= * = * Cloud burst * = * =
The night Shanti Baruri was murdered it rained as if cloud had fallen upon the earth, there was sound of rain falling on all kinds of roofs – tin, asbestos, brick tile, concrete and straw; relentless roaring sound of thunderstorm and bright streak of light like a branch of a leafless tree was trying to free the hemisphere from the clutch of impregnable darkness, at least for a few brief moments.
On a regular night it was darkness everywhere, dim lights from few houses and few dull yellow street lights only accentuated it; vacant lands between houses remained covered with thick bushes. He, like every other boy or girl in his village was afraid of dark; howling sounds were audible at every corner which made him shiver even while he remained lying on his bed and he always forced himself to sleep in order to avoid listening to those sounds. Even on a regular night it was impossible to look at outside through any open window or door. That night when his parents and brothers were discussing about the murder he stood at a corner, as far away as possible from any open window or door. In their village, like in every other village in India, every house had toilet outside, one had to walk few meters to reach there. During monsoon people had to use umbrellas. That eventful night he could not gather any courage to go to toilet alone. He requested everybody in the house to go with him and watch his back. Finally one of his brothers agreed but demanded his large wooden spinning top in return. Even though he had developed the habit of holding till daybreak, that night, every single effort to hold turned futile, he tried all possible techniques he could think of, pressing two legs against each other, springing on toes etc. but nothing worked. Finally he conceded to his brother’s demand.
[To be continued ]
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