Police Marathon7 mins 451 7 mins 451
“DAD, PLEASE DON’T GO OUT. STAY WITH US, we can play shuttle in our home,” Sathvik asks his father who is a cop.
“I’ll come early in the evening. We both can play, but now I should leave you,” his father says amiably. He looks in the eyes of his son and caressing his hair. Mithran knew it is a lie. For past one week, he kept saying he would come back early and will spend some time with him. But Sathvik depressed, he couldn’t spend time joyfully as he thought. Every year, on summer holidays he used to go to meet his grandparents in their native and have a great time with other kids. But due to complete lock-down, he couldn’t move anywhere from his house. He is bored of playing the video games all the time, he wants physically occupied, playing some interesting games outdoor. But his father strictly said no. Though Sathvik knows that the situation in our country is bad due to the sudden coronavirus outbreak, he is eagerly waiting to get out of the house.
“No, you always say you’ll come early, but you never came,” his son chides, as he turns his head other side.
“Sathvik, don’t talk like stupid,” his mother Sukanya shouts from kitchen. She cleaned dishes and wipes her hands with the towel.
“I’m not stupid. You and your husband are stupid,” Sathvik says as points his finger at his mother and his father.
“You….” Sukanya comes forward and beats him. He starts weeping now.
“Why are you beating him? He is a kid. You are forgetting this often,” Mithran says, covering his face mask. He is ensuring wellness of his family while speaking.
“You take him along. I can’t answer his questions anymore. I’m fed up,” his wife throws hands in the air.
“But……” Mithran wants to say something but stops in the middle.
Sathvik looks at his father and says, “Even when you are in house, you don’t speak with me. What’s happened to you?”
Mithran doesn’t know how to communicate with him. He himself quarantined in house since he might fall victim to the coronavirus as he goes out and deal with people frequently. Though most of the people stay at home, he is responsible to discipline the individuals who go against the government’s rule. He had even beaten a mob of crowd gathered to collect vegetables without following the much needed social distancing. The people got angry and barged on him, shouting. He only regretted about their innocence. He can’t keep telling them why the government has taken such strenuous measures. They think that the government doesn’t bother about common people. The worst part of it was that even the young lads don’t take this curfew seriously, roaming around. If people can support, the Covid-19 pandemic will be sorted out quickly, he ponders.
But the real challenge to Mithran is how he is going to explain all this to his son and make him understand that he can’t even closely sit next to him or talk to him for long hours. He knew it would only put his son at risk if he physically touches him.
Mithran sits on the chair near dining table and takes a deep breath (he wore mask anyway), “See my son, I am a police officer. Do you know what does it mean?”
His son nods. He isn’t going to answer him. He knows his father will come up with a new theory. He hates his father for giving him reasons always. The reasons don’t make him happy for sure.
“A police is a servant to the people, not the government. I took this police job because….” he removes his cap and tells, “I wanted to help people. I wanted to serve them at difficult times. I am ready to die to save people lives.”
“Why did you marry me then?” his wife rebukes him.
“Sukanya, I’ll talk to you later,” he says.
He doesn’t want to respond to his wife. He knew he can pacify her later. Even though they both did love marriage, she doesn’t want to leave her husband in danger. Usually, she would sit on the bed and weeps when she was waiting for him at late night. She doesn’t even eat dinner sometimes. Whenever the telephone rang, she bit her heart to take it. She would pray for her husband is safe. Mithran can console her troubles later, but his ultimate goal is to make his son understand what he is doing. Why he is not able to spend time with him? Why he can’t make physical contact with him?
“Dad, please leave this job. Do some other jobs like what my friend’s father does?” Sathvik says.
“What job it is?”
Sathvik thinks as taps his little finger on his head and says, “He is working as a software engineer.”
Sukanya laughs and says, “To do such work, your father must be an engineer.”
Mithran’s lips widens, “Yea, your mom is right.”
“Why you didn’t study engineering?” his son prompts. His eyes glitter with innocence on throwing this question.
Mithran knew he should give proper response; otherwise he can’t leave now.
“Because, as I said earlier, I want to serve the people. That is what my primary focus from my early age,” he says.
Sathvik croons. His anger on his father slowed down, but he can’t accept the reality. He doesn’t want to ask any more questions. He sits idle on the floor and doesn’t say anything. His parents surprised. But few seconds later he goes to the kitchen and starts throwing dishes at them, crying vehemently. His mother doesn’t know how to control his anger. Mithran too helpless and shielded his arms from protecting himself.
“Hey Sathvik, stay calm, don’t throw dishes,” Sukanya tells as one ladle plunges on her forehead, drops of blood seeps out slowly. This time Sathvik stops, still fuming.
Mithran holds his wife and makes her sit on the chair, he runs down to the bedroom. He gets the first-aid kit, he opens it and takes the cotton wad and put it on her forehead, wiping the blood slowly. The pain is not very intense, but she can manage. Her husband asks her to go to hospital, but she declines. Sathvik looks at them from the kitchen, still holding a spatula in hand as protective equipment. His father asks him to come out but he stays there fearing they would beat him.
Sukanya asks her husband to venture out for the duty, but he stays holding her right hand.
“You leave now. I can take care. Don’t worry about him. He will be alright,” she says.
Mithran straightens his body as he put the cap on his head. He still hesitates to go out. He comes forward and kisses on her cheek and gently brushes on her wound which is dressed now. She nods. He knows it is her love appeal. He smiles slowly. He turns to look at his son, who hides himself in the kitchen, still fearing to come out.
“Bye,” he says and walks out of the house.
Before he heads out through the gate, she calls his name and he looks at her.
She says, “Come early today.”
He returns a smile and kick-started the motorcycle and flew.
She does all her house chores and feeds her child mushroom biriyani at noon. He plays video game post lunch for half an hour and soon fall to sleep. Sukanya won’t take nap afternoons, but today she was tired and slept along with her son in bedroom.
At five thirty in the evening, a police jeep stops in front of their house. Sukanya is preparing bread sandwiches. Mithran is sitting on the slab of kitchen, as he looks at how his mother prepares the evening snack for him. The calling bell ring few times.
“Wow, Dad comes early today,” Sathvik says as throws his hand in the air.
Sukanya smiles and scampers in excitement to meet her husband.
She opens the door, but Mithran wasn’t there. Someone in police uniform stood behind the door and he even fumbles to look at her eyes.
“Where is my husband?” she asks slowly.
There is no immediate response. The policeman tries to look at her, but fails to meet her eyes.
She knew something wrong, because he hesitates to speak. Her heart starts pounding.
“For god’s sake tell me what happened,” she bellows, tears come out and burns her cheeks.
Sathvik tugs behind her mother. He has no idea what is happening. But he feels like crying on seeing her mother’s frantic appeal.
The policeman removes his cap and gets down the steps, without speaking.
Sukanya couldn’t sense why this policeman came and going back without telling anything, she screams now, “Tell me what happened to my husband. Where is he?” Sathvik shudders, his fragile muscles shake up in the terrific jolt of his mother’s cry.
The inspector asks the lady constable to reveal the news to her. The lady constable goes and holds her steadily.
“Don’t worry, we are all here to take care of you,” she says in a low voice.
“You mean…..you mean……….” Sukanya drew out of constable’s hold, “Mithran is no more?” She says as tears gushing out of her eyes and her fingers are shivering badly. Her heart refuses to beat for a few seconds as if she is frozen.
The lady constable slowly shakes her head to say yes.
“Nooooooooooooooooooo,” Sukanya’s legs fumbles and collapses down on the steps. The edge of sari on her mouth now gnaws it. Her jaw trembled as she cried and cried. Sathvik starts weeping now, dejected to see his mother’s cries. The lady constable tries to console, but she asks her to get out of the house for bringing terrible news.
Mithran died. It was shocking that he shot himself with a gun while on his duty.