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Mishal Raheja as Dutta Patil
Fettered Affection ~ Chapter 2
"Out damned spot!".. Shakespeare
Somewhat somnolent, both friends surreptitiously entered their house a tad past midnight. Baji ,looped his arm around Dutta's waist and instead received an irritated growl and a wagging forefinger in his face from ,Dutta,"oyee choor mujhe ,what's wrong with you? I am fine, I tell you Baji never jump into something you can't get out off, be on guard!a there are lots of people around who can kick you in your teeth.."he slurred complete baloney. Baji gathered that his Bhao had drunk after a while thus had his head up in the clouds, and henceforth to challenge him in whatever incomprehensible garble he comes out would be unwise. He nodded, nervously as he directed the lofty lackadaisical Dutta towards the stairs. Dutta yanked back his broad head and his firm hand closed around the old rickety metal banister with chipped brown paint. He hauled himself on the first step and looked behind at Baji,"ayee Baji! mujhe pata hai kahan jana hai, it's not that this damned place is new to me, kaise nehi yaad rehe ga mujhe ke mere kamra uppar chet pe hai.. hummh? sab se dor.. chale abhi" and he climbed up the stairs tediously sliding his trainers on the base of the stairs, only to stop midway turn again towards Baji and with a finger raised to his pink bottom lip signalling "shhh koi uthe na jaye". Baji smiled and nodded assuredly and followed the great lump of a man as they both narrowed the distance from the ground floor to the first floor towards Dutta's room. Once outside his room he turned to Baji his voice, filled with sarcastic potency,"dekh Baji.. no guard here" and paused and slanted his head as he glared at his friend and continued, "but my friend ye tu bahut bura hai, for just when you think you are being protected, being watched over, pow! , he yelled as he smashed his right fist in his left palm, "you are robbed under the thick dark mantle of the night!" he cried, and Baji smarted at his friends ache and leaned forward and closed his fingers around Dutta's arm. Dutta sided his head and nodded his head slowly, and squared his shoulders ,with a proud admittance ,"main thek hoon Baji, just let me tarry a while to look at my haunt from outside.. ahh yes! the same titchy box of a room with one solitary window , and yes! how can I ignore this fine metal wire screen that kept the creepy crawlies at bay and allowed the fresh air in.. and was powerless at stopping the forced dazzled brilliance of the sunlight", Baji felt relived at Dutta's pleasant rumination of bygones and jested," and don't forget the cold air it brought into the room to Bhao, how you would end up rolling your big body into a screwed up small ball due to the cold"! he sniggered, and Dutta shook his head disdainfully with a retort,"aur apne halat tu sarrde mein bhul gaye hai tu , kulfi ke theran jama hota tha basteer mein subah!"and Baji cackled and continued,"haan yaad hai Bhao aur jab tera ghurrana subah suna ko milta tha tu mein phegel jata tha fatafat!" and Dutta gave him a daggered look with a clenched fist.. but lowered his arm and moved forward and pressed both his palms on the old wooden door to his room and pushed open the doors and beheld his room.. It was much the same, damp ridden facing top wall.His eyes shifted to the left of the room where stood shrouded under a printed bed sheet, his excuse of a cupboard an old rusty portable clothes railhold for hanging his clothes. Baji stepped in with him and gave a commentary, "dekha AS ne tera purne kaproon ko kaise cover ker ke rekha hai, he said putting in a good word for Dutta's mother.But he stood with one arm folded behind him as he gazed at the rail, with a dead pan expression and quizzed curtly, "kya zarorrat the mera purne kapre rekhna ke unhe? ,"she could have given it to the poor"..he continued.Baji turned to face him,"wohe zarorat the AS ko Dutta, ju thujhe the, ke tu aaj jab jail se aya tu apne purna kapre pehan ke wapis aya ,tera yadien jorre thein unsa, tu AS ke bhi yadien jorre hoye hain apna beta ke kaproon se.." he snapped, irked by Dutta's cold reaction, but, Dutta not letting go , griped,"Baji, I wore my own clothes when I came out of prison ,because, I couldn't be bothered to go back and return their clothes, aur koi wajah nehi the, and that's what I feel that she should understand that these are just old clothes... the person who they belong to is not about ,so best it would have been,if she should have given it to the needy! they would have been put to some good use", he maintained obstinately. Baji scratched his head and began to yawn as Duttas' constant rejection of his mother presence.. he would need a lot of perseverance for him to swallow his Bhao's behaviour . Dutta's bored eyes travelled to the charpai that was his bed from yester years too. Baji, noted his faint curiosity and moved to the bed and inclined as he felt the bed and then levelled up ,"pata hai tere liya naye chaddar, takiyaa , aur razai tayeer karwai AS na Dutta, ye hai ak maa ka pyar," he argued, and Dutta brought his arms forward and crossed them across his abdomen, and gibed," paisa hai nehi aage he , tu ye fasool kerchi the Baji, purna cheezioon mein kiya burai the",he alleged frigidly and turned away and paced towards the window with his back to Baji as with narrowed eyes he glowered outside at the sleepy roof tops of adjoining houses, against the stilled obscure night. There was naught the sentiments of returning to one's own home or for that matter his surroundings , for without an inch of a doubt he never considered himself a part of them both.There lacked in him the unseen association that others may have towards a place where they grow up in.. him, he only had recollections of moments that were at best put on the back boiler as far as he was concerned.. he raised his arm and ran his warm palm against his stubble cheek. Engulfed by a sudden stillness, he turned around and realized that Baji had gone and left him alone. He slowly staggered towards his bed and collapsed on it his back hitting the base of the slightly loose for his weight charpai.. his head relaxed on the pillow and his eyes swam with fatigue, booze, and a strange sense of realization that this night was his first night where he is meant to sleep on the bed of freedom as opposed to sleeping in captivity.. yes he is free in the mode of practicality yet in a manner of speaking, he felt very much a prisoner of his physical and emotional circumstances. For Dutta yearned for a revolution, an alteration in his life.. he rolled on his side and folded his muscular right arm under his head ,as his eyes gradually chose to be behind his eye lids as they willingly granted him slumber.
One after the other blurred figures dressed in white swam in and spat on him squelch! kicked his privates! and he felt the warm slosh of ammonia sulphate smelling urine being sprayed and poured over him ..were they peeing on him! or douching him with a collection of many!?? !unclean! defiled he was! inhuman !arghhh...his arm creased to shield his face arghhh! foots steps ah the guards! intervention! but not quite... thump ! his lip spilt! stinging! and then the warm trickle, mera khoon! .. talons grab him! the twisted face of this man with rotten teeth and shaved head butts him arhhh leave me! his throat rasped ... punched he was again! hot smelly breath in his face, with a bark "show us then you little pip squeak what you have got?!" and he felt the warm splotched volley of fresh wet saliva on his stubble cheek !,"come on them only one of us has to be boss you or me? .. he felt a strong body jump oh his rear! and his neck suffers from a choking arm lock suffocation!!.. "mar salle maar! lagata hai maa ka dhood nehi peya tune! the words cussed in his ears .. arghhh his throat yelled! he wriggled free threw the trash package of a lily livered coward on his back!... and yes ohhh delight! take that! a vicious kick! where it hurt most right between your legs! the end ?..arghhh.. from the clouded obscurity more come and set upon him ghostly shapes in white screamed and yelled Dutta naya boss?... "abee challe apna khana humien de!.. awrhhh nehin!! the screams he hears and Dutta's clenched fist jerked on the bed... "kamzaoor samhje ke!k koi nehi mila ga tu khaaa! .. his fists ram! hurl! pounce! swirl! thump!... his legs jut! thump! move like swished blades cut kicking into the sides of whoever came in his way! "Nandu tu kha !..tu kha! main hoona khaaa!.. the saviour had arrived.. somehow, instantly he reached the skies over shoulders of some! and Bhao! Bhao! resounded... as Dutta flattened himselfon his back..and his head moved restlessly on the pillow! with restless he keened one of long legs up, while the other lay loosely half folded his heart pounds agains this rib cage ahhh his breathing short ahhh ..he couldn't breathe his hands struggle to peel off the bag over his head yelling and shoving, elbowing "oyee chorru use tum sab janwar ho! Shamlal! , and the sounds of flesh being boxed! ,.. slap wrists! and ahhh separation from deadly maniacs!,fresh air, fight for oxygen !coughing! ahhh breathing steadily.. not smothered to death... arggghhh.. with a start Dutta sat up in bed with beads of sweat on his chest, his mouth dry, he hyperventilated as he trembled, in panic groping for himself! his body! to confirm his life. With the drum beats of his heart in full cadence, he jolted in sitting position, heaved sideways in the dark and lowered his legs of the bed and placed them on the cold floor. Breakaway from the bed!, seek respite was the prompt!...and he fought his way through the darkness, his arms stretched out before him groping till his long slender palms felt the cold wall of his room. Notwithstanding the trauma of what befall him, he thumped his fists arghhh and smashed his knuckles arghhh against the wall in continued pent up aggression.. aghhh aghhh he cried in anguish, till finally exhausted, with his sturdy back pressed against the wall of his room he slid his shattered body down to the floor.For an instance he sat on the cold floor, but soon he pulled up his knees and lowered his moist forehead on them and cried, "main zinda rehena chata hoon.."he sighed, very soon he banged his fists on the floor .. arghhh!" he roared, his head slanted... and slowly and steadily he released his pent of steam, compressed his palms on the floor pushed himself up stood.., cranked his head yet again, wiped his eyes roughly with his fore fingers and walked as if in a daze towards his bed flopped on his belly, folded his arms under his head and sighed gently like a child and dozed off again...in the hope that angels tend to him rather then beastly ghouls from yesterdays..
All lay in bed within an unwelcome earful, as his body suffered a beating against the hard surface as he knocked pounded and battered the little house of the Patils. His roaring wails of wounded anguish, squeezed all hearts, wet all eyes and but most of all feared all of Dutta's next of kin. AS, at every cry of his, raised her hands up to the heavens in her cry of plea for the deities to come to her aid. She held her hand to her smarting breast her child was in pain , and so was she , she could never rest if he was ill at rest.. surely he had done his penance and rightly he should be granted peace now Jagdammbe!, she argued before the figure of Ganpati ,she wept and wiped her tears with her pallu , she will stand up by her son, especially in this hour when there are clear signs of a residue of his gruelling experiences.. this was more than she had bargained for... she stood and stared vacantly at her household God , till she heard footsteps.. With a slow turn towards the noise she found a half asleep Baji , standing in her room , rubbing his eyes..he walked tenderly towards the only form of mother he knew and placed his arm around her shoulder.."dekho AS, main abhi dekh ke ah raha hoon , Dutta ab shant hai aur sau raha hai, "he consoled her, but she wept again helplessly. Baji reasoned again, "AS, himmat rekho , jail main rehna aasan nehi, kuch tu hoon ge aise batien ?jis se Dutta abhi bhi pareshan hota hai ,thura waqat dein use, jail ke baher ke zindagi ko apnane mein use thura time lage ga , pun Bappa shapat woh wapis waise he Dutta bun jae ga jisa tha AS, bas ap Bappa se himmat mangein.. ke jald he Dutta thek ho jayea"..he calmed AS as he took his mother to her bed and sat her down.. and after a pause, he held her hand gently and advised, "waise subah ap raat ke koi baat na kerna use, aur zayeeda yehra bun jaye ga ,aap ko kuch fasool bol de ga.."Baji had done what he came to do and pensively left AS's room.. only to be confronted by Roops, "ab tu adher kiya kar rehe hai ?ja sau ,subah kam pe nehi jana thujhe?", he questioned. Roops gazed at him with anxious eyes,"Baji I am worried for Bhao,his behaviour is odd, he's not the same? she commented, and Baji nodded patiently,"haan Roops, Bhao did cause a disturbance on his first night back , but would you blame him? I don't, he wasn't leading a hunky dory normal life like us, so for you too the guidelines where he is concerned, is that you act normal as you would day to day.."he instructed and finally ordered ,"come go to your room before our talking wakes him up again..
In prison here was no room for lie ins, so at the first rays of the sun the lion woke up , stretched his arms and growled as he shook himself into shape. He remembered the cold water tap out side his room and shoved his long slender toes in his trainers and carried on the ritual of ablution as best as he could.The cold water rendered callous smacks on his warm skin and he shivered almost frozen to the roots of his hair. He rubbed and then cupped his hands as he blew hot breath in them to cause some heat. But the sun on his face thawed him more, accompanied by the sight of his sister approaching him with a bowl of breakfast.."ye lau Bhao garam garm poha, main ne bunye tumhere liya,"she said with a smile carefully deleting the truth that it was AS who made her son's favourite dish.. he smiled as he saw her and with a twist of his arm beckoned her into his room.. where he had already made his bed much to her surprise , and nodded his head to the side, for her to sit down beside him on the edge of the bed,"hummh this is nice chotti, good to note in my absence you have shown positive results "he remarked as he devoured the poha bowl gratefully.. she gave him a sided gaze and put her arm around his wide shoulder and rested her head on the near side of his shoulder affectionately,"Bhao I am so happy you are back! pata hai I'll tell my friends my brother is back now for keeps! so cute na? and he sided his face towards her and dryly retorted,"kya batie ge ke tera Bhao jail se chot ke aya hai hummh?",Roops matched his sided glance with a sad face,"uff ho Bhao why you always look at the dark side of things "she huffed and pulled of her arm from his shoulders and he continued to look at her face with a twinkle in his eyes and a slight naughty frown above the bridge of his strong well shaped nose, "nope Roops I am not looking at the dark side of things , only telling you what is the truth, ok chaal choor you tell me about your work , do you like doing it? hummh? he tried to cheer her up , she sulky replied, "aacha hai, kam hai , brings in money so that's the main point," and she saw his face cloud and changed her line, "but you know more about such things you are older and more experienced than me haina? she chattered, but in grimace he recognized, "haan that's true , I may be older than you Roops but without a job! so you my dear chotti are your Bhao's boss at the moment!" he chuckled and then he took her hand in his and held it between his palms and said tenderly .."I am proud of you Roops.." "areee bahut pyar vayar ho raha hai bhai behan mein re! waise sorry to break this bonding chaal Roops thujhe kam pe chor ke aye main", invited Baji as he stood scratching his head.. and Dutta stood up and folded his arms ,"think of the devil and you appear!.. waise humien bhi kam ke talaash mein nikalna hai aaj Baji" reminded Dutta, and Baji nodded..
He dressed himself in a decent pair of jeans and a brilliant blue and white boxed checked shirt with a white vest inside.. he turned to Baji,"ye main thek dekhta hoon haina ?now if it wasn't for going to employment agencies, I wouldn't give a toss", he moaned irritated as he shoved his feet into his nike trainers.. with a shift from his trainers that he laced up his eyes rested on Baji, who wore a kurti and jeans.."tu asise chala ga Baji? office ka kam hai.. you should be in a tee shirt if nothing else" he suggested, and Baji wriggled his fingers up in the air, "arre wah Bhao tu to ab fashion guru tips de raha hai".. Dutta jutted his chin and pointed his fingers to indicate downstairs, where should be heading..
Both friends descended the stairs ,Baji in the lead and Dutta followed, turned and gave his friend a dimple ridden smile,"ab kaun roothe hoi biwi bun ka peeche peeche ah raha hai Bhao hummh? he sniggered and Dutta poked his solid knuckled fist into Baji's back .. "chup kar! aur challa ja before I trip over you and flatten you down" ,he growled .. Baji hummed and looked the other way as he continued his descent slowly, of course he knew Bhao had the sulks, AS ko bhi tu satna hai is yehra na.. Baji, tenderly, bent to touch her feet and received blessings, the other just looked inanely right across the top of her head. Spontaneously her eyes numbed up but her Dutta was stiff as ever ,she recalled Baji had suggested she act normally and she turned towards Baji, and commented,"khanian baher ja rehe ho subah hai? and before she finished Dutta without wishing to be rude yet up front replied instead, "haan kam dhoondne ja rahe hai .. "and he stopped short, as he felt that was enough to the point of information to be relayed.. AS smiled gently at him she cared not if he didn't engage in direct interaction with her.. she would wait for her son's readiness to come to her as her Dutta.. Dutta cleared his throat and bopped his head at Baji, in haste to leave. AS, requested ,"thura roko, mein dahi cheeni la ke hoon, kha ke jana.. tumhara sab kam thek ho",and disappeared briefly. Dutta, threw his head back a little , and flared his nostrils,"kya hai ye Baji sara din in chotte chotte batoon mein he chal jaye ga" he complained his face furrowed. AS, arrived and held a spoonful of the sweetened curd for both her sons as a good omen. Baji, as expected came forward and received it with gratitude and in turned also received his blessings from his mother. Dutta stood glued to his space mulishly, his mouth firmed up to one side and AS smiled a little and moved towards him and held the spoon up near his closed mouth ,with a plea, "la le Dutta ye shugan hai"she offered.. he glared down into her eyes ,moved his arm slowly ,raised it and took the spoon from her hand and poked it in his mouth, put the spoon back in the bowl she carried, turned his frame and stalked off towards the main door .. Baji hot behind his heels. AS raised her palm at her son's back and whispered a prayer,"kush rehe Dutta.."
Baji gaped at his friends scowling profile and mused.. don't know when this dense brained Bhao is going to soften towards his mother, his behaviour is nothing short of downright disrespectfully defiant. Dutta sensed Baji's unusual quiet and turned his head sideways and sternly asked ,"tune kuch bola Baji?" and Baji immediately turned his head nervously and fumbled "nehi to Bhao..
Baji stopped the jeep before this newly built up employment agency. Apprehensively both men entered the small employment agency. Eyes were raised at their presence, both casually dressed, in jeans and trainers.. one of the advisors looked straight at them keenly and stood up to indicate that he was prepared to offer his services. Dutta noted and headed Baji, "chaal let's go to him. Once seated before the advisor, Dutta felt being under scrutiny yet again, and he crossed his leg and threw his head back a little and felt his ankle nervously with his slender fingers.The advisor opened his note pad and started the interview, "so tell me how can I help you young man,". Dutta abruptly responded, "we need a job, right away, anything ?".The man turned to Baji and then back to Dutta,"we?, do you work in partnership? and Baji was about to interrupt, but Dutta sided his neck and bowed his head once towards Baji ,and answered, "yes we prefer to work together where ever possible..? The man nodded and further enquired now tell me are you looking for , professional , skilled or non skilled work..? Dutta gulped at the word professional, both him and Baji exchanged furtive glances , but he very clearly informed," non professional".The man noted and fired the next question, "ok ,then which one would you prefer skilled or non skilled?, Dutta shifted forward on his chair with up right back and got to the point, "look I have tried my hand at carpentry, so yes anything in wood work .. or construction work, where carpentry is required" , he said with a certain degree of clout , and Baji too nodded his head in agreement and Dutta turned to him with a sided look ,"ab is salla ko koi idea nehi carpentry ka tu faltu mein sar hila raha hai.. bemused Dutta.The man nodded hopefully, as he ran his finger down a list of prospective job vacancies, "yes here are some constructive sites in the area who have vacancies, so let me fill up some applications on your behalf , so if you start with your names, addresses and mobile or land line numbers and your d.o.bs please and then previous jobs starting from the most recent one to.. they gave their details, which were noted on the standard job application form. Finally, they get to the part where one has to notify of one's criminal convictions, and Baji's face just dropped. Dutta leaned forward his legs slightly apart his arms resting on his knees and he disclosed,"yes I have served a ten year prison sentence spilt by six and half years in the federal prison and fours years in a young offenders remand centre where carpentry was one of the skills that I learnt, here are the papers stating my early release due to good conduct and he placed the papers for the man's perusal.The man's enthusiasm suddenly abated and he coughed to clear his throat," look young man I am impressed by your honesty in informing me about your past criminal record, I shall forward your application and let you know immediately about further progress on your mobile numbers you have provided , meanwhile here's my card, keep it, to contact me.." and he stood up to specify the end of the interview.
Dutta and Baji left the office with a slight air of a foreboding disillusionment due to apparent cause. But this was just the beginning.. there were plenty of jobs available but not necessarily for Dutta. So thus, repeated the same pattern at all the other employment agencies that followed, Baji frustrated, commented in the jeep after they were turned own from the fifth job agency,"waise Bhao thujhe kya zarorrat hai har jagah apne jail jana ke kahani sune ke?"Dutta grilled him with a sided look," kyon ke Baji main jail zaroor gaya hoon, apradhe hoon pun jhotta nehi hoon!", besides it's yet another criminal offence to withhold the truth about one's self.. so if I get a job to earn an honest living then it has to be on the basis of the employees knowing my back ground!", he firmed up, and Baji nodded as he gazed upon his mate with renewed admiration, and rekindled hope that itna bhi yehra nehi Bhao... Yet both knew that within himself Dutta contained a slowly smouldering spark of being turned down from being offered a job.. Baji , turned to his friend , "chaal aur kuch nehi tu Mooto ke garage mein pata kerta hain..
Nothing much had changed at this small time garage of Patil Vadi. Same old medium sized dilapidated grease smelling ramp ridden, with a collection of used cars some shiny clean cars others gathering dust. Active work was in progress as workers were involved in a collection of chores from spraying vehicles, soldering parts, fixing dents and lying flat under vehicles with spanners ,pliers and collection of nuts and bolts.. Dutta looked and some old memories took charge.. a voice from the past tore the air .." Dutta!" he turned behind as he was rudely jostled by a young five old lad!. running footsteps followed by a woman calling "rok tu Tony ahi thujhe bate hoon", and Dutta turned his head to catch sight of the running boy who knocked him and whizzed past him. "Dutta", came the voice again and both him and Baji turned. A young heavily made up buxomly built woman stood before them carrying a toddler clinging to her waist.. Dutta looked vacantly his mouth and jaw firmed like rock. She gambolled towards them and gave a abroad smile,"phechna nehi mujhe tum dono na ? main Seema hai, haan thuri badal zaroor gaye hoon pun wohi hoon ,ju tumhe se..."and Dutta raised his palm before her face ,"jaana bhi hai aur phechana bhi hai, ab batao tumhara pati Mooto seth kahan hai?"he grated. She smiled nervously and nodded "under hai, main bolti hai , tum aao dono , undher humara ghar hai ,kuch chai nasatha?" she invited. Baji looked at Dutta with a shall we expression only to be put down by Dutta's cold narrow eyes, and he responded to Seema on Dutta's behalf who by now had turned his scowling face the other way from her,"nehi Seema tum bas seth ko bula do". "aree Patil Vadi ka sher ah gaya hawalt se choot ke? aree wah kya baat hai! declared a pompous voice from an amusing rounded, short overweight man in his forties ,dressed in a maroon silk shirt open collar revealing his heavy belcher gold chains,his fat fingers bedecked and cut in by chunky gold rings .. "Dutta forced a smile at this potbellied garage owner who hadn't changed one bit.. Dutta responded to his warmth and acknowledged "kaise ho Mooto seth?," with a handshake and the guy shook, Dutta's hand, "main maaze mein, lagaan buniya mein ne ye mera patni hai Seema, yaad haine tera he mohalle ke hai.. aur thein baachoon ka paap bhi hai ,pun tu bata kaise ana hoiya ? aur Baji tu abhi bhi Dutta ke aas pas? he laughed with a wink. Dutta looked at him disdainfully regarding the distasteful joke..and curtly replied,"haan saath mein hai abhi bhi , bhai jaise hai Baji mera liya , Mooto seth bas ye yaad rahe",he threatened in a veiled fashion. Baji knew Dutta was finding it a chore to speak the reason for the visit so he obliged,"woh kam ke talaash mein hain , seth koi kam milega humien?. Motto, folded his arm and looked round at his workers,"woh kya haina ,Baji abhi tu hain mera pas kafi workers, tu abhi ke liye tu nehi.."he said plainly, but was interrupted by his wife who took him to the side, and whispered, "deko je, tumhe business bharna hai ya nehi ? ayea din ap customers ko wapis kartein hain , ke workers busy hain, un dono ko ap rekh lo tu paise bhi zayeeda bun sakte hain , dono he mehnati aur aacha kam kerne wale hain.. dost hain mil ke kam karien ga apna bhi aur humara bhi".. !bak ap ke marzi".. she suggested with a coquettish look which she gave towards Dutta's direction who watched from afar, and he folded his arm across his chest, sighed nonchalantly and looked the other way. Mooto Seth, toddled towards both ,Dutta and Baji and held his hand towards Dutta,"challo tekh hai, tumhe samojho kam mil gaya .. kal se shurro, rooz ke pagar mile ge? koi nagha kiya tu koi paisa nehi mila ga us din ka, subah 8.00am se 6.00 pm kam hai aur over time ke alag paise .. samjhe gaye ,tum dono," he said officially, and Baji gave a dimpled smile and said ,"ho seth kush ker diya tum na,"and Dutta let go of Seth's hand and jerked his head to the side towards Baji , turned his frame and strode off.. watched silently by Seema's clandestine eyes..
Once in the jeep, Baji rubbed his hand and raised his palm and smacked it against Dutta's widened palm and both friends held each other palms with a deep sense of accomplishment. Baji suddenly turned to his Bhao ,"waise tune soocha Bhao Mooto ne ek dum se apna mind change ker liyea aisa kyon .. hummh?" and Dutta sided his face,"humien kya Baji.. kyon? humein tu sirf kam milne se gharaz the jo mil gaya hai ab"..he advised briefly and Baji nodded..
Bob studied Nakusha as she sat before him across the desk, there was no reservation in his mind that she was one of the most devout ,committed and compassionate worker that he has.. apart from that.. he was interrupted by Nakusha's sudden tap of her fingers on his desk, "ok Bob as you English put it a penny for your thoughts,? with a smile he questioned, "you up to receiving compliments Nakusha?,"he said lightly and she looked down shyly at her finger tips and admitted," no not really Bob, if it's about recapping my good points, then yet again I iterate that I am, only doing my job, she said looking at him with her big green eyes. But he was adamant in telling her, to empower her even more, as he alleged that employees efforts needed to be acclaimed often to get their maximum potential. He continued, "well we get feedback from clients you have dealt with and they insist that in the snags they face regarding issues they tackle, they would rather have you then anyone else dealing with their case, now take for example,I had a lady ring in this morning three times asking for a home visit from you, apparently it is in Patil Vadi.. now isn't that the belt where you come from?," he confirmed. Nakusha nodded, and tried to stay focussed, "it is, but tell me about this woman, three times you say, sounds urgent to me, did she leave an address? anything?", he nodded and gave her the memo with the address, and Nakusha snatched it from the table and stood to leave. Bob stopped her fleetingly, "excuse me Nakusha, would you care to explain what was your rationale in changing your original complexion to a self perpetuated dark one?.Nakusha sat down again and widened her green eyes, "look Bob you can say I wanted to carry out a one off sort of social experiment.. erhh I wanted to see if my complexion or skin tone had an impact on how people behaved towards me, how I was treated socially based on the colour of my skin," Bob heard intensely and couldn't but help asking, so what did you find out ? my social rippler".. he goaded her. She looked at him severely, "Bob it's alright for you to ask as in your country, people spend loads on getting their skin tone changed to look more attractive and acceptable!, well we have an equivalent here too, people prefer to have lighter skin tones and to achieve that they buy products they feel will transform their complexion from what it really is ,to something they long to be i.e light skinned. She nodded her head, in dismay, "Bob what I found out when I darkened my skin tone was not something entirely new, yes people's looks whether I interacted with them or not , was rude and dismissive of me as a person, at one point during a home visit I was taken for a down and out tramp knocking at doors for hand outs! all because of the way I looked.. it's like only my most obvious feature, the first call on my personality ,my colour mattered only..Bob it's demeaning.. ummh I mean the comparison was stark ,how people respond to me in my normal light complexion.. Bob the idea is how do those people who are discriminated in society on the basis of their skin colour really feel.." she said pensively, and Bob , commented, "well the issue of being discriminated by colour is more evident where I come from , and for that we have laws set in place encompassed under the banner of Racial Equality which covers ,race, colour, gender and creed.." and with that he waited for Nakusha to comment, "here Bob its less obvious, its overt and subtle ,but yet it exists, dark skin is considered a disadvantage especially in females, and fair skin a boon! ,a sign of beauty.." she confessed and then added with a giggle, "but Bob, my experience in my dark semblance with the hoodlums last night proved to be a success as they called me witch and abandoned the idea of having anything to do with , but ummh there was one to whom how I looked never mattered .."and for half a second she seemed to be lost.. and Bob clicked his fingers at her,"errh Nakusha duty calls chop chop! be off now!" he commanded. But before she went he challenged her, "food for thought Nakusha, which is more cumbersome for you the complexion issue or the gender issue.." Nakusha stopped and then spontaneously , the gender issue,Bob, being a woman and not getting the same recognition as men do.. but we'll chat about his too at another time!".. she called, and hung her tote bag over her shoulder and waved her little hand at Bob and left the office. As she waited for a local bus to take her to Patil Vadi, she smiled warmly as she thought of Bob.. he was a nice English man, who globetrotted offering community support services to countries working alongside other Non-government organizations..
Naku walked towards the Patils house, and mulled over in her mind this assignment a house bound widow, shouldn't be such a problem she predicted, as she could be set in to work.. one tap at the door, almost immediately revealed a kindly middle aged graceful woman with a broad face and warm benign smile. The woman noticed Nakusha's large green doe eyes and took an instant likeness to her face, so sensed Nakusha not pleased the least bit, "ayao beti undher ah jao "she invited her into her humble abode. She sat on one of the old cane chairs and waited for the elderly woman to sit down as she looked at her searchingly. The woman sat down and fixed her plain silk sari pallu on her head and began,"haan humne he phone kiya tha tumhare agency ko, bahut name suna hai tumhara, yehan ke logon se hum nein, kehte hain tum logon ke maadat kerti hoon, aacha phela aapna nam bato beti? aur humien tum Aye Shahib khe sakte ko , yahan ke sab log humien sab isi nam se jante hain," she explained, Nakusha ,smiled and acknowledged,"mujhe Nakusha Mahale bolte hain, AS, chalien ab aap batien ke ap ne kis wajah se humien yaad kiya hai,?"she took out her pad to jot down notes.AS, nodded and confided, "dekho beti phele baat tu yeh hai ke main ek bewa hoon", she paused briefly and carried on, "maagar mein ekle nehi Amba ma ne mujhe paanch baache diye hain, tein betiyaan aur do bete hain.. thora hai humre pas Nakusha pun hum thorre mein he Bappa ka ashirwaad se kush hain, haan do betiyoon ka lagaan ho chuka hai , aur chotti beti ka lagan nehi hoya aur, mere bete aur beti mera pas yahan rethe hain .."she notified Nakusha. Nakusha nodded pleased inside that at least the widow was well looked after and didn't really need refuge, but still was duty bound to enquire, "thek hai AS mujhe kushi hoi jan ke ke ap ke pas apna ghar aur parivaar hai, pun ap yeh batien mujhe ke main ap ke liye kya kar saketi hoon? she queried. AS looked at this young girl , and felt that she was trust worthy and therefore it was ok to share the real reason she had required her assistance,"dekho beti humien apne beta ke bahut chinta hai, tu soocha tum se baat karien..",confided AS. Nakusha leaned forward and held AS's hands in hers and comforted her,"kaise chinta hai ap ko AS apna bete ke karen? mujhe ap khul ke batien, kya kerta hai aisa ke ap ke sehat par bhi assar ho raha hai"she encouraged. AS took a deep breath and wiped a tear from her eye,"woh Nakusha jail kat ke aya hai.. raat ko us ke phele raat the , bahut bechein tha , roota rahe , aur mujhe dar tha ke apne ap ko kuch ker ne le.. mujhe se to baat bhi nehi kerta, patana nehi humein apne maa bhi manta hai woh ya nehi! she cried as she wiped her eyes with her pallu. Nakusha got up from her chair and inclined over AS as she put her arm round her shaking shoulders. She had to be professional and could not pry further for facts ,especially if the client preferred to withhold information, she decided.. she had the main crux of the issues causing stress to this housebound widow.. now the least she as a professional can do is to tell her about the next move and assure her that there is help available for her son. Once she had calmed her down Nakusha, gave her decisions for what she was going to do,"dekien AS , mein aaj he ek psychologist ka banda bassat karoon ke ju apke bete ka elaj kare aur us ke sune, ap fikar maat karien ,aur haan aagar kam ke talassh mein hai tu us ka bhi intazaam ho sakta hai.. AS clasped Nakusha's hand and said much relieved "beti, tumhara bahut dahniwaad, ab hum kuch aacha mehsoos ker rehe hain," Nakusha gathered her bag to leave but AS ordered her affectionately, "chai bunate hoon main pee ke jana... seeing that no one was home Nakusha felt, that she'll accept the offer the least she can do is offer to help and she followed AS to the tiny kitchen, with a portable double gas burner run by calor gas.
An over exuberant Baji halted the jeep before their home and jumped out from the vehicle and Dutta shook his head and called from behind " oayee nautanki sambhal ke abhi kam bhi nehi shorru hoya tu hawa mein phele he urann bahrne laga",Baji turned his head and gave his Bhao a dimpled smile,"areee Bhao tum aaj ke din maat roko aaj mein uppar asma neeche! abhi chalo AS ko khabir dein!, Dutta folded his arm and stroked his indented chin with a fond nod of the head at Baji's incessant banter.But his face scowled at the mention of his mother's name and unwillingly he stepped into the house behind Baji.
Both men clearly could hear female hilarity in the kitchen, one voice was recognizable to both of them the other unknown. Dutta's neck alerted, along with his eyes and ears with the rest of his lofty body stilled, he roared loudly, "kaun hai wahan" ?. AS turned to Nakusha in the kitchen,"lagta hai mera beta ah gaye hai,"she confirmed, just as another guttural baritone command followed,"ju bhi hai baher ao warna!.. and Nakusha, carried the tray of tea cups and got to the frame of the door and collided into the hard frame of a tall man who in reflex action jerked backwards ! extended his arms wide but failed to stop both the metal tray and the cups from crashing to his feet!... with his eye brows arched and eyes flashing, he briefly stared in shock at the petite female figure that was obviously not his sister Roop and he yanked his head and his eyes shifted to his mother who stood behind this stranger. Baji leapt forward to diffuse the commotion and bent down with the girl and collected the tray and the smashed cups.. Dutta glared , moved back and flicked off drips of tea drops off his jeans and moaned ,"mera eklaute traniers ka saatiya nas! and went towards the washroom to wipe his trainers clean with the corner of a wet towel. Baji to followed him and whispered, "kaun hai ye lardki Bhao?,"and Dutta craned his neck from the sink and growled "heyee! muhje kiya pata hai kaun hai ye lardki? maine tu note bhi nehi kiya, kuch bhi is ke sawa ke mera upar sare chai undel de.. ummh" he snarled and threw water on his stubble face, wiped it dry on his sleeve ran his moist finger through his hair and left the washroom ,retreated and completely blanked out his mother and the girl and mounted the stairs to head for his room. Both women turned to note his towering frame climb up and finally watched it disappeared at the top of the stairs.AS, turned feebly towards Nakusha,"ye hai humra beta, Nakusha jis ka humne zikar kiya hai, tum ne dekha kaise pasih ata hai ,kisi se koi gharz nehi use," she complained. Baji came towards the two women and quickly touched his mother's feet and smiled dafty at this attractive tiny girl, and scratched his head while he waited patiently to be introduced to this person,"aur Nakusha ye hai humra chotta beta Baji,.."and a voice from the top of the stairs roared, "BajiRao Patil, Dutta Patil ka bhai! ,Dutta yelled and gradully folding his knees and pushing his long legs foward he glided down the stairs .. and with each step down Nakusha's green eyes widened and she pinched the sides of her shirt as she realized he was the man who was kind to her in a twofold way! one that she was a woman and two more obviously a dark one! who seemingly was not usually acceptable. Dutta neared the two women dangerously and looked suspiciously at this chit of a girl, whom he gathered was some kind of a professional by the quiet confidence she had about her. He studied suspiciously, her fine chiselled features, her middle parted hair fringed on both sides of her face just above her sharp dark winged eyebrows..hummh he thought and embarrassed slightly moved his neck the other way ,with a sharp query ,"kaun ho tum aur humre ghar mein kya kar rehe ho?".Nakusha fluttered her green doe eyes and her heart flustered at his sudden abruptness but still she parted her rose bud mouth to defend herself, but AS sopke on her behalf,"Dutta, yeh Nakusha hai, social worker hai , maine buliye hai ise yahan tera chinta hai humien is liye,".On hearing his mother he turned on her his square jaw twitched in angst,"tu meri chinta choor dein ap , kya hoya hai mujhe,? bikul bhala changa ghara to hoon ap ke samna , baghwan ke liye mera peeche choor dein!"he delared highly ruffled. Baji, came to his side and put his hand on his shoulder and started ,"dekh Bhao.." and Dutta brushed off his hand roughly from his shoulder, and held his fore finger in his best friends face menacingly ,"bas! lecture, baeetien aur gyan nehi Baji" he said firmly moving his head to one side. Nakusha, reminded herself she was a professional and with amassed fortitude, intercepted,"dekhein, Dutta.. and he reeled around to face this girl and looked down in to her eyes... greeen doeee eyesss haan tu yeh woh hai.. and he knitted his eyebrows and narrowed his eyes in contempt at the sound of his name from her mouth.. and she receded physically and briskly said ..."Saab!" and he moved his head to one side and pierced her gaze with his and twisted his mouth and snarled "haan Saab lardki! mera naam wohe le sakte hain jo mujhe janta hain, aur main thujhe nehe janta hoon tu ju bhi hai.. samjhe gaye?"! But she gulped and nodded, "chalo thek hai, tu Saab mein ap ko job dhoondne mein ap ke maadat ker sakte hoon aagar ap meri baat sirf sun lein" she pleaded tolerantly, and Dutta turned his body from her and gazed at Baji in sarcasm at Nakusha's words, as he also caught sight of his mother's beseeching expression, and then faced Nakusha haughtily, "us ke koi zarorrat nehi, kyon ke Baji aur mujhe dono ko kam mil gayea hai".. Nakusha bowed her head and then raised it and turned to look at AS, and smiled softly as if to say stand firm and not lose hope.. to be continued.. Hamlet53 ~ 1.2.13
Precap:"dekh Nakusha, tera naam tu bahut lamba hai, aaj se Naku chale ga?, Dutta shook his head and mumbled from behind Baji and Nakusha,"salla nautanki baaz.."
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children of lesser gods here... wil be back hammieji
Out damned spot! hmm if it were so easy to erase the blotted past... purrfect title hammie
The trauma of an exconvict is so realistically portrayed that one could feel it. Its terrible terrible to imagine what one undergoes as a prisoner. It beats my understanding of human psychology. They can get far worse than animals. What is it that makes humans resort to such cruel barbaric acts? Gosh! can these people ever be normal. Both the perpetrators of such monsterous violent acts as well as the victims, how can they be reformed or see life the way we do. Even thou Dutta himself is an accused n pay a heavy price, he ultimately ends up a victim. Im still not clear as to why he ended up killing his father or what exactly happened at the scene of crime. Maybe he will one day open up...
Baji is treading a double edged sword so as not to antagonise dutta nor giving up on him. AS even thou should be cheerful that her son has returned is only feelin miserable at his obstinance and moreso for the miserable state he finds himself in. The family can only pray for some divine intervention in releiving him from his dark shackles
But Baji is also holding the fort well and is bein extremely deft in soothing frayed nerves of the family. Liked the brother sis bonding and roops is not wasted here unlike LTL . It is this warmth in relations which heal wounds, the smallest things that matter most. But its the outside world thats gonna test dutta,s nerves and character.
Dutta's nightmares are evidence of his mental state and the scars would take a long time to heal totally. Im not sure our society is sensitive enuf to the emotional needs of such people.. So this is where n much much more naku would fill in
Roops seems to be a sensitive lady and handling her bhao to the best of her abilities. Cute to see her attending to his needs and also felt dutta too warming up to her very naturally even after such a long gap. So no sandwiches here only poha He's not wasting much time and thats a positive sign as wel as it shows an impatience to get on with life which will not be so easy. Dutta in blue jeans n shirt umm what can i say seema wala LTL dutta nazar aya. His obstinate attitude towards AS continues but it just needs little understanding and time. Also the duo need to sit n talk i feel.
As i feared it would be next to impossible for dutta to find jobs once people are aware of his criminal antecedants. But as expected he stuck to his reputation and refused to supress facts. liked his words, "mein apradhi hu par jhoota nahi" They reach seema's place. Wah! DUTTAA how casually seema calls his name as if she's in touch with them on a daily basis. But she seems to be very casual, moved on and put on too i mean weight lol.. Mota seth ke saat moti seema hi achi lagegi But atleast she has a heart to help him. Dutta displays no feelings for the shared past. I expected some sort of uneasiness from his side, but he displays none. He seems to be a man in a hurry to catch up with life as it were.
Bob n Naku's conversation was interesting and it touches on her reasons for covering her face with the soot, but it doesnt convince me, infact confuses. Atleast she feels safe in a dark complexion but is it? Hmm she's ponderin at dutta's odd behaviour already.
What a bumpy meeting of the two.. lol. So he,s drawn to her sharp features n dark beauty, Not all is lost then Some parts of his brains are functioning normally lol... iss mamle mein toh kuch zyada hi tez hai ediut! But was it necessary for AS to reveal the nature n purpose of naku,s visit? that would only add insult. Now why should naku address him as saab, woh khud ek mujrim hai uparse unpad, jahil aadmi. Kaunsa amir khandaan ka lauta santaan hai jo isko saab bhulaya jaye. Naku givin into his haughty behaviour, but she is only bein tactful and i hope later as she gains in confidence she calls him by his name.
Hammie you dont seem to be havin any hiccups as you claim with the new Ff storyline. Everthing is perfect to the Tee! The affection to the Ff is slowly n surely growin by the day and the shackles of PR is evaporating gradually. Thanks to your brilliant writing. Plzz continue and it seemed an eternity for the week to roll by. Haan, pata hain your reaction, but thats a readers perspective dear...
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