If you ever had came to the Town by train, another mode was car and nothing else, while you riding on a carriage—some are driven by horses and some by motors, choice would be yours, you would have found him standing or procrastinating by squatting on the dais in the shade of peepal tree as you cross the Welcome To… board. If the day was a disturbed one like raining or harsh cold winter morning, you would have found him at the foot of his statues which used to have a roof over its head to save it from all types of droppings—from rain to birds’. I’ll not delve into his the then current physical description because that’s how I don’t remember him or that’s how I don’t want to recollect of him or his appearance. The becoming of him like this was a result of an evening-mosquitoes killing session.
At evening, especially after the spring bid and summer arriving in small steps and at the time of monsoon, when more than one person gather or meet and sit down at a place, they talk of varied topics—it ranges from socio-political to the neighbors’ household. This all happen while they were slapping and killing the mosquitoes minced with bugs like cricket. At first this assault was to save them from the bites which soon turn to to continue the on-going conversation or debate. At first few minutes the united army of mosquitoes and bugs can boast in their victories but soon they had to find a way to retreat. When an individual lost interest in the ongoing conversation or find him to be getting defeated in a debate, he would curse the army and will slap few times mostly false to declare that he would fall sick or the army was becoming intolerable, and, thus concluding the evening session.
It was such an evening, a rainy summer evening. The heat of the summer eve was submissive to the early evening short spell; the weather though was a breathless sultry one with a red sky. It would rain early at the night.
Haricharan and Sitadulal were slapping and assassinating the mosquitoes sitting on the stairs of the cottage of Satyakam Rakshit. Haricharan was the main butler of Mr. Rakshit while Sitadulal was just a farmer who to saved himself from his wife’s sexual desires come to the cottage and chat with Haricharan. He had gotten married then six months ago, and already he was scared of his wife, not the scream but the urge of having sex not making love. Sitadulal was timid man who doesn’t have so much of the energy to fulfill the urge especially at that time of the year when his farm lands need his utmost attention all the day. Haricharan was a married man for couple of years then, and had fathered two children—one boy and a girl. He had been under service of Mr. Rakshit for near to a decade.
A decade ago he had never imagined his evening could have been like this. A decade ago his evening used to got spend in assisting his master cleaning the gun, readying the bait and cooking for his master. His master Satyakam Parikshit was a hunter, a renowned one. He was born and brought up in the Town; he had learned the art of hunting and all from his father; people sometimes opined he was more superior than his father when it comes to the hunting. This got proved right when one enters his bungalow. Except the bedroom, each room was decorated by the stuffed head and sometimes full scale body of hunted victim. The trophy room was full of guns, from hunting rifles to revolver, to knives and daggers. There were medals and cups also he had received over his active years. A safe there contains some of the precious jewelry and stones he had received from Government and Maharajas during that active period. His stories, little boasted and full of ornamental adjectives and adverbs, were told by the old storyteller who used to live in a cave in the mountain.
Couple of years ago the government of the country passed the Act of Not Killing Animals (Prohibiting the Hunting and Hunter); great renowned hunter Satyakam Parikshit had to put up his rifles and all, and have to settle down in his hometown as a Mayor. In this bungalow Mayor lives with his wife and his golden retriever Hero and his butler Haricharan.
“This…army of mosquitoes…I hate them…” Sitadulal expressed his anger.
Haricharan while scratching his hand says, “don’t blame them…”
“Then…who should be blame…whom should I accused…”
“Yourself…brother…yourself…just six months…and you are already running away…that too not in fear of getting hit by a broom or wood…but in fear of performing sex…”
“You don’t get it…I can’t satiate her…she is witch I think…in times it seems she had arrived from the bank of the swamp…”
Haricharan was going to revert back when he and Sitadulal heard the thundering voice of the Mayor. He was drunk and cursing his wife. This was his daily evening chore; getting drunk and screaming at his wife. Sometimes he cursed the government for banning hunting. This used to continue until Mrs. Rakshit able to run away from his husband clutch and locked his room. In the morning they were a perfect couple, laughing and loving. The couples in the Town sometimes after a fight or quarrel sat down to thought how they could achieve this capability of acting or perform the adjustment act by forgiving and forgetting everything.
Hero came out that evening and sat down beside the two men.
Sitadulal laughed and remarked, “see Hero also cannot tolerate this anymore…hey Hero…want to hit some flies…here…knock your paws…like this…”
Hero was looking at Sitadulal as he was talking. Seeing him gesturing his hand and hitting the ground, he looked at Haricharan.
Haricharan was thinking something deeply. The noise on the wooden staircase by Sitadulal breaks his chain of thoughts. He looked at his both side. A smile passed over his mouth.
In a calm and compose tone he said, “would you like to play a prank…”
“What are you saying…” Sitadulal stopped his act of being dog.
“I am saying…” he slapped his calf killing some of the mosquitoes, “let’s have some fun…”
“Wait here…” he went inside the bungalow and came out after five minutes or so.
The shouting of Mr. Rakshit the Mayor had stopped; Mrs. Rakshit had slammed the door to her room. Everything was though not silent due to chirping of cricket in the bushes and trees, and the unitone of the mosquitoes at ears. Hero had lain down on the wooden platform keeping his head on his paws. He was blinking then and now while waving his tail to keep the winged adversaries at the bay.
Haricharan was carrying a tiger skin in his hand—folded and aged. Sitadulal was going to asked something but he was hushed by his friend. He, so, watched silently the act pulled by his friend.
It takes him ten to fifteen minute to decorate the act. When he completed Sitadulal was confused by finding a justified reason to the tomfoolery of his friend. He was going to asked Haricharan when the voice of Mr. Rakshit clapped like a thunder from inside. He was calling Hero.
Hero ran inside and within a minute the two men were startled by hearing a shot of a gun.
Haricharan was more shocked than Sitadulal. He knew that when his Sir sat down to he never carry a gun or firearm.