The Head -Turner
The Head -Turner6 mins 196 6 mins 196
Evita was beautiful. She had a complexion which could be described as having been washed in moon-light, and the radiance of the sparkling stars. Her admirers thought that she walked with the poise of a flamingo, and had hips which swayed like the bells of St.Paul’s Cathedral. She boasted of cross-parentage. Her mother was a Russian, and her father a Bengali, Indian. But the unfortunate part was that her mother had died in her infancy, and her Father expired just after she had graduated. He left her a palatial building as her home, but with little or no balance in the bank. The frustrating compulsion of having to live for months, without the required funds, molded her character in later years. She tried to get a job and put in her Applications for a suitable opening in many establishments, but she did not get an encouraging response. At last, she decided to let outflanks of her house on rent.
This was Evita’s sole income for five, six years, as she did not manage to get a job in any of the organizations. However, the uncertainty of a regular income, in time gradually changed her disposition. She was out to make money anyhow. She started getting a bad name for cheating those who had taken her flats on rent. At the time of giving up the occupation of the flats, she refused to part with the sum which she had taken as Deposit, on some pretext or other. This she did regularly. She also started to use her beauty to earn a regular income from men.
Jerry had just arrived from Delhi. He had been offered a job in Quest, a multi-media organization. He had seen her advertisement in the papers and had come looking for a suitable flat for himself. When Jerry saw her, it was love at first sight, for Evita as well as for him. Both of them became very close, and finally, they tied the nuptial knot. But this marriage was not to last, as both were very different in their characters. Jerry was very particular about absolute honesty in his dealings with people, but Evita would not change her unscrupulous ways. Jerry often saw her with other men, in compromising situations. Jerry was very patient but he could not tolerate her frivolous demeanor. One day he erupted like a dormant volcano, letting the boiling lava flow out, to bury their relationship, never to be revived again.
Jerry and Evita parted ways. It did not have much of an impact on Evita because she had lost the capability of deep love, as she treated men like toys, but Jerry was now a broken man. On top of his estrangement with his wife, he lost his job too in Quest.
One day he was sitting in a bar to forget his woes, with his head down. At that time an elderly gentleman happened to be there. He stretched out, and put his hand on Jerry’s arm, and asked him why he was so down. Touched by his warmth, Jerry blurted out like a child his whole sad story. The gentleman was very sympathetic and offered him a job on his plantation at Siliguri.
This is how life took a turn for Jerry. He was a conscientious worker and did his best for the betterment of the plantation. He did research work to improve the quality of the tea leaves. He worked day and night to see to the administration, and before long he became the favorite of Manish Choudhuri, his benefactor,r who started depending on him totally.
Now a big problem cropped up. Manish’s daughter Babita came back from the USA, after completing her studies. She did not like the state of affairs at the plantation. She was reluctant to accept Jerry’s role as ‘all-in-all’. She was jealous and rebellious. She started complaining to her father about Jerry. Her father would give her a patient hearing but smile, for he knew Jerry’s worth, and capabilities. But when Babita found that all her criticisms of Jerry were ‘like water on a duck’s back’ for her father, and made no dent in her father’s estimation of him, she became angry. But she then stopped finding faults with Jerry, as she knew it was futile, She realized that she had to toe her father’s line.
Jerry, on the other hand, was his amiable self towards her, courteous and helpful. Gradually he seeped in through the wall which she had erected, and he did not appear as detestable as he seemed.
Gradually Babita and Jerry became friends. They worked together, and they themselves were amazed to find that they could not do without each other. If one of them had to leave the town for work, the other felt lonesome and depressed. They realized these were the symptoms of being in love, and they got married one fine day. Not before long, they had a chubby baby boy, whom they called Eric.
Eric grew up to be a smart young man who loved his father very much. Now as a child he had picked up scraps of information of his father’s past, from pieces of conversation that he had accidentally heard. He did not express his feelings in words, but his blood boiled thinking of the unscrupulous lady, named Evita, who had inflicted so much pain and suffering on his father. He was determined to teach her a lesson for swindling people’s money and selling her flesh to earn when she had such a good husband.
Eric took up a job in Kolkata. He took up a paying guest accommodation in Evita’s house. Evita was in her late fifty’s and had lost much of her earlier business acumen, and financial expertise. Eric won over the confidence of the lady and Evita became more and more dependent on Eric. He started doing all the transactions on her behalf. He had come to know about all her bank accounts and their passwords. He purposely drew up fraudulent deals and linked her account with that of a terrorist group. After he had got her involved, so that in no time she would be arrested on criminal charges, he left Kolkata to go back to Siliguri, without leaving his address with her. He felt he had been able to take his revenge on the person who had hurt his father and felt satisfied. He felt so elated for having done something for his father that the first thing he did on coming back, was to hug his father and confess all that he had done for him.
Eric was stunned when instead of applauding him for his efforts, his father remonstrated with him. He told him that one wrong did not justify another wrong. He should not have made fraudulent deals from Evita’s account, as she had trusted him. To betray somebody’s trust was a heinous act. Besides, to purposely get one involved in fraudulent cases, and to link one’s connection with terrorists, which could incur a grievous penalty, was a despicable thing to do. Eric should at once try to undo whatever wrong he had done. Eric was simply dazed. How could his father be so magnanimous to speak on behalf of somebody who had wronged him so much!
Eric did according to his father’s instruction. But situations had changed. As Evita had crossed her prime, men did not come to her for favors. Besides, her reputation as a landlady had been irrevocably tarnished, as customers had come to know that the deposit money for the rent of the property would be invariably swallowed by her. She did not get customers anymore. So that is how Nature taught her a hard lesson. It was the tragic end of the once-glamorous Head-Turner.