Tuesday, June 7, 2011



Four months- and he was almost Bhanupratap. A man with just a name. No birth. No life. No death. Somewhere amidst everywhere. Sinha called him that night. He held a Rs.1000 in hand. Smiling as he spoke, “Would you like to earn more, Bhanupratapji”? (PART 5)

In movies, there were heroes who were jailed for crimes they had not committed. They spoke of justice and revenge. Their passion for justice and doing the right thing, assuaged the burning rage in many of those ‘common men’- awaiting for a spark, somewhere from someone to lead them on. He was no hero. Who was he? Shravan- son of a masterji, from Kashi? Bhanupratap- a criminal? But who was this Bhanupratap, who has completely taken over his life? The questions that he could never find answers to.

True to his promise, he had stayed back. He would be released, paid. And then, he would again be sent back to the prison. No one knew the son of masterji any longer. In fact, the prison had become more like his home. May be this was what he had come to see. He had heard tales, back home- of boys running out of their home to become a movie star or eloping away with girls. But he came to the city- to see new world. He wanted nothing in return. And this was his new world. He knew he was safe here. He had money. There were no pavements here where he was not allowed to sleep. There was no cruel sun here, burning him alive. There were no strange people here, who would not smile at him. He wanted to see where it lead him to, his life. His mother had assured him that there was a path laid out for him. He waited.

On a night of his release, he was called for by Sinha. Sinha, was sitting in one of the prison cells along with other men. These mean, Bhanupratap could tell, had never seen the light of the day. Something told him that these men, all of them, belonged there- belonged to the night. There were bottles of whiskey and soda- and many other beverages that often made men, men. Sinha was looking at him- in a way a teacher looked at his favorite pupil. He called out to him, loudly- his voice croaking due the liquids taking an effect over his vocals, “Come-Come Bhanupratap saab… C’mon here”! He entered and stood there in a corner, uncertainly. Sinha now spoke to the man, who appeared to be in command. Big, dark, balding and drunk. Sinha said, “Want to meet yourself Bhanu bhai”? And he pointed towards where he was standing. The real one was now scanning Bhanupratap, closely.

“What’s your name”? asked Bhanu bhai.

“Bhanupratap”, he replied. He did not know why he said it. It was may be because he was so used to it.

There was a moment of silence. And then, all of a sudden, the room rang with laughter. Bhanu bhai now spoke, “Good training, Sinha”. Sinha looked pleased with himself. Bhanu bhai spoke now to Bhanuprtap- “You have done me a huge favour. I am indebted to you. And I never liked being in debt to anyone”. There was silence once more. Everyone looked serious. Bhanu bhai spoke again, “Come with me, Bhanupratap. I’ll teach you, how to be like me”.

Bhanu bhai. A leader. Bhanupratap could tell that he was everything. He controlled almost everything. It was absolute power that spoke through his eyes. A power that could never be denied. A power that could never stop luring you towards itself. There are just too many of those little fire-flies that are attracted to the shining light. But the light wants only a few of them. The power in Bhanu bhai’s eyes- told Bhanupratap that it wanted him. The steady stream of the Ganges took a steep turn, deep inside his mind. It was as though his mother was saying to him- “This was what I had warned you about…”.

Ganges did flow everywhere. The hills and valleys alike. She changed herself and became a part of everything, wherever she went. But once she was a part of them- they were lost to her. It was not hills or valleys any longer. It was just, Ganges.

“Yes. I shall come”, replied, Bhanupratap.

(..To be continued., Part 7: “The Priest”)


Anonymous said...

I have not followed the previous parts and am jumping straight to part 6.
I like your writing style.. has a very earthy feel to it... this particular writing reminded me of Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh!


Bikramjit said...

hmmmm Power can sometimes go to head , I hope bhanupratap does not go astray ..

I am indeed enjoying the series .. :) looking forward to next one .. what Bhanu bhai gives to bhanupartap..


RamMmm said...

There came the twist.

Hey, the pictures that accompany the episodes are nice and so thoughtful in line with the mood.