Excerpt for The Cry of Freedom by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




The Cry of Freedom


Anup R. Gupta




Copyright

© 2017 Anup Gupta
All rights reserved.











Dedicated to my beloved Mother and I will miss you till the last breath of my life.






Author’s Note

I am very delighted to present my debut novel “The cry of Freedom”. Though, the novel is a complete work of a fiction but it sincerely talks about the Indian values and its key root problems. The story is written for the entire masses with some significant messages.

First of all, I would like to thank my wife Rajni for her continuous support during the writing and my brother Abhishek for his trust & motivation.

I would like to thank Sir Arjun Pradhan and Mr. Roshan Thapa for proofreading. Similarly, I also would like to thank Gautam Subba, Rabindra Diyali and his team for making outstanding cover page.

I will always remain thankful to my friend Manas Gosh for his consultation and his creative ideas.

At the end, I would like to say that the substance of novel will always cherish the masses.





DISCLAIMER


This is a complete work of a fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance with actual persons, living or dead, community, business, company, or locals are entirely coincidental.












Justice is more important than revenge.







In 1943 Abraham Maslow an American psychologist proposed a theory “A Theory of Human Motivation” and which is also popularly known as Maslow’s hierarchy of Needs.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a human need can be categorized into five major heads. Namely, physiological need, safety need, love/belonging need, esteem need, and self-actualization need. Each category or level of needs progresses as soon as the fulfillment of the immediate or current level of need.



1965 CE Republic of India



Eighteen long years have been passed India is now an independent nation. After the reward of independence from British crown India has remarkably done well in many sectors. They implemented the judiciary system, political system and education system on the basis of English cultures and traditions. Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister of Republic of India brought the major reforms in various sectors. Nehru implemented policies based on import substitution industrialization and approached a mixed economy where the government controlled public sector which co-exists with the private sector. He was a visionary leader and he believed that the establishment of basic and heavy industries stood necessary to the development and modernization of Indian economy. Therefore, the government directly invested money into the developments of iron & steel industry, ports & harbors, coals & mines and generation & distribution of power.

Majority of the Indians are still lacking the basic facilities or so called need. Throughout the day half of population battles hard in pursuit of bread and butter. Due to traditional rituals and old school of thoughts disparity still exists in the country. The impact of plans & policies are only limited to the towns and cities. Richer people are getting rich day by day. Women are not allowed to work outside for their livelihood. Only male members are supposed to work outside. In some cases, only the head of the family is the sole winner of bread for the entire family. Mainly in the northern part of the country untouchability, strict caste system still prevails in the society.

Similarly, in western countries people are attracting towards the consumerism. Due to the fair increment of wages, high level of purchasing power and introduction of retail outlets in every corner of the country consumerism touched the success of peak.

Likewise in India, throughout the day people are battling hard for the living where as in western part of the globe people are buying more and more lifestyle products, primarily electronic household products in order to facilitate their standard of living. High income generating class of the society is able to classify their needs & demands according to their purchasing power. Marketers started designing their various product offerings according to their needs & demands. Thus, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs became the magical tool for the marketers. It facilitated them to extent their product portfolio and services to the segmented as well as targeted consumers.

Within the eighteen years of independence, India has faced three wars in 1947 with Pakistan, in 1962 with China and again with Pakistan in 1965. Whether you lose or win the war, war is always a war. It is never good and it’s an evil to the humanity. In all these wars India has lost number of soldiers and tremendous amount of economic resources. The three wars broke the backbone of Indian economy and thus GDP of the country (Gross Domestic product) fall below the mark.

Majority of the population is depending upon the rain feed agriculture system as there is no meticulous facility of systematic cannel irrigation in various parts of the country. Over rainfall and under rainfall is the key constraint to the overall growth of the agriculture. Floods and drought are the two sides of the same coin. Due to lack of weather system it is hard to predict the climatic condition of different regions. After the reward of independence, poor infrastructure and series of war highly affected the overall growth of the nation. Though government took the various measures in order to improve the condition but the impact remained the restricted.

Narayangarh a large village of Uttar Pradesh, India, which is ideally situated on the bank of river Ganges and it, is surrounded by abundance of green natural vegetation and agricultural fields. It is an autumn season, yellow flowered mustard plants and green wheat plants are dancing against the flow of the north wind. Buffaloes are busy in taking baths in a nature made ponds beside the railway tracks. The same railway track connects the eastern Uttar Pradesh with western Uttar Pradesh. Apart from the nature made ponds many man made pond can be witnessed here and there at both sides of the railway tracks. Village is heavily guarded by splendor of beautiful natural sceneries. The sceneries consist of banyan tree, babul tree, and mahua tree (butter tree). Far at the end of the village very old yet beautiful Kali Mandir (goddess Kali temple) is situated. Occasionally we can hear the sound of bells of Kali temple due to the strike of splendid speed of the air.

Post lunch 1:30 p.m. beautiful sunshine with minimal wind, temperature is around 34 degree Celsius in the atmosphere. Sky is clear and there is no sign of rain at all. At the high school playground, the high octane cricket match is going on between the students of Narayangarh High School. The team is divided into groups according to the area of their residence, Uttar Tola (North Point) and Dakshin Tola (South Point).

Munna the captain of Dakshin Tola (South Point) wants to win the match at any cost. To win the match for his team he needs four runs from two remaining balls. Ajit the captain of opposition team (North Point) is a fast bowler. He bowls at an average speed of 160 miles per hour. He is well known for his accuracy and fast bowling skills.

Ajit Singh belongs to the rich Rajput family and he is the only son of Lord Mahendra Singh, the chief landlord of Narayangarh. He owned more than thousand acres of land in the village. More than half of the land of Narayangarh was under the direct control of his lordship. Mahendra Singh was the crownless king of the Narayangarh. Munna belonged to the lower middle class Baniya family (business community) and he is the only son of Hari Baniya. Hari Baniya was engaged in dual occupation of farming and business.

Munna was very calm and composed. His full concentration was on the bowler Ajit Singh. The high adrenaline match between the students of Uttar Tola (North Point) and Dakshin Tola (South Point) reached its extreme. In next two balls crowd was about to witness the new champion of the year. Four runs from two balls is not the easy task for the last batsman. After taking the long deep breath Ajit started running hard from the pavilion end and he released the bowl with his maximum strength. Munna swung the bat in the air and he missed the ball with a big margin due to the lightning speed of the ball. Now, the situation became tougher as well as challenging for Dakshin Tola (South Point). Ajit smartly realigned his fielders according to the situation; all the fielders were positioned to the boundary line in order to protect the winning score.

Once again Ajit took his run up from the same end but with the different field plan. This time he picked a bouncer for the last batsman. The moment he released the ball, Munna got confused and in confusion he got massive blow straight away in his head. Instantly, Munna fell down and started bleeding. Without any hesitation, umpire said “it’s over” and he declared Uttar Tola (North Point) as a champion of the year. Half of the crowd and all the team mates ran towards the wounded Munna. At that juncture his condition was not well. Match officials asked few men and they carried him to the local pharmacy.

Nathuni Singh, the only doctor for the entire village was commissioned there from last six months. Before joining the village he was a medical compounder at the pharmacy of Banaras Hindu University. His pharmacy consists of a table, a pair of wooden chairs, a bed with few cloths, boxes of generic medicines, one full box of syringe and other injectable medicines.

Match officials along with the injured Munna reached the pharmacy of Dr. Nathuni Singh. Within a minute the pharmacy turned into a theatre in order to witness the treatment of Munna. Hundreds of villagers surrounded the pharmacy and every individual was eager to know how Munna is doing?

Dr. Singh sprayed some kind of liquids and with the help of cotton he cleaned his wound. After cleaning, he applied some gel type of ointment and he bandaged it properly. With help of initial treatment Munna stopped bleeding and he became quite conscious. Conscious Munna within his mind started praying to the Kali Mata (Goddess Kali) that today Dr. Nathuni Singh will not use his legendary injection.

After prescribing all the required medicines, Nathuni Singh began preparing for the injection and he said; ‘one injection will be needed in order to prevent the infection.’

The word injection made Munna to cry louder and louder. He started trying to avoid the injection with hell lots of excuses. But he forgets he was under the treatment of Dr. Nathuni Singh.

Dr. Singh asked Munna, ‘to be ready for the shot,’ and with this all the villagers including match officials started giggling.

Munna realized there is no way and at any cost he is going to be injected by Dr. Singh. He started thinking about the pain and because of the pain he will not be able to sit in the class and whole class will make fun out of him. Taking some courage he requested Dr. Singh, ‘can I go to the toilet and it is an emergency.’

Dr. Singh replied, ‘yes absolutely but only after the injection.’

In order to escape, from the window he promptly jumped outside but unfortunately after travelling some distance match officials caught him. Four men tightly clamp his pair of hands and legs. In a very quick manner Dr. Singh injected Munna and by this Dr. Singh sustained his legacy.

6:30 p.m. evening time, Hari Baniya closed his counter and he began counting his sale of the day. A young, tall in dark complexion man in his mid-forties arrived with his four armed bodyguards. In a loud and dominating voice one of the bodyguard ordered for the snacks and tea for his master Mahendra Singh. Though, it was a closing time but Hari served them tea with plate of snacks. In a very rare occasion landlord Mahendra Singh used to be in ecstatic attitude. Fortunately he was in relaxed and happy mood due to his son’s winning performance.

Taking this opportunity Hari requested his landlord Mahendra Singh to exempt his land tax for the current year due to short rainfall in the same season. Drinking the sip of the tea Lord Mahendra Singh said; ‘today your tea is not so good and how can I exempt your tax for the current year? My reply is no, a big no.’ He continued speaking ‘the entire villagers are supposed to pay me their respective taxes timely. After all I have given them my land to grow agricultural products by which they can run their livelihood. At any cost I cannot exempt the taxes to anyone. If, you need some loan which I can give you easily but you have to provide me some kind of securities.’

Hari- securities, but how?

Mahendra Singh- yes securities a security by land, by jewelry, by cattle or security by any other valuable assets which you own. If it is not possible you can guarantee this shop also.

Hari – my lord, how can I guarantee this shop to you? Since the Mughal age my ancestors ran this shop. Though, I work here for part time only but this is my family heritage. My ancestors build this shop with their sweats and hard labor. I work here only to make some extra money and in order to continue the family legacy. He continued speaking; a small piece of land is there which is not yielding anything, last year over rainfall took away my entire investment and labor. Almost, I lost everything there is nothing to give you and current year, there is no rainfall at all. Please mercy upon me oh my lord.

After delivering the lecture about Lord Rama from Ayodhya, the high priest Omkar Panday arrived at the shop of Hari. Omkar Panday the leader of Brahmin clan commands a high position in the society as he was born to the rich Brahmin family. He represents the hundred and fifty Brahmin family in Narayangarh. Not only this, he was a district leader of Brahmin clan. In many occasions, he represented Brahmin community at Banaras Hindu University. He was principal as well as proprietor of Hindu Brahmin Vidalaya (Brahmin School for Hindus), where he taught Sanskrit and all the fundamental knowledge which is required to be a pure and classy Brahmin priest. In entire Uttar Pradesh, he was also well known for domesticating more than thousands of cows. The various sources of income, high intellectual and clan leader of entire Brahmin community makes him the most reputed figure of the village.

On the uncertain arrival of high priest Omkar Panday, landlord Mahendra Singh along with his guards quickly greeted him. Hari Baniya also paid his respect to the high priest.

High priest Panday – what is going on?

Mahendra Singh – nothing much, Hari is asking me to exempt his land tax and which is not possible.

High priest Panday – why not? This is very possible.

Suddenly Hari became alert with the sentence spoken by high priest.

Mahendra Singh- how is it possible?

High priest Panday – Hari needs to perform an ancient ritual under which he needs to offer me a pair of cow.

But this time Hari became shocked due to line spoken by high priest. He started crying and with teary eyes he said; ‘oh high priest you are totally aware about my conditions. Very hardly, I use to manage a square of a meal for my family. I don’t even have a further investment to continue the farming. The exemption of tax is only my last hope and you are the one who predicted last year that there will be plenty of rainfall and no one will die due to hunger. In remote areas many people started dying due to shortage of food grains. Farms are dried since many months and there is sign of rain at all.’

The statement made high priest Omkar Panday very angry and in his anger he threw a hot glass of tea on the face of Hari.

The intensifying situation became more intense when Mahendra Singh got the news that majority of villagers are seeking for tax exemption. Furiously, Mahendra Singh said in loud and clear voice, ‘nobody will get any kind of exemptions.’ In the middle of his tea he ordered his driver to ‘start the jeep.’

Mahendra Singh returned to his place and high priest curses Hari; ‘you silly man, you doubted on my knowledge and wisdom; one day you will be die in front of your burning home.’

Sad Hari returned to his home. He found his son Munna was laying down on the bed with bandage.

Hari – what happened to you my son?

Munna – all it happened in today’s cricket match.

Hari – actually who injured you?

Munna – Ajit Singh, son of your landlord Mahendra Singh.

Hari paused for a second and said, ‘don’t worry everything will be alright. Injuries are the part of game. Don’t be so sad after all you played very well and you remained not out.’

Between the interesting conversation of father and son Mira, wife of Hari served them dinner with massed potatoes, chapattis which was made from corn flowers, a slice of raw onion with a pinch of salt. Both of them silently finished their dinner and at the end Hari hugged his son very tightly and said, ‘I know situations are not good. But I have a happy family and I am proud of you my son.’

Next day morning, Munna reached school though he was not comfortable due to injuries and little pain of injection was there. He found that everyone was talking about the high voltage final cricket match. Group of students from Uttar Tola (North Point) teased Munna on the main corridor of the school.

In reply he gave them an anger look and said; ‘I will see you boys after the school.’

Ajit remained silent today because he was supposed to attain high society function which was organized by high priest Omkar Panday.

After the school, two boys from Uttar Tola (North Point) started following Munna to the local street which passes through the nearest railway station. The two boys Gama and Binod were hired by Ajit in order to thrash Munna in such a manner so that he cannot appear for the upcoming board exam.

Sharp 4 p.m. Munna left the main road and followed the local street besides the railway tracks. After covering little distance he went down towards the farm lands. His father had instructed him to bring bale of fresh green grasses for the goat.

A train quickly passed from the track as it was coming from Banaras via Ballia. Gama and Binod became confirmed as no more train will come from same route till 6 p.m. Taking this advantage both the boys’ appeared in the front of Munna and stopped him in the middle of his way.

Gama – who gave you the authority to take grasses from these fields and do you know the entire village belongs to our friend Ajit.

Munna – no one and leave me alone otherwise it will be going to be very bad for you.

For several minutes they exchanged ugly words to each other. It was very tough for boy like Munna to talk with them and they began fighting with him. Cleverly, Munna went back and made some safe distance against them. He quickly understood their intensions though he was not well due to injuries somehow he managed to get a thorny thick stem of babul tree. After recollecting his energy and power and he started blindly hitting them as much as hard to them. The lethal thorns of babul caused them severe damages to their tissues. The pain of thorns was unimaginable and within a moment they started bleeding like anything and they begged him to stop. But he was not willing to stop at all and he continued hitting them as hard as possible. Finally, somehow they managed to escape by throwing the dust into the eyes of Munna.

Munna reached home with a bundle of fresh grasses and after an hour, Hari also joined his family. Normally they altogether did their dinner and straight away he went for the sleep. But Hari was unable to sleep because he was upset and little bit depressed. He was mainly concerned about the future of his family and how he is going to pay the land tax. Within his mind he decided that after the board exams, he will hand over the shop to his son and he will figure out some other income generating sources.

After a week, while going to the school Ravi Shaw a good friend of Munna and his classmate met him on the local streets of Narayangarh. It was a thrilling moment for both of them became they met after a gap of seven long days.

Ravi – board exam is about to begin and how is your preparation is going on?

Munna – not so good, you know my conditions. My father works so hard for us and I am unable to do anything for my family. Not only this, the killing attitude of landlords and Brahmins literally kills us every day.

Ravi – yes, you are very true. They think we are not humans in front of them, only God can help us.

Munna – according to history teacher our country, India is an independent nation but in my opinion we are not yet free from feudalism and classism. Hope one day we will get rid of this.

A train just passed from the railway track and they started running hard for the train in full joy and happiness. This was the normal routine for them to run behind the each and every passing train.

Unfortunately, today Munna and Ravi missed their daily school prayer which was performed at high school playground. Silently both of them entered into their classroom. First period was the period of science. Principal teacher entered into the class and he enquired about the two heroes of the day who missed their daily school prayer.

‘Stand up both of you Munna Baniya and Ravi Shaw,’ teacher said.

Munna and Ravi looked each other’s face and they realized today something is going to be very bad to them.

Principal teacher – today, what makes you late for the school?

Munna – sir, today morning I was not feeling well because of injury. But luckily, Ravi came and he insists me to come for the school.

Principal teacher – okay, I understood now days after cricket match Mr. Munna Baniya needs a formal invitation for the school and it seems Ravi Shaw is the secretary of him. During the lunch break I want to see both of you in my chamber.

Classroom was in silence mode, principal teacher started turning the pages of the lesson, and taking this chance Ajit threw a small note towards Munna’s desk. Promptly Munna opened the note and it was written as ‘hope today everything will be fine at principal’s chamber and all the best.’

Munna flipped the paper and he replied, ‘thank you for your concern.’ After the class principal teacher went to his chamber and quickly Munna stand up and said; ‘Ajit, don’t play with me, this is not good at all and don’t try to judge my patience otherwise it is not going to be good for you.’

In reply Ajit angrily said; ‘how dare you to speak like this and don’t show me your attitude. Your silly father owes a hefty amount to my father and soon we are going to snatch your land. Remember never mess with me.’

Between the war of words of Ajit and Munna principal teacher came and asked Ajit, Munna, and Ravi to follow him to his chamber.

In the chamber principal teacher ordered them to fall in line and he slapped each of them hardly. Principal teacher warned them for the last time and with the gloomy face they came out from the principal’s chamber.

Next day 9:30 a.m. morning at high school playground; ‘only a month is left for the board exams. From tomorrow onwards school is going to be closed and all the students are advised to utilize the precious time in studies and preparations in order to secure good grades in your exam.’ Afterwards principal teacher announced, ‘a special trophy as well as scholarship for the upcoming exam topper along with the extra prize of cash RS 1000.’

Rupees 1000 sounded very lucrative to the students especially student like Munna. Though, he was not so good in studies but he realized that if he tops the exam he could win the prize money and with the cash prize money he can pay the land tax to the landlord Mahendra Singh.

He said to Ravi; ‘in one month I am going to study like anything and definitely I will top the exam.’ He continued speaking, ‘scholarship and prize money really made me so motivated. I am very glad to our principal teacher. My friend you don’t know this thing can change my entire life. From tomorrow onwards there will be no running, no fishing probably I will not meet you also.’

Ravi – I know my friend, how it is important for you and I pray to the God that you must top the board exam.

Munna – thank you Ravi and bye see you at the exam time.

Ravi – oh Munna, it’s not okay and before separating with you let’s go to the bazar and have some fun. Exam is a month away. For six subjects thirty days of preparation is more than enough.

Both the friends reached Chowk Bazar (town square market). Chowk Bazar is a small bazar consists of two or three pan shops and a general item store. Street food was the main attraction of the Chowk Bazar. The name Chowk Bazar was assumed since it was ideally situated between the Uttar Tola (North Point) and Dakshin Tola (South Point). It was like meeting place of both the ends of the village and it was the main market for the entire community of the village.

At Chowk Bazaar both the friends enjoyed variety of street foods including famous jalebi, samosa, panipuri, and papri chaat. They roamed here and there and at the end Munna purchased stationeries for the exams. With warm handshake both the friends separated from each other on the way of their respective home.

Today, high priest Omkar Panday has organized a meeting at his residence. Many high figure personalities, associate landlords, and Mahendra Singh attended the meeting. All the guests were very eager to know the main agenda of the meeting. High priest used to organize such type of meetings or public gathering at the time of festival season only. During the festival season he preaches the masses about the philosophy of Hinduism mainly four stages of life which was classified way back in early Vedic periods. Four stages of life were age-based life stages. The stages or ashrams are: Bramacharya (student life), Grihastha (householder), Vanaprastha (retired), and Sannyasa (renunciation). But the high priest always gave emphasis to the strict caste system. This type of teachings and public gathering made him most supreme in his class.

As soon as high priest Panday arrived at the meeting hall the whole environment turned into silence mode. Everyone greeted him and sought his kind blessings. He smiled to Mahendra Singh and hinted him with some kind of intimation.

High priest started his speech with warm smile and said, ‘welcome my friends. Thank you all for making your presence in such a short notice. Many of you have question in your mind or may be some of you are eager to know why I have called the meeting in a non-festive season and the main agenda is; The Government of India is planning to implement Panchayti Raj system in this village. Under the said system the people of this village will have power to elect their Gram Pradhan (Village Head). Gram Pradhan will be responsible for delivering all the plans and policies of Central Government and as well as State Government, as a decentralized form of government where village will be responsible for its own affairs.’

High priest continued speaking about the various functions of Gram Panchayat. ‘After the establishment of Gram Panchayat, it can implement schemes for the development of agriculture and infrastructure. It can establish primary health centers and primary schools; it can look for supply of safe drinking water, drainage systems, constructions, and repair of roads. There are many other vital functions of Gram Panchayat by which a village can prosper like a state.’

Everyone clapped and thanked high priest for announcing such vital news for the village.

High priest said, ‘not only this there will be flow of enormous fund to run the Panchayat and such system of governance will be directly proportional to the power and money.’

Mohan Dubay the associate lord asked him; ‘so, what next?’

High priest – we have to form a brand new political party under the banner of the party we will nominate our candidate for the race of Gram Pradhan and listen carefully, in order to contest the election, and run the party we have to invest the quality amount of time and money. He continued speaking hope all of you are aware how the political party functions in the country.

Mohan Dubay – yes, we know but why you are undertaking all these things?

High priest – I am a Brahmin by birth and it is my prime duty to guide all the Kshatriyas. All the Kshatriyas are born to fight and rule the kingdom and honestly speaking, I am also doing this for power and money.

Chandra Pal Singh, the younger brother of landlord Mahendra Singh thought, ‘it sounds very good and do you have any roadmap or plan for this?’

High priest – yes off course, I have a plan. All of you listen carefully. Already I have registered a political party as All India Progressive Party and I would like to propose the name of landlord Mahendra Singh as our Gram Pradhan candidate. In my personal experience and opinion he fits well in the role of Gram Pradhan because he is a Kshatriya by birth and he is the most powerful landlord of the village. His relatives are well known political figures of the state. Undoubtedly, he is a great visionary as well as a good leader who always looks for the reform. He continued speaking; I am very sure under the leadership of Lord Mahendra Singh we will win the election and my dear friends I seek your kind permission to formally nominate Mahendra Singh as our electoral candidate, thank you.

Mohan Dubay, Pawan Singh, Rustom Rathore, Chandra Pal Singh, Sanjay Mishra, and Pappu Tiwari immediately agreed with the proposal of high priest Panday. Mahendra Singh became confident about his nomination. A year ago he had expressed his desire to become a politician to Omkar Panday. He was promised to high priest if he declares him as a candidate for the Gram Pradhan. In return he would give him ten acres of land and hundred and one pairs of cows.

Akhilesh Yadav one of the reputed landlords from Dakshin Tola (South Point) was not convinced with the proposal of high priest.

He asked high priest; ‘how we can project Mahendra Singh as our Gram Pradhan candidate. He doesn’t even know how to write his own name. He is the most hated and abandoned landlord of Narayangarh.’

He continued speaking; ‘India is now independent country but a person like him still thinks that people of this nation are still slave. Many kings and large kingdoms devoted their kingship under the Union of India. I see unity in diversity. Oh high priest Panday, I request you please don’t try to divide our society by means of your unjustified as well as meaningless speeches for your own personal interest. Stop the bloody game of caste and class in the name of ancient cultures and civilizations. Currently, our village is having less rainfall, fruit bearing crops are dying instead of thinking, and discussing such a burning issue you gathered us here for your political propaganda. It’s an embarrassment at the current situation.’

‘Calm down Akhilesh calm down,’ said priest from his high place. ‘Being Brahmin it is my prime responsibility to preserve the old Hindu rituals and cultures. Vedas were written way before the creation of the universe. For your kind information I am also aware of the burning situation. That’s why I have gathered you all here.’

He continued speaking; ‘listen me very carefully, I know Mahendra Singh our candidate has not enough qualifications but politics does not demand educational qualification. In India politics is all about number game. In Uttar Tola (North Point) he commands a very good position among the Brahmin and Rajput community. Definitely, they are going to support him in the upcoming election and after all he is the biggest landlord of the village.’

Akhilesh Yadav countered him and asked; ‘what about his social and moral responsibilities?’

High priest – everyone gets a second chance and I can assure every single villager, after the election he will be a new person. If, our party All India Progressive Party wins the election under the leadership of Mahendra Singh we will construct a dam over the river Ganges. By this we will control the flood during the monsoon season and during the autumn season and other dry seasons, reserved water will be supplied through the different channels. Dam will enable us to control the level of water and by this there will be no threat of flood and drought. More importantly, concerned authority will supply the water to the needy farmers at free of cost. Not only this, all the respected landlords of this village will exempt their land taxes to the farmers.

Akhilesh Yadav became quite convinced with high priest Omkar Panday and at last he also gave his support to Mahendra Singh. Meeting is over now and all the guests returned to their respective homes and residents. Only Mahendra Singh stayed there.

Landlord Mahendra thanked him and said; ‘thank you high priest for your support and I assure you that I will realize my words to you.’

Lord Mahendra touched the feet of high priest and he blessed with his right hand and said, ‘Vijay Bhava (May victory come upon you).’

Evening time as usual Hari reached home after the farms and shop. He noticed Munna is in happy mood and he promptly asked his son, ‘what is the reason you are looking very happy today?’

Munna replied, ‘yes father, today our principal teacher made an announcement about scholarship and prize money to the student who will top the upcoming school board exam. I am sure father, I could win this, and I will study hard for the same, only a month is away.’

With a plate of dinner Mira stopped Munna and asked both of them for the dinner.

Two weeks later, morning time at Khan Mansion Azamgarh one of the districts of Uttar Pradesh, postman knocked the door knock…. knock, a woman in black burqa came out and she queried, ‘yes what can I help you postmasterji (postman)?’

Post-man replied, ‘actually bahenji (sister) there is a telegram for Khan Sahib (Mr. Khan).’

Lady quickly responded him and after signing the appropriate paper she received the telegram.

A giant muscular, seven feet tall man with long black shiny beard in dark grey complexion was busy in listening prabhat samachaar (morning news) on All India Radio. Karim Khan got the telegram from the woman and he flipped the envelope. The sender name and address was written as Mahendra Singh, Uttar Tola (North Point) Narayangarh, Ballia, Uttar Pradesh. The name and address of sender increased the excitement level of Karim Khan. From the telegram he guessed something is going to be turned very good for him.

He quickly opened the envelope the message was clearly written as ‘Dear Karim Khan, it’s really a long time that I have not contacted you. Hope you are doing well. I am very glad to inform you that I am going to contest a Panchayat election which is scheduled to be held in coming months. I am in an urgent need of your valuable support. Kindly arrange the hundred units of desi katas (homemade pistols) and handmade grenades for the upcoming election. Payments will be made right after the election, regards, your friend Mahendra Singh.’

It was a big ticket order for Karim Khan. He was well known personality in Azamgarh for illegal manufacturing & trading of arms and ammunition. Before coming into the illegal business of arms and ammunition he was a small thief. He started his gangster career in the late years of 1950. He joined the crime world as a pick pocket from Azamgarh railway station at the age of ten and in early days of his life, police station was his second home. Later on he started recruiting many local boys into his gang. He extended his network in North-East India which includes state of Bihar, Bengal, Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh. With the help of such extensive network he started undertaking the business of trafficking and manufacturing of arms and ammunitions. Affluent people and landlords were the leading consumers of Karim Khan.

Karim Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan. His father Abdul Rehman Mansuri was a blacksmith and during the freedom movement he developed the art of making weapons with the help of easily available local materials. Abdul Rehman Mansuri was a true patriotic person and for him nation was always first. He was highly influenced by the philosophy of Subash Chandra Bose, the founder of INA (Indian National Army). He was never fascinated with Mahatma Gandhi and his movement. Because Satyagraha was not his cup of tea as fearless blood of Pathan was in his vein. He believed that by adopting the method of violence only India can get freedom from the British rule. Due to the family responsibility he did not joined INA (Indian National Army). He was supposed to look after his child and an old aged dying father from the long dieses. But indirectly, he decided to join the movement by manufacturing arms in favor of extremist groups.

During the course of time India got the reward of independence midnight at 12 15th August 1947. Lord Mountbatten appointed Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of The Republic of India. Every single Indian celebrated the joy of independence in their own elegance. In urban as well a rural area people distributed sweets and some expressed their joy by putting colors in each other’s face. But in Pakistan the joy of freedom turned into another way. British Government played their role and divided country into two parts i.e. India and Pakistan.

In the history of India, it was the most catastrophic event. A line was drawn between the people of the same country. Many people travelled from India to Pakistan considering Pakistan as their new motherland and many people travelled from Pakistan to India. Abdul Rehman Mansuri was one of them, for him India was his true motherland. Large number of people died in course of partition. The poison of religion was in the air. Population was openly divided into the two sects Hindus and Muslims. The partition not only killed the innocent Indians and Pakistanis but ultimately, it killed humanity and brother-hood of Indian civilization.

Thousands and lakhs of people were migrated from Pakistan in order to switch their new motherland. Travelling through railway was highly risky due to the patrolling of extremist group (mobs) all around the railway stations. Though, travelling through roadway was quite safer but it was full of miseries and sorrows. Large number of the population travelled on foot, bullock carts, camels, horses, and other means of local transportations.

Somehow, Abdul Rehman Mansuri and his son Karim managed to escape from Pakistan by alternate route of roadway. He was quite lucky that he had a horse with him. It helped them to escape from Lahore with some extra acceleration. It took a week to reach Delhi from Lahore by a roadway. Their horse was about to die due to lack of food and water. Abdul Rehman was not feeling well, while escaping he forgot to carry his box of medicines.

Delhi immigration camp time 2:30 p.m. afternoon, the scorching rays of sun are not in mood of sparing any one. Literally it was killing everyone with its heat. After sometime their brave horse died because of dehydration and excessive heat. Abdul Rehman witnessed the tragic death of his horse with his teary eyes. He thanked Almighty for ending his sorrows.

Abdul Rehman asked his son to get some fresh water to drink and he said; ‘it seems, I am not going to be survive. I failed you my son.’

Karim replied, ‘please, father and don’t speak like this. We escaped and we are here at our motherland. You did a great job and at the end of the day we are together.’ Karim paused for a second and said, ‘stay here I will bring some food and water to drink.’

As the day progresses the atmosphere of Delhi immigration camp became more terrible and nasty. Shortage of safe drinking water, nutritious food, and immediate medical emergency leads number of deaths. Unfortunately, Abdul’s health begins deteriorating due to severe headache and vomiting. Gradually, he started losing his breath. Slowly… slowly by the end of the day he lost his life.

Karim returned with a plate of food and a small jar of water. It was hard to believe for him to see as his father is no more and at the same moment he lost everything, no home, and no parents nothing except the cry of freedom.

Karim offered a last prayer to the almighty and for the very last time he said, “Goodbye” to his father. Immigration officials came and took the charge of the body; they made the official record and asked Karim to sign the necessary papers. From Delhi railway station he boarded train to unknown destination. Unknowingly, he reached to Azamgarh and little Karim started his journey and finally he became the mafia king Karim Khan.

Mahendra Singh started counting the days for the election. He ordered his brother Chandra Pal Singh to gather all the villagers including farmers to start his election campaign.

He said, ‘without making any delay we must start our campaigning from today evening onwards and pass the message to everyone that all the villagers are invited for the tea party.’

Chandra Pal Singh said, ‘okay’ and he sent his best four men to the village in order to spread the message.

Munna is studying hard for his board exam. Routine was released and mathematics is the first paper for the first day of exam. He crossed the date and counted the date on his finger. Every single day was crucial for him.

As per the instructions message was spread everywhere. Chandra Pal’s men gathered almost everyone at his resident. After farm and shop Hari also reached to the venue in order to attend the tea party hosted by his landlord.

It was an informal meeting so, Mahendra Singh casually came into his dhoti, kurta and in slippers which was made from rubber. Everyone paid their respect and for the first time he also showed some good civic sense to the poor villagers. He looked around and after taking the control of the situation he said, ‘my dear farmers and fellow villagers’ thank you for coming here on such a short notice.’

Most of the villagers became shocked and looked each other’s face due to the changed behavior of Mahendra Singh. Hari and small group of farmers said, ‘it seems our lord is in a mood, that’s why he gathered us here and we hope he will exempt our respective taxes.’

Mahendra Singh continued speaking; ‘my dear friends today I wanted to tell you so many things. As a landlord there are my certain duties towards the village and villagers. First of all, I want to tell you that our high priest Omkar Panday, associate landlords and respected personalities of the village has nominated me as a candidate for the Gram Pradhan. Yes my friends, I am going to contest an election for the first time.’

Chandra Pal Singh and his guards clapped and immediately all the villagers also clapped in the support of Mahendra Singh. By this Mahendra Singh became very happy and he continued speaking; ‘not only this if, I win the election, with the support of Governmental aid, I will construct a dam over the holy river Ganges. By this my dear farmers will get plenty of water for the irrigation. There will be no doubts farmers will get free water and our village and villagers will be secured from the uncertain floods.’

Between the speeches, small group of the farmers including Hari Baniya came forward and prayed to Mahendra Singh and they said, ‘oh lord of the lord please mercy upon us by exempting our taxes. It is very painful and you know our conditions very well. You are the only our last hope.’

Mahendra Singh replied, ‘don’t worry my fellow farmers, cast your favorable vote in my favor and I assure you, if I win this election, I will exempt your all the previous year taxes and current year taxes.’

With his assurance the entire mansion of Mahendra Singh filled up with joys and happiness of the villagers. They clapped and clapped with hailing the glory of landlordord Mahendra Singh.

At the end of the meeting Chandra Pal Singh requested all the villagers to take some refreshments. After the announcement of the refreshment, all the villagers rushed towards the tea counter. They surrounded the distributor from every side of the counter and tea distributor asked them to make queue so that everyone will get tea in a proper manner. Hari also joined the queue in order to get tea with some eatables.

Queue was bit longer and taking this opportunity Chandra Pal Singh called Hari and offered him a cup of tea with some eatables.

Hari – thank you my lord and Lord Mahendra Singh for exempting our taxes.

Chandra Pal Singh – being a landlord it’s our prime duty to be with our fellow farmers during the tough situations. I hope definitely you will cast your family vote in favor of my brother.

Hari – yes off course, after all he is my landlord; I can do anything for him.

Chandra Pal Singh – are you sure? You can do anything for him.

Hari – without any doubts and questions, I can do anything for him.

Chandra Pal Singh – Hari never lies to me, I can understand. Sometimes person forgets he is in control of emotions.

Hari – what kind of emotions?

Chandra Pal Singh – your tax will be exempted provided your lord must win the contest. The exemption of tax is your emotion. Got it?

Hari – my lord, I can understand easily what I am speaking. We are a simple man and we always speak what we are capable of it. I standby to my words yes; I am telling you once again I can do anything for our landlord Mahendra Singh.

Chandra Pal Singh – I have an assignment for you and you have to prove me.

Hari – what type of assignment?

Chandra Pal Singh – you need to travel Azamgarh and meet our friend Karim Khan. A consignment is ready over there you just need to escort those consignments.

Hari – no problem my lord, I am ready for this and please let me know the date and time.

Chandra Pal Singh – okay Hari, I will let you know the details and thank you. One last thing, I really respect your devotion to my elder brother Mahendra Singh.

From the far distance, Mahendra Singh was watching this. He signaled Chandra Pal Singh, and they smiled to each other.

Preparation for the board exam is going very well for Munna and everyday he dreams about the prize money. One day, Mira ordered Munna to bring some vegetables from the bazar. Mira intentionally did this so that he may get some fresh air. But he was not in mood to go outside. He did not want to waste any fraction of time, every second was vital for him. Though, it was a mother’s request and later he decided to get out for some vegetables.

As per the mother’s instruction Munna bought a kilo gram of potatoes, onions, cauliflower, and tomatoes. While returning from the bazar the mouthwatering aroma of samosa (Indian deep fried snack) stopped him and he started searching the source of aroma. After a quick scanning of the crowded market at last he found the aromatic source. He saw a vendor was busy in deep frying samosas over the charcoal stove. But the vendor was surrounded by student group of Uttar Tola (North Point). The group instantly noticed that Munna is alone and he wanted to taste the samosa.

With the presence of Munna all the boys became alert and they started surrounding him in a circular position. Within a moment Munna realized that he is standing alone at the center and he is surrounded by furious boys with some bad intensions. As per the situation, he controlled himself and suddenly Ajit made his entry in a typical Bollywood villain style with a plate of samosa in his hand.

Ajit – Munna it’s nice to see you and I heard you are preparing hard for the exams. You know that I am looking for you since many days. Thanks to the poor vendor and his aromatic samosas.

Munna – there is no point of talking. Ajit let me go and I have some urgent work to do.

Ajit – oh dear Munna, no need not be worry, I will let you go but before going back home please have some samosas.

Ajit offered his plate.

Munna – I am telling you, take it away and I am not a beggar.

Ajit- I think you forgot my bouncer. Luckily, you survived with that ball but next time you will not.

Situation became more rough and tough. It was one on one and they exchanged a series of dialogues and between the dialogues Munna lost his temper and with his full force he slapped at his face very hardly. Immediately his face turned into reddish red color and the loud and thunderous sound of slap broadcasted in the atmosphere of Chowk Bazar. The entire crowd of the bazar witnessed the incident and they froze at their places. Due to the daring action of Munna all the boys grabbed his hand & legs and he became helpless. In anger Ajit threw his plate in the air and he kept slapping Munna for several minutes.

Ajit said, ‘you son of poor farmer you don’t know who am I? But today I will not kill you. I have a different plan for you by this you will remember me throughout your whole life. You rascal nobody will you save you, with this word he again slapped him.’

From the crowd nobody dared to stop Ajit Singh and his gang as he was the son of landlord Mahendra Singh. Silently all of them were forced to watch the whole action oriented drama. The furious Ajit reached the peak of his uncontrollable anger and due to this he grabbed the neck dipped the face of Munna into the hot frying pan of samosa. Due of the extreme temperature of the oil it burned his left face.

Ajit – Munna you should thank me for not killing you but remember, this is the beginning only. You lost your beauty of your left sided face and whenever you come before the mirror in your whole life you will remember me with the burn marks.

In an extreme pain and in low down voice Munna said, ‘don’t worry about this. I will remember you and I swear on Kali Mata (Goddess Mother Kali) of Kali Mandir (Kali Temple) one day I will kill you, kill you……,’ with this sentence slowly he became unconscious and fell down.

Once again in loud and anger voice Ajit barked to the crowd; ‘if anybody opens his or her mouth, I will take them on my charge.’

Evening time while returning from Ballia, Bulbul found Munna alone lying at the streets of the Chowk Bazar with serious injuries. Fortunately, he was in semi-conscious mode. She carried Munna and immediately rushed to the Pharmacy. Dr. Nathuni Singh checked his pulses and he cleaned the wound with mercury and cotton. Almost ninety percent of the left face was damaged due to the excessive heat of the oil. After cleaning the wound doctor applied ointment and possibly bandaged the most wounded area of his face. In order to control the severe pain he injected high dose of pain killer.

After treating Munna Dr. Singh asked Bulbul to ‘call his father,’ Hari Baniya to discuss the situations of his son.

Bulbul replied; ‘okay doctor’ and she ran towards the shop of Hari.

Bulbul is an immediate neighbor of Munna and for her Munna was like a brother, friend, and everything because she was alone at her home and in her life as well. Bulbul was a transgender and by profession she was a dancer. She was an active member of Bhola Band. Bhola Band essentially performs at the time of marriages, birthday parties and in some special occasions. Other members of the band used to play the different kind of musical instruments and Bhola, the owner of the band was entitled to sing old and trending Bollywood numbers. Bulbul was supposed to dance on those numbers in order to entertain the audience. She was the showstopper of the band.

Bulbul was a kind hearted person. In part time she used to teach English and Mathematics to the needy and poor students including Munna. She was the first graduate person from her native place. She was born to rich Brahmin family at Kanpur. But after the graduation due to physical conditions and sexual deficiencies her family disowned her. After this she was also rejected by the so called civil society of human beings. Ultimately, with this pain she changed her gender and in order to earn her living she joined Bhola band.

After a while Hari came and enquired about the whole incident with Doctor Nathuni Singh and Bulbul.

Doctor said; ‘just to be relaxed and there is no need to be worry too much. He will be fine and thirty minutes will take to work the medicines.’ He continued speaking; ‘his burnt mark will be there for lifetime. Proper diet, timely medication, and course of time will heal his wound. I also advise him to take the complete best rest for one month.’

Hari asked him; ‘how, he can take the complete bed rest? Only fifteen days are left for the board exam.’

Doctor – Hari I cannot do anything but in order to recover he must take rest. Health comes first. So, forget about the exams otherwise this wound may damage his nervous system. I am warning you. I have done my part and now he has to co-operate with me. Thanks to the God, he saved his eyes and nose.

Hari – thank you doctor as your wish and it will be hard for me to explain all these things to him.

At last Hari thanked Doctor and Bulbul for taking care of his son.

Couple of days past, slowly and steadily Munna began recovering from his wound. One day both Mira and Hari decided to enquire about the incident.

They asked; ‘who did this and what happen exactly?'

Munna replied; ‘mother I cannot remember exactly so, please don’t talk about those things. Past is past.’

Mira – sorry son, totally it was my fault, because I let you to go outside for the vegetables.

Munna requested his mother to allow for the exams. Promptly Mira responded and said, ‘no son it is not possible. You are not yet recovered from your wounds. You are still weak and doctor has advised you to take complete bed rest.’

Though, he was not fully recovered but he kept requesting her mother to allow for the board exam.

He said, ‘I am pretty sure that I can score good numbers and I have a little doubt in science but I can easily manage to top the exam, thanks to Bulbul she taught me every chapter very precisely.’ He continued requesting ‘please… please….’

Hari gave an anger look to his son and said; ‘no means no. Your health comes first and you can appear in next year.’

Munna replied, ‘it’s not possible for me. I have prepared a lot with taking so much of pain and sacrifices. I request you please don’t murder my desires and emotions.’

Between the little family discussions, Bulbul reached there in order to monitor the condition of Munna and after reading his face she immediately understood the whole situations, she requested his parents to allow him to appear for the exams.

Bulbul said, ‘there is no need to be worry about your son, I will take care of him, and between these days I don’t have any program to perform. It is an off-season for us.’ After deep thinking both of them Hari and Mira agreed and permitted him for the exams.

Morning time Munna recollected his energy and with some pain and happiness he prepared himself for his most awaited school final examination. Bulbul also prepared her bicycle and before leaving she asked Munna to take the blessings of his parents. Hari and Mira blessed their son with their teary eyes and both of them headed towards the school.

Munna reached to the school and started searching his enrollment number in order to find his assigned seat. They searched each and every list and unfortunately his enrollment number was not listed in any examination hall. Munna became nervous and he asked Bulbul to search every hall to find his name & number. But his name was not listed anywhere. Without making any further delay they directly headed towards the principal’s office.

Very carefully principal teacher listened them and he turned the admit register. He found that his admit was not issued from the concerned authority because his examination fee was not yet paid.

Principal teacher said, ‘I was aware about your medical conditions and I presume that this year you will not appear for the exam that’s why we did not inform you about the examination fee and registration. Sorry Munna, in this regard I am helpless and I cannot do anything for you.’

Bulbul asked, ‘sir what was the last date of registration and payment of fee? I hope you are in knowledge what happened with Munna at Chowk Bazar.’

Principal teacher – yes, Bulbul I am in complete knowledge about the whole incident and I thought this year he will not appear for the exam due to his medical conditions. For your information, yesterday was the last day for the submission of form and payment of fees.


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