INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN..XXXXV
Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao (Retired)
( Gandhi, Nehru and Patel are seen walking on a road near Kurnool town in Andhra Pradesh about two hundred and eighty KM from Hyderabad city. They are singing Ramdhun Raghupati raaghava raja raam… pattethapavana seethe raam…..bolo…. while walking on the road. At a distance, they see a large crowd on the road.)
Gandhi. Look Jawaharlal! What could be the reason for such a large crowd there?
Nehru. What can it be? Some guy must be distributing money and or liquor bottles to the people. This is election season you know. Money and booze are most popular in Andhra Pradesh..
Patel. Absolutely true. Punditji. Some time you tend to speak correctly. I must admit truth. Hee…heee
Nehru. Come on Patel. Please do not joke. I always speak correctly. I am serious.
Patel. Jawahar sahib. Your saying does not mean any thing to me.
Gandhi. Look guys . Please do not squabble. Go and find what is all about there.
( Patel and Nehru in quick steps go to the crowd and look. They are at the edge of the road and huge bridge being built over a canal is found fallen into the waters. They quickly return to Gandhi running. )
Nehru. Bapu. Huge bridge under construction has collapsed into the canal and there is utter chaos there. Some guys surely have died under the debris.
Gandhi. Let us run. They may need our help.
Patel. (Gasping) Bapu. There are hundreds of guys and some cranes have already come with some police men and welders and gas cutters. Any how, let us go there. You would feel satisfied. Otherwise you would be restless and will not allow us to be in peace.
Gandhi. ( Looking annoyed) Are you so vexed up with me? Let us go.
( The three guys go to the crowd and mingle with them )
Gandhi.( Looking at one of the guys in the crowd) Oh Bahia. How this has happened? Any idea?
On looker. I do not know. I just came now. May be some terrorist action. Any how my name is not Bahia. I am Yadgiri.
Nehru. It is a very popular name in Telangana region. It could be so as you said. Now all are appearing as terrorist actions in India. If there are no rains, soon it would be attributed to terrorists. If cows do not give milk it would be also due to terrorist action. If fowls do not lay eggs in India again it would be a terrorist plan against us. Finally if we do not have free bowels it is also due to terrorist action. If we have constipation it is also due to terrorists.
Gandhi. Will terrorists take small actions like causing a bridge to collapse at a insignificant place like Kurnool town? If it is Howrah Bridge I can understand. If it is rail cum road bridge at Rajahmundry in coastal Andhra I can understand.Even bridge on Brahmaputra near Gauhati is good target for them.
( In the meantime, a pot bellied police Inspector comes that way controlling the crowd wielding a cane and chewing pawn)
Inspector. Come on guys. Go away from this place. Do not crowd around. It is affecting the rescue actions. Please listen to me…..Can’t you listen.. You sons of a ..B…
Gandhi. Inspector. Cool down. Why do you use foul language? Do you think this is a terrorist action?
Inspector. Who told you so? Why are you spreading rumors? Does every thing appear to be terrorist action? This bridge just collapsed due to careless building activity by the contractor.
Gandhi . How do you know? Are you an engineer? How sad? ( Sings)
What type of government is there in this state?
People of this state are stuck in a sad fate
Builders plan murky and shittiest games
These are as dirty as English river Thames.
Engineers and builders are in hand in glove
From outside they appear simple as a dove
They eat away tons of public money
That they however lustily lick as sweet honey
Patel. Well said Bapu
Nehru. What is so big in this? Corruption is very common in India.
Patel. True. It would appeal to you like that only. You ruled for 16 years. You know better. You very well know Mundra affair of your times.
Gandhi. ( Holds his head) Ohfo. Let us go and help the rescue teams.
Inspector. Please do not go there. You are already very old. You may get stuck under girders. Already many are trapped under fallen iron girders. Do not add to their figures and our problems. Any how you guys appear familiar. Who are you?...( Scratches his head) Yeah. Now I remember. You are dressed like Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. I saw your photos in school books.
Gandhi. Why books? There are some statues of us in this state and also in Hyderabad.
Inspector. Who looks at them now? Now all are after some thing else. Other statues are more popular. You know it better. Who wants Gandhi, Nehru and Patel now.
Gandhi. Yeah. I understood. You said we are dressed like some one. Not dressed like them. We are actually they. We are real. They are we and we are them. We are real Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. ( Sings)
Look oh Inspector of Police
You appear to be a mere novice
We are they you know
What you think definitely we are no
They are we as we said
We are they Oh dear block head
Know that we are they
Look at us and then pray
Inspector. Oh No! What a confusion and language and poems too! Can’t follow single word. ( Pulls his hair in disgust and cries in despair)
Nehru. Why cry like this? Any how, OK Thanks for advice. I am wonder struck how such large iron frames fell down. Why contractor did not take safety precautions? What are the government supervisors doing if the contractor was not taking safety precautions?
Patel. You know. The state government people act only after some thing happens. Remember collapse of Panjagutta fly over under construction at Hyderabad.
Gandhi. What happened there?
Patel. The fly over fell down while being built. As usual some enquiry was made and all is quiet. Dead men are happy in heavens and the culprits are happy at homes. Some pseudo experts from a local university made some enquiry and probably gave some report and all is over. ..hee…heee..hee
( Does some jig holding Gandhi’s stick while singing)
You know bapu all this is a murky shit
We have to at these acts only spit
Tons of money change hand
All the guys play the contractors band
Quality is very low
However their faces glow
Their pockets are however full of notes
And they spend their service in corruption boats
Gandhi. Haa…haaa…haa (Looking at Nehru) Jawaharlal. Why are you not laughing?
Nehru. What is there to laugh?
Patel. Every thing is there. The engineers, supervisors and contractors are hand in glove and such calamities have become regular affair in Andhra Pradesh. Look at the large girders that fell down. They are completely crushed showing the poor quality of work.
Nehru. We have to wait for the enquiry report to comment.
Gandhi. You keep waiting for it. That would never come in time and in true spirits. Culprits would be protected as big fish would be involved. This is a murky game. There have been many incidents in past. Was any one punished? None.
Inspector. Come on guys. Enough now. Please go away.
Gandhi. Why are you getting irked up and troubled? Are we doing any thing illegal? We are only watching and are discussing among ourselves.
Inspector. But you are trying to spread unhappiness among others. Some of your comments are also against government.
Gandhi. Look Inspector. Truth has to come out. We are not blaming any one by name or individual.
Inspector. You guys appear to be some trouble makers. You said. You are real Gandhi, Nehru and Patel. You were dead long ago. Should I believe that you guys have come back from your graves? Are you not tricksters? Why are you holding such a long stick?
Gnadhi. You shall not understand this. We have divine bodies. Come and touch us.
Inspector. Why touch? I shall catch you, crush you and twist you , make you into pulp and put under preventive custody. You shall remember me for rest of the life. My name is Papala Bhairava Naidu. I am a terror to criminals from police force.
Nehru. We are not criminals. Any how that you can not do.
Inspector. Hee..heee.. Keep looking till I catch you.( He rushes at Gandhi and try to fall on him. But he falls flat on the ground as a heap as Gandhi has no physical body. He breaks couple of his teeth and cuts his tongue. His nose is crushed. His knees are badly bruised.)
Patel. Hee….heee..hoo..hoo. haa…haa… …ow..ow..
Inspector. Do not laugh in that way. I am not finished. Take care. You….
(He struggles on to his feet and now gives a hard blow with fist to Patel. Patel stands in front of a huge boulder and Inspector smashes his fist over the boulder in turn and all his fingers are fractured. He yells in pain and in desperation now falls on Nehru who is sitting on the edge of a culvert. Inspector falls over the culvert wall and falls down into the deep canal under the culvert. He can not get up now as he has broken all his limbs. His heavy body and belly make him appear like a sack of corn thrown down the culvert)
Inspector….aaa…aaa..eeee…eee.. ammma..ayyya.. margaya.. bachao…
Gandhi. ( Looking down the culvert) Look Inspector! Next time do not be a tyrant. Better behave. You are there for welfare of people.( Looking at Nehru) Jawaharlal.. We had enough fun to day. Shall we go?
Nehru. Ok Bapu.. Let us go. How about that guy lying down the culvert?
Patel. Do not worry. Some one will take care of him. That is good for the day. I learnt that the site engineer is dead in this tragedy. His body has been taken out just now.
Gandhi. So sorry. What he can do? He must be working for the contractor. Was there any government supervisor involved in the tragedy? Obviously not. They will be safely at some other place. Let us go.
( Inspector lying down under the culvert gains consciousness and with great difficulty take out his cell phone and rings up his headquarters)
Inspector.( In feeble voice) Sir . This is Naidu. I am very badly injured in a terrorist attack at the bridge. They were actually hiding here after blowing the bridge under construction. I am unable to move even. All my limbs are fractured. Sir ! Please send some help.
Inspector General. Oh Naidu. I am sorry to hear. I am sending help. Keep holding till they come. Well done my boy. Police needs brave people like you. Never mind the terrorists escaped. You made efforts from your side. That is exactly required from you. I have already recommended your name for Ashok Chakra for bravery against enemy in peace time over phone and FAX to Delhi. They have awarded Ashok Chakra to you. Well done my son. We are proud of you
Inspector. Thank you sir. I am obliged. But I do not think I shall be able to walk ever. Eee…eeee..aa…
IG. Please do not cry Naidu. You shall be all right.
( Inspector Naidu keeps lying moaning while the trio hold hands and slowly walk into distance while the relatives of the dead wail in distance. Gandhi wipes his eyes)
DR K Prabhakar Rao