(Tales From Paharpur : Story 2, Part 2. BlogchatterA2Z challenge Day 6)
After High School, the few who wanted to continue studies had to pedal ten miles to the college in our nearby small town Rajnagar. Coincidentally, my father who was a driver in the state transport services, got allotted with official quarters in Rajnagar by the time I finished High School. My family shifted to Rajnagar. I lost touch with the gang and subsequently the gang dismantled. Whenever I spent time in the village during long vacations, I used to see Prakash. But it was only a courtesy call.
But after my Intermediate, we were back in the village. My father had retired. Of course I continued my studies, cycling the ten miles, sometimes alone, sometimes with the other few. Once again I became close to Prakash. On holidays, on his request, I got him seated on my cycle back seat and took him around the village, near the pond, to the mango groves at the foot of the hills and to the village across the river to a tantric. By this time he was barely able to walk.
Prakash discontinued his studies after High School. But, he had become a kind of a village physician and a soothsayer. His father was a retrenched employee of a Public Sector Employee. He went to court and subsequently won the case. As a result he got huge amounts in compensation. That was how his house became the first pucca house with a cemented roof in our village.
One day I asked Prakash, “Why can’t you do something for your own legs. You claim that so many people have been benefited by your prescriptions”
“I know the remedy. That book has prescriptions even for bringing the dead to life. It is only about perfect execution and fulfilling all conditions.”
“So, those conditions must be as impossible as bringing back the dead”, I said sarcastically.
But he was cool and he said, “Do you want to know the prescription for my legs. It needs human sacrifice. Human… yes …. human.”
“Is it not unfair? A whole human being for a pair of legs?”
“You are no one to judge the prescriptions of that sacred book. Look, it is like this. There are certain types of high quality human souls. One hundred ordinary lives are worth sacrificing for one such human being.”
It was very difficult to win an argument with a person like Prakash. His premises were entirely different. I was only wondering where in that scale of the quality of superhuman beings did Prakash stand at that point of time.
I asked him, “Tell me one thing. People say your tantric friend in our neighboring village sacrificed his own daughter to have his hold over ghosts and goblins. Is it true?”
“Ha ha…. he is an ordinary tantric. A fraud. Had he done so, he would have been much more powerful by now.”
“Ok. At least you promise me one thing that you are never going to do such a horrible thing as going for human sacrifice. Do you now that it may land you up in jail? People who have committed murders have been hanged. Moreover, we don’t know what a person can become before his death. There is no such thing as some human beings housing superior souls. During ancient times people in power made out this theory to suppress others.”
But, I was not sure my words would have any effect on him. I had a feeling that Prakash would one day kill someone for his tantric practices even though till then he had never shown any violent tendencies. In fact I had rarely seen him become angry. Still then, who knows?
He assured me. “Babu, don’t worry. Do you think I can ever do such a thing? To tell you the truth I myself do not believe the strange prescriptions of the book. These are just psychological things. But, the harmless prescriptions sometimes help these poor village folks. That’s why I am continuing with the practices.”
All my doubts were put to rest as he made himself more and more helpful to the village people. Whenever he encountered any serious health issues he advised the patient to go to the Hospital in Rajnagar. The front room of his house was made into a grocery shop manned by him and his father alternately. Their neighour’s house, which was vacant for a long time, was bought by his father. He used this house for medical consultancy. He had also learnt homeopathy. Now, he was focusing more on homeopathy than the tantric healing practices.
In the afternoon one day when I flung open the door of his consultancy room I was shocked. He and Jaya were in a compromising position. Usually, whenever I knocked, Prakash used to open the door after conforming that it was me. That day just after knocking once, I pressed the door hard and it flung open. Maybe, he had forgotten to latch it from inside.
It was such a shock. How could Jaya submit herself to the lustful wishes of Prakash while, she had ignored the advances of a handsome fellows like Tirky? What was more intriguing was that she was to marry after two months to a police constable who worked in Bhubaneswar.
Of course Jaya had her clothes on and maybe, I caught them, at the stage of the preliminaries. She got up and fled in an instant. Prakash was the cool scoundrel as usual.
“Sit down I will explain….,” he said.
(to be continued)
(My non-fiction book, IDLE HOURS: HOMOUR|LIFE HACKS|SOCIAL ISSUES|MEMOIRS, is now revised and enlarged. Get it from Aamzon Store. KindleUnlimited/Amazon Prime members read it for free)