The Offence5 mins 232 5 mins 232
Jagannath Rout was a primary school teacher.
With his wife Sunita and two children Anwesha and Vivek, he lived a happy life. He hardly ever grudged anyone's wealth and prosperity.
Jagannath's younger brother Brajanath, though not educated was arrogant and indifferent to his elder brother and his family. In fact, he took delight in slighting others. He loved to remain aloof from his near and dear ones. The secret behind this was somebody else's money that remained at his disposal and from which he could grab as much as he liked.
Brajanath's only concern was to amass money at any cost. He was engaged in a small business with support from a Muslim gentleman named Nassir Mirza who was a top level government servant, apparently very soft-hearted and polite. He was PA to the finance minister of Odisha those days. Nassir was corrupt to his fingertips though nobody had any inkling about it. He was deeply religious, but didn't hesitate to misappropriate government money. However, Mirza was extremely cunning. He had entrusted Brajanath with something very confidential--to take care of his black money. Mirza pumped black money into Braja's safe custody. Braja started dealing in house building materials. "God sees the truth, but waits. " Bad times came in the corrupt officer's life;the CBI raided his buildings in different cities of Odisha.
Nassir was sent to jail.
Once Jagannath and Brajanath went to Kolkata to attend their eldest nephew's marriage. Their uncle's son Jay , meaning their nephew, was a software engineer working in Chennai. Their uncle knew that Jagannath was poor compared to others amongst their friends and relatives. Their uncle and aunt pampered Braja a lot. Jagannath didn't mind it. He, his wife and children felt deeply hurt and saddened at the prejudiced treatment they received there. Later Jaga got angry and shouted at his uncle and aunt. Then they came back to Bhubaneswar. Braja who had enjoyed sufficient attention at the wedding to the exclusion of his elder brother was greatly incensed. Braja was too dense to understand why the two of them had to be entertained the same way. Jaga had freely vented his fury on his uncle:"Why are you doing this uncle. . ?In what respect is Braja superior to me?"
Jagannath's younger brother Braja was seething with silent fury. Their uncle, aunt, and their children were also considering Jagannath a first-rate villain who was now completely segregated from others. Braja and his wife preferred not to remain in touch with Jagannath and his wife. Life went on as usual. Four years rolled on very fast. One evening, he got a phone call from his half-baked brother Braja. He said over phone:"Brother, you will be very glad to know that I have bought a house. Right at the back of the DAV public school at Chandrasekharpur!"
Jagannath was overjoyed that his younger brother had bought a house, which he thought to be a great achievement. Then, Braja expressed his desire to talk to his Bhabi (Jagannath's wife). Sunita listened and Braja spoke. At the end of the conversation, she burst into laughter bitterly, and said:"In which era are you living, Dear?" Taken aback, Jagannath was wondering what the matter was. Then Sunita said, "They have answered your angry words and resentment against the preferential treatment Braja received in Kolkata four years ago. Braja is boasting that he has bought a house worth forty lakhs. He is a small businessman. Yet, look how he managed to buy such a splendid house!You boast that you are a learned man! What have you done?Nothing!You are only a primary school teacher!Do people respect you. . . . ?"
Silently ignoring the wife, Jaga got lost in his own world. He never felt jealous of anyone's house, car and bank balance. Whenever, Sunita raised the topic of buying a house, he would say, "My daughter and my son are my wealth. If they get proper education and become honestly established in their jobs, that would be my greatest reward. . You build a house today and live in it only some ten twelve years and then you die. Every moment you are bound to be under unnecessary stress and worry about the EMIs. "
"But Braja doesn't have to pay any EMIs, because he pooled all his savings and paid the entire price before buying the house, "said Sunita.
Jagannath seemed to be confused and disturbed.
Sunita said, "When Mirza died in prison, why were the police searching for your brother? Why did he leave the city and was hiding somewhere till the allegations were verified? Before that could happen, Mirza died. Mirza's sons have settled abroad. Your wicked dishonest brother got the golden opportunity to take hold of Mirza's money. .
Don't you know how they used to request others to treasure Mirza's sinful earnings? I know how rich your brother really is! Don't you remember how they were going from place to place seeking shelter for the old Muslim's black money?"
As usual, ignoring his wife, Jagannath concentrated his thoughts on a teaching post that lay vacant in his school. It had to be filled soon, otherwise he himself would have to take all the classes in the school.
The next evening, Jagannath was watching the news on TV. He heard that the results of the CBSE matriculation exam had been out. He was suddenly restless to know about his son Vivek's results.
A phone call came from Vivek's school: "Congratulations, Sir. . . ! Your son Vivekananda Rout has scored 99. 8% in the CBSE Boards. . !"
Jagannath took his son into his arms and cried tears of profound joy. Sunita too was crying. Anwesha was laughing and Vivek appeared confused. Anwesha ran outdoors holding a 500 rupee-note to buy sweets. .
After the euphoria and excitement had abated a little, Sunita rang Braja and said, "Braja, good news. . Our Vivek has scored 99. 8 % and he is the state topper! Please hold on a minute, Vivek will talk to you. "
Vivek came and said, "Hello. . !No connection. . ! What's this. . ?Mama. . . . ! Papa. . . !"
Sunita called Braja's wife and said, "Runi, we are going to your house. Don't prepare any breakfast! We are reaching your place soon. . I'm taking plenty of fruit and sweets for you. . . . !"
When Jagannath's family were ready to call a cab,Braja's wife Runi called back and said, "Sister, please don't come now. . You'll come on some other day. We are going out right now."
Jaga said to his wife,"Only fools boast of their money, houses,car and bank balance.Everybody in the world can acquire these things. The waste paper man who comes to our house has also bought a house.His son is engaged in illegal liquor trade.But everybody can be intelligent and talented.So let's be proud of our children's excellence in their studies."