Welcome To The GANG !!!
Welcome To The GANG !!!4 mins 444 4 mins 444
After being driven away from the tea shop which was my home after I lost my parents, I thought of going to the basti looking for my only friend Vijay. It was late night and I wasn’t sure if Vijay would be there so I decided to walk to the railway station, Sealdah. It was quite a long walk but I had no other option. The streets were deserted, few barking dogs here and there and at times the stillness of the night broken by the coughing of old people from the adjourning houses. The station was lighted and there were still some activities, not many trains arrived and departed at this late hours but there were waiting passengers, many shops were still open. I was famished; I gulped water from a tap and searched my pocket. There was coin, I bought a bun and had it. I again had water and then I went to sleep on an empty bench. I was woken up by the prodding of few boys, mostly of my age. They pushed and hurled me asking why I have come to their area. I tried reasoning with them but they started to punch me, I ran from there, they chased me but gave up soon after.
I walked to the basti and found Vijay there. I narrated the entire incident to him; he pressed my shoulder and said “I am happy you showed courage, I’m with you, do not worry”.
His mother gave me food to eat. I loitered with Vijay the whole day and in the evening Vijay and his friends asked me to join them for a visit to the tea shop. I wasn’t sure what they were up to but Vijay announced “Sita, we live in a free country and we have our rights, we will fight for your rights”. The other boys looked at me assuring and we marched to the tea shop.
Maalik was closing the shop for customers when we arrived there. He turned to see the boys and thought they must have come seeking for some festival donation. I walked a few steps and stood in front of the boys facing Maalik. Maalik first tried to use the tactics of instilling fear ‘Have you forgotten yesterday’s beating that you have come again”. He said with authority. I gazed at him and so did all the boys, in absolute silence.
Maalik now was under strain “What do you want” he stammered. I took one step ahead and so did the gang. Maalik took a step inside the shop. I picked up the bamboo frame hand fan lying near the coal debris and hit him hard with it. He was now petrified, he mumbled “Sita, my good boy, tell me what do you want”.
Another whack, this time Vijay also stepped forward and hit him hard on the nose. Maalik sat holding his nose, blood flowed from his nostrils. Vijay stated “Give Sita his due or else we will pack you back to your village”.
Maalik stretched his hand pulled out a cloth wallet attached to his hanging clothes; he pulled out few hundred rupee notes and gave it to me. Vijay snatched the entire wallet and gave it to me. As a parting gift Vijay slapped his face so hard that I could hear a crow’s caw in a nearby tree out of fear.
While this was going on, one of the boys removed the cover of a large container filled with milk. He was carrying a lemon; he tore open the lemon and threw it in the container. He knew that the lemon will destroy the milk causing much inconvenience and loss to maalik.
We left the place soon after and I had no worries for food till I arranged for a new job. We all went to a nearby dhaba and had a hearty dinner. I paid for the food, a good eighty rupees. I was still left with few hundred rupee notes.
I felt elated; I pressed Vijay’s hand and said “I will not lead a life of a slave any more”.
Vijay burped and said “welcome to the gang!”