It was the month of May and the sun was burning like a furnace. The school’s were switched off and I had a long period of time to spend my vacation exile along with my parents. Being a member of a bourgeois family I don’t have expensive gadgets that could bring comfort and enjoyment both at my finger tips. The oppressive weather condition accompanied with the growing boredom bound us to migrate to our grandpa’s village.
An old man with a long white beard and wearing loose fittings clothes was my grandpa. In the whole village he was famous for his audacious and impudent look, but that was necessary to keep the family reputation. Mukesh, a simple, robust, lambent in studies and much devoted towards his parents was my friend and also my neighbour there. His father worked as a rickshaw-puller and was also employed part-time in a bakery but was not lucky enough to pay even the mandatory needs of his family.
Like every year an annual fair was organised in our village which goes for two weeks or perhaps three. Mukesh and I after accumulating our pennies went for the fair. There we enjoyed the fair much and when the day was near capsizing; our assets were looted by the merchant’s and it was the time to return home my eyes were sparkled by a glossy, luminous air gun which I would have purchased in the next few seconds but the expenses were really extravagant.
Due to lack of resources we just scrutinise the gun and hand over to its owner but I had to purchase it at any cost. At home I tried several times to persuade the family members but no one was ready to give me that much amount of money for such a project and even my parents ignored my dilemma.
On the next day while we were gossiping Mukesh’s father came and cede his monthly earnings to his mother which includes Mukesh school’s fee, landlords credit and the other family expenses but for me it was the escalator towards my dream gadget. After that I return back home but my psyche was wandering around the savings and in the afternoon I did the most inferior act of my life, I stole ………
From that money I procure the air gun and take it home unaware of the adversity following me. On investigation at home I told that it belongs to my friend but I was warned to return it immediately. And while in the evening when I found the situation growing rebellious and getting no way out I smashed the air gun and dump it all secretly. In the whole night I didn’t took a single nap, cursing my misfortune and deaf of the tragedy awaiting for me on the next morning.
I could never forget that awful day, when I went Mukesh home and what I saw that bowled my consciousness. Mukesh and his mother were weeping like mad fellows on his father’s corpse that was swathed with a white shroud. Due to the incident Mukesh mother shell-shocked and became unconscious and when she woke up she turned choleric. In this way the whole burden came on Mukesh head and this was the tragic end of his school life.
The rug swept out from under my feet when I came to know that Mukesh father died due to a sudden cardiac attest when he was informed about the robbery. When this fact came in my knowledge I silently went from there because those who murder can’t wipe the blood stain perfectly.
Today after 17 years, I run a rice mill and Mukesh work as a labourer in my factory to arrange his daily meals. From the last 17 years everyday I determine to disclose the mystery but I fail; I am afraid of him to tell the truth of which he is unaware for the last two decades. I panic, that how Mukesh will react on the situation and our friendship will be ruined. Now I have nothing to say except to feel guilty …………