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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
a story about plight of an Indian peasant and how he depend on Monsoon.

Submitted: July 06, 2016

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Submitted: July 06, 2016



Ramnath was gazing at the sky with hope. In spite of arrival of monsoon there were no sigh of rain. It was a hot and damp noon of a day of first week of the month July. There was no sign of rain. Ramnath was a poor peasant of a village. He like other peasants of the village had sown the seeds in his field after the first a few rainfall of monsoon. After arrival on time the monsoon became weak. It was feared to be failed.

His wife Parvati called him from inside the home, “come in. Take your lunch.”

Hearing the call from his wife he went inside his home. In kitchen his wife was waiting for him. As he entered the kitchen, she said, “Look, today I cooked your favourite fish curry.”

He asked with curiosity, “Where you got this fish from?”

“Raju caught it from the pond.”

“Where is he?” enquired Ramnath.

“He is in school. His school has opened.” She replied.

He finished lunch without talking anything more to his wife. He was anxious about future of his family. He lay on the bed for taking a nap but he could not sleep due to worry. He was worried over what would happen to him and his family if monsoon fails and how would he pay the loan taken from the moneylender.

He had many plans and dreams. He could not complete the college education. He had to leave the education due to poverty but he wanted his son to get higher education and to get a good job. His other dream was buying a bike. Repairing the house, buying some home appliances etc all needed money. All his dreams and plans were depended on normal monsoon. The biggest problem was to pay the loan.

Being unable to take a nap, he left his bed, put on dress and was going out of the home.

“Where are you going?” watching him going out his wife enquired.

 “Field” he gave a very short answer to his wife and went out. He reached to his field and looked down at soil. The soil was demanding water. He peeped into the well in the field. The level of water had fallen down deep. He tried to calculate how many days the water of the well would provide for.  He looked at the sky with hope and found no cloud. Both the well and the sky have no water for his fields.

Being frustrate, he returned from the field. On the way to home he came across with his friend Govind who was a barber by profession. After his family he trusted most on Govind. Instead of going home, he and Govind went straight to liqueur shop and bought cheapest liqueur and drank it to forget their worries for some time.

Next day his wife told him about the prayer being organised by the priest of the village to pray the deities for the rain. She was going to take part in the prayer. She asked him to come with her. Although he was unwilling, he went with her to temple to take part in prayer. In temple after prayer, a bull was sacrificed to deities to make them happy. Ramnath was feeling himself discomfort over the sacrifice; he did not believe in such superstitions.  After prayer they returned home. Raju had already returned from the school. He asked them eagerly “where did you go?”

Parvati answered, “We went temple for prayer for rain.”

Raju asked, “Will the prayer work?”

Parvati was a religious lady. She got annoyed at his question but she replied him with peace, “why not. God will listen to all.”

Raju was disagreed with her but he said nothing. Ramnath changed the topic of conversation by saying, “Raju what about your studies.”

Raju replied, “I am studying well.”

Ramnath said, “Concentrate on study. Try to get goods marks in each subject. I donot want you to become a peasant like me. There is no life in farming. We peasants have to looking at the sky always whether it rain or it not rain.”

Raju was not good at studies. He remained silent at this. 

In evening Krishna came to meet him. Krishna was a poor peasant, who had to sell his two oxen last year to pay the loan taken from moneylender. Devouring the tea served by Parvati he said, “I don’t know what I will do if monsoon fails this year too.”

Ramnath looked at him with sympathy. He was anxious about rain. Ramnath had nothing to say to him about rain. “This year too I took loan from that moneylender.”

 “From that bastard Gopalprasad..........” Ramnath said with bitterness.

“Nobody except him was ready to give me loan.” Krishna said with bitterness.

Remaining silent for a while Ramnath said, “I too am trapped in the net of debt.”

 Both of them became silent thinking about something. After a few moments he said to Krishna, “What about your family? How is your son? Is he cured of fevar?”

“He is fine now.” replied Krishna.

Both of them have nothing to do except waiting for rain and talking about other people of village. They passed their evening in this way.  

Ramnath passed sleepless night thinking about his economical condition. From paying of bank loan to buying books and stationary for Raju all was depend on the success of monsoon. His economic condition was not such that he could face another crop failure. He was now considering other options for earning his bread and butter.

In this way days were passing and there was a little rainfall which was insufficient to quench the thirst of soil and the People. The Government declared draught in that village and the adjacent area. People began to leave the village in search of labour. Animal were dying from thirst.

One night when Ramnath was going to sleep after taking dinner, Krishna came to him. Ramnath asked him, “Is all well? What made you came to me late night? Is anything serious?”

Krisha replied, “Nothing is serious. I came just to meet you. Tomorrow early morning I am going to city where I will work in a factory as a labourer.”

Ramnath looked at him with many questions in his eyes. Krishna went on “As you know I have taken a loan from moneylender and now crop failure due to drought forced me to find another source of income so that I can pay loan.”

Krishna departed with him with heavy heart.

Next day he went to his field, all the crop had been shrivelled with the lack of water. Watching the plight of his field his eyes filled with tears. He sat on the land watching his fields for a long time. He was desperate. Once again he had fall victim to uncertainty of monsoon. there is no chance to save the crop.

Government declared to give compensation for the loss of crops due to monsoon failure but nobody knew how, when and where the compensation will be given.  Few of peasants would get insufficient compensation.  Last year he managed to get a little amount as a compensation which was insufficient to meet his loss. This time the price of this management hiked for clerks and officers increased their share in the money of compensation.

Next day he bought a newspaper form the village’s shop. He got surprised by reading the news of flood in many cities. Several rivers were overflowing. It seemed to him a cruel joke to poor people by the nature; there were floods in some places whereas there was drought in some other places. There were a few places where the monsoon was normal. He thought how much happy would be the peasants of such places where monsoon is normal.

The drought shattered all his plans. He was unhappy at this but draught, crop failure and flood were not a new thing to him. He had been facing these problems from his childhood. He had to wait as ever before for the time when his dreams would come true. He didn’t know when this time will come.

That evening he and Govind bought liqueur and reached his field where they drank. After drinking too much liqueur, Ramnath lay on the land and began to cry and wept for hours. Nobody was there to stop him. After weeping over his shattered drams, he reached home late night. The home was shrouded with darkness. He knocked at the door. His wife opened the door. His wife understood him well. She said nothing to him and went to another room to sleep. He fell down on the floor. He was still sobbing with sorrow. In another room his wife Parvati was weeping lying on the floor. After weeping for a long time they fell asleep with their broken dreams.  Nobody knows when the morning will come in their life.












© Copyright 2019 Sumit Kumar Arora. All rights reserved.

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