The Rescue9 mins 117 9 mins 117
Rajen was a newspaper delivery boy. Getting a job was tough. Even youngsters flaunting hi fi degrees were not getting jobs, then people with mediocre educational background would be very hard put to secure a well paying one . Rajen knowing this and being himself a general run of the mill student started working with a newspaper distributor and not wait for a ' decent' job come his way. Also not being armed with a high educational qualification, Rajen knew that he had to settle now for less and wait for an opportune time for a big break.
But Rajen had a wonderful temperament and could get along with others very well, a value qualification for an academically less imbibed. No one was a stranger to him. As strangers became acquaintances with him very soon. Likewise getting this work as a newspaper delivery boy was not too far fetched for him.
Prabir da was the newspaper distributor in his area and he had established many such young fledgling career. So Rajen soon came under his umbrella. Distributing newspapers door to doors was not too difficult, only one has to get up early every morning. During his stint as a newspaper delivery boy Rajen once came across an experienced news reporter Shekhar Ghosh or Ghosh da to Rajen. Soon they became fast friends. Ghosh da knew that Rajen being a graduate could be coaxed into writing small feature articles and which would help Rajen both financially and professionally. So after the newspaper distributions were over Rajen began to work with Ghosh da and learn the nitty gritty of writing feature articles. Ghosh da liked the learning attitude of Rajen and let him accompany him to wherever he went to cover any article.
Very soon Ghosh da was on his way to the jungle and hilly region of the state. Because he was entrusted with the work of writing a feature article on the tribal people. The establishment wanted to know the progress made by these natives and how much institutional help had percolated to the lowest strata. As usual Rajen was in accompaniment. Ghosh da had been to these hilly region covered by deep forests many time in his journalistic career. Till few years ago this had been a conflict zone. Many innocent people had died. But now things have changed and peace has returned finally. To Rajen this was a first time experience so he was super excited. He was enjoying the mentorship of Ghosh da and considered himself to be lucky in being tutored by such a master.
For a full week both were busy in their work. They met countless residents of the area to study their progress in the social ladder and the source of finance and its utilisation. They even studied the records in the Government archives which would help into concluding their survey. The tribal people had made lot of progress and their education level had gone up substantially. The quality of women folk had also improved and many were now working in both public and private sectors. Although in the tribal society the women were quite respected and their status was almost at par with men even before the institutional support came in force.
Women were not subject to any tyranny by the men and their governing bodies and that was the main find by Rajen and Ghosh da. Before returning the duo were however encountered with a situation which would change the life of Rajen forever. A tribal girl named Urmi came with a strange request to Ghosh da and Rajen. Urmi was a young woman who had barely crossed her teens. She was educated also and had completed her class ten and cleared the boards.
She requested Ghosh da to let her accompany with them to the city. Because in the village her parents were pressuring her to marry and the groom they had selected was a confounded alcoholic. Although she wanted to study further but her parents had no means to support her and her would be in law's would never support her idea. They only wanted her to do housework, manage the family and bear multiple kids. So now Urmi was determined to work and become financially independent before entering the family life and she knew Ghosh da and Rajen were the best bet to help her fulfil her desires.
But this request of Urmi put Ghosh da in a dilemma. He knew he couldn't let Urmi accompany them this way without seeking permission from her guardians. The village elders came to know of this daring idea of Urmi. They had varied opinion in the matter. The groom, Haria 's family was dead against this audacious idea of Urmi. Even her own parents didn't support Urmi. But one women's organisation in the area was very vocal in Urmi' s support. They constantly harped on the idea that if Ghosh & Co felt not burdened in taking Urmi along with them then they would support Urmi because it meant her freedom and empowerment.
The Panchayat was called and the full village was in attendance. Most were curious of the outcome. Urmi's parents and her in law's were on the same page and were vehement in their support for Urmi's marriage to Haria and not allowing her to go to the city for work. The Panchayat openly discussed the pros and cons of a young Adivasi girl going to the city to earn a living. On hearing this Ghosh da stood up and took permission to speak. Permission granted Ghosh da spoke up humbly in front of the August body of the village elders. He said that Urmi would be treated with respect and he would make arrangements for her stay in a governmental home and he would make arrangements for a respectable work for her to live a decent life. Ghosh da reiterated his long association with this region and expressed his deep gratitude towards the tribal people and on the basis of the trust deposed on him, he said that the village elders could continue with their trust and that no harm would be brought on Urmi. Some elders supported his view due to his very long association and faith. But some had their doubts because Urmi being a woman and her physical safety was of prime concern. So the Panchayat body seeing no clear decision took to voting as a last-ditch deciding factor.
Urmi's desire was granted with a narrow margin of one solitary vote more in favour of than against. The Panchayat gave the permission to Urmi to leave with Ghosh da and Rajen. Urmi was very happy much to the chagrin and disappointment of her and Haria's family.
That night Haria couldn't sleep well. It was difficult for him to face defeat in front of the Panchayat and that too in the hands of a woman. He had to avenge his defeat at any cost. Tomorrow morning Urmi would be leaving with Ghosh da and Rajen. To save time Urmi had fared goodbye to her parents assuring them of all financial support at the earliest and had shifted to the circuit house where Rajen and Ghosh da were put up. She had brought her minimal baggage along with her. Haria knew that he had to act fast. As per his knowledge, Urmi was more comfortable in relieving herself early in the morning in the open behind some high bush.
So there lay Haria in the wait for Urmi early in the morning behind a big sugarcane cluster. In a little while Urmi came and made herself ready for relieving when Haria plunged on her and attacked her with all his might. At first startled, Urmi couldn't resist and Haria tore her clothes and was just in the act of out raging her modesty. Then slowly Urmi overcoming her inertia fought with Haria tooth and nail and didn't let Haria get the better of her. Haria as usual was still in the hangover stage of the last night liquor fest and was a bit subdued. Urmi hit Haria on the head with a loose brick and then gathered her clothes and ran towards the circuit house for safety.
Rajen first spotted Urmi in this scantily clad state and wanted to know what had happened to her. Urmi couldn't keep her emotions in check and fell onto Rajen 's chest and started sobbing uncontrollably in his open arms. Rajen was not prepared for this situation but slowly had opened up his arms to embrace Urmi when she had fallen over on him. He could feel Urmi' s rapid breathing on his chest. The heaving of her taut breasts on his chest pounding like a heavy rock. Her ill clad clothes leaving much of her top exposed raised a curiosity in Rajen's mind. He couldn't fathom much as Urmi was not in a position to say anything. Hearing the sobbing sound Ghosh da had been alerted who came out. Seeing a tight embrace of Rajen and Urmi he quickly dragged them indoors to avoid any casual onlookers. In doors Rajen freed himself from the embrace and quickly put one of his shirt on Urmi to cover her much exposed body. Ghosh da could guess what had happened immediately gave his orders to leave the area. The return arrangements had been priorly made, now the vehicle was sounded out to leave on immediate notice.
Very soon the three were on the road on their way back to the city. Urmi now composed, narrated what had happened with her and blushingly expressed her sorrows to Rajen for her overt show of emotions. Rajen consoled Urmi but within himself he was happy that he had a nice and warmth feeling from her heart. Rajen had immediately decided that if there would be any woman in his life then it would be Urmi.
Ghosh da thanked everyone for the quick response and the rescue which otherwise could have been jeopardised had there been any delay. The villagers would have been alerted and the police would have been called and then there would be extensive legal hassles and delay.
In the city Ghosh da told his wife to take on Urmi as a domestic help to which Urmi was very happy as she was not happy in staying elsewhere.
Then Rajen and Ghosh da got back to routine. Ghosh da with his news reporting and Rajen with his newspaper delivery and feature writing with Ghosh da. With Ghosh da 's help Rajen wrote a feature mentioning the rescue of Urmi from her village all in fictitious names. The story got a tumultuous readership.
Rajen continued his friendship with Urmi which turned into courtship. Urmi learnt all the finer points of cooking with the support from the wife of Ghosh da. Then with the help of financial support of Ghosh da Rajen married Urmi. Rajen now became a staff writer with Ghosh da's newspaper and Urmi was made the assistant to the incharge of the staff canteen. Urmi could now feel satisfied of having achieved her dreams of being financially independent and also finding the love of her life. She now had ambitions of opening a restaurant with the help of her husband Rajen. Maybe the strength of her love may get her there some day.