Through his eyes – 24

As days went by the frequency of visit of the Naxals to each and every house increased. They also started recruiting party workers from the locals.
A new face was seen in the locality, nobody knew where he came from, he was called Suda, he looked very dark and tall and his way of speaking local language was very different. The first three local recruits were Sambhu, Swapan, and Karthik. Sambhu had widow mother and a small baby sister. Swapan and Karthik were two young men who were not liked by anyone, especially girls. They were high school dropouts, unemployed and used to spend their days and evenings standing on the street and trying to talk to young girls but were always rebuffed with extreme prejudice. There was no girl who did not hate those two and elders always scolded them. But after they joined Naxal party, they were transformed into ‘comrade Swapan’ and ‘comrade Karthik’. Swapan, even though he was a tall young man, whose length, if were measured with a measuring tape lengthwise would not be less than six feet but due to bend thoracic vertebrae he always appeared to be five feet five or five feet six inches tall. The other young man, Karthik was approximately four feet tall, people used to call him ‘short Karthik’. These young men used to walk on the village streets carrying one bomb in each hand, which could be seen only from behind. They adopted a peculiar style of walking which could be described as follows:
Think of a wall clock having two pendulums instead of one, swinging in parallel with same frequency so that they always maintain the same distance from each other. Now if one could imagine each hand of the pendulum as a human hand and each bob of the pendulum as a bomb one would know exactly how those two Naxals walked with bombs in their hands.
The ‘parallel pendulum’ style of walking suddenly became a ‘cool thing’ to the young people and they started walking in that style, without holding any bomb of course. The young girls, who hated those two before, started showing interest in talking to them. The young ‘comrades’ started listening to the girls with unfetter smile. Elders had not only stopped scolding them but also started discussing ‘serious matters’ with them. The sudden entry of those young comrades into hall of fame and especially gaining huge popularity among young girls created genuine interest among unemployed young men to join the party to become Naxals.
Many new faces were seen with every passing day, money and food were collected from families but the collection was restricted only within those families where the bread earner worked in the city.

The relationship between the Naxals and the locals was cordial and of mutual respect. The money and food was given to them because they requested politely for their survival. It was never heard if anyone had ever said ‘no’ to their request. Even though the behavior of every single Naxal was polite but the memory of the beheaded police officer lying on the water was also fresh in everyone’s memory.
[To be continued]

Email:  mintughoshal@gmail.com

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