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C R Dash

Drama Action Inspirational


C R Dash

Drama Action Inspirational

Shruti Amrita

Shruti Amrita

5 mins 672 5 mins 672

My friend Braja is a retired English professor. Nobody enjoys being alive more than he does.

After a gap of very long years, I procured his mobile number. My friend Amiya gave me his number and we decided to scare him. I called Braja in the afternoon and said,"Braja Babu. . . What are you doing. . ? Do you want to lose your job. . ? What the hell are you doing. . ? I am Crime Branch SP D K Verma calling. I will visit you at your college tomorrow with my team. We will verify some serious allegations against you. . . . "

I ended the call abruptly. Braja called me twice. But I ignored him. Then he called again and again. . . Amiya and I had a good hearty long laugh over phone. I had switched off my mobile. Amiya said to me, "Hey Chitta, the fellow can't sleep tonight. . . . !"

Then I called him and set him free from his panic. We talked a good deal.

After a few days Braja called me to tell that I had to teach an English Honours student.

The student was Shruti Amrita. Her mother called me and expressed her concern over her daughter's studies. Shruti was grappling with heavy odds. But her mother alone knew this. However, she exuded great confidence in her abilities for which her mother always took her to task. In her opinion, Shruti was overconfident and under no circumstances was willing to confess she was wrong even when she in fact was. Shruti's father was full of dynamism and humour. In a short while, I deciphered that he was blessed with a keen and sharp intelligence.

On one occasion, the gentleman said to me,"Sir, she is a wonder girl. If she has to tell me a tiger ate up a cow, she will be led to say,'Papa I saw a cow eat up a tiger. . !' She is such a child. " At that moment Shruti was furious with her father. She was angrily telling him to leave the room. Even though an engineer, he evinced keen interest in English and preferred listening to me when I would teach her. That was the whole trouble. What was worse, Shruti had her own way of walking and talking. if I asked her a question, she would give me its answer like a robot. There was hardly any variation in the manner of her answering a question. . . !

Once she told me to teach her Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. The textbook was not there. So I had to browse the internet to find the text. She too had to do the same. But before that,I said to her,"Shruti,why don't you get the printouts of the chapters. . . ? You can't go to the cyber cafe on the other side of the road and do this simple job. . ?"

"No. . Sir. . I can't. . If a car knocks me down. . ?" This was her peculiar answer. On another occasion, I had advised her to learn riding a scooter. I was amazed and amused too to know that she didn't know cycling. . When I encouraged her to learn to ride a bicycle, her funny and silly reply that came was: "What will happen if I fall down and blood comes out of my bruised knee. . ?"

I would often say to her pensively "Child, how will you manage to live in this cruel cunning world. . ? People are treacherous and wily. They will use you exploitatively. . . . . "

"No . . . Sir. . . ! You never recognise my inner strength. . !I am wonderfully agile and shrewd. . . ! You scare know how sharp-witted I am. . . . !" She would repeat these words to soothe me. Next, if her mother happened to be close by, she would throw her arms around her with a triumphant giggle. Her civil servant mother could scarcely check her wild laughter.

However, Shruti was not entirely devoid of praiseworthy character traits. She was capable of slogging hard. To the extent of coping and writing a long answer even more than ten times or it seemed she could do so till the end of eternity. . . ! She didn't hesitate to do back-breaking toil. I often admired her indefatigable spirit seemingly bordering on foolhardiness. They were living at Kalinga Hospital Square in their apartment home. Three years elapsed quite unbelievably. After she had taken her M. A final exams,I completely lost touch with the family. More so, I didn't maintain any contact with people once I had stopped teaching their children.

My familiarity with Kalinga Hospital Square is more than twenty-five years old. I visit it every day. I remember many accidents and traffic violation incidents there.

First I used to ride a bicycle,then a motorcycle and now I had a very good car. It was a Saturday morning. I was in a great hurry to reach a coaching institute at Raghunathpur. That year I was attached with four such institutes. There was a heavy traffic jam. My impatience was beyond limit.

A huge black car had run over a motorcyclist. It was the third time I came to know about such an unfortunate incident. The dead man lay on the roadside. Two police vans with sirens wailing instantly arrived. Five police officers, three well-built stocky males and two petite females emerged from them. I stood rooted to the ground.

"Gosh. . . . . ! This lady officer is that gawky girl. . . ?"

As the crowd cleared out, I drove away hurriedly.

Later, I got confirmed that it was Shruti. But it was hard to digest the fact. Later I met the family. They told me everything in detail. Her mother had said to me,"Sir, my daughter toiled very very hard day and night. . . . . ! We were not at all astonished when her results came. . . "

I treasured the experience with utmost fondness. For the first time a girl student of mine had become an IPS officer. We discussed the prospect of her marriage. She had left the task to her parents. Her peculiar seeming ways and manners had fallen away.


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