The Day The State Split Asunder - 36
The Day The State Split Asunder - 3612 mins 412 12 mins 412
It was a typical winter morning, foggy, chilly, and warmth was reluctant to arrive until afternoon. The mist hadn't lifted and dew drops settled on the windows and the bushes.
Swamiji woke up at 06:00 and sat up straight on the bed, crossing his legs in a meditative posture, and glanced around the room, his eyes searching for Karthik. He found him standing near the window, staring outside, lost in his own world.
"Good morning, Karthik," Swamiji interrupted him. "What forced you to get up early?"
"Nothing, uncle. I couldn't sleep the entire night," Karthik replied, turning towards Swamiji and rubbing his eyes. "My blood is boiling with anger, my hands are longing to squeeze Dhyaneshwar's neck, and..." Karthik floundered, not knowing what to speak next.
"Karthik, in my case, I have had a pleasant sleep after a long time. It's all because of you," Swamiji said, emphasizing on the last word you.
"Me? In what way?" Karthik asked, crossing his arms on his chest.
"Because I got a partner in my revenge, and his name is Karthik."
"Amazing! And what's the agenda for today? I hope you have a plan in your mind against our mutual enemy, Dhyaneshwar."
"First, remove that devil from your mind. Don't start your day with negative topics."
"Uncle, my mind is not a computer to delete whatever kind of file you want, just by pressing a delete key."
"Our mind may not be a computer, but, we have an option to restart ourselves and there are a million ways to do it."
"Can you tell me the easiest out of those millions?"
"Sure, go to the bathroom and wash your face with water."
"What! Even I know it," Karthik's upper lip curled in disdain.
"Everyone knows it, but not everyone follows. It is the simple actions that produce the most extraordinary results."
With a nod and smile, Karthik walked into the bathroom, ran cold water in the sink, splashed it on his face and down his neck, and for a moment stared at himself in the mirror. He felt a crushing weight getting released from his shoulders.
"Uncle, reboot was successful. I will go down and get the toothbrush and breakfast for both of us. I will get Idli for you, let me know if you need anything," Karthik said.
"No need, Idli is my favorite," Swamiji took a pause and stared at Karthik's face. A burst of gratitude came upon him. "Karthik, thank you so much. You've been taking good care of me since yesterday. I am not sure whether I could repay you, you've placed an enormous debt upon me."
"Uncle, you can pay the debt by marrying me to Sanjana," Karthik laughed.
"I will try my best, but don't rely too much upon my suggestions. In the matters of love, it's better to trust your instincts. To put it simple, go with your own guts, it is the voice of your soul that tells what is right and wrong for you."
"Uncle, I will trust your wisdom more than my instincts, because you have already seen life much ahead of me," Karthik added with admiration and walked out of the room. He came back after ten minutes carrying two polythene cover bags, one containing two toothbrushes and a toothpaste, the other having their breakfast.
After brushing their teeth and having their breakfast, Karthik turned on the television in the room. Swamiji insisted him to put on the HBN-7 News Channel.
The channel was showing one minister from the Telangana region who went on a visit to Tirupati temple to pray for separation of Telangana from Andhra.
At once, Karthik burst into a loud laughter.
"What happened? Why are you laughing like that?" Swamiji asked in surprise.
"Uncle, this minister is praying to Andhra God for Telangana state."
"Andhra God?" Swamiji gave him a quizzical look.
"Yes, Tirupati Venkateswara Swamy, our Andhra God."
"May I know how he got that name?"
"Tirupati is in Andhra, hence the name Andhra God."
"I see, so it is you who gave him that name."
"You're right! As Telangana people claim Hyderabad to be theirs because it is in their region. By the same token, Andhra people have every right to call Tirupati Balaji as their own God."
"Karthik, what kind of insane theories are you coming up with? For your information, before 1956, Hyderabad was a separate state. Apart from a few poets and leaders, most Telangana people were against the merger with Andhra. The poets were in favour of a combined state, not because of any political reasons but for their love towards Telugu. It was a forceful marriage," Swamiji said.
"Are you trying to say that Andhra people have no right over Hyderabad?"
"When did I say that Andhra people have no right over Hyderabad! The entire India is ours, and no one is an outsider. To tell you the truth, Telangana people have every right to demand the separation."
"In what way, uncle?"
"Before the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh of India in 1956, Telangana and Andhra leaders signed a Gentleman's agreement to prevent any discrimination against the people of Telangana by the government of Andhra Pradesh. But the government never followed it. There were violations in every step. There's Injustice in every aspect, be it water and power projects, jobs, sharing of electric power, allocation of universities and what not. Many made fun of their culture, language and dialect. The police conducted many fake encounters in the name of killing Naxalites. These are just to name a few, there are many instances in history. I can write a complete book about it."
"Now try to look at the picture from our eyes. Hyderabad has been the capital of Andhra Pradesh for over fifty years. Andhra people have also built an emotion with this city. If you now say that it no longer belongs to us, our hearts will break."
"I agree, dear. But there's nothing that you and I can do. The decision is with the central government. And according to the information that I got, the government is planning to introduce the Telangana bill in parliament next year as the elections are approaching soon. Personally, I am not biased towards any region."
"Forget about Hyderabad, Let's talk about Sanjana. Do you think she will accept my proposal?"
"Hmm, that's a thing to be concerned about. Sanjana's father always aspired for a separate Telangana state. Had he been alive today, the movement would have been much more intense."
"So, you say that, Sanjana will not accept me?"
"Karthik, where did I mention that Sanjana will not accept you?"
"Just before this you said that, that's a thing to be concerned about."
"Hey Ram! I was trying to say that we need to think about it. Even before this I never said that Andhra people don't have any rights over Hyderabad. But your high IQ mind is rephrasing everything."
"Sorry, uncle. I don't understand what's happening to me."
"Karthik, don't worry. God is with you, trust him. He will always take care of you. I am sure, Sanjana will definitely accept you. But don't discuss these Andhra-Telangana disputes in front of her. You know how intense the agitations are, there's a danger of being carried away by emotions."
"Definitely, uncle." Karthik said.
Without noticing, an hour had passed, and the clock struck 09:00. The doctor walked into the room precisely and performed a quick check of blood-pressure, sugar and pulse rates of Swamiji. Everything was normal and declared Swamiji could go home. This news came as a relaxing effect for Swamiji.
Karthik settled the final bill amount and asked Swamiji whether he would like to avail a wheelchair for which Swamiji smoothly said, 'No'. Swamiji walked composedly on his legs without shaking a bit.
As they reached downstairs Karthik booked the cab through his mobile. The cab arrived in ten minutes and sat in the car. On their way, they halted at the Chilukuru Balaji temple as Karthik parked his bike there. He told the driver to go ahead while he followed them on his bike.
The roads were empty as the Telangana Joint Action Committee called for a twenty-four-hour strike of schools, colleges, public transport and industries. In forty minutes, the driver stopped the car in front of Swamiji's home. Karthik parked his bike and paid the fare.
Swamiji climbed the stairs and opened the door of his flat. As they entered, Karthik glanced around at the room. It was neat. There were many shields and trophies inside the shelves. Swamiji sat on one chair and pushed the other in Karthik's direction.
"Uncle. I think we need to discuss mission Dhyaneshwar," Karthik said.
"For now, let us leave him," said Swamiji, bringing his fingers on his temples.
"Does it mean we just let him go? You told me yesterday that we will begin as soon as you get discharged from the hospital and now you're saying to leave him. This isn't fair!" Karthik retorted.
"Karthik, have patience. It's only a day for you. I am waiting for fifteen years. Executing an action without a plan is a synonym for suicide. Pin it in your mind."
"Uncle, plan in whatever way you want, but we need to complete our mission before January 15th."
"What's special about January 15th?"
"Nothing important, just a kind of deadline. Unless we don't keep any deadlines for ourselves, we can achieve nothing and things just remain where they are, nothing would get done."
January 15th is Sanjana's birthday, but Karthik averted it by bringing the concept of a deadline.
"Boy! You have taught me a wonderful lesson today," said Swamiji with a smile, "deadlines are essential. Throughout these years, I didn't take it into consideration. And today, I commit myself to the deadline. I will take this week to sharpen my axe."
"Axe! Are you planning to strike him with an axe?" asked flummoxed Karthik, "Police will arrest us if we do it."
"Karthik, for God's sake, please don't amplify the statements with your intelligence. Sharpening the axe means planning with accuracy. Didn't you hear Abraham Lincoln's quote? 'Give me six hours to chop a tree, I will spend the first four hours sharpening my axe?'"
"I see, so you were referring to planning. Why don't you explain it in plain language?"
"I apologize for not being precise," Swamiji chuckled, "Karthik, for now go home and take a rest. Let's meet this Sunday."
"Ok uncle. If you need anything, just call me," Karthik said and hugged Swamiji. Swamiji embraced him warmly, patting twice on his back, and Karthik stormed out from that place.
"Karthik, I am afraid of what you will do, if I leave you alone," Swamiji said to himself in a low whispering tone. He later picked up a towel and walked into the washroom.
After taking his bath, he took the prayer beads and began chanting Gayatri Mantra. After reciting it for 108 times he took the Bhagavad Gita from his shelf and read it until afternoon. He had to prepare food for himself and after having his lunch; he slept for three hours and woke up at four.
He sat on his chair, looking up above at the ceiling, thinking about the ways to make the first move. An hour had passed, but he was still clueless. He then suddenly remembered Radha Krishna who came to his home yesterday to meet him. As that thought flashed in his mind, he heard a knock on his door.
"Come in, the door is open," Swamiji said.
"Hello sir," said the voice. It was Radha Krishna.
"Hello Radha, why are you waiting there? Come in," Swamiji said.
Radha came in and sat on the chair beside Swamiji.
"What happened Radha? You look so worried. And yesterday you told me like you have something important to discuss. What is that?" Swamiji asked, concerned.
"Sir, a week ago, one of our news reporters, Suresh, called me saying that he had found something interesting about the managing director of Godavac Life Sciences company, Dhyaneshwar. But before he could tell me, someone killed him."
"What! Are you serious, Radha?" asked flabbergasted Swamiji, "tell me everything from the beginning. Who is this Suresh? And what he had found about Dhyaneshwar?"
Radha gave him the verbatim report of the entire conversation that he had with Suresh:
Two months ago, on the occasion of World Mental Health day, Suresh reached The Institute of Mental Health in Erragadda, Hyderabad, to make a documentary on people suffering with various psychological illnesses. After finishing his work, he was walking on the sidewalk, heading towards A-block where he parked his vehicle. It was getting darker. As he was advancing, he noticed a white coloured Audi car turning right into the street ahead of him and stopped in front of one of the old abandoned buildings which had been closed years ago. In the same time frame, a person dressed in a sky-blue shirt was running towards the same building but in the opposite direction. Suresh continued walking ahead and stopped at the muddy pathway which leads straight to the building. The owner of the car stepped out carrying a briefcase in his left hand and shook his hands with the person in a sky-blue shirt. Seconds later they walked into the deserted building. Suresh grew suspicious. With deliberate care and effort, he manoeuvred towards the building and crouched below the window frame and tried looking through the broken glass of the window. There is a dim light inside and a big wooden table with dust and leaves scattered upon it. He couldn't see their faces clearly. He heard one of the two saying - 'If by misfortune someone finds out about our work? We have to spend our entire life in jail, ' to which the other person replied, 'Don't worry, my father will take care of it. Take this five crores and enjoy yourself, let me know if you still need anymore.' A plan emanated in Suresh's mind instantly. He slipped from the spot, quiet as a cat. There is only one gate for entry and exit. He waited near the gate on his bike, waiting for the car to pass. As it came in sight, he began following it until it reached the cellar of a big five-storeyed building present in Prakash Nagar, Begumpet. It is the corporate office of Godavac Life Sciences.
"Oh my God! What are you saying, Radha? I can't believe it, did he find anything more?" Swamiji's face registered an utter disbelief.
"Sir," Radha continued, "before he could break out the shell, someone took away his breath. The police are investigating it, and last week Madhapur Circle Inspector, Arjun came to my office, as part of their investigation. I declared, I am ignorant of his works. Sir, I got so afraid that I didn't understand what to do? There's a thick haze of confusion swirling over my head."
"You committed an enormous blunder! You should have told me before sending Suresh, I would have guided him better."
"I thought of giving you a surprise, but things didn't turn out as expected," Radha said.
"As of now, we don't have any evidence in our hand. Am I right?" Swamiji said.
"Not sure if the police had recovered any clues from the crime spot."
"Radha! You've already taken the strike. We should not give any opportunity for Dhyaneshwar to bounce back upon us. It's really sad to have lost Suresh. But there's no use in delaying our moves. The game has already started. Can you do one thing?"
"What is that, sir?"
To be continued...