Contemporary Sad Fiction

He was scolded; he was threatened; he was dragged out by collar many a times; he was beaten on few occasion; he was taken in custody thrice for a night still everyday for many days this old fellow, short in stature; skinny in build; with overgrown eyebrows above sunken eyes on the deadpan face was stubborn to do it again and again so today was no difference, little bent he came again donned in grey pants and off white shirt, shirt not tucked in , with a banner in right hand and a tiffin hanging to left shoulder and a water bottle and a umbrella in left hand in local government hospital and squatted down on a platform made by laying four bricks together under a mango tree holding the banner above his head little away from a queue and today he could have been manhandled and dragged out like everyday if a local goonda hadn’t had took petty on him and came to his rescue from hospital staff and hadn’t had beaten few of them like dogs other day. The goonda had asked him, “Baba! Why you come here over and over again to be beaten like this? ”

“ For my son.” He could replied these three words and array of beads ran out of his eyes. 

“Baba, don’t come here again. I would not be here for you every time. ” The goonda had advised him. 

“Let’s see how much a human can hurt other human, ” he had replied. 

He was sitting with his eyes closed , the memories of that day flashed and were fresh as flowers offered to God in the temple when a small life on his little feet walked into his life and his father distributed jaggery and soaked grams dancing in the entire village. He remembered profoundly memories of his childhood days as if happening right in front of his eyes, memories of his innocent face ; memories of his small nose, small hands and feet, memories of his kissing his forehead many times in a day; memories of his crawls; memories of his ecstatic laugh; memories of his play with mother; memories of his first word ; memories of his first walk ; memories of his first day in school when he had clung to his thigh crying. He still remembered for his school dress and shoes he spent all his prime in chappal without complain. In a flurry he grew up, he remembered he started a job of seven thousand in a small branch of a big private bank away from home to support him, in his old age and to share family responsibilities. 

Still fresh were the memories of that day two years ago when he went, tying sehra on his forehead; wearing maroon sherwani with side dupatta; holding a sword; riding on mare in front of barat to brought his bride adorned in red, home and his mother had spitted hundred times to ward off the evil eye of bride and groom . He remembered the happiest day of his life when the one who called him 'dada' was came in the world last year and he got one more chance to relive childhood memories of his own son. He remembered that in that year a pandemic swooped, only to clutched the human race in its cruel claws and he also remembered how time had been shrunk so as to run the distance of years in few months , still he didn’t sure the run was for dollars or for mankind - the reason for his being suspicious was ‘Zolgensma', and eventually ‘Sanjivani' was discovered. He remembered how vaccine was approved for emergency use for forty five plus in country and the rumours of blood clotting cases during clinical trials were swept under carpet. At that second, furrows deepen on his forehead as if he didn’t like to remember further so he jerked his eyes open. Gently, the banner was put down against the tree . He looked to pick up the bottle when he found few ten rupees note in front of him- some kind people might have taken petty on him. He didn’t like to, despite he gathered them and put in and on his heart for he was not a beggar. He took his bottle to wet his throat but couldn’t douse the fire that was burning him inside the way it blaze coals underneath in brazier. The fellow again lifted the banner over his head and once again closed his eyes perhaps to find the answers in his memories that he couldn’t find outside. Black clouds shrouded his memories when he remembered the day when vaccine was approved for use in eighteen plus. He liked to know as how? And Why? his thirty two years old son had taken the shot that day who feared the prick of needle when he had given blood sample for typhoid few years ago. He remembered the same evening he lost his appetite and he complained about slow pain in his right thigh that had worsen in two days. He remembered that he was taken to this hospital where doctor suggested that it’s normal after vaccination but also advised to check in the so called second to none government hospital in the state if the condition worsen and it actually happened, their fear came true, his right leg paralyzed and red pinhead size red bruises appeared on leg and stomach so they check in that hospital where they found CT scan machine out of order. He remembered they ran to other hospital for scan that bereaved away some vital hours and he groaned to him, “ I will not get well. ” finally he was admitted next day. He remembered that doctors had succumbed that day and gave only thirty percent chance of his survival and in the scarcity of pennies he had grabbed it with both hands. Well he fought, fought for his toddler; he fought for his wife; he fought for his mother; he fought for him and he fought for fourteen days but on the fifteenth morning he succumbed too. He remembered at that second he cried like nothing parallel and after some time asked them, putting a mountain on his heart,  “ Please report this case of vaccine related blood clotting. ” when they rang the roted tape recorder, “it is not certain that clotting is linked with vaccine.” He remembered how he carried out his last sacraments with blood in eyes and how he couldn’t able to console his mother and his wife. Some days passed away , he remembered a question was still eating him hollow as termite – why vaccine could haven’t been improved before use? And he remembered one day he read twenty one years old girl died same way and responsible one had spoken the same roted line, the same night an anchor of popular news channel made philosopher face, which he found abhorrent only, to teach the arithmetic of immunisation ‘ only 0.002% adverse cases are reported in the country and believe me the chances of your dying are miniscule as compared with viral infection' and propelled her belief that to ward off the evils of village it is inevitable to sacrifice few unlucky billys. He remembered his eyes filled with water when he found folks advocating the philosophy ‘ I am well, my family is well, then all is well’ and in despair he decided to do something on his own and next morning came here near vaccination centre holding a banner ‘ all is not well ’.

July 13, 2021 16:56

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Vinay Kumar
05:13 Jul 19, 2021

Very nice


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17:19 Jul 18, 2021

Very Nice 👏👏👏


Aditya Kaundal
17:24 Jul 18, 2021

Thank you❤


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Priyanka Koundal
17:03 Jul 14, 2021



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