Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dark Waves - Chapter 3

BSF Jeep came to a rude hault at Udhampur Railway Station. His luggage was thrown out of the Jeep and one BSF Jawaan spoke in his loud voice, as if he was addressing the gathered crowd which was surprised to see how an officers luggage was thrown out by his subordinates. Jawaan humiliated Akshay in front of the crowd, marking him as a traitor to his country and as the unofficial protocol, took out his knife and ripped apart an official SFF uniform, which till few days back belonged to Akshay Rajput.

This was starting of a nightmarish life for Akshay. He was shoved by the crowd, not allowed to board the train. it was just a beginning. He travelled by road, hitching rides across numerous modes of transport and took a week to reach his home town. As soon as he reached his home town at Saharanpur, a crowd of youngsters seem to be waiting at his home entrance, abuses were hurled, garbage was thrown on him and front of his house had been blackened and with red paint a single word was shining - Traitor. Akshay found himself walking away from his home, his only shelter at the moment. He was chased by some teenagers who still continued to throw garbage on him, he kept walking. For hours, he was now walking, walking to nowhere.

It has been 30 kms, he has been walking down the road, it was a state highway connecting Saharanpur city to New Delhi, capital of India. He had been running without food and water for days now, finally his body gave up and he collapsed. Three hours had passed when he opened his eyes again, he found himself in a small room, he was lying on a twin-bed. As he tried to grasp where he was, he sensed he was in a small room, small but neat and tidy. As he sat up in the bed, a man came in, he was a middle-aged man, may be 35, before Akshay could ask anything, he started. He said his name was Arshad and he was the owner of a small hotel, Skylark. He found Akshay lying on the road, he brought him to his hotel and he has been attended by a Doctor, who has given him some medication. Its been 3 hours and he was in Nanauta. A small town 30 kms from Saharanpur.

Akshay thanked Arshad for all his help, he started to get up but there was not enough strength in him, may be the lack of rest, or may be that sheer trauma he was going through since last week. Arshad helped him lie down and informed that Doctor has advised at least one week rest. Akshay told him that he is penniless and would not be able to pay even a single rupee towards the hotel expenses. Arshad smiled and told him that he can not leave the hotel until he recovers completely. As for the expenses, they will be taken care of. It was Holy month of Ramzan.

Once Akshay recovered completely, he asked Arshad if he can help him to get a job. Arshad offered him a job at front desk so that he can use his language skills to speak to customers in english. Though, Akshay did not come across any customer who came to Skylark and wanted to speak in english.

Eight months went by, Akshay Rajput who was once a Naval Fighter Pilot and then a Commanding Officer of Special Frontier Forces was now contented with his life at front desk of Skylark.
However, little did he know that his life was not contented with him.

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