Friday, January 26, 2018

Metamorphosis at Sunset – A Story for Republic Day

METAMORPHOSIS AT SUNSET
Short Fiction - A STORY FOR REPUBLIC DAY 
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:

Here is a fiction short story I wrote many years ago on Republic Day... 

METAMORPHOSIS AT SUNSET – Story by Vikram Karve

"How was your day?" she asks.

"Terrible," he says.

"Terrible?" 

"Everything is rotten out here! This country is going to the dogs because of this bloody corruption! They must do something about it."

"They? What 'they'? Who is this 'they'...?"

"I don't know. And I don't care, because I am getting out of here once and for all."

"Sanjiv, come on, how can you be so sure things are better out there? At least here, in our country, we are treated properly."

"Treated properly? My foot! Only the corrupt and powerful, the rich and wealthy, are having a ball. If you're honest, life is hell. They treat you like dirt. But one thing is sure. Once I'm an NRI, I'll be treated better. Look at way they pamper these NRI and expat chaps - they get all the top jobs, the dough, the recognition, the honors. It is pathetic, the way we put them on a pedestal - they enjoy best of both worlds and we even bestow them with all sorts of accolades and awards!"

"What rubbish!"

"Rubbish? Here, look at the newspaper. Just count the the number of NRI and PIO names in the Republic Day Awards List...!!!"

(NB: In the year I wrote this story – a number of NRIs/PIOs/OCIs had got Republic Day Awards)

"These NRIs and PIOs – they must have done something for the country..." she says. 

"Oh, yeah...!!! Sure. They have done something for the country. But which country...? Have they done anything for us...?" he says. 

"What do you mean?"

"All they've done is make money for the foreign company they work for over there  and earned money and glory for themselves."

"So what is wrong with that...? If they India is awarding them  they may have done something ..."

"Done something...? Of course these NRIs and PIOs may have done something for the country they live in  for America – or for England – or wherever they live. But what have they done for India...?"

"Come on  don't be so bitter."

"Bitter? Why should I not be bitter. We pamper those who leave the country and go abroad 
– and we ignore the poor guys who stay behind to serve the country. It is very funny  and very sad. This country values "Non Resident Indians" but doesn't care a damn for its very own "Resident Indians"  it seems we still haven't got over the "Colonial Raj" hangover."

"Just forget all this Sanjiv and think positively. You've got a chance to stay here and do something, haven't you? Sanjiv. Don't go. Please!"

"Don't go? Please? Come on, Nalini. What's wrong with you? Why the hell should I stay here?"

"The IAS is the best thing in the world." 

"Oh yeah! Tell me. What's so great about rotting away in some back-of-the-beyond town in the moffusil – places whose names you only hear only on Vividh Bharati..."

"Come off it  it's not all that bad."

"And the bloody grovelling and kowtowing the powers that be all your life?"

"The pay, the perks. "

"Pay, Perks? What are you talking about? I've told you about the mind-boggling amount I'm going to get out there, haven't I? What I will get here is peanuts compared to what I will earn there."

"So it's Seattle  not Mussoorie?"

"Yes. It's final. I've nothing left here now."

"Nothing?" tears start to well up in her eyes.

He puts his arms around her and says: "Please Nalini don't make it difficult for me."

"I'm thirsty. Come  let's have some chilled milk."
   
Hand in hand, the man and the woman cross Marine Drive, and amble to the Jai Jawan Stall, and order some chilled milk.

Suddenly a policeman arrives, bangs his lathi on the counter and shouts rudely at the old man inside the stall: "Abe Saale  Hafta kyon nahi deta...?"

"I am a war veteran disabled soldier..." the Jawan says proudly stamping his crutch on the ground in anger, "I lost my leg in combat, serving the nation".

"So what...? Just pay up, you one-legged cripple  or I'll shove that crutch up your... "

Something suddenly snaps inside Sanjiv – and he is filled with a terrible rage.

Sanjiv suddenly turns, catches the cop's collar, shoves him roughly, and shouts: 
"You just get out."
  
The stunned cop slowly recovers, he talks on his cell phone  and within seconds  a police jeep appears – and they are all whisked away to the police station.

"Saale..." the inspector says menacingly, "assaulting a policeman on duty... "

"Sir..." a constable interrupts, "we found this in his pocket."

The constable hands over a paper to the inspector.

The inspector reads it  he looks at Sanjiv – and he goes inside to his superior's office. 

They discuss and reach a conclusion. 

There is no point taking punga with IAS types 
 even if he is just going to be a probationer. 

The inspector comes out and looks at Sanjiv. 

"You are going to be IAS. You shouldn't do these things..." the inspector says politely to Sanjiv. 

There is a total metamorphosis in tye inspector's demeanor. 

Then the inspector sends his jeep to drop them back at the Jai Jawan Stall on Marine Drive.

"Thank you, Sahab. We need young people like you to sort things out..." the disabled soldier at the Jai Jawan says gratefully, as they sip the deliciously soothing chilled milk.

"Hey, let's watch sunset..." Nalini says.

They cross Marine Drive, run to the parapet and watch the breathtakingly beautiful spectacle as the tranquil blue sea begins to swallow the orange ball and the crimson rays dancing in the sky slowly dissolve into twilight.

"Your last sunset in India, isn't it...?" she says, tears in her eyes.

He takes her in his arms, and they kiss, slow and prolonged, as if it were their first and last kiss.

And when it is finally over, Sanjiv looks into Nalini's eyes and says: 

"Nalini, I am not going there. I have decided to stay here  where I belong. I am going join the IAS and do something for my country and my people."

"Really...? Why...? What happened...?" Nalini exults in incredulous delight.

Sanjiv does not answer. 

He looks into Nalini's eyes.

Then he tenderly puts his arm around her and together they watch the awesome metamorphosis at sunset. 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story is a work of fiction. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

This story was first written by me Vikram Karve many years ago and and posted online by me earlier in my Blogs a number of times inlcuding at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/01/republic-day-story-metamorphosis-at.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/a-story-for-republic-day-metamorphosis.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/metamorphosis-at-sunset-on-eve-of.html etc 
Post a Comment