INTO THE PAST WITH PAIN....XXXXVII
Prof Dr Colonel K Prabhakar Rao ( Retired)
( Gandhi, Nehru and Patel are seen in the locality Bholakpur of city of Hyderabad roaming aimlessly on streets. They are tired in the severe summer heat)
Gandhi. Patel. I feel tired and thirsty too. Can not walk further unless I have some water. Please find out a public water tap.
Patel. Shall I get a sealed water bottle from a shop?
Gandhi. No…no… not required. Ours is a poor country and we are for common people. Search a public tap.
Patel. OK Bapu! As you wish.
( Patel goes around and finds a water tap fixed to a broken and dirty cement block at a corner of the street. He goes and informs Gandhi. All of them reach the tap)
Nehru. (Looking at the surroundings).eee…eee… chee..chee.. so dirty area! Couldn’t you find a better one around? Look. This area is full of pigs and infact these dirty animals are squatting near the tap. There is so much of slush. Children have passed stools very close to the tap. How can we be here?
Gandhi. Relax Jawahar. Have you forgotten the past days when we cleaned public toilets in the country. Ours is a poor country and has not changed much after gaining independence. Filth is the national pride.
Patel. To remain backward is India’s birth right.
Gandhi. That is Ok. Let me drink some water
( He goes to the tap slowly stepping on small stones and opens the tap. Some water gushes out with spurts of air and Gandhi puts his hand and drinks directly from tap. He hardly gulps some water when suddenly a small snake comes out of the tap along with water and enters Gandhis mouth)
Gandhi. Eee…eeee… aa.. snake…snake
( Gandhi spits snake and water too and Patel picks up a stone and kills the small helpless snake. In the mean time there is a commotion in the area. There is a wailing from a nearby house. People gather infront of the house)
Gandhi. Look Jawahar. Go and find out what is the matter.
( Nehru and Patel go to the house and enquire)
Patel. Oh Bhai. What is the matter? Why some one is wailing
On looker. Bhai. People of this are drink water from this tap in front of this house. Some people fell sick after drinking water last night. A boy from this house is serious. He is unlikely to survive. His parents are crying.
( Patel and Nehru rush out and go to Gandhi)
Patel. Bapu. What you have done?
Gandhi. What is the matter? Why are you alarmed?
Nehru. Bapu. You should not have drunk water from this tap. People who drank water here are on death bed.
Gandhi. Eee…. Aaa.. Is it so dangerous. I never knew. Now what can we do? Water has already gone in to my Stomach.
Patel. Let us run to some hospital immediately
Gandhi. Patel I a feeling a bit upset. I think the water has started affecting me. I am getting sensation of great pain in my stomach. I also want to ease my self.
Nehru. Where is the place here? There is no public toilet here.( Looks around)
Bapu. Hood heavens. There is a dust bin there. You go behind that stuff
( Gandhi runs there and returns after few minutes greatly relieved)
Gandhi. Ohf. What a shitty place? I had it. ( Sings)
What a place this is?
So shitty and with filth and dirt!
India has not changed an inch till date
And seeing all this I am greatly hurt
If you want to see India in real
Look not at skyscrapers in down town in city
Come to this shitty spot on foot Oh guys
And I am sure you would feel great pity
Patel. Very well sung sir. That was great piece indeed.
(In the mean time an ambulance arrives blowing siren with breakneck speed and halts with a screech. It stops in a pool of dirty water infront of house and entire water is splashed on all the people standing there. Some helpers and nursing assistants get down from the vehicle and go into the house and bring a boy on a stretcher and load him in the van. The driver hops in to the van and tries to drive out. The vehicle does not move)
Patel . Hey. Look. The rear wheel is punctured. There is no air in the tire
Driver. (Looking at the wheel through window)Oh Bloody shit.
( He gets down and lazily brings down the spare wheel from the bracket only to find it punctured too).
Driver ( Looking at the cleaner of the vehicle) Bloody fellow. Didn’t you check the spare wheel in the morning?
Cleaner. It is not my duty. Who are you to ask me? I am here only to clean the vehicle.
(Driver rushes at the cleaner and slaps him hard and the cleaner retaliates with a hard punch on the face of the driver. Both start exchanging blows when other interfere and disengage them. In the mean time some one gets an auto three wheeler and transfers the patient to the auto and it drives off to a government hospital.)
Gandhi. What type of people are these. Are the ambulance men or some ruffians. Look Patel. How they fight. I am getting sick looking at these guys.
Patel. Bapu. Relax. You just can not do any thing. These guys are out of control and there is none to discipline them. Bapu. The patient would be lucky if there is a doctor at the emergency ward where he has gone and there some medicines too.
Nehru. I hope there would be some thing.
( In the mean time a water tanker arrives at the scene with many children running behind it. Water is leaking heavily from its rear delivery valve and pipe is also dangling from rear dragging on the ground through the dirty water pools on the road. The driver jumps out of the tanker and yells.. Tanker has come)
Nehru. Why he is shouting? Every one can see that tanker has come
Patel. Eee… hi… hii.. haa..haa
( In the mean time hundreds of people arrive with pots, jars and crows around the tanker demanding water. )
Driver. Hey! If you do like this I shall go back. Stand in cueue.
( Most of them stand in a line while others try to make a parallel line pushing others and driver delivers water to the people one after the other. There is some confusion and pushing in lines.. Suddenly water is exhausted and not even half the people fill up their jars. They shout..oh…ohh)
Driver. Come on guys. Water is over. Another tanker has to come. This tanker had little water.Now I have to go back.( the cowd getrs restless and shouts Oh…. Down with municipal water supply…ohhh…ohh)
Gandhi. What a fun indeed. Governmenet can not even give drinking water the the people. Such government has no right to s stay in position. Patel . I shall go on fast up to death for fall of the government. Please arrange a tent here itself.
( Patel quickly cleans a place under a near by tree and makes a neat place for Gandhi. From a nearby shop he gets a garland and places it in the neck of bapu and makes his sit under the tree. Few street dogs close by also squat under the tree near Gandhi while Nehru tries to shoe them away)
Gandhi. Jaahar. Plesae do not drive them away. They are innocent and helpless. They are not like elected leaders in India who are just bad and are faithless towards all.
Patel. Gandhiji ki jai.. Here goes Bapu on fast.. Down with the government and municipality. Water works. Greater Hyderabad.
(All the people around gather near the tree and cheer up Gandhi. They shout down with every one. We want water and we want cleanliness. Some people do jig in front of the tree. In the mean time a local leader arrives along with his coterie. He goes to Gandhi)
Leader. Oh Bhai. Who are you? You do not belong to this ward. Why are you adding problems to us? Please go away.
Gandhi. I belong to every one in the country. I am Bapu. Great Bapu. Can’t you recognize me?
Leader. How do I know you. You appear to be some crank. Why are you dressed up like Gandhi? This is not the place for you. Stand near Tank bund. People give you some coins there.
Gandhi. Come on. Behave. I am real Gandhi.
Leader. Ok.. O.k.. You appear to be a mad guy. Why do you sit on fast? We are there to solve people’s problems? Go away.
Gandhi. Unless peoples problems are solved.
Leader. Do you think the problems can be solved just like that?
( He picks up his moble phone and calls police personnel)
Leader. Hello Inspector Sahib. This is Chunnu mia. Local dada and MLA from here. There is some guy sitting on fast here and soon this will turn into law and order problem. He calls himself Gandhi. They are other two guys dressed like Nehru and Patel. Come soon. The local dada Zalim thug is also with me along with some goondas too. We can be of some help top you if you need as usual.
Inspector ( Over phone) I am just coming with some force. Do not worry
( In the mean time, all people along with Gandhi start singing ramdhun while the ruffians around gather and do jig singing)
We are the bad guys of this place
And none shall have any solace
We shall make lives miserable to all
While with drinks and chicken we have great ball
We carry knives and gun
Ready to stab any one like bread and bun
Be ready for mayhem and arson
Have you heard the words oh son!
( With a shrieking siren a police jeep arrives and a dozen police men with rifles and lathis jump out along with an Inspector and sub Inspector. The Inspector goes to the MLA and salutes him)
Inspector. Good morning sir. Who is the character looking like Gandhi?
MLA. He claims to be Gandhi, the outdaed Bapu the father of nation
Inspector. Haa…haaa..haa…heee.. nut case
( He goes to Gandhi and kicks a brick at him.
Inspector. Hey. Come on get up and pack up from here. Do you think you can get away doing fasting here?
Nehru. Look Inspector. Plesae do not be vulgar. He is protesting against inability of government in protecting peoples health. See How dirty this area is? There is no proper drinking water
Inspector. So what? There are thousands of places like this in this city itself. Can you do fasting at all these places? Look Gandhi. Oh name sake one!. Your days of fasting are over. We are different from English police men. I shall chew your bones.
Sub Inspector( Looking at Inspector) Sir shall we do lathi charge on these guys. Give us orders. We shall teach them a lesson. We shall break their bones. Ha…aaa. ) Some constables threateningly swing their lathis in air)
Inspector. Wait. That option is always there with us.( looks at a constable). Come on get me some water to drink. I am feeling thirsty.
(Constable goes to a near by house and gets a bottle of water and Inspector drinks from the bottle)
Inspector. Yeah. I am greatly relieved. It is very hot now.
MLA. True. How about these guys? Just now, I got a call from minister of health that we should dismantle this hunger strike camp.
Inspector. It takes few more minutes for me. These men are mere flies. Come on Constables! Throw out all the arrangements of the camp. Pull out that Gandhi looking guy. Give him our piece of treatment soon. There are other two guys with him. Do not spare them. They are the real ring leaders. They claim to be Patel and Nehru.
( The constables go to the camp of Gandhi and pull him out of the place. They threaten Patel and Nehru. This annoys the trio)
Patel. Inspector. Better watch out. You are exceeding limits. You do not know us.
Sub Inspector. Are you threatening us, the police men of this state. I shall chew your..ba…
Inspector. How dare you challenge us. I shall show you what we are ?
Gandhi ( Gets up from his seat) Now you guys need no mercy. ( sings)
You have sinned a lot
Oh the Inspector the crack pot
I shall show you what we are
You have to soon have a face of tar
You guys put on the dress
And completely make a mess
You toe the line of these goon
Soon I shall send o the distant moon
(Gandhi shakes with anger while the Inspector and constables after hearing the poem shout violently and rush at Gandhi..)
Gandhi twists the hand like Mandrake the magician loking at the constables and they are thrown out to a distance of twenty feet and all of them fall pell mell in a dirty pooul of water on the road. They break their limbs and shout..ammmaa..ayyya…bacho. ..nayanna…Wayyo…wammoo
MLA. Eee..eeee.. these guys appear to be some magicians and dangerous.. runn,,,run,,,run away from here before news guys arrive.
( Gandhi and Nehru and Patel laugh loudly and walk off from the place singing Ramdhun)