The Whisper

Photo credit Stavrialena Gontzou on Unsplash

An insecure boy, craving for love …. this story is about his journey and his search in life ...

Ruhi, all of ten years, was worried. She was worried as to why her Kaki, her nanny, was not getting well. That day, on return from school, she got to know that Kaki was critical. Her fever was just not coming down.

Kaki’s four year old son, Rasik, was sitting next to his mother. And his face reflected the anxiety of the people around him. The doctor arrived, but it was too late. He pronounced Kaki dead. Ruhi was shocked. This was the first death that she had seen, from such close quarters. Kaki had been looking after her since the day she was born. Kaki’s husband had gone away somewhere, one day, never ever to return. With Kaki’s death, Rasik now had no one of his own.

Ruhi went to her mother and requested if Rasik could stay with them, forever. Her mother agreed, and then onwards Rasik became Ruhi’s little brother and Ruhi became his Didi. On losing his mother at such a tender age, Rasik, with all his heart, clung to Ruhi for all the unconditional love and support that she offered to him.

“Didi, Didi,” Rasik was running as fast as his feet could take him. The train was running faster than him. His mind was on fire. He had to catch the train. It was taking his Didi away. He couldn’t let that happen. The last few days were playing on his mind. His Didi was getting married. He couldn’t be there for the marriage.

His final exams were going on. He was studying Engineering in another town, where he stayed in the hostel. What would happen to him now, Rasik was wondering. His Didi was his world. She was his friend, his companion. And she was the only one, who understood him. She was the only one who never mentioned anything about his stammering. With every passing moment, the fact that his Didi was going away to a new family, was churning in his heart.

He was dreaming, or he thought he was. Actually, unable to sleep, with a very disturbed mind, he had somehow walked his way at night to the station nearby, where he ran to board a train that was just leaving the platform. He was running, but suddenly the platform ended. He could not see the serpentine train disappearing, after taking a turn on the bend. Rasik could not stop and he fell from the end, very close to the railway tracks. Everything blacked out in front of him.

Photo credit Paul on Unsplash

Rasik lay there, unnoticed, for a couple of hours. Suddenly a well-built man in shabby and tattered clothes, with unkempt beard, and maybe not of a very stable mind, came from the other direction and, seeing Rasik lying there, he stopped. He bent down and touched him, and on not getting a response, just sat down next to him. He kept sitting there for about half-an-hour, when he saw a goods train coming. He pulled Rasik away from the track. The goods train slowed down near the platform at the red signal, and then stopped. The man suddenly got up, picked up Rasik and put him into one of the train carriages with sacks of onions all around. He too made himself a place in there, and sat down. In some time the train started moving and took the two of them far, very far away. Rasik lay still, unconscious.

Rasik’s disappearance from the college hostel was reported home and Ruhi’s parents were devastated. The police was informed. No one could find any trace of Rasik. Ruhi got to know of this unfortunate happening and rushed to the college, to try looking for him, but to no avail. She was crestfallen, but could not find her little brother.

The goods train, with the man and Rasik, travelled for four days, covering a distance of a thousand kilometres or so, to reach its destination. No one noticed these two travelling in the middle of the onion sacks. The man shook Rasik and tried pulling him up. Rasik stirred, and with half-closed eyes saw the man. He stared at him for a few moments and closed his eyes again.

The bearded man tried shaking him up again and splashed a mug of water on his face. Rasik sat up. The man, holding Rasik’s hand, got off the train. He just kept walking, out of the station, dragging Rasik with him. He saw a garbage dump and stopped near a dilapidated hut, next to it. He decided to take shelter there. That became a home for these two, for the next few months.

The man would get anything he found, to eat, for both of them. Along with the food he would mix some powder and give it to Rasik. He himself would take the same too. It was a sort of a herbal drug that the man was addicted to. Rasik would stay in the hut all day and all night, doing nothing. He would keep sitting, and looking aimlessly. The man would give food in his hands. He would eat some. Then the man would gently make him lie down and would pat him like a baby, to put him to sleep. Rasik never spoke a single word.

Several months passed by. One afternoon Rasik was sitting, staring blankly as usual, when a Sadhu with his group of disciples just passed by. The Sadhu looked at Rasik. Their eyes met for a moment. Something happened to Rasik and he felt drawn towards the unknown sadhu. Suddenly Rasik got up and joined the group and started walking with them. No one said anything. The man with the beard came back with some dry chapattis, to find Rasik gone. He looked for him here and there, but not finding him he returned to the hut and sat there, eating the dry chapattis alone. He never saw Rasik again.

Rasik became a part of the Sadhu’s group now. He would perform all the chores like the rest of the people in the group. The Sadhu was called Swami ji by everyone. Swami ji kept Rasik in his close proximity. Rasik started following everything that Swami ji instructed his disciples to do. The various practices, meditation, etc. Rasik did everything, silently. Not a word ever escaped his lips. When everyone would sing devotional songs he would join them too, but silently. No one knew his name. When asked, he said nothing. So he had become Madhav, for the group. No one knew anything about his past, and there was no way of knowing it.

Swami ji had a separate room for himself, and that was at a distance from others’ rooms. Every evening Swami ji would retire to his room, after having an early dinner of fruits. Madhav was allowed to rest outside, the whole night. Every night he would see a handful of his followers - both males and females - enter his room and they all would come out only at dawn. The door of the room would be shut and Madhav was not supposed to enter the room, at all. Swami ji along with his select followers would sit for meditation and prayer the whole night, he was told.

One night as Madhav lay on his bed on the floor, outside the room, he was woken up by some disturbing noise. As he listened carefully the door opened and a woman came out crying; but she was immediately pulled back into the room. The face of the woman disturbed Madhav. She seemed to be in acute distress. Why was she in so much distress, wondered Madhav. He got up slowly and sat on his mattress, waiting for the door to open again. At dawn the door opened. Madhav quickly lay back on his bed and, with half-opened eyes, kept watching everyone. He saw the distressed woman too coming out of the room, and walk away. Her face still bore marks of intense pain. The whole day, the woman’s sad face kept on playing in Madhav’s mind.

The next night, after everyone had walked into the room and the door was shut, Madhav got up and stealthily moved around the room to find any place to peep inside. Suddenly he stood still. The curtain of a window had by chance been left parted a little bit, and he could look into the whole room. What he saw, froze him to the ground. An orgy was on. The worst form of sexual exploitation was going on. Madhav could not move. His guts churned and wrenched. He somehow managed to reach his bed, and fell on it.

Next morning, Swamiji found Madhav in high fever. He was not in his senses. They immediately called for the doctor. The fever refused to budge. It was three days now. The doctor advised hospitalisation. In the hospital, Madhav was delirious. He was extremely restless. The pained face of the woman kept alternating with that of his sister, Ruhi. Swamiji was sitting at his bedside, holding his hand.The doctors were bending over him, trying their best to calm him down. Suddenly, Madhav opened his eyes. Seeing Swamiji in front of him, he screamed, loud and clear,

“This man is a fraud! This man is a criminal! Put him behind bars!”

Madhav was running fast, as fast as he could, to catch his sister Ruhi.

“Didi, Didi!” He whispered, as he reached out for her. But she slipped away and his hands fell down, lifeless and limp.

Photo credit Margaret Weir on Unsplash



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Anima Chatterjee

Anima Chatterjee

Author of the book “The Heart Speaks”, Medium writer since 2018, top writer in fiction, short stories. Loves writing, dance, music, children. Learner for life..