In Between-“the Land and the Lord”

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Life's Journey

It is a story that analyses the importance and the existence of a Lady between Land and the Lord.

In Between-“the Land and the Lord”

“‘Land’, the most precious treasure on Earth from the days of ‘Big Bang’, starting with religious captivations, then fights amongst emperors, Dynasties perished, empire burnt, millions died (willingly or unwillingly) in the name of “Land and the Lord”. However, in between these two ‘L’ one more ‘L’ lost its identity forever.”

  “And what is that?” Preety questioned.

Giving a pause for few seconds, Vikash replied “The Lady. Without whom ‘Land’ is incomplete and the same goes with the ‘Lord’.

“Hmm, correct you are.” Preety answered.

Vikash continued, “Years went by, dynasties changed to colonies, colonies to countries, and finally after years of rotation, Democracy established on Earth.”

Suddenly, there interaction got broken with some demanding noise.

Both of them looked straight outside while sitting inside the canteen to figure out the exact reason.

“Again, the college activist started protesting against some rules made by the management for the new comers, this year.” The canteen manager spoke out.

 There were many placards; however, to Vikash from where he is sitting, could only see one of them, which says, “Telling our problems, is our democratic rights”.

Vikash smiled, and so does Preety.

“‘Land’, remain the same important bidding product. However, the word ‘Lord’ technically took shelter and gave birth to a new baby named Government.” Preety added from where Vikash left.

“However, the word ‘Lady’ continues to remain unprotected, or rather at times, ‘in between too much protection’ but never got the space to built her dream”. Vikash says.

 “Sounds interesting, very interesting” Preety whispered, as she keeps her head into the right shoulder of Vikash giving a bite to the samosa, rubbed in chutney few seconds ago.

“Please do not dream of walking together till the end, your father will not entertain me as hi son in law.” Vikash whispered into the ears of his love.

Preety raised her head and answered, “I am yours, and will be yours till the end of time” biting the lobule part of the ear, of her love.

“You are crazy and an Idiot” Vikash uttered in affirm tone after asking the canteen boy to collect the bill.

“I will pay” Preety said.

“No” Vikash replied.

“Why? Is this payment hurting your manly ego? Do remember ego kills a relation,” Preety said being annoyed.

Vikash stood silent as Preety pays the bill of rupees ten after giving a sweet kiss into the right cheek of Vikash.

The canteen manager and the canteen boy both smiled.

Vikash felt very embarrassed and softly replied knowing the impatient and demanding nature of Preety “For the last one year I have not got the opportunity to pay the bill and”

Preety stopped Vikash from further elaboration by placing her hand into his lips.

It is three p.m. when Vikash entered the library room after saying goodbye to Preety, who is from wealthy family and her father has the reputation of helping the poor student with lump sum and shelter.

“Agricultural Science? An interesting subject” The librarian spoke while issuing the book to Vikash for a week.

 After receiving the book Vikash smiled and returned the statement saying, “yes sir”

For the last one year, this library room gave Vikash the much needed mental peace and strength. Every time the calmness of the room helped him to regain his confidence and the faith that education is the best and the only way, to come out from the hands of poverty, hunger and illness.

Sitting on the extreme end of the library room, he opened his notebook and starts to update the notes of previous day class, which he missed while attending the practice session of the up-coming football match.

“Mr. Bose, a man of honour” the librarian spoke to his assistant, adding “look at this boy named Vikash, a son of a farmer who was about to leave his studies in search of earnings but his good luck took him to the chamber of Mr. Bose, and the rest is history.”

Usually Vikash knowing his family standard always distance himself from social, political, religious gatherings. However, unable to resists his legs when the boys of the hostel and students of various departments participate in football matches or engage themselves in daily evening practice.

“The Library is about to close for the students for the day, so to all the students, your departure and is highly appreciated” the assistance shouted.

The announcement echoed throughout the length and breadth of the huge library room. Keeping the book and the note sheet inside his bag, Vikash stepped out as the big pendulum struck four times.

The college campus was almost empty by this time of the evening. Vikash slowly walked towards his room of the boy’s hostel, which is at the backside of the big college building inside the campus.

“Vikash, ready for the practice?” a senior shouted as he left the hostel taking the football in his hand.

Giving a big smile Vikash replied “Coming, within few minutes” as he entered the room, refreshed himself and rushed quickly to the field wearing his old pair of sports shoe and promised himself that he will score goals today, to retain his position as a striker in the team.

“One hour of complete refreshment and exercise of mind and legs” Vikash spoke to his senior, as they both entered the same room of the hostel.

Keeping aside the shoes Vikash stretched himself on the floor while his senior sat on the chair with a glass of water in his hand and giving the other to Vikash.

“Finally, I scored” Vikash uttered.

“Yes, it was truly nice. Especially the second one” with a pause the senior added “I thought this time also you will miss the free kick, but I was wrong. This time you hit the sweet spot of the big football.”

“Thank you big brother, you are ‘The inspiration’.” Vikash uttered with a big smile in his face.

“Your simplicity attract me life anything Vikash, do not allow this to get parted from you in the journey of life.”  The senior expressed, as he also sat on the floor beside Vikash and started playing piano upon his belly.

Throughout the night, they discussed on various topics of the universe. Vikash listened to all the information and tried hard to retain as much as possible in his brain.

Back home, after the hard day’s work in the paddy field Sambhu express his frustration and pain in front of his better half, by sitting on the floor of his hut built of mud by saying,

“To a farmer who gave everything for the sake of survival, respect means a lot, I am not saying that I am young but I am not that much old also that I cannot dig a paddy field of mine own. They are buying tractors to speed up the process of digging taking my earnings away, making me economically more crumbled.”A dead silent wind passed between these two living creature.

Shila, the better half broke the silence by saying “Lord has always been kind and merciful towards me and my family. This time also I am sure, lord will protect, not only our piece of land which we cultivate from forced selling, but also will protect the extra earning which you get by ploughing the paddy field of our land lord.”

 “I do not believe in Lord Almighty” Sambhu replied being angry. Adding, “Where was your lord when I lost my mother at the earliest? Where was the lord when my step mother did everything possible to protect me and by step sister from the hand of cholera?”

With a minute pause, he then continued, “somehow I managed to survive but my sister failed. Why I was kept alive?”

Shila stopped him from further elaboration of this statement by placing her hand into his lips. Sambhu smiled, and kissed her palm. She felt shy and looked down into the floor with a smile.

Post dinner both of them stood at the doorstep, holding each other tightly when Shila softly uttered, “This season if cultivation goes well then I will bring back all the ornaments from the locker of our land lord”.

Sambhu kissed her head and looked straight up into the sky, it was a full moon night and so keeping their hopes and dreams alive entered the room for a sound sleep.

Next day morning, Vikash wrote a letter to his parents stating his present financial condition and educational status but nowhere in the letter had he written about Preety. He was somehow mentally prepared from the beginning that Preety will move ahead in her life and will ask him to wait.

On the other side Preety post engaging herself into this relationship always believed that one day she will stood beside Vikash and will help him to solve his family problems.

 By ten a.m. both Vikash and Preety reached the department and took their respective place to start the day’s class.

Mr. Bose a business magnet and a Man, who always loves to do social services, call his secretary at his residence for an urgent meeting.

Without wasting, more time Mr. Shikdar the secretary reached the home of his boss and went straight up to the second floor.

“Good morning, Sir” Mr. Shikdar replied.

“Very good morning” Boss replied adding, “This is an important meeting and also highly confidential, you will have to ensure that it stays between us only”.

“Sure Sir” the secretary replied.

“You will have to ensure that the families who were receiving grant from us must not feel embarrassed will we will procure there land paying the due price after deducting the grant received.” Mr. Bose whispered.

The secretary looked straight into the eyes of his boss and replied, “Sure sir, however I want to say something”

“Yes please,” the boss replied.

“Sir, Sambhu Saha is a very poor man and left with only a single piece of land and if we purchase that also, he may die in starvation”

 Mr. Bose scratched his head and replied, “There is nothing called as free-lunch in our society dear”.

“Understood Sir” the secretary left saying good-bye to his master.

“To a Lord, land means power and control. However, to a land, her lord is the one who procure and protect her from the hand of weaker, cruel and unprotected environment.” Mr. Bose spoke to himself.

Vikash like always enters the library room (along with a newspaper) after saying good-bye to Preety at about four p.m. and takes his place to update the notes. However today, his concentration level is not up to the standard.

“Something is not well; I must get back to home.” He spoke to himself, further proving “For the last eight months I am unable to get back to my home. I must not delay it further, and if I do delay then who knows this will be the greatest delay of my life.”

By taking his bag on to his right shoulder, he rushed out of the library after submitting the book issued last evening.

The assistant with great surprise questioned about this rush, but Vikash was not in a state to explain and so went away saying, “Will brief you later.”

By fifteen minutes past four p.m. Vikash entered into his room and packed all his bag and belongings. He was in tremendous hurry to catch the last bus that will leave at quarter past five p.m. from the stand.

“How will I inform to Preety?” he questioned to himself after giving a pause to his packing.

“Just give him a call from the local STD booth”, he answered.

“But, there is not much time left to inform her via phone. Next idea?” he again ask question to himself.

“Letter, yes, let me write a letter and then will drop the same into the college letter box placed outside the administrative building.” He answered.

Within a minute he torn out a paper from his notebook and wrote,

“Preety sorry for informing you like this, leaving for home, things are not well out there and will inform you from time to time. Do take full care and may lord almighty bless you always. Love You, Vikash”.

By this time, his senior entered the room and asked the same question, as did the assistant of the library.

Without saying anything, he handed over the newspaper of today and left saying, “Big Brother, will miss you a lot and do read the eleventh page”.

Virat, the senior member of his room opened the page number eleven and was shocked after going through the headline that says,

“Government declared seven district of the state as drought affected, and as per weather report the same will continue to get worse in the months to follow, already few farmers committed suicide as their land was unable to deliver the required output to save their lives from getting drowned in debt.”

“Lord, save his father” Virat prayed and shut the door of the room from inside.

Everything moved as per plan for Vikash who got into the bus when it was about to start his journey. Luckily, he got the sit but of the conductor’s one with a condition that after one hour, during the course of the journey he will allow the conductor to take some rest by standing up and vice-versa.

“Father, I am coming, please do not take any irrational decision, o thou lord do give some rain, save the lives of millions of farmers” Vikash prayed by closing his eyes.

He was so tired and exhausted of this humid condition that he felt asleep.

Hours later, the conductor requested him rather instructed him to stand up since it is his turn now to sit for the next one hour.

Vikash did the same after paying the exact fare. The conductor smiled and asked, “What is your name?”

“My name is Vikash Yadav” the boy replied.

“Student?” the conductor questioned.

“Yes” Vikash replied.

The conductor was about to ask the third question when Vikash distracted his concentration by looking here and there.

After a long silent interaction with minimum eye contact, the conductor spoke “Hey Vikash, do take your sit, my resting time is over. Do remember within thirty more minutes this bus will stop in front of your village”. With a pause he continued, “Now do not fall asleep.”

Vikash taking his seat looked through the window with wide opened eyes.

It was dark outside; hot air is still blowing, stars glittering all over the sky along with the moon whose light is killing the darkness.

“Miss you Preety, do not know when I Will see you again, but you will always be in my heart” Vikash spoke softly.

Preety who was talking with her family members sitting in the air-conditioned room suddenly rushed outside as if Vikash was calling.

Standing on the balcony of the first floor, she looked straight up into the sky and softly uttered by folding her hand “dear lord, do protect my love from all misfortune, keep him safe always.”

It’s a quarter to eight p.m. The bus stopped and Vikash stepped down after saying goodbye to the conductor. However, with great effort he somehow managed to cross the six-lane highway to enter into his village. 

 The silent nature of the surrounding made him more uncomfortable. The stalls were closed which usually remain open until ten p.m. every day. The birds, the street dogs, the jackals, even the wild pigs were silent.

Taking the bag and belongings, he started walking along the roads.

“Eight months passed by. So many things changed, starting from roads (mud to pitch one), plantation of so many trees for shelter and shadow, electricity all around, streetlights.”

He was about to speak of some more good things when he suddenly stopped after watching the big flames that was coming out from the burning ghat.

He started running towards his home that is at the remote part of the village. In a single run he came in front of his hut and knocked the door.

Alas! No response, he knocked it for the second time but result the same, he was about to break the wooden door which is attached with the mud wall, when the door opened. His sister opened the door.

At the doorstep, his sister started crying by holding him tightly. Placing his hand over her head Vikash questioned, “What happened? Why are you not opening the door? Where is father? And also mother?”

Ignoring all his question, his sister continued to cry for few more minutes and then spoke out “I felt asleep in fear of staying alone in the home for hours.” Giving a pause, she continued,

“Father has not returned home from morning, so the seniors of the village instructed mother to meet the priest who came few days ago to our village and claims to be the messenger of lord.”

“What?” Vikash questioned

“Yes, since the villager believed that our father was under some kind of evil spell and it is the priest who can bring him back.” His sister replied as she continued to cry.

“Stop crying, and listen to me carefully,” Vikash uttered requesting her sister to bring a glass of water.

 After drinking the water, Vikash was about to question, when her sister said, “I know the place where the priest stays”.

“Lovely, then let’s go. I promise you, I will bring her back and after that we will find our father”. His sister smiled.

Quickly they locked the door and started running towards end of the village where the river changes its course and enters the other district. From a distance, they found burning of few sticks and on that light, they saw lying of bones and skulls and two persons sitting facing each other.

However, from this distance they could not figure it out whether one of them is there mother or not!

After a brief discussion with his sister, Vikash started shouting and her sister did the same thing after few seconds. There shrill and loud voice not only distracted the priests, but also created a havoc in the environment.

Within few minutes, few villagers joined hand in this operation started by Vikash. One of the villager started saying “This priests itself is a curse, I have lost loved ones, lost my procession, lost my happiness because of him” with a pause, “Today we will through him away from the village.”

Understanding the gravity of the situation, the priests started running towards the river leaving behind everything.

Vikash and his sister rushed into the spot, and in the flame identified their mother. They both called their mother loudly to bring her sense back but failed, when one of the villagers standing at the back of Vikash uttered, “She is under some kind of spell, take her home, she need rest. It will take few hours to regain her sense”.

“Thank you very much Sir,” Vikash answered as he turned back and surprisingly found no one standing. He got scared for the first time.

Without wasting any more minutes, Vikash left the place holding his mother tightly asking her sister to do the same.

Somehow, they both managed to bring her back in the hut. The environment is still very hot, even though its midnight.

Sitting beside her mother who is lying on the bed, Vikash spoke to Laxmi her younger sister saying, “Go and have some food, and do take rest. I am there please do not worry now”

“Will you not eat?” Laxmi questioned.

“Not feeling well” Vikash replied. His sister without further proving did the same as instructed.

Lying beside her mother, Laxmi felt asleep and so does Vikash after an hour.

Next day morning when Vikash wake up he saw his mother crying softly by lying on the bed holding Laxmi tightly.

“Why are you crying mother?” Vikash questioned.

“I told your father few days ago to sell the last piece of land and to shift from this location to your town with that money.” Mother replied, adding, “I am sure he is not alive, the local land lord did not allow him to live. Lord almighty only knows where his body is kept now”.

She stopped as tears rolled down from the eyes of all three.

“Mother, please be strong, nothing has happened to our father, I am sure. May be he has gone to some other town or district in search of a secure job. He will return safely, mark my word” Vikash replied in confidence.

On the other side, in the city, the morning like always starts with breakfast and newspaper. Preety also followed the same path and was about to leave for the college when the entire building starts shaking rather the entire town, the district, many district in the state, in fact tremors felt across eastern India.

“It is an Earthquake, come out of the building, Preety and the security guard both shouted along with their pet dogs, cats and birds.

“Again, the Earth has shaken”, Preety uttered and continued to shout requesting everybody to step outside fast. Her mother and grandma who were sitting on the ground floor somehow managed to come outside holding each other but her father who was into his study room unable to do so.

By this time, the security guard rushed to his home to save his family.

The entire three-storage building collapsed taking her father. The voice of all the three ladies got chocked, the eye lid of all got fixed, they stood still as the aftershock continued to create havoc in many more buildings.

The volunteers, the police officer, the disaster management team did a tremendous job and managed to rescue as many lives as possible by removing the blocks but was unable to find the body of Mr. Bose.

The Day moved to evening and evening to night. Slowly Preety stood up and requested her mother and grandma to stand up and to move to the nearby camp for food and shelter since rain has started falling.

“Life has to go on, life never stops” Preety spoke to herself as they reached the rescue camp. From daddy’s darling to a dejected lonely girl protecting the other two helpless women.

Now, Preety understand the real meaning of life. Now she could realise the pain of Vikash, whose family members spend their lives in search of food and security.

Few pieces of bread, two pouch packets of water and some cloths is what Preety collected from the volunteers present in the camp for that night.

Somehow, their hut managed to stand firm by countering the effects of the shock. Vikash with his sister and mother stood still at the doorstep praying to lord for the safety of their hut but was unable to get inside in a fear of being caught underneath.

 “We will have to get inside mother this small door shade will not protect us from this torrential rainfall.” Vikash uttered holding the hand of his sister tightly and the shade with the other hand.

“You took my husband, broke our land, now what do you want?” his mother softly spoke by looking into the sky where the dark cloud is getting more momentum.

“Do not pray to lord, in front of me, I hate him.” Vikash shouted.

“Why are you shouting like this?” his mother argued, adding, “you have got no right to say all this to lord, do not you know that if he gets angry he will curse you? You are our only hope now my son.”

Vikash looked straight into the eyes of her mother but was unable to figure out whether she is crying or not, since she completely drained in rain.

Again, the aftershock, this time the tremors were much stronger than the previous one. The hostel building has already started breaking down. Almost the entire boy’s hostel collapsed. Virat was among those students who were unable to make out to the main land.

“Goodbye dear Vikash will miss you and will wait for you upstairs. So many topic left to discuss” Virat uttered with a smile, as the big concrete pillar fall in front of him blocking the final hope of escape.

On the other side, the western part of the college building which is the administrative block, tried to stand firm against the series of aftershock but unable to counter the last one. The entire building came down along with the post box that contains the letter of Vikash for Preety. With this, the last hope of communication buried.

It is midnight, the rain still pouring heavily rather gathering momentum with every passing hour. Vikash and his family with great effort managed to get inside the hut but of no use since the wooden roof is about to fall.

Suddenly, Vikash heard a voice, a very familiar voice calling his name. Initially he ignored, but the volume of the voice kept on increasing.

“Mother, can you hear something?” Vikash questioned.

Looking straight into his eyes in fear mother replied, “It is the priest who is calling you in your father tone.”

“No, it is my father who is calling me” Vikash answered.

“My son, where are you? Come fast, release me,” the voice begged.

 “Do not listen to the voice; I am sure it is the priest.” Mother requested to Vikash in fear and pain holding her sister tightly.

“What are you talking about mother? It is the voice of my father, he needs me, he is calling me, and I must go.” Vikash stood up and replied.

“Do not be late my son, nothing will happen to you trust me, it will be a safe journey.” The voice roared.

“You are our only hope, do not leave the hut, your father is dead, please do not go” his mother screamed as Vikash left the hut in this torrential rainfall and started running towards the extreme end of the village, keeping the family member’s unprotected.

“Lord save my child” as she closed her eyes and prayed.

The voice guided Vikash throughout the dark, slippery, water logged saying, “come my son, come close to me”

On this slippery road, Vikash continued to run fast as much as possible. He was about to cross the graveyard, when the voice disappeared.

“Father where are you?” Vikash shouted, adding, “Why your voice stopped guiding me? I cannot hear you any more in this thunder storm, please be loud”.

 He falls into the ground as if someone pushed him from back. Now he got scared. However, keeping his nerve cool he started crawling since he was unable to stand, as the graveyard is very slippery and water logged.

“My son, do not run away, I am very close to you” the voice replied. Adding, “The priest murdered me and stuffed my body just at the entrance of the graveyard, where you are crawling now.”

“You are dead father?” Vikash questioned as he started crying and started brushing his hand throughout the mud road to figure out the exact location of the body.

“Bring me out” the voice said.

Vikash speeded up the process and continued to speak, saying, “How can I found your body in this big graveyard?”

 “Bring me out before the morning sun,” The voice again uttered.

Vikash shouted “My lord please stop raining” and banged his hand in frustration. Surprisingly his hand got deep inside without much effort.

“What happened?” he questioned.

Without wasting any more time he started digging the place with his both hand but alas! The more he digs in, the more the rainwater helping the mud to fill up the space.

The digging continued for quite some time and finally Vikash felt the presence of a body.

He almost cleaned up the mud starting from leg to the head. However, was unable to figure out whether the body belongs to his father or of someone else.

From nowhere a lightning with thunder hit the graveyard and the surroundings and in this light Vikash saw the face of his father but screamed aloud in fear as the eyes were not present and nose chopped off.

“What has happened?” the conductor questioned to Vikash by looking straight into his eyes.

Vikash was speechless for few seconds and the questioned “Where I am now?”

“You are in the bus” the conductor replied.

“Where is the graveyard?” Vikash again questioned.

“I guess you had a bad dream” the conductor replied with a smile, adding, “By the way do not fall asleep again your stoppage is coming within few minutes”.

Vikash looked into his watch and found that it was almost 9p.m.

“You are supposed to call me up after an hour?” Vikash questioned.

“Yes I was, but I found that you felt asleep and started snoring meaning a sound sleep. So, I did not bother you”. The conductor replied.

As the bus stopped in front of his village road, Vikash stepped down saying thank you to the conductor who finally got his seat.

Standing in front of his village road, Vikash looked up into the sky, which was cloudless. With his feat, he hits the ground and found that it was tight.

Taking a deep breath, he called up a rickshaw. Suddenly he turned back as if someone calling him saying,

“The lady always holds ‘the land and the lord’ together.”

Vikash smiled, as ask the rickshaw driver to start the journey.






















Submitted: May 08, 2016

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