The Strange Gesture
The Strange Gesture5 mins 150 5 mins 150
Many years ago when Sumit was a little boy, he had accompanied his parents on a holiday trip to the Himalayan foothills. Staying in the fresh clean air had energized everyone so Sumit's parents decided to climb the hills and stay at the remote bungalow overlooking a deep ravine. His father drove their family car up the hill. Before they could reach their destination, the car stopped and did not start again. As the car was used to be driven in the plains so the hilly terrain was a bit too much for it to take so it laid its body to rest. Now it was the hills and there was no mechanic available to repair it. Sumit's parents were getting worried as it was past sundown and no help was available even after three hours on the road. Then all of a sudden a villager, a native of the terai seeing their plight offered help. Sumit's father Mr. Ghose to whom the native approached asked his name. The man replied saying that his name was Gangaram and he was fondly called Ganga and he was born and brought up in the hills. Gangaram offered the Ghosh family shelter in his home not far away from where the car had given up the journey. There Ganga and his family took good care of their guests for the night in his humble settings. His son Ramprasad who was the same age as Sumit became good friends with him. The next morning Ganga brought a mechanic from the plains and had the car repaired. The Ghosh family then profusely thanked the Ganga family and continued with their hill journey. While returning they gave a courtesy call to them and returned home in the plains. Before parting, Sumit's father had given their details on a piece of paper and had offered any type of support or help if needed in the future and for which he would remain ever grateful. Years passed and both families lost touch as it was natural and their meeting remained etched in the memories.
Then after many years, a chance meeting takes place between the two childhood acquaintances. Sumit had qualified to study medicine at the Medical college. At the fresher's meet, he got introduced to a fellow student named Ramprasad. The name rang a bell somewhere in the mind of Sumit. Then after a few more interactions with Ramprasad and question-answer sessions, the two friends embraced each other reminiscing their childhood one night meet. Ramprasad had studied hard to get to the medical college despite his rural background. Though Ramprasad remained a little reserved due to his background Sumit ensured that his friend was not discriminated against at all at any of the college events. Sumit always remembered the generosity of Ramprasad 's parents on that eventful night. Had it not been for the magnanimity of Gangaram, Ramprasad s father, Sumit's family would have been in dire straits on that night in the hills. Sumit was always protective about Ramprasad and wanted to repay the 'debt' which his family 'owed' to them. Sumit's father also endorsed this view when he learned about their reunion.
After the studies were over, the two joined as young interns at the same hospital. A few months passed and Sumit was once made a part of the vigilance team of the hospital. Finally, he became its team leader. During his tenure as vigilance head, Sumit came across some malpractices amongst the medical community. On further investigation, an unholy nexus between some anti-social elements and doctors came to light. Sumit came to know that his friend, Ramprasad was unfortunately involved somehow. Before he could have a talk with his friend, a whistleblower flashed the news of the unholy act and everything came out in the public domain. Sumit hurriedly called Ramprasad aside and asked him the reason for his involvement. Initially, Ramprasad tried to evade feeling guilty and shameful. But later on, he owned up saying that his father Ganga was very sick and for his high treatment cost, money was scarce in the family. To bear the cost, he had involved himself in joining this racket that was involved in the illegal human organ trade. Sumit knew that Ramprasad would have to wash his hands off this medical job. Even his registration would be canceled and Ramprasad would never have to earn his living practicing medicine.
For two days, Sumit thought of the options available. It was certain that Ramprasad couldn't be saved. Though his guilt was not yet proved. Then, Sumit took the momentous decision of his life that would change the future course of his life. He weighed everything then plunged ahead with his decision. Sumit took the onus of the crime on himself. He couldn't judge whether this strange gesture of his was of equal stature to the help that his family had received from Ganga on that ill-fated night in the hills. Maybe Sumit had committed himself more. But in friendship, no deal is big when a friend is in danger.
Ramprasad was saved but he was terribly ashamed for himself. Towards Sumit, he could never look into his eyes. Sumit had sacrificed his bright career to save Ramprasad. As for Sumit, he resigned from his job before any punishment could be decided and left the city bag and baggage never to be heard again. People who were having knowledge of this misdeed were surprised by the strange gesture of Sumit towards his friend.