1969

In Phalampur, Vighnesh’s house.

A large hall at the entrance of house for people to discuss, meet and wait. No one except relatives were allowed in the rooms beyond the hall. A person was waiting for Rajveer to tell something. He refused to tell Nanda about it.

Nanda came in the room where Vighnesh and Rajveer were sitting. Vighnesh was trying to get Rajveer out of the grief of mother’s death.

“There is someone to see you Rajveer.” Said Nanda

“Who is it?” Asked Rajveer in sad voice

“He won’t tell me. His head and face is covered with cotton cloth.”

Rajveer and Vighnesh both went to entrance hall to see this person. Wearing white dhoti and Orange Shirt with white turban covering his head and mouth and black blanket on shoulder, he looked like a guy from shepherd caste.

“Who are you?” asked Rajveer

“Sahabji, it doesn’t matter. What matters is, I have seen your mother die. Your mother was murdered. She was pushed in well.” Said the person

“How can we trust you?” Asked Vighnesh

“What if, I tell you, that your wife Palinkaji did it, Sahabji.” Said the person

“She can’t do it. Why would she do it?” Asked Rajveer with closed fist rushing towards the person

“Sahabji, kill me if you want, but it is true. All I know is, I was on the Mango tree near your well in the morning when palinkaji pushed your mother in well. Your mother was having seizure attack. She drowned after that.” Said the person

“How do you know Rajveer and palinka’s name? Why  didn’t you saved his mother?” Asked Vighnesh

“Sahabji, I got down to save her after Palinkaji left, but there were people on other mango trees, who came down and threatened me to kill if I saved her. We stay in groups outside Saranpur. We are agricultural workers. Everyone in our group knows their names. Rajveerji has helped many of our groups in difficult times.”

“Who were they? And what were you doing on Mango tree?”

“I don’t know who they were. I was stealing mangoes for my kids. I am poor person, I  didn’t had any money to buy it, so I used to steal it everyday. Please forgive me.” Said the person with closed hands

“I don’t have any problem with your stealing. All I want now is make Palinka pay for her Karma.” Said Rajveer with roaring voice

“Don’t think of killing her. We can hand her over to police. We have eye witness here.” Said Vighnesh, trying Rajveer to stop

“Sahabji, I  can’t come to police. These people on Mango tree have threatened me, if I say it to somebody. I can’t risk my family’s life. I have come here by covering my mouth to protect my identity.” Said the person

“See, he is afraid of his family. I am not going to kill her. I have never hit a woman, as we worship Radha too in our temple. But when my own wife has fallen to level of demon, I think I will have to hit her for killing my mother.” Said Rajveer

“Don’t kill her, think of Harsh.” Said Vighnesh

“I am not going to kill her. I am going to threaten her and hit her till she accepts her crime and then she will be kicked out of house as well as Saranpur and handed over to police.” Said Rajveer in anger pulling his wrist out of Vighnesh’s hand. Vighnesh was trying to stop Rajveer. But before Vighnesh could say anything, Rajveer pushed Vighnesh aside, came out of house. Scanned the area in anger, took the horse tied outside Ajit’s house and rode like a wind.

Vighnesh ran towards Ajit’s house for getting help and the person stood there with tears of guilt in his eyes.

P.S- It’s my own image in the post. 

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Abhijit Sonwane

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