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It was a very nice updatethanks meenakhshi for reading and commenting on the UD ...with much love xxxhammie
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Mishal Raheja as Major Dutta Patil
Painful Rapture ~ chapter:23
"O Brave New World"..Shakespeare
Dutta ,drove his wrangler overwhelmed by a high ,his mouth stretched in a inclined smile as his elbow took respite on the window and his half opened fist fondled and grazed his prickly cheek jostled every so often about by the speed of jeep .He had left PatilWadi behind and he travelled towards the embrace of the brave new world ,in words, but in effect it was his old world, his way of life that he so was entrenched in .Forward he propelled and steered towards new challenges.In that sense it would be a brave new life. That where he instructed ,advised, disciplined the upcoming defence servers of his country .In this brave new world he would be the role model of everything he taught and learnt. He brushed his smooth diagonally placed lips there was apprehension within, regarding the putting to practice of the task in hand ,for surely a little apprehension was healthy as it directed one towards the desire to deliver the goods .He smiled as he acknowledged his relief at the fact that he would be back in uniform , regularized, standardized, as opposed to mufti .He self confessed that he had missed the stars and the stripes, the decorum, the formal homogeneous system that was the army. He smiled and his eyes echoed his lightness ina flicker, but what elevated his sprit the most was the mighty clout and the authoritative supremacy it held over a nation not dictatorial but a much required presence. He justified. He warmed to the fact that the army was muscle power because it was seen as the defender of peoples and political demarcations of one's nation. How he missed its dominance in his life how over the past months he aspired to be part of service again and here he was ready to serve than be served!
The first signs of the cantonment area became relevant, the soldier manually guiding and directing traffic .The roads had clear white marking as they indicated road sense to users. The dual carriage way lay lined with tall thick polar trees which enhanced scenic beauty. He drove past other replicated reminders that of a heavy wrought iron small cannon and ball colonial gun .and other life size replicas of soldiers in combat positions, lunged forward ,with a knifed bayonet, he was near enough to see the the wide and endless stretch of the boundary wall looped with menacing black spiked barbed barriers. Within the boundary stood the edifice of the building itself British colonial style, a large and complex structure with the hemispherical dome positioned in the middle, of the stately grandeur that spread on both sides of the dome like two gigantic galvanized arms . The dome apart from being a fine example of Victorian archeticture also saved the purpose of historical style watch lower vigil. It was like a yellow shelter with the figures of four uniformed soldiers giving all hour's vigil. The boundary wall was lined with single sacks of dry sand bags all the way like a necklace of oat meal hued oval shaped beads. Finally showed up the identification of the land mark formal premises, the blazoned block golden letters Miltary College .Dutta saw and his chest swelled with pride and for a moment he drew his breathe in and his nostrils flared with valour it was as he was in the much sought embrace of a beloved. His lips pulled to one side he once again found the reason he was instinctive and intuitive for. He stooped his jeep before the opened gigantic wrought iron gates, but which were still blocked by a barrier. His eyes became vigilant and alert as he in silence assessed the strict effectiveness of security . Dutta's jeep as unmarked non military vehicle was approached by the military uniformed guard . He saluted Dutta ,although he was in mufti and not in uniform, Dutta still showed him his ID which prompted the soldier guard to salute again ,while Rahman got down and showed his ID for clearance .The guard nodded in satisfaction and the two check posts sentinels, near the entrance raised the first barrier, and Dutta entered the Military college parameters .He was pleased that the security was forceful and rigid however time consuming...for he was in mufti and he could have been any one from Robin hood to Jack the ripper!. The vehicle metal detector was slid under the jeep and shifted around with alert eyes, and on an all clear, Dutta tapped his head once , pressed the gas to move slowly towards the second barrier which lifted eventually and allowed him to pass. Dutta felt the with immediate effect change of environment, his contentment yet gain shone through the pull of his lips into a slant as he raised his eyes, which were greeted with the obvious signs of the army cantonment .Despite the darkness the place was bathed by soft bilious light projected by Victorian style, wrought iron lamp posts. The grounds and the walls of the main building where swathed in blue grey spots lights which give the building a spectacular semblance of past colonial Victorian structural design. He drove through the long drive way and access route to all the other areas of the school, checked by clear humped speed breakers, guided by equally lucid road signs . There was much to Dutta's satisfaction, enough and visible military personnel fulfilling sentinel duties .Dutta slowed down as he approached the visitors car park area .He took the salute of the soldier on duty and handed him the keys and instructed "ye ghare park ker do kal mera driver aye ga aur laejaye ga" . He jumped out of the jeep and Rahman collected his uniform as Dutta marched himself towards the reception area of the Miltary school, he flashed his ID as he walked past the soldiers who saluted him. He was greeted by a uniformed night staff member, after formalities Dutta turned to a fellow officer in the looby who spoke in recognition, for the world of the army may be wide but not enough to stop people of meeting some one they might have met before "hello Dutta fancy seeing you here, small world, I see you are checking in as well" Dutta saluted and shook hand with the officer "oh Colonel Rajat sir, yes I am indeed, if you excuse me sir, I'll be with you in a moment" he replied as he glanced towards reception ,and stepped towards reception "ah good evening sir your apartment is ready ,may I give you the key fob ,said the reception staff . Dutta nodded and enquired "yes this is my bat man Rahman are his living quarters ready too? Dutta waited, "yes sir", on hearing Dutta turned to "Rahman tum mera samaan apartment mein le ker jaon aur apni bhi apna karma mein" ."jee saar" complied Rahman and left. "sir" the receptionist, continued "your meal is ready for you in the bar section of the dining mess". Dutta turned and shook his head "ummh I am impressed despite my arrival beyond dinner time you have saved me some grub ,thank you" he said and turned his attention towards the other officer "would you like to join me for a drink" he asked and the officer obliged and both men made way towards the dining mess, Dutta paused and turned ,"incidentally have you arranged meals for my batman as well"? and the reception nodded, "yes sir we have sir" , "ok" replied Dutta "much obliged", satisfied that his batman was given all amenities as himself...for he held Rahmaan in great esteem as he was by him since he joined the army ,and would trust his life in his hands...
This was exciting to be allowed in the officer's diner thought the young commissioned officers as they sat sipping their palmed hot chocolate . Their were soft military band melodies being played , that which contributed to the regimented ambience . Their idle sibilant chatter was interrupted by the arrival of two men one medium sized built, and the other tall with an erect stiff posture .One of the young commissioned officers smiled and drew the others attention to the taller man walked one arm folded behind his back towards a twosome table . He placed his phone on the table and ushered the orderly with a graceful move of his slender fingers.The orderly arrived and the taller man with a slight tilt of his head and spoke his instruction and then focussed his attention on the stocky built man sitting adjacent to him.The young officers rested their eyes and interest on the two men, one of these young officers remarked "did you check out the tall dude ,his walk ..man so much attitude I wonder if he is a visitor?", she queried the others looked at her and remarked "he may well be you nut !he's not in uniform" a few of them reasoned. There was a discussion that ensued never mind , and one of them reminded all "that's not part of the task we are here for, so lay off him" . one of them seemed mesmerized by the tall stranger, continued her gawp across the room at his broad back clad in a wide cobalt blue beige check shirt , how he bent his proud head to fork his meal. Her eyes moved to his bent arm which bulged to reveal a swollen bicep, as he brought the goblet of red wine close to his mouth held by his slender perfectly manicured shinning nails . The first officer, who drew every's one attention to this tall gent, warned the other officer who continued to be immersed he object of her stare ,"oye what are you checking girl "?,.this officer lowered her eyes shyly ."listen you shouldn't be checking men ..what would happen if they found out back home,you staring at another man other than your fiance", the officer that stared took on board the reason able reminders and continued to drink the hot chocolate... yet another group of officers dressed in casual jeans and polo shirts came in holding folders and stopped besides the chocolate drinking officers and bent over the first group of officers."well girls still up ?"one of them teased and another said "that too having night caps! listen can we but you a drink he asked ."no thanks one of the girls we were going to retire any way" the officer retorted and carried on ..busy day of briefing tomorrow, certainly don't want to be late on the first day and make a foul impression on the tutors, she replied firmly and cocked her head "come on girls lets go" .They stood and left .But before her exit with her fell she stole a look at the back of his head and broad shoulders and quietly followed the rest of the group ... "I guess there's no point in hanging about now , right bunch of cows they were, only trying to be friendly, forget it man! ..let's go hit the sack mate, and they hung their heads and left the bar area." "so Dutta, heard about you from Parekh and was chaffed that you were going to be on this one, waise still a footie are you? Rajat joked. Dutta peered at him and smiled "yes Sir still in infantry, because of the hardy nature of this section, you see I grew up in PW and it's a small chunk of land mostly agricultural in nature .so yes a son of the soil and yes I like to keep my feet grounded he said with a glimmer in his eye as he spoke and twitched his mouth by bringing his top lip down to his lower lip, so what brings you here than colonel" he asked in way of interest , "well Dutta I was sick of being at the front and I spoke to Parekh if I could have an opportunity to make a side ways career move and he said fine, so Dutta in order to enhance my CV/resume, I chose to take up tutoring. You see it'll open up avenues for further promotion I am nearly 40 now and only stuck at the lieutenant colonel I want to retire at the rank of a colonel at least, as it'll have a bearing on my pension". Dutta heard the senior officer's perspective and pondered how he had never really given such currently far removed issues much thought, for he had only just begun and the top was there to be had ,he would have to certainly go for his lakshya but it will never be for self edification instead it would be the desire to be an expression of love for his mother his land, his territory,is homeland! The senior officer looked at Dutta ring finger, "so what's this I see married already ,harnessed? ,he laughed, "actually no" said Dutta , "just engaged", and before he could ask more Dutta turned the question on to the lieutenant colonel "and you sir how about your family life? "well yes Dutta this is what I was saying that life is so unpredictable ,you can never tell it's life on red alert ,nothing for granted subject to change ... yes I am married with adolescent children, was posted in Kashmir, lived apart from family for quite some time then put in an request for family to join but, everything was arranged had been allotted a dak bungalow , everything sanctioned, by the book, family and myself were all ex hilerated and then at the last minute the plan gazumped ,and now here I am thinking about the fairness of the whole thing! do you know Dutta never even saw my children grow up properly, things like going to meet their teacher on open day,...that's how it is Dutta ,nothing predictable, revealed Rajat "I know full well sir when I made my choice to join the army, I was aware that I was entering a scenario where there was no definite , but that everything at any time was subject to change, and change and the invariable always causes upheaval . But,I stood at an advantage to this unpredictable life for I lived through the exit of my father from the army's stage, and both my mother alongside me were thrown in at the deep end to swim or sink. But then again,Dutta sufficed my father's death was no surprise either I come from predominantly army background , and to be killed in action was taken as, and he tiled his head to one side as he spoke, "shall we say the occupational hazard of the job, and besides sir there are other jobs that can be unpredictable and are risky..but the individual , I have to say Sir, is in the position to make informed choices before embarking a career, Dutta, paused and affirmed, "in my case sir I swam at the deep end and hope to in future too. You see Sir, if you will allow me to say so life in itself is another name for change, for it is random, erratic and changeable, take for example the various stages of a human being, they are but a series of alterations and modifications ,marked by changes of life and death ,there are then, the change of circumstances that occur in human life. All are lives we experience the changes in human judgement and decision making". "To me Dutta reflected and continued, "in my experience , in life the biggest change is to adapt oneself to a given situation however big or small , where ever it may be, and to modify your thinking and modus operandi, that which reflects a change of attitudes and adjustment" reasoned Dutta. Rajat smiled,"Parekh was right about you Dutta, your hand is not just trigger happy ,but you are a man of action who thinks through his moves",and he leaned forward and patted Dutta's arm "I shall look forward to working with you young man".Dutta ,lowered his eyes in humility as this was a senior officer he was exchanging his views with. Rajat moved on to a lighter subject, "well your positive attitude is commendable indeed, but tell me Dutta, when are you planning to get married" .Dutta was taken aback by the question as he fumbled "arhmmmh I guess to be honest I haven't thought about marriage as yet" he said, but felt it sounded like a white lie. Both men stood up and moved to retire for the night, in wait for the arrival of the next day.
Dutta, entered his apartment , in a quick scan he ascertained Rahman had prepared his room ready for him to use, complete with his white kurta pyjama arranged on the foot of the bed . However ,Dutta after he had changed was only interested in one thing before he went to bed . He reached out for brown leather lap top case ,undid the zip and smiled when he looked at he inner zip compartment of the bag, with his lips pulled to the corner of his mouth he unzipped and gently pulled out her white chunni that he had hidden away from Rahman's eyes ,when his bat man packed for him. He brought the chunni to his nose and gave it a long sniff "mmmh you smell heavenly baaby, and he pouted his mouth and landed a kiss on the soft chunni "chaal Naku su jata hain tere Saab ko neend aye hai" he groaned as he buried his nose in her chunni. He eased himself on his bed and folded one arm under his head ,while the other held the chunni in an embrace on his hairy chest ,he closed his eyes as he moaned "Nakuuu"...
Naku, stirred and looked at her lion and chided him ."really Saab ap ne phone bhi nehi kiya ,ye batana ke liye ke ap phoonch gaye hai, aura ab subah ho gaye hai , Naku ko ab bhi ap ne phone nehi kiya" she slapped the lion gently on his face and pulled its whiskers, "mein bhi ap ko phone nehi karon gi" ,and she hugged the lion and buried her nose in its neck .She thought, she would have to realize the constraints of his job, he would be hardly have the time to make idle chatter with her.. she felt the impulse of phoning him as she glanced at her phone 6.45am, and she reasoned may be he would be pleased to receive a wakeup call from her..but she knew he was unpredictable, for all she knew he might say I have a bat man woman you don't have to do the honours of waking me up! she rolled her eyes and bit her lip and wallowed briefly in her sorrow ,really she does need to take a back row with her fancy now ...she recalled her conversation with Rani who warned or rather prepared her for long hours of waiting..."and so Saab main nehain ap ko phone kera gi ,Naku will wait upon you to contact her ..and she gave her lion a tight kiss and shifted from the bed to shower and start the day. She dressed up and fumed at the same time at Harshad's pathetic behaviour , she almost bit her lip at the prospect of her having to think about his presence, but she gripped herself, as she had to challenge him on the issue of not giving her the information of Saab ringing her yesterday. She had to make a choice either to confront him or ignore him, she chose to confront him as she grabbed her bag and stood briefly in front of Bappa, give me the wisdom to resolve conflict Bappa...
She made way towards the therapy unit to glance through her patients list. Harshad saw her and remarked ,"did I tell you Naku even in your uniform you look a sight for sore eyes,hai hai", he joked, Naku snarled"than I need to scratch those eyes out!,"oh my word Nakusha aaj to you are really a fire brand "laughed Harshad ,"do you know Harshad your jokes are so lame they make me want to cry , anyway ,I need to be on my way, there is patient waiting for me in the wards. Naku entered the wards and smiled at this young girl 19 years old , in the wheel chair" hello have you been waiting long sweet heart ?the young girl smiled and said "call me Nandi short for Nanadini" ."Ok Nandi would you like to tell me what happened? Nandi told her she was involved in a serious crash , that she was travelling behind and did not have her passenger seat belt on and therefore went flying out of the car when a headlong collision happened at the high way. There was numbness in her body and after medical attention and examinations it was found out that she had suffered a mini stroke. Naku took her hand in hers "look Nandi ,you don't worry, you were fortunate that timely intervention was able to bust the clot in your brain that caused the part paralysis, we'll have you up and running in no time ,I have prepared your rehabilitation programme and we already completed the rolling exercise yesterday ,as to build your legs, for it's the lower ones that require muscle stimulation and exercise to prompt movement and coordination .Today Nandi , I will help you to use the roll of the sponge roll again and each day we gradually increase backward forward rolls in attempts and decrease the time limit to promote agility in you. Nandi nodded "do you know I was nervous about coming here ,staying away from my family ,and confronted with this disability that...,and she began to cry. Naku took her hands in hers and consoled her "I cannot say that I know how you feel, but this I know that it's up to you to take charge of your life and make the most out of the situation you are in, and by coming here you have taken the first step towards doing this. The disability effect's your life as much as you let! look Nandi think of life like a game of cards ,how you play the hand that you are dealt..that's what makes a winner! ...Nandi smiled and Naku, smiled and pushed her wheelchair towards the therapy room.
Naku stopped for a coffee break in the cafe ,and the Harshad spotted her while doing the rounds and walked over to her and slouched in the chair opposite her .Naku looked up at him ,and he smiled broadly at her and she placed her cup of coffee down and whipped out her phone and her forefinger went through the various services provided "you know Nakusha its rude that in company one pull's out one's mobile and starts playing with it" he poked her arm. Naku froze and uttered an icy"excuse me" , "you heard me Nakusha kya har waqat you're stuck to your mobile koi aur kam nehi hai tera pas, show me what you are doing now" he said trying to grab it from her hand .She pulled her palm to one side ,"well actually Harshad you are a fine one to say I have just come from work! you are the one who never seems to be working! she glared at him, "and if you must know I am checking my email alerts from the physio room..she explained. "I know you constantly play these silly games on your phone and even your ring tone of london bridge is burning down! is so very juvenile and you say that I should grow up! He guffawed. Naku turned watchful, and smiled and said thank you Bappa! confront or ignore is what she had said this morning... "sorry Harshad mera ring tone ka tumhe kaise pata chala? " mujhe kaise pata chala Nakusha I know because I heard it yesterday when tere Saab ne phone kiya" he blurted. Naku seized her opportunity and stood up "you took my call yesterday, and when I asked you blatantly lied and said that there were no calls for me, is that correct Harshad? Naku said in a high pitched voice . Harshad looked around highly mortifid as people looked up from their tables. "I don't know what to say Nakusha" he stuttered., "how about spitting out the truth Harshad ,the truth", she said her eyes flashing her nostrils flared and her winged eye brows arched. Harshad knew he had put his foot in his mouth and admitted "I am sorry Nakusha , I did answer Major's call ,he asked for you but I said you were in the therapy room",... Naku shook her head, "you know Harshad you are a liar and a cheat and I am personally ashamed to be counted as even an acquaintance of yours ,let alone a friend! ,she clenched her hand and raised it up and looked him directly in the eye and pointed her finger in his face ,in true her Saab style "you hear this once and for all if you ever touch my phone again I shall report you to the authorities for harassment! she almost yelled. There was a loud clap and cheer from all the spectators and calls of "you tell him girl"! .Naku took a deep breath, maintained her posture grabbed her bag and stormed off. Harshad sat here in a pool of humiliation, and smiled..."hai! tera gussa se bhi pyar jahlakta hai Nakusha...pyar...Naku entered the loo, and splashed her scarlet face with splashes of cold water.She patted her face dry, her eyes aglow with residue rage ..she shuddered to think what her Saab would have done if she had told him about Harshad's doing... but she smiled for she knew when he disclosed to her that he had rang and left a message for her, she had maintained silence, for she was robust and sturdy enough to deal with the likes of Harshad, after all she was a Dera girl! . However, she did confess that today's confrontation was likely to lead to dis comfit between them , which she from the goodness of her heart regretted...
Baji waited nervously within his cell at the police station, he smoothed his batik print magenta kurta, blue jeans and black polished shoes .He smiled despite the fact that his nerves were stretched like a rubber band, Roops he thought and his dimples created craters in his cheeks ,was wise enough to send clean presentable clothes for him to wear before the magistrate, he twitched his mouth after all one has to ensure that one understands the gravity of the court proceedings and thereby it has to be reflected in one's attire ,after all he could not possibly go in loooking like a guoonda mawala..welll ah he thought.The sentinel came to collect him and he stood up and muttered "good bye hell hole."he came in the station foyer and stopped by the police sergeant ,expecting his belongings to be returned, but thought it best not to make a proposition for them as he was not yet sentenced. Which ever way Baji thought, he was glad to see the back of the police thanna ,"sergeant shahib, sukariya ju ap ne yahan mera kahyal rakha,..Baji said with his hands folded as he was leaving the police station, "theekh hai Baji Rao bas ye dehyan mein rehin ke dobara yahan maaat nazar ana" said the sergeant in a light mood. Baji stepped out and sat in the police jeep where he was escorted to the magistrates court. He approached the court where hearing was due and he was delighted to see Kishore and Roops. Roops almost leapt towards him and he warned her "arh ,have you gone, bananas Roops ,yehan sab ke samana" ,Roops stood near him and elbowed him in his belly, and he bit his lip and bowed his head and turned to Kishore "kya Kishore Bhau, ap ko bhi Baji ke liya kahan ,kahan ana parta hai ,he folded his hands before "maff ker do Kishore Bhau".. said an emotion ridden Baji. Kishore put his hand on his shoulder Baji tu ghabrha nehi under ja sab wohi bolna ju dil se ho..baki Bappa pe chur dena Aye Sahib bhi tera liye mandir me pooja kerne gaye hai..sab theekh hoi ga .Roops mobile rang and she chirped with glee ,Baji Bhau hai ye le baat ker " hummmh Baji,thuje phone is leye kiya hai ke under ja ke mushariye maat kerna , natunki ke interview ke liye nehin ja raha hai tu, sahi jawab dena jab sawal pooche jayian ge ..apne dialogues maat merin ,samjhe giya tu said Dutta , "ho Bhao said Baji choked "wo mein" ,"chupp ker! mein abhi katam nehi hoiya hoon, haan aagar magistrate ne thujhe aaj choor diya aur tune meri dauru ko mera bina haat bhi lagaye tu ,tu! doonga mein ulta haat ka tera kaan ke nechi khanchke! acha ab main chaltu hoon class leni hai" ...and Dutta disconnected the phone call.
The bearer called out Baji Rao Patil, and Baji raised his hands Bappa and went in .The magistrate sat in his impressive wooden chair, and peered and flicked through the files sitting under his nose, as he adjusted his spectacles on his nose and cleared his throat, "Baji Rao Patil" the magistrate peered at him from underneath his specs ."yes sir" said Baji as he stood in front of the magistrate his hands clasped in front of him. And thus began the magistrate "So charged for being a disorderly driver under the influence of alcohol, yes your solicitor has prepared your offence file , elucidating the facts ,however I would like to hear your side of the your story ,do you have anything to say Baji Rao? questioned the Magistrate. "I have your grace/sir, I admit that I sat at a way side bar and consumed enough alcohol ,well above the limit to drive , I admit it was a grave error of judgement on my part which quite rightly landed me on the other side of the law. I regret and remain ashamed of this act both in my own eyes and in the eyes of my family "said Baji his face riddled with guilt. The magistrate nodded to the typist making notes of the proceedings and he looked and nodded at Baji's solicitor,"right I am pleased that you have clearly admitted your offence ,and also expressed your remorse under the circumstances, however I may still like to remind you that you clearly did not show due diligence in this matter, which you may attribute to the after effects of alcohol consumption, which still this does not excuse you from not only endangering your own life ,but the lives of other road users as well . I can surmise that in this instance you have been fortunate that neither your own life nor the lives of others were harmed in any way. However may I remind you that drunk driving is a serious offence as things cannot be left to chance, for the next time you repeat this serious incident you may be in for man slaughter. I reiterate again that to drive any vehicle be it heavy goods, four wheeler, three wheeler or two wheeler under the influence of alcohol of whatever nature, makes a clear case of diminished responsibility. So I for one condemn this act, but in taking into account that you have spent detention for the misdemeanour for ten days under police custody ,and also keeping in mind that you have not committed any offence of this nature or another I will let you off this time as a first time offender and give you a stiff warning of things to come if his offence is recurred. ...Baji thanked the Magistrate, and shook hands with his solicitor.
Baji came out acquitted of the charge of drunk driving.Kishore hugged him and said they need to go home soon. Baji took Roops phone and dialled his mother's number "aye shabib ap ka Baji ,Bappa ke karam se ghar ah raha hai, sab se phele mein bolo mein apni maa ko ye kahbbar de ga".Haan Baji Bappa ne humari dau sun le hai "JAGDAMBE ,jAGDAMBE...she chanted a she wiped the corner of her eye. Baji said to an elated Roops , "Bhau aur Naku ko text ker de Roops Baji Patil Niwas ja rahe hai", oye kaley tum jeep le ker ghar jayo mein Kihore Bhau aur Roops ko khud ghar le ker ata hai chabi de ghare ki "he ordered. It was as if Baji's top form had suddenly descended on him. "Kishore Bhau ap baihtho aagi mera saath mein .Roops you sit the back", he hastened before she got any ideas. Kishore asked Baji where they were going and Baji replied "police chooki". Baji parked at a safe place and went inside "Sargeant Sahib mein apne cheezen lena aya hoon, milian gi kya? "haan kyanon nehi Baji ab tu tum azad ho, khyal rekhna ju main ne tumnhe samjhaya tha" .Baji smiled and nodded as he with tender fondness slipped on the wrist watch that Dutta had given him as a token of their friendship..for a brief moment he looked at it and stroked the bracelet on his wrist with watery eyes ,and then reached out for the clear bag that held his wallet and mobile phone..ache mein chaleta hai sir and he saluted and left as the sergeant called after him ."yaad rehe meri baat". Baji nodded and smiled and back waved at every one behind at the police station.But as he walked back to the car his jaw dropped, he may have be acquitted today ,but people who know of his offence will forever remind him about him ..he was saddened he had put a stigma against his name... how long would it take him to clear this blotch and win people's trust again...
He sat in the car, and Roops tapped his sholder with CDs to put on, he fixed his rear mirror and glared at her as he cocked his head towards Kishore. "Baji stop being such a spoil sport Kishore jeeju does not mind listening to music", teased Roops. Baji put his foot down as he glanced at Dutta's watch on his wrist, while he drove, on the highway and suddenly questioned Roops" why are you not at uni Roops?",Roops replied with a face angered to no end "why do you ask do you not know the answer ,why I was there at the hearing giving you support", she shrilled. Baji ignored her and looked at Kishore who nodded his consent to Baji. "Roops I am dropping you at uni right now ! you hear that abhi ke abhi ,tu baaki ke lectures attend ker ,sabh ju miss hoya hai uske apna friends se notes le lena samjhe tu," he reaffirmed. Baji raced the car towards Roops university ,this was a promise he had given to his beloved Bhau ,who knows he thought ,this well may be one of the things he can do to redeem his tarnished image. With a screech of brakes he stopped at her uni and ordered her to get off,..."ok Roops chaal uther ja aur ache se parhai karien ,and give me a buzz and i'll come and collect you...Roops got off in a huff and Baji looked through the rear mirror as she went in and soon after drove off. Baji raced home and his eyes lit up as he saw the precinct of his home .The gates were opened for him and he pressed his window down ,and said to the two BGs " 15 mint ke under mujhe security room mein milo !he ordered as he gave the car keys .Both him and Kishore went into the house Aye shahib was there ready and waiting to do do his arti at the door she did his arthi and blessed him as he touched her feet." Baji humra beta wapis ah gaye hai,sach mein Baji tum dunoon ,Dutta aur tu kya challe giya ,humari tu jasise zindiga he veraan ho giyi hai confessed Aye and Baji hugged her "bas Aye saab ab ap koi chinta maat kerain, ap ka choota beta wapis ah gaya hain" he said giving her a dimpled smile. Aye looked around and asked "Roops kahan hai Baji"? ,Baji smiled again and put his hand on his wavy mop of hair on his head" woh Aye shahib ,use main university choor ke aye hai ,nikhare ker rehe thi pun maine bhi ek nehi sune uske" ,he replied as he nodded his head and smiled in complacency. Aye Sahib laughed and said "haan,Baji ab tu ah gayea hai uske university ke chinta kum ho gaye hain, bahanna tu bahut banati hai woh ...Baji laughed "pun Aye saab mera uphar koi bahana nehi chale ga ,Baji khud bahut challo hai" he confirmed and giggled. He reeled around ,and yelled at he BGs ",challo re jaldi security mein phoncho, abhi ke abhi, bahut susst ho gaye ho tum log ,kya samjhe tum logo ne ,ke Baji adherch nehi tu tum picnic manien gaa! Are! challo reee! He shouted and scoured two steps at a time in sheer happiness that he was back home, as he strode towards the security room. within the room amongst all the BGs he looked through each monitor, zealously on the lookout for any security lapses .He further sought a brief of all significant events or note worthy issues that may have transpired in his absence.
It was late afternoon, when Roops phoned rang requesting to be picked up. Baji, decided to take the car instead of his favourite mode of travel, his jeep. He was going to collect Roops and he certainly did not wish to arouse public interest in seeing them together, for it would give hype to speculation, for all said and done Roops was first and foremost the sister of his beloved life long friend, and after wards the silly girl he fancied! She stood outside the gate waiting for him and dived into the front passenger seat as soon as he slowed down the car. "Baji can we put some music on now please" !she pleaded. He nodded and he listened to whatever she had turned on "Baji you are exceptionally quiet , is everything all right with you ? are you not happy that you have come out of that gross place" Roops chattered. Baji looked at her side ways and she smiled and blushed ,and he turned his eyes on the road."I am happy Roops but when you spend 10days in the lock up for something you are guilty of ,then you have all the time in the world to devote to where and what you did that was unacceptable, for me it was a learning curve I realized the folly of my ways ,the biggest one of which was to lose the unequivocal trust of Bhau ,and his voice as always, at the mention of Dutta, faltered, but he continued ,now my main motive for the present is to regain that trust in Bhao's heart that I killed . Now Roops part of ensuring that you achieve 100 percent attendance at your uni, which in turn will get you your degree, is an important part you can play in helping me to grasp his trust, entreated Baji .He looked at her briefly " will you do that for me Roops"?. Roops nodded and touched his elbow gently "of course Baji I will, not just for you , but for us , she went. Bhao already spoke to me and explained that I have to complete my education first and after that he and Aye would allow our marriage, reported Roops, Baji agreed "that is exactly what he said to me as well , in fact Roops he went beyond and asked for my support in his absence of making certain that you put in concerted effort, see Roops your brother is a straight forward yet a shrewd man, he reinstated the same thing to both of us ,so that we are in agreement on this issue, thus strengthening our bond even more...your brother is truly quite a man...said Baji
Dutta stirred as he heard Rahman at the door .He released the chunni from under his body and pulled at it, for it was entangled around his belly, his back, chest all the way round his neck! he grinned as his lips fell apart "baby what have you been doing", and he chuckled and smoothed it against his chest and whispered to the chunni "good morning sunshine, chaal ab bhag ja yahan se Saab is getting up now, he dosen't need you any more, he said, till we meet again baby" and he folded Naku's chunni neatly and reached for his lap top cover and tidily zipped it inside the internal pocket. Rahman came in and saluted and placed Dutta's hot cup of tea near his beside .then he took out Dutta's uniform and lace up sturdy polished black boots his beret, and his black leather belt...
Dutta showered ,donned his uniform, pinned his stars, and gave himself a final look, firmed his beret in a right slant on his head, smiled with narrow eyes and delighted in the sight that pleased his stubble groomed face. He grabbed his phone, papers,key fob and left his apartment. He took long strides towards the car park of the apartments and his army camouflaged coloured jeep, stood ready for his approval. Rahman in his infantry non-commissioned uniform stood and saluted Dutta and was about to take the drivers seat , but Dutta raised his hand and glided in the drivers seat ,with a diagonal smile, he adjusted the rear mirror of his jeep and made way towards the main teaching and administrative block of the School. In broad day light there was even a heavier and obvious feel of the garrison in visions of soldiers , military obelisks and insignia. Yet what caught his eye also was the pockets of young fresh faced non uniformed personnel walking in pairs, and small groups .He pouted his mouth and tilted his head, with unspoken fervour ,but the fire in his heart kindled many a times .He wondered which of this young lot were his brood. He paused at the barrier and was saluted by the military guards who raised the barrier for him to proceed. Shortly he had to brake sped as he was interrupted yet again by these fresh faced, new entrants. He braked suddenly and brought his top lip into his mouth and pulled his lips down. "Beep" sounded the horn ,the groups of teenagers made way for the young officer in a beret ,commando camouflage and ray bans , the youngsters looked on as the jeep sped on...and stopped to a decisive halt at the foot of the stairs leading to the teaching rooms.
The group of officers from the bar last night along with their course mates, stood dazed as they recovered from the jeep and officer that jetted past them a few seconds ago .They watched him turn to the soldier beside him and then spelled bound saw him stick his long muscular combat clad leg, fitted with a black polished black above the ankle laced up thick combat boot .They saw open mouthed his foot touch the ground briefly and he lunged out like a lion, full frame and stood tall in his full uniform of triple toned dark and light green, set against a beige background puzzle patterned camouflaged combat two piece suit, securely tightened at the waist by a broad black leather belt with a sliver carved clasp .He turned his stubble grommed ray ban adorned face towards his batman and raised his muscular arm and handed the keys to his jeep, to the soldier. He bent his taut neck and picked up is brown leather brief case and strode towards the wide stairs and stretched his muscular legs as he pulled his tall frame towards the main glass doors ,where he was greeted by a series of salutes by the soldiers .The girls huddled up and one of them whispered to the rest as she saw his wide muscular shoulders "he is the man from last night..oh my gawd he's a commissioned officer and not a civilian! she said putting her fair hand against her mouth , the rest of them gave a tittered laugh ,and one of them turned towards the shy one "he sure is sharmilee! magar ye hai kaun jan leva hamla ker ne wala"? and they all laughed, as they followed suit behind him .They stopped mid way as they noted he paused briefly near the entrance door, gracefully took off his ray bans ,folded them and slipped them in the breast pocket of his shirt, entered through the open doors and disappeared in the building much to the girls dismay.
Dutta walked in long strides towards the Infantry teaching Dept. and requested for his list of pupils. .He held the typed list in his hand and studied it , he stroked his stubble chin as his eyes shone; 15 pupils, 8males, and 7 females aged between 19~20 years .He smiled as he skimmed through the names ,yes names they were to him so far ,only surnames and their commissioned officer specific tracking number. He left the admin office and proceeded to his enclosed exclusive office .He found it down the narrow tube lit corridor his name and rank in gold shining gold letters" Major Dutta Patil: Infantry Tutor" clearly displayed on the wooden door.He opened the door and entered as his eyes roved around taking in the details of prerequisites , a computer, military reference books, file magazines ,notepads and stationary .He lowered himself in the swivelled computer chair and held a pen to paper, main foci,before he enters his class certain issues to prioritise he bullet pointed and jotted...1;he would have to approach his lessons methodically, for this would help him retain control, he thought he needs to start off by setting clear expectations which will help him establish an orderly ,calm environment. 3; his eyes twinkled, he needed to give clear instructions, ensuring that every one understood, he thought scrathing his chin with his fore finger as he contined to note take, the pupils needed to be told what he expected from them to have achieved at the end of the lesson...4; and lastly he thought they will need prompt feedback when he sets tasks and most importantly , he smiled he needed to praise good practice and effort!
He put his pen down and emerged satisfied as he made a final note ,first lesson introductions; ethics of conduct and all about Infantry, and open questions... his mobile suddenly rang he whipped it out from his combat cargo pants leg pocket and smiled dreamily as he noted the name "haan bol Naku? he said "Saab ap khadher ho? she said "main Naku? thujhe nehi pata main chand pe ho pariyoon ke saath ishaq larath raha hoon..at bloody work where else you stupid woman!"he roared."Saab why are you yelling at me , I ring you itne pyar se and you push me away" she said sadly and sniffed loudly so he could hear"oye mera chokra boy! drama nehi ,please Naku mood nehi hai, busy hoon , abhi class leni hai muhjhe, thorrie der baad, is leya jaldi bol" he said impatiently. "Saab, if you are in such a hurry then I'd best leave" Naku replied, Dutta flared his nostrils "listen Naku, I really don't have time for baby love talk ,aagar pyar vyar ke baaten kerni hai thuje tu raat ko phone kerna mujhe ,bahut pyar doon kaga" he said with a devilish smile "no thank you Saab, mujhe nehi zaroorat,mein jati hoon bye she said "oye rok! Jab tak main na kahoon tu nehi ja sakti ,ok baby tell your sherro what you want abhi ke abhi, I'll oblige! he said wickedly, Naku smiled shly "Saab ap ki picture chaheye thi ,na maat kerna" Dutta heard and blew a fuse"what damaak kharab he kiya tera ,kis leya? No way !I don't want my picture hung in your bedroom, Naku ,for heaven's sake Naku ,what will your friends or PT's think of that ,no,waise bhi I am an army officer for security reasons I cannot have my image displayed willy nilly ,sorry Naku, and before you suggest giving me yours ,I would again say I'd rather not have it, as I am not that emancipated that I have your picture up on the wall of my apartment ,as people are likely to visit my room, take for instance Rahmaan ,I would hate for anyone to set eyes on you my baby ,Dutta is very possessive ,so sorry ,but no to photos and pictures" Dutta reasoned. Naku heard his response and feel silent as she bit her lip ,he realized his words may have injured her and said softly "look baby tasveer mein kya hai Naku, tu mera dil mein hai har waqat ,her pal...by the way woh tera joker Harshad kaise hai? I hope he is not pestering you?.Naku levelled up "no Saab, I don't even have time to notice him, tu how is he going to pester me? ,Iam so rushed off my feet at work..any way Saab I better let you go as I have to go ,ap apna khayal rekhna....said Naku,and the phone conversation ended... to be continued Hamlet~9.10.11
Precap: Dutta stood before his class his arms behind his back, his eyes keen "good day ladies, gentleman I am Major Dutta your Infantry tutor ,so if we can start with introductions please"...
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