Friday, December 6, 2013

A Brutal Reality

Monday Morning. Since I am anyway living life of a robot, as per schedule, my alarm clock starts crying at 7.30 in the morning. I change the side, try to kick the clock, and when failed, curse the guy who invented it, put pillow on my ears and try to grab some more of my monster’s sleep. After about 10 seconds, the volume gets louder, forcing me to get up and hit on the top of that poor thing which is actually trying to help me. With my eyes half open, I wake from bed, fold my blanket, murmur my morning prayers, brush my teeth with random directions and speed for about 10 minutes, walk up in the shower and stand there like an idiot for another 15 minutes. Finally, dot at 9.30, I was on my way to office.

I was waiting for my office bus when I saw a middle-aged lady knocking the cars window when the traffic signals turned red. That didn't surprise me as I am now habituated watching people doing this every day. I have just learned to ignore them. Not that I don’t care, but I know giving them 5-10 Rupees wouldn't solve any of their misery.  This woman, though I must say, somehow looked different than the common beggars’ crowd.  Her face had turned dull what I considered might be because of the sleep deprivation. Her hair was askew, her saari, even after the stains of mud, looked decent. She was sweating profusely from the labor of walking around . But undeterred by the simmering heat, she ambled from car to car at the traffic signal, rapping her knuckles on the tainted windows of each car to plead for help.  But as usual, she was not getting audience. Monday morning, frustrated people, heavy traffic, office timings. She failed to realize that this city can never be her agony aunt.  Once the signal turned green, the cars honked mercilessly at her, leaving her behind to wait patiently for another slot of “We-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-your-condition-we-have-our-own-worries” people.

I don’t know why, but I somehow felt like offering  her something. I signaled her to cross the road and come to me. As soon as she came, I took out a 50 Rs. note. To my surprise, she refused to take the money. “Mala paise naahi pajihe sahib” (I don’t want money Saheb), she said in a clear, no-nonsense and sophisticated Marathi tone. Then what do you want? I asked, clearly taken aback by her tone. She took out a small diary which had some numbers written in it with addresses. “I just want a ticket to go here, she said pointing at one of the addresses”. “Nagpur?”, it’s quite far from here, I said hurriedly, looking at my second office bus swaying away from me. “Please saheb, I beg of you”, She was almost about to touch my feet when I stopped her. Not only it was embarrassing in front of people, but also she was my mother’s age. “Aunty please, I need to go. I have office”. It takes at least 450 Rupees to go to Nagpur from here. I don’t have that much cash with me and I am getting late. Sorry, But this is all I have, I said, taking out whatever I had in my pocket, which were just around 200 Rupees.”  I handed them over to her and started walking away. 

She didn't stop me. But somehow, my conscience did. A lonely old lady in this big City, by looking at her, I knew she wouldn't even be able to find the station even if she had money. Screw the office, what do I have to lose at the most? One fucking day’s leave?  This lady did not take the money, so obviously there was something else to the story. So I turned back. I could see the shine in her eyes as soon as I turned back and started walking towards her. “Okay. I will manage your departure to Nagpur, but first tell me what happened.” I said. She looked so tired and weak that she was barely able to stand. So, I took her to a nearby hotel, ordered some breakfast for her on which she hogged like she was hungry since ages. Then she told me what happened.

When her husband died, her son and his wife asked her to sign on the property paper of house. She happily gave it away. Then the torture started. Her son and his wife used to beat her daily.  They asked her to leave the house. His wife used her as a slave. Asking her anything from cleaning dishes to cleaning their toilet. One day, her son almost tried to kill her. So she ran away in fear, grabbed first train that she could find and landed in Mumbai. Now after three days, with no money and no food, she was helpless. She wanted to go to her brother in Nagpur. The pain she felt because of her own son, whom she had given every bit of her life since his childhood was much more than the pain of wounds and scars she showed me on her back and hands. I was almost in tears. How could one son do this to his mother?  I was so angry about the entire incident, I would have killed that bastard. So I took a leap of faith and decided to do what is right. What my principles permit me. Sending her to Nagpur to her brother was not a solution. Teaching her son a lesson so hard that he would think thousand times before doing such evil thing was all I wanted. Office was  anyway ruined since it was well past 11 O’ clock. Not that I cared. So I called office people and informed them I won’t come. I then called my mother and explained her the situation. She, being a social worker and my father, having well known contacts pulled some strings together and within half an hour, a senior police inspector called me from Pune, asking the boy’s location. This lady lived in Pune so I took the first train with her and went to pune. It did not end there. I had some plans.

By the time we reached there in afternoon, the police had already dragged the boy into police station. A 6’2” drunk guy with red eyes and devil face appeared before me and when he saw me with his mother, the first thing he said, not fearing the police was, “ya kutrila tar me marnaarch aahe, pan aata tula pan sodanaar naahi" (I will anyway kill this bitch, but I won’t spare you as well). Oh My, that guy really had guts to say that in front of police.  I suddenly kicked him so hard in his groin, he almost felt on ground. One kick in his stomach and one solid punch on his face and his nose was bleeding like anything. I would have killed that asshole but police stopped me.  I again called my parents and made sure that this devil stays in the lockup. I don’t know what my father talked to the inspector, but police registered a fake FIR against him for some case and made sure he won’t get a bail. I then convinced them to transfer the property paper back on this lady’s name. It would take some time, but my mother made it sure that it will be done. I then called one of the lady’s sisters staying in Pune and asked lady to stay with her until the matter resolved. That lady joined her palm in front of me despite my attempts and thanked me with gratitude. I gave her my number and asked the policeman to call me next week about the progress in the issue. I then left back to Mumbai.

I thought over it for a long time but couldn't understand why this happened. What is wrong with people? Are we so senseless that we can literally try to kill our own mother, who is no less than God, just for the sake of money? Have we become so cruel that we have forgotten the value of relations? Who poisoned this guy's mentality? His wife? Or his situation? Or his abhorrence?  I still don’t know the root cause. But this thing sadden me to the core. Tore apart my basic understanding of mother and son relationship. When I came back, I was scattered into pieces. 

God alone knows what’s going to happen in this what we call as Kalyug.


  1. Omg.. I'm so proud of you.. You go extra miles and helped the lady.. And I'm glad that the police helped .. Be careful though as the son might be in revenge mode..

  2. TOSM :) :) :) Long time huh? I hope you are doing fine :) And thanks! Revenge mode? That is already been taken care of ;)

  3. I hope you are doing fine too..Take care and please be careful :)

  4. My Goodness!!!! How I am proud of youuu!!!
    You hav sympathy and understanding that the society lacks. I dont think I wud hav helped. I too would hav been the car honking away. Maybe give a little money. But you bowled me over. You make me want to change.

  5. RED :D Long long time huh? :) Sorry, too hectic schedule :) But I will come back with a bang! And thank you for your sweet comment. Helping someone gives a deep satisfaction, try it ;)

    P.S. Sorry for the late reply. :)

  6. That's so nice of you and must appreciate the efforts you put in!

  7. :)
    Thank you for the comment.

    Also. It's incredible how you believed her story and gave it a shot. I am horribly cynical :( also. I was in Mumbai in December :)

  8. @Deepa - Hey, sorry for the late reply. And welcome to the blog :) Thank you!

  9. @Chintan - Hey! :) You were in Mumbai? wow. Missed that, huh? :) And welcome back! ;)

  10. where are you??? why not posting anymore?