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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Heart over Head

Bhatia uncle and aunty have been our neighbours before I was born.I still remember since my kinder garden days Bhatia uncle used to bring toffees for me which I used to tightly secure in my tiny hands untill my hands used to get coated with the sugar melted from toffee because of heat genreated in the enclosed fist .I shared a special bond with Bhatia uncle maybe becuase I lost my father at a tender age of two.We used to live in sarojini nagar .Ma used to run a small dress material shop called  "Pehnava fashions" in Babu Mraket .I always heard stories from my mother that our store was never so small.It was a huge shop with all latest desgins salwar kammeez.A big Ganesha idol at the entrance,a big chandelier on the cieling .The entire shop used to glitter with all lovely colors.Aunties from all over Delhi used to flock our shop saying lala ji ,there is no shop better than yours.Our shop was best known for its customer service.Bauji always followed the mantra customer is king .From shinkajavi in summers to hot badam milk in winter ,customers were served drinks irrespective of they bought anything or not.Bauji was very kind towards his employees also.He was always there for his employees be it their daughter's wedding or thier son's admission.I remember Ma
saying once that he had helped Bhatia Uncle also for aunty's treatment.This was the reason that Bhatia uncle respected my parents a lot.
No one can change the destiny.One day suddenly Bauji had a paralytic attack .He was bed ridden .So many japs and yags were done but nothing changed.My mother was pregnant with me .No one was there to take care of shop.Gradually, the shop started making losses.Money was spent like water for bauji's treatment but all in vain.God was busy helping others. He stopped hearing our prayers.Then, i was born.Life was getting tougher day by day for Ma.I turned 2 and one day Bauji lost his battle of life.I don't remember everything but I still remember from that day Ma had become pale .I have never seen any colour on her .Since that day,I have never seen her laughing.Buaji used to tell her ,Gulabi(pink) suits you the best.I asked her, Ma,why don't you wear gulabi these days.She used to never reply.Life has to move on .She had to sell our shop to repay the debt .I was standing behind her grabbing the corner of her offwhite duppatta.seeing from the corner of my eyes, all the things getting loaded in truck.Ma was standing dumbstruck with no emotions .She never cried nor she laughed she had lost sense of all emotions.At last, they loaded Ganpati. In a feeble voice,I asked,Ma why are they taking our bhagwan? Ma said,Bhagwan dosen't want to stay with us.Saying that,she stromed into the house.
Bhatia Uncle's was getting older ahead of his age .I could see his wrinkled forehead .He was stressed because of Kanchan di';s marriage and Rajbeers admission to a good engineering college.I was 10 at that time when Ma had asked me to check the overhead tank because there was no water supply in our house but rest of houses had no problem.When I had gone on terrace I saw Rajbeer sniffing some powder .I didn't understand what was it .He just growled at me .I could see red eyes of his and was scared to death and came running down and locked myself into the couldn't understand what had happened .I did not had
courage to tell this to anyone.Once I had seen Kanchan di with a boy on a bike.She was too awkwardly close to him.I didn't mention this also to anyone.I was too shy and scared to talk.
I knew that Bhatia aunty never liked me.Infact kanchan di and rajbeer also didn't like me.Aunty always used to make faces whenever Bhatia uncle took me to his house on Sunday to have round and big aaloo paratha with lots of white butter and a glass of lassi.I always awaited for sunday because of this scrumptious meal.Aunty never served me happily she used to just pass the plate sliding over the table and to put down the glass with bang and also the butter she put on Kanchan didi's palte and Rajbeer's plate was much more than what I got .My tiny eyes used to just compare the quantity but could never understand the indifference.I could never understand why aunty used to start screaming for everything as soon as I entered the house.But, I never cared untill my stomach was full.Bhatia uncle used to go out of station for some days and during thsoe sundays I used to just stand near the door of uncle's house as soon as I used to smell ghee for frying the parathas.But I never dared to enter inside.I used to stand there biting my lips with a hope that may be aunty will call me for the parathas but when she saw me standing she just banged the door on my face.I went running inside my house.Ma also had very less conversation with aunty.Only talk used to happen when aunty used to leave home snd there was no one at house she used to handover the keys to my ma so that if uncle returns back home early he can take the keys.
I am grown up now .I am 15 now.I have board exams this year.Bhatia Uncle sometimes helps me with mathematics.Though now I have stopped going for sunday parathas.Now I can understand that aunty doesn't like me and so even after lot of persuasion from Uncle I refuse to go.Whenever I am sad, I go to park near our locality .The corner where I sit is quite isolated .No one comes over there .I feel relaxed sitting there thinking about all things that has happened in the gone by years. .One day I hear a hushing sound of two people conversing with each other.They are talking about some illegal tender to be passed .I recognize one of the voice but I am  confused.After thinking for a while ,I guess,  I know this voice.
I came back home.I am standing in my balcony thinking how to confirm if I am right. Just then I see bhatia uncle coming on his Vespa.After thinking for a while,I just go to the back of his house where I can see uncle and aunty talking in a low voice.Uncle says, Preeto ,this is the first and last time I am doing something wrong but I will have to do it to give my children a better future.He hands over a huge bundle of money to aunty to keep it safe.She is very happy with the proceedings.Bhatia uncles steps out again .I can see tiny droplets of sweat on his forehead. I see aunty is busy  palnning to hide the money and I am watching all these things dumb struck.I see aunty UN-stitching one of the cotton stuffed mattress.She stuffs all money into it rolls it and keep it in the store room.I am scared to witness all these things but I am not able to tell this to anyone.I have become quiet these days.I am worried.I have an intution that Bhatia uncle will get into some kind of trouble.
One day when aunty is out for her kitty party and Rajdeep and Kanchan Di are also not there and as usual aunty hand over the keys to Ma giving her strict instructions to keep it safe .I was not sure should I do it or  not.But my instincts says,I have to do it.Somehow,I manage to slip the keys from the drawer.I opened Bhatia uncle's house,went straight into the store room, took the money out,arranged everything as before,locked the house,went straight into the my den in park,started digging a hole and placed the money ,covered the hole placed a huge stone marked with a nail polish paint which was only visible to me and came back running to my house .With god's grace I reached on time .As soon as I reached ,aunty had arrived .Ma was scolding that she had just now mopped the floor and I had spoiled it with mud marks from my shoe.Her scolding was interrupted as soon as aunty came she asked for keys .Without any pause, I said, I will bring went inside to pretend that I am bringing the keys though it was already in my hands.She snatched it from my hand and rushed to her house.
My intuition was correct.Before Bhatia uncle could arrive people from investigation agency had come to uncle's house .Aunty was trembling with fear.Bhatia uncle came running.His house was turned upside down.The people who were investigating were shouting at them.I was standing outside the door of Bhatia uncle's house witnessing all these things.Aunty just started crying as one of the person went inside the store room.Uncle was sitting with his hands on his head.He said everything is over.Aunty went running to the store room and snatched the mattress from the persons hand.He scolded her and started throwing out everything from inside of the mattress.Aunty was sitting on the floor with her face covered.She was shocked when the person shouted,Sir,there is nothing here also.I knew what they were searching for.I knew where it was.I was not sure what I am doing is right or wrong .Should I save uncle?My heart was saying "Yes" because he has been like father to me since so many years .He has been part of all my happiness and sorrows during my growing years.My head was saying "NO" because, it was wrong .it was unethical and immoral to hide such a thing.But ,looking at Bhatia uncle's innocent eyes and face I thought,Uncle is not bad only the circumstances were bad.Thinking this I followed my heart and kept quiet that day.The investigation team was surprised because they had 100% information that money was in Kabeer Bhatia's house.Aunty just as usual banged the door on my face.The long day ended at last.
One Sunday when I was studying maths from Uncle I scribbled something on my notebook .Uncle was astonished and embarrassed to read what I had scribbled,he read with an expression of  fear ,"I know where the money is ". He looked at me with an expression of question. I told him to accompany me.We
did not speak on the way.I took him directly to place .He was curiously looking at me trying to figure out what I was up to. I was digging the ground. like mad .After an effort of some time, I pulled out the bag with money and handed it over to him.His eyes were moist, he could not say anything except "Thank You". We directly went to muktaangan,a child orphanage, and did an anonymous donation.Uncle knew that this donation could not wash away his sin of doing wrong but he was happy that he will never repeat this mistake in his life.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda


Good to read. Read mine at

Sorry for posting ur own link... My link is here

@Neo Prady- Thanks for reading the post.

Nice story ... is dis imagination or true story ?

Nice story dis imagination or true story ?

@Richa- Thanks for liking it.It's fiction.Have posted it for Write over weekend contest on BlogAdda.

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