a tough day
A Tough Day
Ramlal gupta was very happy that day as he could purchase a good deal in share market which was ultimately going to fetch him profits not less than a lac or so.Ramgopal gupta was a settled buissnessman having a happy family. They were three brothers.Other two were also doing well with their own buissness.They had a common sweetmeat shop in the heart of the city which was established by their grand father about sixty years back. It still enjoyed the confidence of the people. All the three brothers were giving time to this shop one after other.Apart from this old establishment they were successfully running their own ventures.
Ramlal gupta was eldest.His father died early. He capably took the buissness responcibility on his young shoulders and managed the early education and upkeep of his younger brothers properly.He could marry his two younger sisters decently though financial resources at that time were not so favourable.Only after marrying his sisters,he thought about his own marriage.Gradually with the passage of time things became easier and easier and every thing took its shape.
Ramlal was proprietor of a firm engaged in wholesale and retail of automobile parts. He was well respected in the society.Apart from buissness he gave time to social and cultural activities as well. He was associated with many charitable entities doing good services to the downs and troddens.Though he had good connections in the influential sector,he was basically a simple man and avoided big,glamorous and show-off parties or gatherings.
Brothers of Ramlal were different. Ramlal provided them good education and they took full advantage of that. Both after completing their post graduation opened good and big showrooms.Second brother was Shyamlal and third‘s name was Kanhaiyalal.They were normally called shyamoo and kanha.Shyamoo developed contacts with beurocrats and soon started contractorship. He earned good money.He had the ability to get every work done by hook or crook.Kanha developed interest in politics.Now people had started to recognize him as an aspiring one for next Assembly elections. But one thing was absolutely same in the two that they respected their brother very very much.They could not think about arguing any thing with him.What ever he said was truth for them. Even now Ramlal used to lecture them on honesty,self-respect and social-morale which they had to listen patiently.
So,on that day Ramlal decided to pay a visit to maa kalyani debi temple.he wanted to thank her for her kindness,which he believed,was always with him whenever he did any business transaction. He took the bath early and said to his wife that he will take the breakfast after returning from the temple.
“But you may be late.”said his wife.”better you breakfast and then go.”
“No,I will be back soon”
“You will not be.”said the wife confirmly.”Today is Tuesday and there will be a lot of people.”
“Oh.I forgot.” He said.”But I have to go.I will take my breakfast after I return.”
When he was just to go out,his mother said-“I also have to darshan maa kalyani debi.Why don’t you take me also with you.
“Oh.. sure.why not mummy. Both will go together.”Ramlal was happy-“Are you ready or you have to do preparation.”
“No son. I am almost ready. Only I want to take my pooja thali.It will take not more than a minute.”
Soon Ramlal and mother were driving towords the temple.Ramlal was himself driving.He usually drove himself unless some thing other required a driver.Whereas shyamoo or kanha seldom drove themselves.Mother had become very old. She was not well also. She devoted most of her time praying the godess. Everybody wanted to please her. After the death of father it was she who did every thing for welfare of all of them.Ramlal particularly, was very careful that all her wishes were attended to.
It was really a good crowed at the temple. This was a famous temple of the city.On Tuesdays always there happen to be big crowed. Today it was specially bigger.This was the last Tuesday of the month and many had the last day of their fast.So,every body wanted to have the darshan first.They had to leave the vehicle far-away. Mother had difficulty in moving on foot but anyhow with the support of Ramlal she managed to reach the temple gate. Here a temporary partition was made of a rope. The way was devided and male and female devoties had to move separately.It was very difficult for the mother to move on her own in this big crowed.Ramlal was sure she will get hurt.So he asked her to remain near to rope .He took the hand of mother in his hand and held it firmly.In this way mother got the support of Ramlal and they crawled slowly towords the main gate of the temple.The rush was so much that people were falling on one and other.The ground had become slippery due to flow of water from the pooja.People were bare foot and many a times their feet were crushed by others. They were crying and abusing .People were shouting at each other to move fast but no one was listening. A complete scene of chaos was going on.
Suddenly a lady next to mother shouted- “Necklace…oh my necklace.Catch-hold..somebody has snatched my necklace.” She continued to shout but who had snatched the necklace was not clear.People, particularly ladies were frightened and many of them started crying.
Suddenly again that lady turned and saw Ramgopal.she shouted in her full voice-“He is here.He snatched my necklace..catch him.She grabbed Ramlal`s hand in her one hand with full strength.Ramlal was taken a back with shock and then pushed her back.
“Are you crazy”.He also shouted.”Do I look like a chain snatcher.
“No…no..you have taken my necklace. You are a thief.Give my necklace back.
Others were till now silent spectators.but now they were seeing him differently.Ramlal was frightened a bit.He tried to explain-“look friends!I am a respectable person .This woman is falsely alleging me. I am here with my mother.How can I do anything when my mother is here”.
But no body appeared to believe him.
“My necklace”.now that lady was shouting and crying also.”You people are only listening to him .Why donot you recover my necklace from him.
“Call the police”.Someone suggested.
“O yes. Call the police”. Ramlal also took a sigh of relief.
A police picket he had seen in front of the temple while coming to it.Perhaps, anticipating a good turnout on the Tuesday it was posted there for that day.A police inspector and few constables were seen. The S I was sitting on a chair in front of the temple but on the other side of the road.Someone informed him and soon he came inside.
“What is the matter”.He asked.
“This man snatched my necklace and is not returning”.That woman again started crying.
“Did you see him snatching your chain”.He asked
“Yes.. he snatched the necklace”.
“Where is the necklace”.The police inspector asked Ramlal straight.
“What…what.. you are asking inspector.Do I look like a chain snatcher.That woman is telling only a lie.I do not know what she is saying about her necklace.My name is Ramlal gupta. I am a respectable buissnessman of the city.Gupta and Gupta is my famous firm in main civil lines. You can verify from anybody.She is my mother. We have come only for darshan”.slowly Ramlal,s tounge started faultering as he could easily see the eyes of the inspector which was not believing.
“I asked”.He again said.”Where is the necklace”.
“I do not know”. Ramlal replied. “Better you seach me if you do not believe”.
“I know”.He said bitterly.”I will not find it.Who are your other accomplishes.
“I do not understand what you are talking about.What for I will bring others”.
“You will understand everything soon and very clearly. Come out of here.You also”.he said to that women.Both of you come out fast”.
“But why?why should me? I have not done anything wrong.My mother is with me. You see she is old and not well.How can I leave her here”.
“You appear to be a hard core.For the last time I am warning you.Either come out immediately without creating further problems, otherwise I will drag you out. Understand.”
He had no option now. He took the hands of his mother again and they came out of the temple.That woman and the inspector were behind them.The mother was unable to understand what was really going on and she was continuously weeping. After coming out of the temple Ramlal said to the mother-
“ I am in trouble maa.Now you take a ricksha and go home immediately. Inform shyamoo and kanha and send them here.” Mother took a nearby passing ricksha and went on it weeping.
“Oh.. come here”. Called the inspector.”Now you tell me what is your gang”.
“Inspector saheb. Please try to believe me. I am innocent”.
“Then why this woman is taking only your name”.
“She is surely mistaken. I do not know but she is definitely mistaken.
“Ok..ok.. I will talk to you properly in police chowki.Then you will narrate every thing like a pet parrot.Now you sit down”.The inspector was pointing him to sit on the pavement,on the ground.
Till then a no. of passerbys were standing there to look if really a thief has been caught.Ramlal was a common man He never visited a police chowki.He was thinking all who are passing through this road are seeing him,caught by the police.Many of them might be knowing him. A feeling of embarrassment was going deep in him.
“What.. you mean I sit on the ground here”.
“Yes. Are you feeling ashamed.You did not feel it when snatching the necklace.Look, you sit here silently otherwise I will create full drama of your dignity here itself.Now sit you bloodyfool”.He took Ramlal by the neck and forced him to sit on the ground.Ramlal was not able to raise his head.He was so ashamed that he did not even try to lift his head instead he kept his head between his two legs.After few moments the inspector left his neck.The gathering was passing all the remarks.Few of them were using very abusive language.The inspector was busy sipping the tea and joking with his subordinates as it was nothing important and as he has even forgotten Ramlal.But for Ramlal,it was real hell.
Suddenly Ramlal saw another police inspector passing on a motorcycle. That inspector did not notice Ramlal and waived to his collegue. Ramlal recognized him. He was Rattan Pandey, incharge of another police station in the city. Rattan Pandey attended a no. of parties at Ramlal residence hosted by shyamoo in connection with his contractor work.Ramlal thought that kanhaiya and Rattan Pandey were friends. Rattan Pandey called Ramlal as Bhai Saheb.Seeing him Ramlal immediately stood on his feet and called him in full voice- “O..Rattan Lal Ji. Please stop. Do not go.Please come here for a moment.
Rattan Lal stopped his motorcycle but did not get down from it. Inspector on duty stood from his chair and went to him. They talked for few minuts. He seemed to narrate Rattan Lal what had happened. Now Rattan Lal came down from the vehicle and came near to Ramlal.
“See Rattan Lal.This inspector saheb believes that I snatched a necklace from a lady in the temple. He does not seem to know me and my family. But you know me well. Tell this inspector that you know me well and let me go. A lot of embarrassment he has already caused me.Please do help me. Ramlal voice was broken with emotions.
Rattan Lal continued staring at Ram lal for few moments. Then all of sudden a burst of abuses came out of his mouth. He grabbed the coller of Ramlal and forced him on the ground. And then he started beating him mercilessly. He continued with his fists,legs and boots.the hairs of ramlal were flying in the air, his shirt was torn, blood started coming from his lips and nose.He was so shocked that he could not speak. After thoroughly beat up of Ramlal, Rattan Lal left him and said-“You bastered,you are a chain snatcher and claim to know me. Now I know you and your whole family well. Do not dare to tell anybody that you know me. Understand”.
He went to his motorcycle and rode on it. Within no time he was gone.Ramlal could not understand what and why it had happened. Now he was not conscious what was happening near to him. He was not aware that sub-inspector and his juniors were laughing at him or now the people had started pelting one or two stones at him or somebody had poured a bucket of water on him.Only he was lying on the ground helplessly with both the hands on his head. So, when shyamoo and kanha came in,in the official jeep of Senior Suprintendant of Police he did not even raise his eyebrows. SSP was with them. Shyamoo and Kanha both could not believe their eyes and in the second moment they ran to Ramlal and took him in their laps. Tears were rolling down from their cheeks and they continued saying-“Forgive us brother. We came late. You suffered a lot because of us”.
But Ramlal was silent. He was only staring all with his blank eyes. Infact shyamoo was not at any fault. As soon as he was told that Ramlal was in some type of trouble with the police at the temple,he immediately realized that it will be of no use to run to him. It was necessary to contact the senior officers.he knew SSP was close to kanha. He immediately contacted the office of the SSP. He was told that SSP was on tour but kanha was accompanying SSP at that time. The locatin of SSP was obtained over wireless and then SSPand kanha were contacted. Kanha asked shyamoo to wait there as they were immediately coming. They came in a short time but in the meantime all the wrong had happened.
The inspector was standing in saluting state. He never expected his SSP to arrive in the scene.Ram Lal was given the water to drink and was consoled thoroughly by the SSP.gradually Ramlal came to his senses. He narrated the whole story to the SSP.SSP was apparently annoyed with the working of the inspector.
“Be prepared for a charge sheet soon” SSP snorted.”You do not know who he is.You are going to pay heavily”.
“Sir,I accept. I committed a terrible mistake. But sir I beg for your pardon. Please give me a chance. I assure you such mistake will never be allowed to happen”.
“But how could you believe him to be a chain snatcher. It is ridiculous”.
“But sir, the complainant says she has seen him snatching her necklace. I was helpless sir. I had to act”.
“This is the way to act”.SSP could not bear. “Who is the complainant”.
“It is she sir”. He pointed towords the woman who was sitting near him.
“What is your name”. SSP enquired in a threatening voice.
“I am Sunayana”.She said
“How do you say he has snatched your necklace”.SSP asked.
“He was standing very near to me and I felt a hand on my neck”.
“Have you seen him snatching the necklace from your neck or are you doubting only.reply it with care. If you made a wrong statement you may also be arrested for making a false statement”.
“No. not exactly I saw him snatching,but only he had the opportunity to do so”.
“Say clearly. SSP insisted. “Did you see him snatching the necklace”.
“What you have to say now”.SSP turned to sub inspecto are doubting are r. “You still want to take him in custody”.
“No sir. I am sorry sir.I did not do the interrogation properly. I believed this woman. Such incidents do happen here sir. Please forgive me sir”.
“Do not say sorry to me”. SSP said. “You have already committed injustice to Ramlalji. Better you apologize to him. Otherwise you have to have a chargesheet”.
The sub inspector fell on the feet of Ramlal and started apolising in all the possible ways. Ultimately shyamoo, any how, took him away.
“Now sir, you tell me what to do.this man has harassed,insulted you a lot.I am prepared to take any action you wish against him.
Ramlal was standing speechless during all this. Even now he was not speaking.SSP was afraid that if the matter is not settled amicably here then the story will definitely appear in tomorrows` newspapers and this will create problems for him. He again requested Ramlal to say what action he wants. Ramlal said –“Shyamoo, where is that Rattan Lal posted”.
“In Daraganj Police Station, sir”. Replied the SSP.
“I want to meet him in his police station if possible”.
“Why not. It is simply possible”.SSP said. “I will ensure that when we reach there he is present”. Then he instructed his driver to locate Rattan Lal and to instruct him to immediately reach his police station.
Rattan Lal was waiting at Daraganj police station when Ramlal,Shyamlal,Kanhaiyalal along with SSP reached there.
“How are you Rattan Lal”.SSP snapped.”Do you know this man”.
“Yes sir”.After proper saluting Rattan Lal said.”He is Mr.Ramlal.
“But at the temple gate not only you refused to know me but also beat me like a animal. Why ?”
“You were charged with chain snatching at that time sir. How could I admit that I have links with a suspected chain snatcher.
“How could you forget that many a times you had been at our residence and had enjoyed food”.
“I am sorry sir”.
“You could also forget that you used to call me elder brother”.
“I am really terribly sorry sir”.
Now Ramlal lost all his controle.He pulled Rattan Lal by his neck and slapped on both the cheeks. Then he threw him on the ground and started beating him. Other policemen tried to rush to his help but were stopped by the SSP.
After full thrashing of Rattan Lal Ramlal stood from him and said to SSP –“Let us go now sir. Today was not my day. That woman at temple may not be at fault.Her necklace is really lost. Inspector at temple might have acted as he is supposed to in such circumstances. I may accept it as my fate. It was my destiny,my fate.every thing went against me.But what this Rattan Lal did to me is unbearable.When he was beating me in front of the temple,he was fully aware who I was.He did all this only as he did not want anybody to notice that I knew him. What he did to me in public , I did before his men , but what ever I lost ,is unrecoverable.He has taught me a lesson also. Never trust a cop whether in dress or in plain. A friendly cop is more dangerous than an open enemy.Oh god, What wrong I did I donot know for which you have punished me like this.
Ramlal took his face in his hands and sobbed. This time nobody tried to console him. Slowly they moved out of the police station.
maa kalyani debi = A Goddess
darshan = to pay a visit
pooja thali = a pot filled with worshipping material
police chowki = police station
bhai saheb = elder brother
By : Sukesh Srivastava
At : 223 B/1 Preetam Nagar
E-Mail: [email protected]