The Fish That Defied Getting Caught
The Fish That Defied Getting Caught
That fish was a particular type of Rohu and the young fisherman could not mistake it for any other. Manu was the fisherman and he had tracked that fish as if it was his catch. He knew it from the shade of colors on its scales. Surprisingly if any other fisherman would have caught it, Manu would have tracked it down. This all other fishermen had realized by now. So all of them were always on the lookout. Manu had just completed his schooling when there was news that his father and uncle both expert and professional fishermen had been missing from the sea. There had been a cyclone warning but they had ignored the call and had ventured out in the sea. Because there were reports that a huge shoal of his fish, the Bengal delicacy was about to hit the shore. Manu's father could not afford to miss the catch that would allow him so much money with which he could just sit beside his neighboring pond to catch small fish as he would be flush with funds and afford to relax for a few months. For few days everything was a mess. The whole household had come down. But when things started to settle, Manu's mother asked him to continue with the family trade to keep their household expenses running, even though Manu wanted to go to college.
So Manu took on the mantle of a fisherman and within a few months, he had gathered quite a lot of experience. Then there was good news as his father and uncle and all other fishermen who had gone out on that ill-fated journey returned home one fine day. They had been rescued by the coast guard many miles away from their shore. So now Manu's family didn't allow his father and uncle to go out fishing again. Manu's father now started a fishing warehouse business and Manu did the fishing.
Then one day that fish that was Manu's darling got caught in the net. It was Manu's catch. Manu took all the other fish to the warehouse to be sold in the market the next day and took the special catch home. The fish was very sprightly and energetic and surprisingly survived many hours after out of water. These unique qualities made it so attractive to Manu. After the fish died, Manu asked his mother to cut it down. After cutting it a ridiculous sight intrigued Manu. Inside its gut, there was a small precious stone, a reddish-colored one. Later, a jeweler identified it to be a Ruby. All the people in the fishing village were very curious about it. Some elders warned Manu and advised it's immediate disposal to avoid any misfortune. But Manu was adamant and refused to part with it. Manu thought this would prove to be his lucky charm.
Beyond fishing, there was another story in Manu's life. Incidentally, Manu was in a relationship with a girl named Manisha. In fact, Manu knew Manisha to be like the fish he caught. Manisha also never could be caught. She was very intelligent and a live wire of a woman. Manu loved Manisha dearly but couldn't get the same commitment from her. Manisha liked boys and she was like a tomboy. She couldn't just believe in surrendering to some boy and his stupid love. This is why many other boys of that fishing village thought they all loved her and vice versa. But who really did Manisha like, she kept it guessing. Many a time there was a scuffle and fight amongst the boys to gather Manisha's attention.
After the acquisition of Ruby, Manu thought that now he could influence Manisha. He showed the red stone to her. At first, Manisha did not show a keen interest. Manu had competition. There were two other boys Raghu and Madhu who were quite close to Manisha and whom she liked very much.
Raghu knew that Manu would influence Manisha with the stone. So he was thinking of a scheme to outdo Manu. He thought of stealing the stone from Manu. Raghu knew that Manu always kept it under his pillow when going to sleep. So one night, Raghu stealthily stole into Manu's house and was groping under Manu's pillow to catch hold of the Ruby when suddenly he felt a pain in his legs. Raghu couldn't scream in the fear of getting caught. So abandoning the idea of stealing the Ruby, Raghu left the house with one big bound. Later he found his toes were bleeding and some creature with sharp teeth like mice may have bitten his toes. So Raghu abandoned the idea of Ruby and to some extent got disinterested in Manisha. But he held his grudge against her secretly.
Madhu on the other hand was of a different type. He composed poems and songs praising Manisha's intelligence and beauty.
Initially, Manisha got flattered with the peans being sung about her. Madhu thought his act was showing results. He was very elated and became bold in his dealings with Manisha. But Manisha who felt flattered at first later overcame her stupor and rejected Madhu's advances. Because Manisha could not just be tied down and was like the elusive fish.
Raghu and Madhu now teamed up both boiling in the same heat of rejection.
Manu came to know the treatment meted out to Madhu by Manisha. He also knew that Raghu had lost his idea of wooing Manisha. So Manu now realized that Ruby was acting on his behalf and no damage had been done to his relationship with Manisha. As he found out that still she was warm towards him. But Manu was unable to make the next move as he feared the fickle mind of Manisha May reject him.
Then there were sudden developments. Raghu and Madhu both feelings rejected now teamed up together and wanted to teach a lesson to Manisha so that her confidence would bite the dust.
One day Manisha was returning home alone and she was in the quiet secluded area of her village. Madhu and Raghu were waiting for this opportunity. They had been humiliated too much to keep quiet. After all, they were boys, now men and they had been swallowing their pride. All the past thoughts had plunged Madhu into darkness and were full of revenge in his mind. Raghu was not so much angered but still felt disappointed for not being able to attract Manisha's attention. He felt jealous of Manu and of his possession with which he could influence her and which had eluded him. So whatever their personal reasons their one common interest was to harm Manisha. For Madhu, it would be permanent so he had brought with him a small bottle of acid. Raghu was not so violent but wanted to outrage her modesty.
The two were teaming up together to do the collateral damage on Manisha. But when they got to know each other's modus operandi they started fighting amongst themselves. Manisha got to know of it and innocently intervened to quell their fight as she was their common friend.
Now Raghu and Madhu suddenly changed tack and teamed up as one and started attacking Manisha. At first, Manisha didn't realize their intention but when they started manhandling her and started stretching her clothes in an action to tear them apart she started screaming and shouted for help. As it was just at the outskirts of the village there was not much of a presence there of the people.
Manu on the other hand felt that his Ruby was drawing him unknowingly to the outskirts of the village. With the Ruby securely in his pocket, he started walking briskly towards the outskirts. Then slowly he was being compelled to increase his speed as he could hear screams from a woman like she was being outraged. Presently Manu was at the spot. What he saw absolutely infuriated him. He found Manisha lying on the ground with torn clothes with her hands and legs tied and both Raghu and Madhu were getting ready to get in their nefarious act.
Manu then shouted out to anybody for help and himself plunged headlong in Manisha's defense. There was a fierce fight between the three. Manisha was luckily saved from being violated. Soon few people hearing the commotion gathered and helped Manisha get free and cover herself decently. The Police came and took all four to the Police station. Manisha was made to record her statement. Raghu and Madhu were put behind bars to be produced before the magistrate the next day to hear their punishment.
As for Manisha, she couldn't help thank Manu enough for saving her from ignominy. As a natural corollary, she could now lay her trust in Manu. For Manu, it was more gratifying as he could win over the heart of his lady love. He attributed all to the Ruby. He knew that it had helped him catch the love of his life.