rolling green and the gun


The Mahindra Scorpio zoomed past the freshly pitched highway and the speed indicator barely touched 60kph. It was unusual for Ramu kaka to drive at such speed but then the place wasn’t usual either. The boys sitting at the back had their eyes glued out of the window but kaka couldn’t afford a side glance. He was driving through the famous Kodarma ghati of Jharkhand notorious for its hair-pin bends. It was a heavenly place with the roads lined by beautiful deciduous trees and mighty forested hills seen at the horizon. Every minute the road took a sharp turn and the huge rock outcrops full of mica sheets could be seen shining in the afternoon sun. Large rivers flowing voluminously from the monsoon rains lazed its way across the green and red landscape whose beauty was unparalleled.

Ravi, one amongst the boys in the rear was numb seeing so much beauty in a state that was always in news for all the wrong reasons including poverty, poor governance, and naxalism. His heart skipped a beat every time the car took a bend, not for the fear of accident, that, in any case, he had been part of quite a few but because every entwine brought in another splendor from the place. Beautiful lakes, sleepy villages, quaint little towns kept on passing in a whisker. Praveen was sitting in the middle and hardly gave a second look to the beauty unfolding every single second. Ramesh, sitting on the other window seat was amazed at the marvel of the place for sure but didn’t look excited.

Ravi was the one who took notice of things and never failed to analyze places, people and events. He always carried a map wherever he went. He very well knew that the huge reservoir that just passed by was the Tilaiya lake and the town that they had stopped at for tea was Jhumri Tilaiya. It was the site for the first dam to be constructed for Damodar Valley Corporation. It was late in the afternoon and kaka definitely needed a tea break and the guys a puff. They were returning to Kolkata via National Highway 31 after having spent their summer holidays in Uttar Pradesh’s Purbanchal region.

“Yaar, you are such a bore” quipped Ramesh and continued, “Why do you even come with us when the only companion you ever need is your map and your silly notebook?” Ravi returned a smile and after he was done with his puff and tea continued towards the car. Suddenly he heard a loud scream and before he could turn his gaze saw a huge crowd gather near an apartment. The boys rushed and moving in the front saw a beautiful girl dressed in a bright red sari frozen to death and lying in a pool of blood. A lady beating her chest cried out loud to a middle-aged man having a stoic appearance on his face, “Why did you sell off your own daughter to marriage to a goon? It would have been better had we all died together.”

Ravi fixedly looked at the girl’s corpse. A zillion questions filled his head and made him go mad. He pushed ahead of the crowd, went near the cold beauty, covered her face with a portion of her sari, all the more reddened by her blood, and asked the frail man, “Kaka, why did you do this to your daughter?” The man, who till now was sitting remorseless, burst into tears and fell on his knees. He got hold of the still body and held it close to his chest and gave a cry so loud that it shook the nearby hills.

Ravi looked around and saw a constant fear in everyone’s eyes. Every soul seemingly had stories to tell but none came out forth. How could such a beautiful place have such grieving people?

He went to another man and asked, “Kaka, what’s all this happening?”

“This is Jharkhand bhaiya.  The only thing that rules here is the gun. You seem to be from the city. Why do you want to get into this?” He didn’t want to continue but the pain in his heart didn’t allow and he continued, “There is rampant abuse of resources here and a pervasive nexus between the gangsters and the government. The rich control the resources and become richer leaving precious little for the poor. There is corruption, misery, poverty and crime everywhere. A father taking petty loans and then selling off his daughter is common. The son of a poor farmer becomes a naxalite and the young daughter is raped by the landlord. Nothing is fine here and what’s worse? Everyone knows about it but prefers to keep quiet.”

Even before the man could finish his tale of agony a bunch of men clad in khadi came and got Ravi by his collar and cautioned him, “Boy! This should be none of your business so get going or else you too would be thrown behind the bars on charges you haven’t even heard of.”

Sensing the matter going ugly Praveen pulled Ravi by his wrist and took him inside the car and told kaka to drive as fast as possible.

The lakes, the rivers, the forests, the hills and the rocks continued to pass but Ravi had his eyes fixed outside the window and kept looking at the endless expanse of beauty still unfolding at the usual pace.

This is my first ever entry for BLOGESHWAR 3.0 and the event and set-up is purely fictional

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9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Anumita on 12/09/2010 at 10:18 am

    so this is your first crime based post you were talking about in the lift…and yours bestest one 🙂
    bindaas likha hai 🙂
    love this post yaar 🙂
    crime-vrime se bada dar lagta hai yaar ..
    this country really needs people like you to bring awareness amongs us to Save our Country …

    Anumita

    Reply

  2. yes, first attempt in crime n one of the few occasions i’ve written a story..
    thanks yaar, u’ve been a constant source of encouragement for me..
    crime se darogi to kuch bada kaise karogi.. u are quite a himmat wali i know..
    thanks again!

    Reply

  3. truth is so much more stranger than fiction.. a nice attempt to highlight the plight of areas away from the metros. Liked it!

    Reply

  4. hey priyanka, so u are also a blogger..
    my weary mind could think of just this much.. glad that u read..
    thanks!

    Reply

  5. Nice attempt on crime…. I belong to Jharkhand. born and brought up there.
    Its true, in cities we never feet that this naxalism exists in this same state where we live, but it do.
    government do nothing, because the day people will get literate and understand government’s double standards they will be out of power.

    good write! best of luck for Blogeshwar.

    Reply

  6. Posted by surysingh on 14/09/2010 at 11:10 am

    A nice read, and seems like you’ve done good research or you are from there 🙂 Keep writing…

    Reply

  7. @sweta: very well said, it was more of a post to hit the govt rather than the indifference of the urbanites but yes, even those who know do precious little, who would want to come put of their comfort zone.. thanks for the wishes sweta.. 😛 jharkhand is heaven

    @singh: research! yeah! i’ve seen the place while traveling plus wikipedia, no i’m not from there.. but kolkata.. i surely would.. thanks 🙂

    Reply

  8. Hey Vivek,

    The flow of writing and description of the nature took me back to the days when i lived in Jharkhand for a short while. I liked the fact that you tried to highlight a very grim matter to people living in metropolitan cities who have no inkling of what is going on.

    Best wishes!

    Reply

  9. @azad: thanks man! am actually very fond of india, its the most beautiful country on earth, but seeing those corny ppl in power i had to write these..

    Reply

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