into the bed room. There was the smell of cigarette. The bed was disheveled and even his underwear was there…….

I never entered that room again.

I returned to the estate.

The next day I took all my trekking things including sleeping bag and tent in a jeep and dove away aimlessly, occasionally stopping to refresh myself with a cup of tea from the road side tea shops. As it became evening, I decided to pitch my tent on an empty patch of ground, when a boy with a goat came to me enquiring about my intentions. He invited me to his hut where there is a small water channel. So I took the boy and goat in my jeep and presently we came to his mud house, with roof thatched with hay. It seemed cozy and warm. Outside, it was getting cold. There he helped me to put up the tent and then we both went to the stream. I washed myself in the flowing, clear water and felt refreshed in body and sole.

Why is this unknown boy so eager to oblige me? We most often fail to appreciate the simple joys of life,, worrying ourselves with unnecessary thinking. I even pardoned Ann. She liked the guy and enjoyed sex with him. Is it such a crime.?She didn’t even agree to the marriage which was forced by her father. Why should she suffer?

By about seven in the evening, his sister and mother, both working in the estate near by, came and told me not to worry about anything. I took orders from the mother, who was very reluctant at first, and drove to the market to buy items for cooking supper, with the boy as my guide. His name is Joy. His father is a truck driver who used to come once in a while.

The next day we went to fish in the stream. We got some fat fish and returned after a bath. In the afternoon I went to climb the hill.

I don’t remember how many days were spent there. Those were the happiest days in my life. When I decided to return both the women wept. I promised to return one day.

May I take the boy with me? I shall send him to school.

 They agreed.

OBAMA IN CHINA

These days, all are talking critical of Obama.
Forget he is the President of the USA.
He is a professor, visiting a land, home to the oldest civilisation in the world. The ingenuity of the Chinese is phenominal. They rejected the doctrinaire approach of the communist party leaders in Moscow, who concentrated on the working class movement in the coastal cities, which was crushed by Chiang Kaishek; instead, Mao realised that the PEASANTRY IN THE INTERIOR OF CHINA WAS CAPABLE OF BRINGING IN, A NEW SOCIETY THERE. He was a genius.
After the revolution, China became powerful, combining man power and technology. Today, it is the most powerful country in the world. The US IS ONLY A PAPER TIGER, as Mao was fond of saying, too old to run like the Chinese and burdened with the unenviable responsibility of reviving Capitalism, a dead horse!
Obama realised all this. If there is one nation, capable of saving the US, it is China.
We in India must realise this. It is no use feeling let down by history.
Women and children are always exploited by the mafia, in India.
Without the collusion of the police and the government officials, it is impossible for them to conduct their business.
Corruption is endemic in our system. All people concerned with the illegal activities, get regular pay packets, free from income tax. What else do they want?
(Sitting here in my room I can get pass port, visa, license for my gun, illegally brought from blacksmiths in UP, Engineering degree, if I spend enough money. I can get a girl of any age.)
China is progressing and we are stagnating.

The sun is rising in the East!