The young man ran past the gates of our hospital, across the drive way and into the foyer. He looked around in panic and bolted into the X Ray unit.
His clothes were dusty. sweat and tears ran down the gaunt face. His teeth chattered. He smelled of filth, hunger and fear.
“Call the police..!!”
“They will kill me..!!”
He gasped, skulking towards the shadows of the dark room
The x-ray technician froze. He watched the boy as if in a trance.
"Call the police..!! Don’t allow them to take me away..!! "
He pleaded, his sunken eyes looking around wildly for a place to hide.
“They starved me for two days….”
“Please someone call the police….!!”
He pleaded at the small group of patients and staff who had gathered around..
The crowd watched in alarm and panic as four or five men rushed inside the room..
Realization dawned as they watched the brash tee shirts clinging to sweating, lean bodies.. Arrogant flashing eyes and colored hair.
One man caught hold of the boy and started to pull him..
“No.. no..” the boy fell down to his knees weeping..
I was on my way to the lab when I saw a big crowd in front of the x-ray unit.
Something was terribly wrong..
People had a stricken look.. They were whispering to one another..
I could hear wisps of conversations..
“Call the police..!”
“Must be trying to get loan money back..!”
“Call the police..!”
“We must lock the door..! A gruff voice was speaking feverishly.”.
That was when I noticed Dasappen shoving people apart.. Trying to close the door..
As the crowd parted I saw few mean men trying to pull a petrified looking boy who was shrieking something
My heart was beating fast..!!
“Yes..! We had to lock the door..!!”
Suddenly I felt a blunt hit on my back..
“Move.. move.. “A cold commanding voice ordered and I felt myself being shoved out of the way roughly..
He looked about seven feet tall ..had golden brown colored hair and wore a tomato red colored tee shirt.. he walked into the room..
My heart was galloping..!!
“No we shouldn’t allow it.. we had to call the police..!”
I ran to my office..and dialed 100..
I spoke rapidly..
“Ma’m we have already got the complaint.. Police is on the way.. The voice was crisp..”
I rushed back.. And watched the scene in horror..
Everything seemed to move in a slow motion..
A huge crowd had gathered.. The boy was pleading something as he was being pulled across the foyer.. Few people had joined in the fight and was pulling the boy back.. Some were talking excitedly into their cell phones..Dasappen was in the center. Hugging the boy from the back.. His face was buried in the boys back.. His body was bent as he strained to pull the boy
Suddenly the golden brown haired leader took out a knife and flashed it in front of him..
There was a collective gasp. The crowd parted.. Many people moved back..
“Where was the bloody police..?”
I couldn’t bear it.. The boy was being pulled ahead slowly.. Surely
The procession had reached the porch and was progressing along the drive way..
I ran behind the crowd....
They were taking him towards a Qualiz parked near the gate..
I could see Dasappen still clinging to the boy.. Oblivious to every thing around him. his face buried in the boys back.. he clung.. Obsessively.. Compulsively..
“Dasappen..! I wanted to shout.. Let go.. They will hurt you..”
There was a collective gasp once more as a police jeep swerved in through the drive way.. My heart danced as I saw police men jumping out..
The inspector roared something..
The men froze.. Their body language changed.. There seemed to pass some unspoken communication..
I was surprised.. The men didn’t try to run away.. They just stood there.. Docile..
The inspector spoke something to the boy and the men.. Handcuffs were placed on all of them including the boy..
All of them walked towards the jeep like trained Labradors..
The Goondas seemed to have some unwritten code of conduct. All of us watched in spellbinding silence as the police jeep drove way followed by the Qualiz..
Pandemonium broke out..!!.. Everyone started speaking excitedly..!
“Must be loan money..!”
“The Goondas were talking about money..!”
“What if the police had not come..”
“Doc are you hurt..?” Someone asked..
“Nothing..!” I giggled.. “I will be proud to tell my boys about being hit by a goonda !” I laughed..
Must be “ Pacha vikraman.”. Gautam commented his mouth full of the chapathy and chicken he was gulping down,. as I told about the tall leader with golden hair..
Taj sat and stared at me. his huge eyes shone with excitement.. Peeps listened silently..
Imagine..! Goondas in Mama’s hospital..! Thank god Dasappen was not hurt..! I exclaimed..!
Dasappen..? The psychotic whose son died..? Peeps looked curious..
I had forgotten about Ravikutten.. his death.. No wonder Dasappen had clung so adamantly to the boy..
Next morning the first thing I did was call Dasappen to my room..
“It was only because of you that the boy was saved.. Somewhere his parents will be thanking you .”I smiled at him warmly..
“Yes the boy was saved only cos of me..” Dasappen spoke in his usual gruff over confident style..
I smiled again..
“Bala is worried that they will hurt me ..”
“Don’t worry .. they wont remember you specifically.. .”.I smiled .. “And they are under poliuce custody na..?”
Dasappen continued to stand there..
I wondered if I should say something about Ravikutten.. But I refrained myself..
I smiled again..
Dasappen.. Continued to stare at me.. strangely.
I felt uncomfortable.. The glitter in his eyes unnerved me..
Was it his psychosis..?
Or was it cos his eyes were moist..? Was he thinking about his Ravikutten..?
I wished he would leave..
Yes I was feeling uncomfortable..
My eyes too were becoming moist..