Thursday, 21 January 2016

Resurrection on the Third Day

It had been quite some time that I had not spun some yarn so let me do it now…

On the deserted road between Nganglam and Gyelposhing highway, Sangay was all alone in his car and driving lazily in his jalopy to the tune of equally slow romantic song squeaking out of the old cassette player. He thought of changing the tape player and replacing it with new one with woofer and which can play songs directly from the USB drive or change the car itself. Just when he was lost in his thoughts, he saw a figure of a man lying in the middle of the road. When he stopped to see, two men jumped out of nowhere with knives in their hands.

“Get out of the car! And give me the keys”. Shouted one of the men angrily, emitting the smell of cheap booze out of the muffled mouth. Pleading with these guys would be of no use, besides he had heard so many incidents of stabbing cases in the news. The stabbing must have become some sort of fashion these days.

He got out and handed over the keys without uttering a word. He was mentally prepared of going to his village walking through the old track which he knows like a back of his hands, having travelled on foot ample times carrying cargo of oranges and while going for further studies. It may take less than two days if he could hit the right track and provided it is clear of bushes.

“Remove your jackets and pants!” He was jolted back to the reality. He removed the jacket and pleaded for keeping the pants. It was rejected flatly but old pair of jeans was given to him.

They got inside his car and drove away leaving him there in the middle of the road. Waiting to hitch-hike from that point would be useless as few vehicles ply on that route at that point of time. So he retraced his path and climbed the hills to hit the old path leading to his village. He spent a night in the cave drinking spring water to continue his journey on foot when the first light breaks the horizon.

The journey on foot was treacherous. He could barely make out the well trodden path of the yonder days. It was covered with thick bush and he had to literally swim through the bushes slowing him down to a snail’s pace. The development of the village and road connectivity had made the people preferring to use the vehicle and no one seems to have passed through this path ever since.

He was forced to spend another night in the familiar surrounding where he slept as a child with his parents. The fire place, the place where they tethered their horses, the exact spot where his late father slept brought tears in his eyes. If not the thieves he would have never reached this spot to have the pleasant nostalgic feelings of the past. He could almost hear the cry of his father calling him when he explored near the stream nearby. The tree under which they sat and had their meals had grown so big with its branches forming into a canopy with the edges of the branches almost touching the ground like weeping willows. The banana trees and the ferns flourished without the disturbance of animals and human, resembling a scene in a ‘Jurassic Park’. Nature loving he was that he forgot about his predicament and lived off the land that night protected by the deity of the big weeping tree.

‘It would take only five hours from that point to my village and losing the path from there is out of question’. Sangay thought and encouraged himself. While returning he may have to follow the same path, if his elders agree, and in the absence of his car.

There were lots of people gathered at his house. He was apprehensive that someone must have died and suddenly he thought of his mother. She was not sick but with old people one can never say, they just stop breathing just like that. He almost cried and felt weak at knees, thinking about death of his mother. He ran towards his home as fast as his leg could carry him, blocking all the bizarre imagination.

He met a man on the way and asked about all the commotion at his place. The man said, “The only son, who was in government service had died in car accident, while he was coming on leave, on Nganglam – Gyelposhing Highway. His face was crushed beyond recognition but they came to know it was him through his car and the clothes he was wearing.”

It was the third day of his death. He ran into his own funeral rites. His sister froze on the doorway as if seeing a ghost. He hugged her and went to see his mother who was mourning. The happiness of seeing her son back from the death can be seen through the twinkle in her eyes, only this time the tears of happiness flowed.

“I knew it was not you but the evidence overpowered my belief and the conviction, I am so thankful to god”. And she hugged her son like never before.

That night people will be all ears for the story and he need not concoct one.