Varsha 2019 Issue, Stories - Debjani Mukherjee



Samaritan of Winds

By Debjani Mukherjee


Part 1

The wind was blowing like a disobedient child. Whizzing the dry leaves through the empty road and gently tossing them into the air. The wheels of the bicycle spin hard as Lohit pushed the paddle faster. The wind swirled through his open buttons and tingled the cords of his heart which were occupied with the images of the new girl in the college. As every day Lohit was on his way back to home but today he was a bit late than usual. It was the annual day of the college which kept him occupied for long.


The wind got a bit stronger as the sky started sketching strings of white light every now and then. Lohit looked at his watch it was half-past nine. It will take him yet another 30 minutes to reach home as his home was on the outskirts of the city. The sky rumbled and mumbled as the gusty wind swayed the branches of the trees standing in queues on both sides of the road. He knew it was going to rain soon.


When he reached near the railway crossing he could feel the silky spray of precipitation against his skin. He thanked God to see the gate was open. It will be just another 15 minutes now he thought in his mind exhaling a puff of relief unaware of the fact that this next 15 minute was going to change his life forever.


As he was preceded through the sprawling gale, suddenly a loud scream of a female voice shredded the tranquility of the night. Lohit pulled the break of his bicycle and stopped in the middle of the road. Again! The scream flared up, like a deep slit in the solitude of the silence. The weirdness of the sudden screams made his heart race but he was no coward. A woman was screaming in danger and he was ought to help her. He looked around to find the origin of the screams but could see nothing. The railway crossing was situated in the middle of the fields which were covered with full-grown corn plants.


It was hard to see anything beyond them but after trying little harder, Lohit could detect a faint ray of white LED peeping from the depth of the cornfield. Lohit hesitated for a little but the scream emerged again from the ink of the fields but his time it seemed to be muffled as if someone was trying to clog the woman’s mouth. Lohit instantly decided to follow the sound.


He kept his cycle by the road and followed the faint ray of light through the spread of the tall corn plants. When he reached close enough he could see three men standing around a completely naked girl who was kept pinned on the muddy land of the field by the fourth one. Her mouth was clogged with her own dress and blood was trolling by the edge of her lips. It took him no time to understand what a brutal crime was being performed.


The wind was blowing like a robust drunken giant. Lohit froze in his feet but he knew he had to do something. Anything, that will save that helpless girl from these evil monsters and he had to do it fast. He quickly shifted a little backward and pushed 100 on his phone keyboard. The vigorous blow of wind and the loud sound of the heavy rain made it almost impossible to hear anything clearly. Lohit had no idea whether his words were even received by the opposite side or not he just blindly informed about the crime and the location and cut the line.


In the light of the LED torch which was lying on the bushy floor of the field, Lohit saw another man was approaching to the girl losing the buttons of his pants. Lohit realized he couldn't’t waste another moment and hurled towards them gathering all the courage he had.

“What the hell you people think you are doing”? He shouted viciously to the men.

With this sudden unexpected interference, the men got unstrung for a while. The one who was so far ruthlessly crushing the girl beneath his unholy flesh now got up and came forward to Lohit adjusting his pants to make it sustain in their proper place.


The other one immediately pounced on the girl keeping her restrained under his huge body mass, but he didn't’t start what he was intending to for a long time. He just kept glaring Lohit with his bloodshot eyes as the first one spoke with boiling rage, “Who the hell are you bustard?”


“That’s not important here,” Lohit said in farm voice, “What is important is that you let the girl go”.


“Hey, listen what this son of a bitch is saying, he thinks he is some kind of a hero” the filthy man ridiculed Lohit displaying his sandy teeth. “Get lost from here. We will leave the girl when we will be done with her and if you continue to create the disturbance you end up paying a very high price.”


“What you will do? Haa! Kill me? I have already called the police. They will be here at any moment so it will be better for you to run now and save your ass” Lohit replied with kindling courage.


A sudden wave of tension passed through the man’s face, but in moments he cracked a slimy smile and said “You are lying, you filthy piece of shit. Get lost from here otherwise, I will shoot you.” One of his partners pulled out a gun from his waist and handed it over to him. Pointing it at Lohit he continued “we are no fools you understand? And if you by chance even have called the police, I am sure no one is going to turn up in this night of thunderstorms. So you take your butt out of this place and don’t dare to look back.”

“I am going nowhere” Lohit pronounced with strong authority looking straight to the man’s eye. “Leave the girl otherwise I will click all your pictures and show them to the police.”


The man now got violent he pounced on Lohit like a jackal and started punching his face. Lohit was also ready he clasped the man’s neck and started choking him. The other two who were so far standing and watching joined their boss and started hitting Lohit vigorously. Not able to fight three of them alone Lohit crashed on the ground as the goons kept kicking him hard.


The police siren screamed in distance. The men now got petrified with this sudden entry of police. They didn't’t expect such prompt action in such a stormy night. They tried to flee but Lohit grabbed one of the men’s leg. The men tried hard to escape from Lohit but he was in no mood to let him go. These rotting animals must know they can’t escape the consequences of their crimes. A gun roared through the air jolting the night, a sharp pain spread all over Lohit’s left leg and blood gushed out and spread all over the ground. Lohit realized a bullet had punched through his leg. Before losing his consciousness he saw the men running into the darkness of the cornfield.


Part 2


When he regained his consciousness in the hospital his mother was standing by him placing a hand on his forehead. Her eyes were red with an uninterrupted flow of tears. Lohit looked at her and smiled “why are you crying Maa? See I am ok. I am just.....” his words got interrupted in his mouth as to his horror he realized he had lost his left leg.


“Maa!” A cry came from his mouth as he looked at his mother in disbelief. “I am here son. I always will be and I want you to know I am extremely proud of you. ” his mother replied holding him tight inside her arms. Lohit broke into tears in extreme mental agony. He sank into deep murk of desolation as he realized life will never be the same from this point.


Days kept flowing like a pointless burble of some deranged soul. It had been almost a month now that Lohit was lying on this bed. A grey veil of dejection engulfed him completely under its spell. People came and people went without leaving any significant mark. Reporters, friends, and relatives all babbling words with no sound moving in and out like faceless shadows making him more tired than ever.


Like any other day in this dead place, that day also Lohit was gazing at the branches of the Gulmohar tree outside the hospital window, as a sadness kept crawling over his heart ceaselessly like a ghoulish arachnid. “What if he would have never stopped? What if he would have pretended not to notice the scream? What if the thunder would have made him deaf for a while?” Life could have been different for him then. Instead of rotting in a hospital bed he could have been enjoying with his friends. Could have been kicking on a football or dancing in a disc. He could have been doing anything rather than losing his leg and getting applauded from the friends and family who will never give a shit about him in the future, and all these agony and pain for what? The girl had been already raped before he even arrived on the spot. So at the end of the day, he was not even a savior. He lost his leg for nothing, nothing at all and now a long ruthless life was awaiting him ahead just because he was foolish enough to follow the call of his conscience.


Yes his heart cried for the girl, seeing her begging to those soulless monsters helplessly without a thread on her body. Yes his blood boiled witnessing the poor soul covered in dirt and getting brutally assaulted and there was no way he could have abandoned her and refrain himself from rescuing her from that living hell. He couldn’t just walkway turning his eyes blind, not even for all the death threats in the world. Not, for having the urges to act God or something but to act just like a human. But now lying on this dam bed he thought was it worth losing a part on his body for that? He knew if he would have left the place that time hiding beneath a coward skin, the girl had to go through even more inhuman torture for the rest of the night and who knows may she would have ended dead by the next morning. But beyond all those logics, it is his life now which will have to go through endless suffering for the rest of his life.


Hearing a knock on the door Lohit turned his head. A girl was standing there with a hesitant approach. Another reporter! Lohit thought in annoyance. He was sick of answering the same questions again and again. “Did you know the men who were raping the girl? What were you doing there so late? Did you know the girl?” BlaBlaBla, disgusting!


“Can’t answer any questions now, please leave me alone” Lohit said with a sour tone.


“I am not a reporter,” she said in a fragile voice. “I am Gayatri, you saved me that night.” Her eyes loitered the floor. I, I came here to thank you” she fumbled in her words.


Gayatri! Yes, Lohit read the name in the paper. That night in the dark he couldn’t see her face properly so he couldn’t recognize her but now he could. “Please Come in,” he said politely. He felt embarrassed for mistaking her for a reporter.


“I am awfully sorry for earlier” he apologized. “Actually these dam reporters always keep skulking here so I just ... please don’t mind” he tried to manage his mistake.


“It’s ok, I understand your frustration as I am also going through the same” Gayatri muttered in genuine agony. “They keep repeating the same questions making me experience that evil night over and over.” She said as her voice almost choked out of anguish.


“Forget it,” Lohit said “it is good to see you recovered” he tried to change the subject.


“Ya, you can say so. But the recovery is only for the physical wounds the mental wounds are to be a part of mine now forever” Gayatri said exhaling deeply. “But when I think about your loss my pain doubles” she continued. “I am deeply sorry for your lose Lohit. I wish I could donate my leg to you. What you did for me no one else would have done. You are the reason that I am sitting here today otherwise I would have ended up dead in some gutter.” Gayatri said as tears rolled down her soft snowy cheeks drop by drop.


Lohit felt a wrench inside his heart, he could exactly feel the pain which Gayatri was going through as he was the only one who witnessed the humiliation the helplessness of this poor girl that night.


“Please try to forget about what happened that cursed night. Life is ahead of you not behind. I know it is not easy but you have to try” Lohit said with all the empathy of his heart trying to comfort Gayatri a little, though he knew the wounds were too deep to be comforted so easily. Gayatri looked at him with eyes which were saying a thousand words in silence.


“You lost your legs for me Lohit, I can never get over this guilt. But I thank God a thousand times a day for sending you there that night. You are no less than an angel to me and I can never ever forget the way you stood in front those monsters and fought for me. It is because of you that the police could catch those goons as they couldn’t run further. The mere thought of them rotting behind the bars comforts me more than anything in this world but yes the price, you paid for that is just not acceptable” Gayatri said with voice trembling with pain as tears kept gushing out through her big brown eyes.


Lohit noticed the milk-white skin of her face turned red. “Don’t worry about me Gayatri” he said softly “I will learn to survive” he said though he couldn’t believe he was saying such a positive thing. Since the day he woke up on this hospital bed just to discover the dreadful fact that a part of him was gone forever not a single streak of positivity could penetrate his mind but today the mere thought of comforting this girl made him utter these words and now when he was thinking about it he was really starting to believe it. He realized sometimes the urge to helping someone can even make you forget your pain and look through life with positivity. It couldn’t be so hard he thought in his mind there are many who leads a normal life with an artificial limb, he too can if he tries, he thought in himself.


“You know Lohit you are the bravest person I have ever met,” said Gayatri. “The way stood up for an unknown person and risked your life was beyond any imagination. Otherwise, people are mostly busy find faults in you even if you are the victim. I can never repay you, you know for what you did for me. Not even with my life”, she murmured looking down to the ground.


The amber glow of the departing sun fell on Gayatri face, a gentle breeze blew through the window and scattered her hair. Lohit thought how someone can even think of vandalizing such a pure creation of God!


He said “Gayatri it was not your fault. So stop blaming yourself. I know those monsters changed our lives forever but now we have to fight against it. And one very important thing you must know is, what I did, I did it was for me not for you. If I would have left that day without answering your cry for help I could have never ever been able to face myself in the mirror again. So no need to think all these nonsense, just go ahead and embrace your life with open arms. Some day time will heal everything, for you and for me too.

Gayatri looked at him with watery eyes. The boy lost everything just because of her and even now he is trying to comfort her wounds. God creates few people in this world who are really human others are just sadistic replicas.


She looked at Lohit and said “can we be friends? I really, I need someone like you in my life”.


Lohit looked back and smiled this was his first smile in days.




Debjani Mukherjee is an MBA in applied management and a passionate writer and had been published in magazines like Setu Mag, Different Truths, Stag Hill Literary journal. She won the summer contest 2018 of Academy Of Heart And Mind and also won the Bharat Award for literature international of Poiesis Online.


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