Quote Un'Quote

Life is Unfair
Everyone Struggles
Let's Not Make That An Excuse

September 18, 2019

Surrender: The Conclusion

Read the first part on this link

The sound of the water droplet falling on the base of the window was making its presence felt like a echo. Girish was sitting across Prasad in his cabin, when Prasad said "Mr. Kamat, as you are aware we dug the place you mentioned, we could not find the bodies as it was decomposed. We did though found belongings which helped identify their identities and corroborated it with their family members".

"Kamat Sir, why did you do it? Why come and confess after thirty years? You are in your seventies, you could have kept this as your secret and died peacefully as a good samaritan. We did a background check of yours and everyone only has good things to say about you. Why give up on all that? Prasad asked him as he looked at him trying to unravel the puzzle.

"I needed to answer myself. I am guilty of killing three people. I am sure their families must be looking for them. I needed closure and they did too". Kamat replied.

"Why kill them? They had paid for their crimes". Prasad asked him. "Not enough. When they tried to do it again." He replied "Again?" Prasad questioned. Girish replies in affirmative.

"Can you let me know what happened?". Girish took out this spectacles and moved his right hand fingers between his eyes and pressed his nose and removed them.

"Even post completing their jail term, they never got reformed. They began haunting my family. My wife, my kids and me. I did what an ordinary citizen would do, file a complaint with the police station and they would get away. Until they got to her. I knew I had to take things in my own hands now".

"My wife was a strong women, She rebuild herself from the tatters she was left with. She had been an independent women, a loving wife and a good mother. She was back into her shell, scared wondering if it was going to happen again. They almost got hold of her the other day but got saved from getting raped."

"I killed them and life has been a bliss thereafter especially my wife who recovered and died peacefully,seeing our children grown up, well settled. We were living happily in our own world and somehow found ourselves under this situation. What was I suppose to do, sit around and wait till they harm my family? I was not going to let it happen."

"One has to take matters into their own hands when the system fails to give you justice". Girish thundered. "Mr. Kamat, I can only sympathies with what you have gone through, but taking matters in your hand is certainly I wont recommend. I know the system failed you, but  that does not happen all the time." Prasad said trying to make his point.

Girish looked at him with stern eyes and said "Do you know about the infamous Priyadarshini Mattoo Case?" Prasad nodded yes. "You also must be knowing that his death sentence was converted to life sentence. Have you wondered about the girl who lost her life at the young age of 25. Don't you think she had her own aspirations? her family dreams for her. How do you think they would respond that the killer of their daughter is still alive, got married, had a child, becomes an advocate and it took 10 years to deliver justice. Numerous written complaints filed but yet the killer got away. Had the system worked, today she would have been alive instead of getting murdered and raped gruesomely".

Prasad was left speechless. He got up from his seat, moved towards Kamat and said "Sir, I know the system failed but we need to keep trying. Not everyone is a bad apple. I will have to arrest you for the crimes you committed and would be kept in jail till the court hearing comes up and gives its verdict" he said.

"You please do your job" Girish said. Prasad called out to Gaitonde to take Girish away. 

As Mr. Kamat was taken away from his cabin, Prasad looked at him wondering if justice has been truly served given the nature of the case. He moved towards the window and opened it as it stopped raining outside.

P.S. This short story is actually inspired by an old 2001 Sri Lankan movie Aswesuma story plot. I have only read about it, not seen yet it made me think...

Finally, I have some closure.

August 21, 2019

Surrender


It was raining incessantly. The old door made its creaking noise as it was pushed. The sound of the rains hitting the ground was loud enough to be heard inside the room. It was pitch dark outside as Inspector Prasad looked outside the window taking in the smell of the first rain.

"Sir. An old man wants to meets you" constable Gaitonde said. "Kay zala" (what happened?) he asked as he put his finger into his nose and starts to wiggle it.

"Me vicharla tyla pun toh sangto ki toh tumhala fakta sangel" (I asked him but he states that he will only talk to you) Gaitonde said. "Aat pathav tyla" (send him inside) Prasad chided.

Taking small steps a frail old man walks into Prasad's cabin wearing a cream shirt and trousers. Prasad signals him to have a seat as he walks back to his seat. Once seated into his chair, he look at the old man and said "Tell me, what can I do for you?"

"My name is Girish Kamat. I don't know how to say this or how will you take it but I have come here to confess". Prasad looked at his face thinking he was probably a nut case. He stretched his hands on the table and said "Sir, please don't hesitate, you can tell me. Go ahead".

He gave Prasad a pensive look and said "I have killed three people and want to surrender". Prasad looked at him and ask "When did the killings take place?

"Thirty years back". Prasad thought he heard wrong, "Sir, did you say thirty years back?". "Yes. I did" said Girish looking at him through his glasses. For a moment there was a silence as Prasad stared at Girish for a while and asked "What made you come here and confess this now?"

"My... My... wife Sudha. She passed away two days back" is all he could mutter as his eyes filled up with tears. "Sir, control. I can understand it might be a difficult phase for you. Let me see what I can do? he said.

"Gaitonde" he yelled pressing the bell ring. "Ho Saheb' (Yes Sir) he said as he entered the cabin. "You please note down everything Mr. Kamat tells you and make a note of his address and other details". "Sir, you please go with him & share the complete details with him". "Gaitonde, ekdha tujha kaam zalyawar mela bhet" (Once you are done with your report, come & meet me.).

Post an hour, Gaitonde enters Prasad's cabin as he is going through a file. "Saheb...Toh Kamat mala veda wattoh. Toh thees varsha purvi kelela khoonachi ghatna aata sangto hain. Assa kaun veda khoonachi confess karayla yeto?" (Sir, I feel thar Kamat is mad. He is talking about murders done thirty years ago and now wants to surrender!!).

"Mala mahit hain. Tyacha charana padla vathos hain. Tu bhag tyacha bolnyat kay thath hain kaha. Nahin ter tyacha parivaara bolvayla lagel" (I know, seems like a nut case. Check if there is any credibility to what he is stating or else we will call his family) Prasad said as he moved his hands behind his head and rocked his chair.


(to be continued....)

April 9, 2019

The Aurangabad Trip


It was the month of Jan 19 which happened to be the last month to be spent at my now X organization. 

Decided to take a week off coz I could and the timing couldn't get any better.

All kind of thoughts came to my mind like spending the time to get the pending house/personal chores done. To go on a solo trip within India or abroad, etc.

However I was not able to decide thanks to the work that did kept me busy till my last day. I know for someone on a notice period I was actually doing my work which left me with little time to think of how I should be spending my vacation.

As the D-day was nearing, lot of thought was put into place, distances, travel days, itinerary, expenses, etc and I was finally able to zero in onto the location of Aurangabad.

Aurangabad had been on my mind for a long time just like Murud Janjira fort. You keep hearing about the place but nowhere near to go there.

When you talk about Aurangabad, the only places that pops up is Ajanta & Ellora Caves. One might have read about them during their school days. I had the opportunity to visit those places and others and see if they are really that magnificent and serene as it was written in the books.

Now the question was how? 

Everything was put into play and the winner emerged was my bike. Yes, this going to be an another solo road trip that I would be undertaking. 

The bike needed servicing and yes new tires since the old ones worn out.

I would be staying there for five days. Aurangabad is around 350 kms away from Mumbai and an approx 7hrs ride. It was going to be a Sunday ride.

The beginning of the ride was good. Riding on the highway, watching the sun rise, passing through the ghats. Had breakfast at chai ki tapri. It was only as I got near to reach my destination, google maps decide to pull a googly on me. I realized I was lost and decided to rely on locals directions. That did got me on the track but the roads were bad, very bad.

This trip was not short of any adventure. My headlamp casing got broke from one side and it started dangling making me worried that the whole thing might come off. I found a garage nearby who did a temporary fix with the help of fewi kwik.

Still worried if it will stand through or not as I made my way into the city of Aurangabad.

 My place of staying was different this time. It was going to be a hostel. I let myself in to my bunk bed, placed my luggage into locker. Took a shower and then hit the bed to sleep. The room was pretty empty with around 10 bunk beds but there were luggage and clothes lying around.

I woke up in the evening, had my dinner outside and went to sleep again. Had a schedule planned for myself. Did not want to mess that up.

Next day woke up at 5 am, took a cold shower on a chilly morning. Revved up my bike and was putting directions to Ajanta caves when Google maps showed it was closed. Decided to go to Ellora caves instead.

Ellora Caves was a treat. The good thing was I reached early and the crowd was less. The Kaliasa temple is one not to miss. One can still see colors on a few idols making one wonder how it would have looked in its hey days. Its quite a walk to cover all the caves. Do carry water & eatables with you. The highlight of the visit was the lift given by the security guard on his two wheeler all the way to the exit point. It was a nice gesture. The visit to Ellora caves was certainly worth it.

I happen to visit Aurangzeb's tomb thereafter which was not far. One can actually wonder if he repented his actions in his last days. He wanted an open grave with no markings of him being the king. He bought his burial place from the money he earned from selling his hand made caps. However today it stands covered in marble thanks to Lord Curzon. It lies within a masjid.

Nearby, I also visited the Bhadra Maruti temple, the only one of the three temples where Hanuman is in a sleeping posture.

For Lunch I had the local delicacy Naan Khaliya. It was worth the taste.

My next stop was Daulatabad fort. The place has silver monkeys all round. It also has a minar similar to qutub minar. On top of a watch tower lies a ram shaped cannon neatly polished and worth a sight. The very unique monument would be the the bhara mata temple. The whole arena was built with granite like stone and designs different from what I have seen earlier. The disappointment was the idol which was not a statue. It looked like it was painted on and certainly did not look good. There was a Andheri passage which has its own story to tell.

The next day again was early morning ride to Ajanta caves. It was going to be a very interesting ride. It was roughly a 105 km ride but one that was going to prove challenging. The start of the ride was great. The sunrise was beautiful, it was still foggy in the air.

Had stopped for breakfast on the way as it was getting chilly cold even though I was wearing a jacket.  I don't have the habit of wearing gloves even though I carry them with me all the time. My palms got so cold that it felt as if the blood rushed out. I had to stop for the blood to rush in my palms again. Wore my gloves and let my common sense prevail.

I found Ellora caves much better than Ajanta. Only the caves that had the paintings were worth seeing. Otherwise it was pretty much the same almost every cave. When you are a solo traveller, you end up becoming camera person for other people. I ended up taking snaps of other people. Lot of foreigners visitors groups were seen here.

As I was done with my sight seeing, I was worried about getting back to my hostel. The roads were not great. In fact to call it a road itself would be wrong. There was work going on the route and it was full of gravel stones in patches which certainly is not great if you are riding a two wheeler as there is a tendency for the tyres to skid.

I  happen to skid on the gravel stone but since I was on a slow speed, no harm happened to me. One of my fog light glass got broken, the crash guard got scratched and my gear pedal got shifted on the inside.

Post getting my bike up and running, It wont move beyond the first gear. With very difficulty I moved the bike on the first gear from the gravel stone road to have it parked nearby on a safe side to resolve the issue I faced at hand.

The realization dawned that I needed help. I asked the locals nearby if there was a mechanic nearby and they said no. In fact, I will have to travel to another place to get it fixed. I decided to get a lift but that was not looking promising. A tempo decided to help me to take my bike to the place where I can get help for a price. I agreed.

Somehow they change their mind and decided to take someone else help. A two wheeler stopped and two guys helped load the bike into the tempo. Once it was inside, one of the guys asked what was the problem which I told them. The guy took a small stone hit the gear pedal from the inside and it was now on level again. Apparently the same thing had happened to him and this is how it was fixed. Now you know why 'jugaad' works in India. I thanked them as I made my way back to my ride as it was going to get dark soon.

I soon realized that one of my reflective mirror almost came off. I took out the whole thing and found a mechanic to fix it.I started again, this time speeding up as before the sun would set and it could only get worse from thereon. I got back in one piece my bike too with minor damages.

I was done with my long distance places visit. The rest of the places lied within the city to travel. My choice of transport was Ola auto. The first place of visit was Bibi ka Maqbara.

It certainly does gives you the feeling of Taj Mahal on entering the place but its certainly stands on its own. The sad state of affairs is that its not well maintained. They have toilets built inside the premises. The place itself is quiet and peaceful.

People can be so ignorant as there were coins, money thrown all over the tomb. Certainly not the way to pay respect to the dead.

Panchakki was next on the go list. One can only image the ingenious thought put behind building it. The only problem its not well maintained and yes the water gives bad odour. It certainly does not gives a good impression when you visit such places.

My last stop was a zoo and the highlight would be the lions, who were making noises, roaming freely. It was a sight to watch them. The bonus was seeing a white tiger which is rare to find.

I had a day left and I decided to leave as I covered all the places in my itnerary. There were places that I wanted to go but could not for want of time and distance.

The hostel experience was ok. There were good amount of foreigners who were staying there. Some traveling solo, others in groups. I don't think sharing a room is meant for me. I got rudely awakened in the middle of one night by a guy saying that I am snoring (which I do but not always). Seriously who does that? I was not able to sleep there after. Hostel comes with its rules and one needs to follow that. They don't make your beds like they would in hotels. There was no room service. They served only breakfast. If you are ordering food then you have to wash your dishes too. Itne paise main Itna hi milega.

Roads of Maharashtra need some serious work to be done. They are in terrible conditions. I have seen much better roads down south on a state highway than over here. It really makes me wonder how the villagers ride the gravel roads in the night especially two wheeler's. They don't even wear helmets. One can imagine the damage that it can do...

As I look back on my trip, it has been filled up with lots of memories, adventure, experience and learning. Solo traveling has its own fun as one get to do things the way you want to, meet new people, interact with others. Having fun at your own pace.


 The travel bug has just bitten me. Let see where it takes.

P.S. Back from my trip to Aurangabad, had an impromptu trip to Matheran which again was a first time. It was not solo though but with friends.