Drama Others



Drama Others

The Poor Kids

The Poor Kids

6 mins

Reshma was returning home from work when she spotted two poor kids along the sidewalk. Their clothes were in tatters and it looked as if they were famished for quite some time. She could not bear to just ignore them and so she stopped her scooty, got down and approached them. Though she tried to talk to them, they did not respond initially, but when they understood that she was only trying to help them, they said in one voice that they were scared of their "Master", as they had not received even a single rupee as alms.

Their "Master" was one of the gangsters having about a dozen children under his control, who had been allocated several parts of the city to beg. At sunset, he would go around in his noisy bike and collect all their "earnings". He would reward them according to the day's turnover. Not infrequently, all that they got in return for begging on the streets the whole day, would be a dry slice of bread accompanied by severe thrashing. It happened to be one such day when they had nothing to give the Master.

Reshma felt sorry for the kids and took out all the change from her purse and gave it to them. She then asked them to take the money to their Master and escape being beaten up. Their eyes popped out in disbelief. Reshma also took out some biscuit packets from her handbag and asked them to have some biscuits before confronting their Master. As they were relishing the biscuits, Reshma connected to the nearby police station and conveyed the message that she would be following two children to their "Master" who was heading a chain of child-beggars. She shared her live location with the policeman and once the children left, gave them an initial lead and then started to follow them keeping a safe distance. By this time, the police jeep had also caught up with her. They kept following the kids till they reached a very lonely area where the kids turned off from the road onto a path in the sugarcane fields.

Reshma parked her scooty on one side of the road and started to walk briskly to see where they were going. Seeing her, one of the constables too set out on foot behind her. Soon they could spot a deserted farm-house not far from where they were. As they approached it, they could hear voices from within the house. The children who were being beaten up, kept screaming, but apparently, the thrashers did not relent as the cries were louder. Reshma and the police constable had walked out of the fields and had reached the farm house. They both hid behind a broad tree and waited for the opportune moment to enter the house.

Soon all was silent. Reshma thought that perhaps the kids were handing over the two hundred and odd rupees she had given them to the Master, who must have been appeased by now. The police constable had sent a message to the Inspector that they would soon be entering the hideout. It would be quite risky as they did not know how many people they would have to deal with. Soon one ruffian came out and was getting ready to start the bike. Pretty soon another fellow came out and Reshma was relieved to see that he was locking the house. This sent signals to her brain that they had to deal with only two people. She was an expert in self-defence and was confident about tackling at least one of them.

They both came out of hiding and made towards the farm-house. The constable was in all readiness to hand-cuff one of them. While he went about his duty, Reshma decided to overpower the one who was still at the door. Though the bully appeared huge and strong, within a few minutes, he was down, having received a few blows from her. The inspector too had walked down to the farm-house. They freed twelve children from the ages of 3 to 13. All of them were so happy, that they half ran the path to the main road. 

The Inspector had called for another vehicle and by the time all of them reached the main road, it was ready to take them to the police station where their parents had been asked to collect them.

Reshma had been the day's heroine and her story was carried by all leading dailies. When she reached home, there were people from the press and media to interview her. When asked about what gave her the most happiness, she did not hesitate to say that today she felt happiest and was fortunate to have been able to free the dozen children. The joy writ all over the faces of the parents who had come to collect the children, gave her the utmost pleasure.

Having gained so much publicity, had its flip side too. It was not long before Reshma was almost run over by a speeding lorry. A passer-by who had witnessed the incident, vouched that it was not an accident but seemed to be a pre-meditated attempt to harm Reshma. Fortunately, she escaped with just a few minor bruises. Reshma had now stirred the hornet's nest. 

Through the two who had been arrested, the police started to track down the master brain and head of this racket, but they were seasoned criminals hard to crack. The day after this incident, the landlord of the house where Reshma was a tenant, came to the police station and lodged a complaint that Reshma was missing. It was obvious that the racketeers were out to teach Reshma a lesson. Coming to know that their Reshma Didi was in trouble, the two kids through whom the racket was bust, came forward to help the police trace Reshma. When they were the captives of the racketeers, they had been shifted from one place to another to escape raids and so they knew most of the whereabouts of the criminals. Both of them accompanied by a plain clothed policeman, pointed out about half a dozen places where Reshma could have been kept. They succeeded in their last try. Strangely, this location was at the intersection of a busy crossing, in a flat in the top floor of a high rise building, and the most unlikely place which would easily escape anybody's attention.

Reshma was rescued and the two kids were thrilled to have been helpful in freeing Reshma. Not only that, the police succeeded in bringing to book the perpetrators of the crime.

The three established a very fine bond. Reshma had no family and was all alone. Not any longer. She adopted Janhavi and Rajkavi from their biological parents, who were quite happy to part with them as they had many mouths to feed. They were also happy that the future of these two kids had been taken care of.

Reshma got them admitted to in the best school and mentored them at each stage and when the results were declared, Janhavi was the class topper! Both of them wished to join the Administrative Services and worked towards their goals. Their hard work paid rich dividends and Rajkavi became a Police Officer while Janhavi joined the Indian Administrative Services.

A few years later, it was a proud Reshma who was seated among the first few rows watching the Republic Day Parade celebrations, as a special invitee. Both her proteges had distinguished themselves and were to be felicitated at a special function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan that evening. As she sat waiting for them to join her when the celebrations were over, she recollected the two hapless kids she had spotted on the sidewalk, two decades earlier. Her eyes were laced with tears of joy.                                     


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