This is part V of the story. Please read Red & White before continuing.
“I think we will have to use third degree on him. I have heard about him. His name is Sakharam Khevadiya. He is their best man, the best spy ever India’s RAW has had.” Said the Al Qa’ida henchman. He looked dangarous. He held his .33mm bore rifle in his one hand while he spoke pointing fingers are Sakha.
“Do what you want, you cheats. But I’m not going to reveal any thing. I shall prefer to die than compromise my mother land.” Said the skinny soldier in a rousing voice.
“Oh yeah, let us see who relents when we put you through our third degree.” He turned and said, “Bring on Abdul Hamid.”
Moments later, a dark, burly looking man appeared in front of Sakha. He was holding a large iron rod in his hand was wearing a dog belt in the neck. Before Sakha could realise what happened, he came running towards him and started licking him all over his face.
“What the heck… Wha…afff… uummmmppphhhh. What are you doing” Shouted Sakha while getting out of his bed like spring was attached to his bums. “Gosh, MOTI! What are you doing?… yuks!” He said again trying to push the little canine Moti away from him. The black and white spotted dog had licked him all over his face. Wuff wuff… the canine barked.
“Hummph!… Moti, now go. Go out and play.” Said a weary looking Sakharam, still living in his dream. But his dog was not going to give up so easily. Moti barked again, this time rather loudly. Sakharam heard his father make a grunting sound in the back ground. “Moti… what do you want beta? It is just… (looking at the watch) 6:30 in the morning. Dont you want to sleep? Now go… go out.” The dog barked again. “Gosh Moti… if babu wakes up, he is going to kill you, you know. Now go” said Sakha shoeing the dog away and out of the small room he was sleeping.
Sakha was one of the 4 siblings of Devilal Khevadiya, popularly known as babu and a farmer by profession. They had about an acre worth of land and its yield was sufficient for Devilal to raise Sakha and his 3 elder sisters. The whole united family used to stay on the single storied house right in the middle of the farm. However with two of Sakha’s sister already married and after the demise of Devilal’s parents, the population of the Khevadiya farm was reduced to four. They also maintained some live stock such as cows, goats and a dog, named Moti, who was now back in Sakha’s room. He too feared Babu and so this time he started pulling Sakha’s pyjama.
“Goddd… MOTI!” shouted Sakha as his father again grunted in the back ground. “Okay, okay… common I’m coming out.”
All of 21 years, Sakharam’s life had revolved all around the farm. Although Devilal educated Sakha as best as he could, he wanted him to carry on as a farmer. However Sakha was not interested. The tall wheat in the farm was a hiding ground for him. As a child, he used the sunflower as a code word to hide his identity in the school. Sakha was fascinated by the thrill of life. He found the routine life very mundane. Thanks to his English teacher, they all read stories of Sherlock Homes and Percy Jackson. And he liked both. As he grew, his fascination armed forces caught speed. He had read all the stories of the 1968 and 1971 war heroes. And he never missed a war movie. As he grew up, he made up his mind to join the Army. Being the only son, every one in the family refused to allow him to do so. As his sisters got married, number of people preventing him from joining the army grew by one each. As a result, he could not appear for NDA. But now in his final year of graduation, he had made up his mind. Another year and he was going to fly… literally.
Sakha was not in talking terms with his father since two nights. One of his idiot friends had spilled the beans of his plans in front of Babu… and then the fight started. 2 nights and 3 years had passed. Sakha wondered how much more will take him to convince his babu. But now, he had to respond to his dog, who for some reason wanted Sakha to accompany him some where.
“Arre kya hai? Kaha jaana hai?” Sakha was getting angry now, while his dog was interrupting his daily routine.
“Where are you pulling me baba? Let me wash my face at least.” In some time, Sakha realised that Moti actually wanted to go to the River. He was a good swimmer, just like all other dogs. But he loved water, unlike all other dogs. And although Chena river was about 3 kilometres from his farm, he enjoyed running to it, jumping over numerous sequences of flat farm lands and rocks. So did Sakha. They enjoyed every moment of it, whether it was raining like today or dry. Sakha spent his journey, plucking potatoes and carrots en route while Moti chased away the butterflies and birds. Today was no different, except that Moti did not have any birds to chase, thanks to the rain.
The intermittent rain meant it took them almost an hour to reach the Chena bridge. Instead of munching on carrots en route, Sakha had to take shelter under the empty bullock carts in the farms nearby to evade the rain. His dog, however, enjoyed every bit of the shower. The last farm was about 300 metres away from the bank and just overlooked the bridge. Thanks to rainy season, it was not full of wet sand. Sakha started walking in it, looking back at the foot print he was leaving behind. He wondered if he had a camera. He would have captured the sight, his and Moti’s pug marks. Just when he was admiring the beauty of nature around, a lout noise broke his attention. What he saw completely horrified him.
He saw a large piece of rubber out of a state transport bus’s rear tyre rip apart and literally fly out on the car coming behind. Even before he could blink, he saw the bus wobble as if it was running on a water bed. There was another loud noise as the bus crashed into the railing of the Chena bridge. Sakha let out a loud scream out of his mouth. But before he could breath again for another scream, he saw a rather old looking green and white bus nose dive in the gorge of the Chena River.
To be continued…