Monday, November 16, 2009

Chronicles in a Cold NIght

In the month of December at Haridwar it was too cold. The minimum temperature was 6 degree Celsius. In our home Abhijit was busy chatting with his friend Hemuda (H.P.Roy). I and his wife Kabli were busy in the kitchen. We were experimenting something. Kids were busy with their tricycles. It was 7-O'Clock in the evening. The door bell rang. I opened the door and saw Maloti was standing outside with a horrible expression on her face. Her son was in her lap and the kid also looked frightened. Instead of asking her to come in, I asked her "What happened?" In a single breath she told us "We were returning from Haridwar to our township through bye - pass road. The road was totally empty and you know there are no road lights on that road. It was dark and we were alone on the road. At one place, before the road turns sharply, a scooter over took us and vanished. We turned along the road. The scooter was not visible in the cars headlights. Probir asked me to look behind if the scooter was behind us but it not there either. Probir stopped and took a u-turn. We came back to the bend where the scooter had overtaken us. We could see a light and also could hear the sound of a running scooter engine in the woods on the road side slope at the bend. Probir aligned his car to beam the car head lights towards the point. Now we could see one person lying unconscious. We thought that the fellow did not turn with the road and went inside the woods and met with an accident. His face was covered with blood. Probir said "Let us help him". With great difficulty, we put him in the car and rushed to your home. You know this is a medico-legal case and Probir is scared. So please Abhijit-da help him."

Abhijit rushed downstairs, followed by Hemu-da. After them we three ladies and kids ran. Probirda was sitting in the car on the driving seat. On the back seat of the car, a Sardarji lay unconscious. The car was Premier Padmini, so Abhijit and Hemuda sat on the front seat beside Probirda. Probirda drove immediately and they went off. Maloti and her kid were left behind with us.

7:30 PM: We three ladies were chatting. The kids were playing. Maloti felt normal now. We talked about kids, school, kitchen, maid servant and mother in law.

8:30 PM: Chatting was going on

9:30 PM: We fed the kids

10:30 PM: Kids went to sleep. Silence covered my home.

11:00 PM: Anxiety built up. It was so heavy that we three ladies were sitting side by side in absolute silence.

11:30 PM: The three men arrived. They were giggling and laughing. Our anxiety turned into anger. "Where had you been!” We questioned. The answer was like this:

Probirda - "When we reached the hospital, we met Rajiv (Dr. Rajiv Dhusia is one of the dearest friend of Probirda) He was in emergency duty. Rajiv looked at me suspiciously and said ‘You have hit this man. I told you a thousand times not to drive too fast. This is police case. I am not going to touch this.’ I told him the whole story, but he would not believe me. I said that whatever I have said about the incident was true - ask Abhijit and he said ‘No I don't know anything. I am not an eyewitness to the incident. I joined Probir from my home much after the so called incident happened.’ - Look they call themselves my friends. Finally, Rajiv investigated the Sardarji and asked his assistant to clean him up. His forehead got three stitches. Another paramedic staff came and gave him an injection. That fellow recognised Sardarji and said ‘Yeh fir aa gayaa?’ (He has come back again?) Rajiv asked him ‘Do you know him?’ The fellow named Joginder said ‘Few days ago some one brought him here. He was heavily drunk and had fallen in a drain.’ Rajiv asked the paramedics to check his breath and wash his stomach. After sometime, Sardarji was regaining his consciousness. Rajiv asked him to get up from the table and walk. Hemu rushed to help him. Sardarji took support on Hemu's shoulder and started walking. Rajiv asked Hemu to leave him alone as he wanted to test the level of consciousness in the patient. Hemu left him immediately and Sardarji fell down. Joginder and other paramedics picked him up and settled him on the table. We were waiting for him to regain consciousness again."

Abhijit -  "Meanwhile Joginder searched some register and said that his name was Lumber Singh of fabrication shop of BHEL and stayed in Sector -I of the township. Rajiv left his chair and walked up to the table. He patted Sardarji's cheeks and called ‘Lumber Singh..... Lumber Singh..... Look at me.... here look at me...What is your name?....’ Lumber opened his eyes and said ‘Surjit Singh Sahab!’ Rajiv asked ‘Then who is Lumber Singh?’  He said ‘I am Sahab.’ ‘Then why did you say Surjit Singh?’ Rajiv questioned. Sardarji said ‘You said Lumber, tell me your name... so I thought you know my name.... so .... why I said.......’  This time Rajiv asked politely ‘Who is Surjit Singh?’ Lumber said ‘My father, Sahab.’ Rajiv lost his temper and shouted ‘Always add Shri or Mr. before father's name.’ Hemu said that this was a good logic to prefix Shri or Mr. to the father's name, otherwise we might have thought that Surjit Singh was his son. We felt that Lumber was out of danger now, so we started back home. This is really a chilly night."

Hemuda - "On the way back we thought that we must inform his home. So we went to Sector -I. It is a cold night. Not a single soul was visible outside. Fog was growing denser as time passed. We took 15 to 20 minutes to search his quarter as Joginder had given us the address. Probir stopped the car and said ‘Hemu please go and tell Lumber Singh's family that he is in the hospital.’ I said ‘I will never do this because I remember when Abhijit purchased a new motor bike and offered me a happy ride, I was really happy till he hit the old man. The old man fell down. Abhijit stopped the bike and rushed to help the old man. Suddenly, the old man's son ran towards me and hit me a solid blow. Full 15 days my left eye was black. NO I am NOT going to tell anybody anything. Abhijit may go.’ But Abhijit said that he had a problem with unknown ladies. So Probir should go. Then Probir said that in a winter night at 11:30 PM it is not good to knock someone's door and tell a lady that her husband was in hospital. How would she react? If she starts crying then what should we do? Then all three of us went together and pushed the call bell. After five minutes, the lights were on. Some lady asked from inside "Who is there?" Probir said "You don't know me madam. I just came to inform you that Lumber Singh was in hospital and he......." His speech was interrupted by the voice from the inside the quarter "Yeh aadmi marta bhi nahin!" (This man always survives.) and the lights went off. We understood that the lady was accustomed with such incidents. We came back. Bye the way what happened to the kitchen experiment - let me see the result.