Mr. Jial Singh Alluhwalia was the head constable of the Hoshiarpur District Police force, Punjab. Jial Singh had served in the police since he was twenty-five. A man from his background had no chance of making it head constable. Mr. Singh had achieved just that. Until now, Jial Singh had all he could ask for. He had a lovely wife, two obedient kids, and a well-trained dog. A man of principle, Jial Singh earned more respect than money. But one fine day, the upright, honest, Sardar cop had a wish. He must have been in his early fifties when for the first time in his life he had a genuine desire. A wish he wished for all day long and dreamt the whole night.
Almost every policeman in Hoshiarpur owned a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350cc, more commonly known as the Bullet. Now, the Bullet isn't just an ordinary bike; it's more. It's the wink of macho. A person without a bullet was either a woman or crippled. Constable Jial Singh, on the other hand, was a not so proud owner of a modest Honda Platinum.
Jial Singh would watch in envy as his colleagues would whizz by in their bullets. Cheeky and all up in glory while he could just watch. And this would be his introduction to despair. Jial Singh's envy would turn into hatred and then into loathe. It was as if they were mocking him, all of them. Guys with and without bullets alike. He would feel their stares at his very core, stares full of disdain, stares of mockery, stares of pity. It felt as though they were all sleeping with his wife, being fathers of his children, and even though he was aware of it, there wasn't a thing he could do about it.
At times, he would imagine how relieving it would be to throw someone off his bullet, then squash his skull with the hockey stick kept behind the living room door. Killing himself after that was the only thing he could think of. Every principle he stood for was a burden. What use was this respect if he could not afford his wish? What use was his lovely wife or his good children if they couldn't help the man who had given his all for them?
In an attempt to maybe understand these questions, Jial Singh sold off his home and sent his wife along with the children to her parents'. Finally, the Sardar had amassed enough money to buy not one but two of his favorite motorcycles.
As it is in a fairytale, the next morning was a bright, sunny and a hopeful day. Mr. Singh set off for the city showroom in high spirits. Half way through, Jial Singh decided on a short nap under the shadiest tree he could see. In spite of his excitement, the Singh managed to fall asleep. A sleep with the same dream; the dream of being the only person in the whole of Punjab with a bullet. His trance was broken by the increased chirping of the birds. What had been a nice little nap turned into a nightmare as Jial Singh eventually realized that all his stuff, including the money, was gone. The constable had been robbed.
Jial Singh couldn't believe it. He had been looted off all his money, but more importantly, the thief had stolen his wish. The entire universe seemed to conspire against the constable. The whole system of karma and destiny and luck and all those religion cosmologic aspects of life had turned against him. It begins with planting the stem of a desire. A desire so strong that all else seems trivial, and you are blinded by it. You care about it more than you have cared for anyone. You nurture it, embrace it, and all this while you are on a quest to fulfill it. And when you reach the last few steps of the ladder, when only the last pieces of the puzzle remain, the whole thing just breaks down, all is lost. Now, either you start afresh, or you've fallen too far below. Some people call it balance, but these some people are the ones who've reached the top of the ladder, who've solved the puzzle of their lives. Jial Singh, unfortunately, did not form a part of this group. Not yet.
Jial Singh let out all he could, and the anger turned into sorrow. He had no choice but to get back, but where, for home was gone too. The idea of killing himself was simply too frightening for the policeman. And still, at times he did wish he would get mauled by a tiger, or run over by a truck. Nothing happened, and the frustrated Singh just carried on. At some point in his journey backward, he went near a bush to empty his bladder. An old man was lying there. Jial Singh looked at him and just couldn't stop. It was his eyes. The old man had big, round, beautiful eyes. They were as clear as the clearest sky and as deep as the deepest ocean. Jial Singh had never seen eyes like these. He was spellbound. So much so that it took him a while to realize that the old man wasn't wearing anything at all. It was only then that he looked away. The embarrassed Sikh started to walk away when the old man, unabashed as ever, called out, "You didn’t get it right, your wish?"... Don’t give up right now friend, it's almost time. You see...and before he could finish, Jial Singh lay a thundering blow on his jaw and knocked him out. An old naked creepy thug prophesying bullshit was just ill-suited right now. The next moment Jial Singh was on the ground face first. He turned to see the origin of the assault. A man stood there, with a gun in his hand and a mask on his face. Another bandit. The masked man seemed pretty nervous. He was yelling at Jial Singh to hand over all his money, or he would shoot him and stuff. The regular dacoit drill. Jial Singh remained calm. There was a grin on his face. He had certainly had enough of thieves. The bandit backed off a bit as he saw his dupe rise. "STAY DOWN...STAY DOWN SARDAR JI...I'LL SHOOT...STAY THE FUCK DOWN...I just want the money man." But Jial Singh wasn't listening, he jumped up and pounced on the panicky thief. The bandit tried desperately to get rid of the angry Sardar's clutches. But Jial Singh was adamant. He tried even harder to put the crook down. The thundering noise of a gunshot put the chaos to an end. Jial Singh was shot. The bullet went straight through his heart. The terror-stricken culprit took off.
It took thirty dramatic seconds for the zealous Sardar to conk off. But to him, it was happening in motion so slow he almost wished it would just end. It somewhat felt like the movies. Death wasn't so bad after all. The only regret still withstanding was that he couldn't live death again. And if he could, in one word translate death to the naive, realization would be most apt. For every state of existence, all endeavors of survival eventually decay. All questions are answered, every mystery untangled, and every emotion unraveled. But what is more admirable is the timing of it all. For it hits the hardest only when it doesn't matter anymore. It's a pity, though, that such a flawless system wins only hatred. It is enlightenment. It is the truth, hard hitting, and naked, just like the old man. It makes you free, from life's little lies and wishes. Death is only the realization that life is a pointless journey.
Jial Singh fell to the ground with a loud thud. Just next to the unconscious, unclad, old man. And with all the strength left in him, the Sardar forced a smile. Jial Singh's wish had killed him, literally.