Raam Raam Rokadjee

Posted: August 12, 2010 in death, Humor, India, life, Thriller, Writing
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I was hungry, as usual. But I had to meet this man from my past. He was the most sought after man in our village in that past- it was no mystery. He was the village’s only money lender Mr. Rokadpathi, after all.

He was sitting happily in his shop at this hour of the night in a seemingly deserted village. He had become insanely huge and looked very sleepy. He looked like a beggar in those ragged clothes, but he probably was a Crorepathi- an astronomically stingy Millionaire.

“Raam Raam Rokadjee” I greeted him entering his shop.

“Oho! Munna! Come Come… Welcome back to the village, after such a long time- it’s been seventeen years, is it? I read your letter….” He said.

“Yes, I wrote you that letter, I wasn’t sure if you were still living here in the village…”

“Oho! Where will I go? I am not a smart boy like you, going to Europe… Doing fancy hi-fi studying, huh?”

“Don’t be so modest, Rokadjee! You’re the smartest man from this village… I remember the Godown days… I was only 8, but I still remember…” I said with a sparkle in my eye.

“Oho! You remember do you? What do you remember?” he laughed stroking his belly.

“I remember the Government inspector harassing the town clerk for money… For all the missing grain from the records… and you sorted the whole issue- by bribing the official and getting all those ration books in return… The rumor was that you got some 60 ration books! You must have made a fortune out of that!!”

“Oho! I’m just a humble servant of the village… I couldn’t see the clerk get harassed like that! He was a good man…”

“Ah, I also remember you taking loads of grains through those cards every month when the trucks came… It was a magnificent sight…”

“Oho! You are exaggerating! It’s true I got some bags from them…”

“You also used to lend money to poor souls like Dhaneeram… His crop had failed and he was in desperate need of money… and you gave him… you were the talk of the village for weeks!”

“Oho! You’ve made up your mind to embarrass me, huh? Hahaha… “

“Do you remember Dhaneeram’s Chat Centre? “

He smirked. “His Chat Centre! You say? It was a shack made of dry leaves!”

“But his Paani-Poori was amazing… Especially the Masala Water was very tasty!”

“Oho! He used to wash his hands in that Masala Water!”

I was stunned. And soon we both started laughing hysterically.

“Haa… But you helped that Hand-washer Dhaneeram, nonetheless…”

”Oho! It was not only Dhaneeram, I used to lend money to a lot of people, even the ones without much collateral… Even a ration book was enough… and I would have helped them….”

“Yes yes! You were a kind man, I remember well… Very well… That is why, before leaving the country for a long time, I have brought you, this bottle of Johnnie Walker, as a token of appreciation for all that you have done for me… and my family…”

“Oho!!! Black Label! How did you know I loved this?”

“It was only the most expensive scotch this village had seen… and there were rumors, you know… and I heard” I said smiling.

“Thank You” he said taking the Scotch bottle and keeping it on the counter, perhaps to show off, but alas nobody was around to see this new acquisition of Rokadjee.

“Have a drink?” he asked offering my Scotch.

“I don’t drink, Rokadjee…”

“It’s only 10 in the night… and nobody around to see us drink!” he winked.

“Haha… I really don’t drink, Rokadjee, please enjoy yourself…”

”You are a sharp young boy like your father… Speaking of your father… How’s your family doing?”

“Don’t you remember?”

“Remember what?”

“My three siblings… They… They died of….”

“Tuberculosis! Oho! I remember now… it was a terrible tragedy… Your mother had grown very weak and your father was out working as some day laborer in Kanpur… And you were all alone with your dying family… I remember those days… Those terrible days… it makes me cry just thinking of them…”

“Ya…”

“And in those days there were no good hospitals! Those government hospitals were just a playzone for stray dogs… those were tough times!”

“Looks like you too remember a lot… ”

“Soon your mother died as well… And when your father returned hearing the news, he took you… And he went to Kanpur and settled there… Right?”

“Yes. It was… it was all… you know…”

“I know… I know, son…”

“Don’t you dare call me, son- you money minded monster” I yelled taking out my pistol.

“Gun!” he jumped up. His eyes were suddenly alert and keenly followed the direction of the Silencer. He was sweating profusely…

“My brother… My sisters… died of malnutrition… of hunger! You rotten scoundrel! My mom grew weak and my dad had gone out looking for a job… And he wasn’t around… My mom grew weak… She couldn’t work… we had no money… and my dad had taken a paltry 100Rs loan from you, with our ration book given to you as the collateral…”

“Now now… Munna… The past is past… The police will catch you… for doing anything stupid… you have a future… in a foreign country… foreign girls… Don’t you want to see those white ladies?”

“I’m leaving India in the morning! Nobody can touch me… I have nothing to fear! And who cares about who dies in this village, huh? Or have you forgotten?”

“Look Munna… Calm down…  I’m an old man… I have a weak heart…”

“Shut up! Do you even have a heart? My family starved while you sold the grains brought from our ration book… You made a pile of money while we… While we… And you didn’t give us anything… anything… Knowing full well that we will starve to death… and we did… and we did!!!

I couldn’t control my tears.

I said, “Raam Raam Rokadjee!!!” and I fired.

Rokadjee fell down. I checked his pulse. He was a dead hippo. Died of a heart attack. The first bullet was a blank in the cartridge of my gun.

But the rest of the bullets were real. And he had a huge family. Inside the house- attached to the shop. All of his children are real too.

I guess it was time I introduced them to each other…

I was hungry, as usual. I took the Black Label- I could drink at least one sip- “For a better tomorrow… For a better India”

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Comments
  1. Rohan says:

    The suspense is very good! Revenge always is thrilling. . And thanks for your comment on mine. . 🙂

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