By Joybrato Dutta
Day – Thursday, June 12, 2008
Time – 10:15 PM
Harsh was on his way to Ram Mandir. Enthused spirit. Alacrity in the heart. . Although it was a rainy day but the adrenaline rush glued Harsh’s feet to the accelerator, while his palm answered Vikrant’s call.
“Haan Vik wassup man”
“Wassup ke bachhe kahan pahuncha hai”
“Bas aur 10 minute mein pahunch jaunga
“Sahi hai Riya ko pick karne ke baad call karna”
“Pukka karta hun”
“Chal best of luck. Happy journey”
Harsh disconnected the call
Harsh’s vehicle hit something. He manoeuvres the steering as fast as he could and stops the car just before it could crash against a tree. He steps out of his car. To his misfortune he finds a little girl lying on the street. He runs towards her. She was unconscious and covered in blood. Panic struck. He lifted the girl and put her in the car. Amidst this chaos Harsh drops his phone on the road without realising.
He takes the little girl to the hospital, where she is taken to the emergency ward. Harsh looks at his watch which was wrapped around his blood stained wrists. It was 11:30 PM. He looks for his phone, but is unable to find it. His clothes were soaked in the little girl’s blood. He runs out of the hospital, gets into the car and drives as fast as he could. He reaches Ram Mandir. He notices Riya’s car. He searches the car all over. He does not find her. “Riya’s father must have taken her back”, he thinks to himself.
He sits in his car and drives away. He returns to the hospital. The doctor tells him that the little girl is ok. But her family needs to be contacted. By the look of the clothes she looked like a street urchin. Harsh took her responsibility.
He goes to the hospital’s reception and calls Riya. Her phone was not reachable. He calls Neha. She didn’t answer. Harsh had Riya’s landline number, but he didn’t have the guts to call. He called Vikrant and explained everything.
Vikrant rushed to the hospital. He paid the bills and took Harsh with him.
Harsh cried all night. He had no idea what had happened to Riya. He could not contact Riya or Neha. Unanswered questions didn’t let him rest.
Next morning Harsh finally had the guts to call Riya on her landline. A rugged voice answered.
“Uncle Riya hai?” harsh asks politely
“Tu wahi launda hai na, madarjaat tu kata, teri wajah se Riya gayi, abb tu bhi katega, tu nahi bachega, saaley neechi jaati ke madarchod.
Riya gayi matlab? A cold shiver passed through Harsh’s veins as he asked this question?
“Abbey uske baap ne usey katwa kar uske tukde wahin Ram Mandir ke agey jheel mein phenk diye. Abb tu bhi jaageya madarjaat
Harsh hung up. He could not believe his ears. Riya was dead. She was murdered. Brutally. His love killed her. He cried out loud, but no voice was heard. His shrieking shout scared Vikrant who came running to him. Harsh collapsed.