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Anupam Rajak

Drama Horror Tragedy

3.8  

Anupam Rajak

Drama Horror Tragedy

THE FEAST

THE FEAST

4 mins
537


They pushed him onto the side of the pavement beside the large drain carrying filth along with its quantum of equally venomous fluid. Somebody threw his rags at his face. Something hit his jaw and he irked in pain. It must be the steel bowl he carried along with his rags to collect whatever alms the not-so-rich gave him as he sat on the streets looking for continuing his never-ending strife against the wicked witch of hunger. He licked his lips and felt the warmth of the blood that was oozing out of the cut on his lips. He smiled wryly. What a wretch he was now! Begging for mercy from the people whom he once despised from the core of his heart.


The world was not always like this for him. He too earned his own bread as a respectable gentleman and had a family to look after him. He fed and clothed them with his respectable earning. The wheels of time turned and he gradually lost his income and his respect. By the time he retired, he had been able to establish his son on the threshold of a journey that paid rich dividends for comparatively small investments. As his own earning capabilities dwindled with the slackening of the nerves in his arms, his aging figure became an eyesore in the family that his son maintained. His daughter-in-law was the first one to mark his reducing energy and his son followed suit.


Very soon he felt unwanted in the family that he had been nurturing for so many years. His wife had left this world during his hay days. Lucky for her, he thought, that she did not have to suffer this ignominy. He left the house that he had toiled so hard to build. He still remembers the day he completed the single-storied house and entered along with his wife and son. His son was so overjoyed, that he jumped around happily all over the house. The transition from the small rented two-roomed house had filled all of them with an elixir of vivacity. A drop or two of unsolicited tears escaped his eyes with dimming sight. He brushed his palm against his eyelids to wipe out the unmanly moisture that still clung to his brows.


He did not curse his son or his wife, just as he did not curse the people who had pushed him onto this pavement a few minutes earlier, for their disrespectful demeanor. He had got used to this kind of behavior. Eventually, he picked himself up onto the pavement, that led to the apartment holding the feast for a thousand guests. It was probably a wedding ceremony and he had gone there with the hope of getting some tasty food that he longed for days. His paltry earnings by dint of street side begging never allowed him even a stomachful. Somebody caught him as an uninvited and unwanted guest. Several of them caught him and forced him out. A few of the guards in the building caught him by his collar and pushed him here. It wasn’t their fault after all. They were paid to keep such people away.


He picked up the scent of some richly flavored food and his nostrils flared. Then, all of a sudden he heard dogs barking. He turned his head and strained his eyes to see what the commotion was all about. His eyes lit up. In fact, he was waiting for this. He licked his lips and rose up. A weak street dog, with no fur on its body, ran away along the pavement, looking at him with pitiful eyes. He heard the dogs barking again. He rose to his feet and dragged his rags along. The dogs at first barked at him, but when they saw his tall figure, they crept away.


There lay that food on the ground that smelt so good. The feast was over and the leftover had been dumped here. Alas, he would be able to provide some richness to his taste buds. He sat down beside the heap of food and started devouring it as greedily as he could. The dogs had left it to him and were watching from a safe distance. Suddenly, he felt something on his legs. He knew it would come. The furless dog that had been shooed away a few moments earlier, had come near him. How could it guess that he would allow it to slurp that delicious food alongside him? In whatever way that it might have guessed, it wasn’t absolutely wrong. He allowed it to relish the same food from his stock. After all, that poor dog was also starving. No harm, if two ill-fated beings ate from the same plate!

“Com’on bro!” he said to the terrified son of a bitch.


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