The Stains - A Short Story

SHARE:

As the evening wanes and the night arrives, there is a time when the sky and the earth converse closely with each other. A moment in time when the dyi

THE STAINS


As the evening wanes and the night arrives, there is a time when the sky and the earth converse closely with each other. A moment in time when the dying light reaches out to meet the incoming darkness. This was such a time. The lights had started to shine in the shops of Connaught Place. It had been a very hot day. With a thirst for chilled beer, I reached the ‘Volga’ restaurant. There was an elderly Sikh sitting in the corner table. Somehow, I found myself turning towards him.
“May I sit here, Sardarji?” I heard myself saying.
“Please sit, dear sir! Have a beer”, he replied generously. “Thank you, sir”, I said as I sat down.
During the ensuing conversation, I found out a lot about him. He had a hosiery business in Karolbagh and a bungalow in Janakpuri. He was married and had kids. God had given him a lot. But in spite of these riches, I detected a certain feeling of loss in him, as if there was something missing in his life. Maybe he had a secret worry that was eating away at him.
As we talked, he asked me a few times, “Are there stains on my clothes?”
I found this a bit strange. His clothes were clean and well ironed. I assured him that there were no stains on his clothes. But there was a long scar on his right wrist. It looked like a cut from a sharp knife.
Then I started telling Sardarji about myself.
He asked me again. “Are there stains on my clothes? “ He sounded anxious, as if shards of broken glass were piercing him.
I tried to reassure him again. “Sardarji, your clothes are very clean. There is not a single blemish on them. But I would sure like to know about the scar on your right wrist.”
His face paled as soon as I uttered these words. Inadvertently, I had touched a sore subject.
We sat quietly for some time, drinking our beer. I felt guilty about opening an old wound by mentioning that scar. His continued silence reinforced that guilt. Sometimes, we make the mistake of peeping too closely into someone’s life. Although it is only natural curiosity on our part but we have knocked on doors that are best kept locked. These doors have many secrets, many hidden histories, buried behind them.
“I have never told the story of this wound to anyone, not even my wife or kids.” Sardarji was in control of himself again. “But I don’t know why I feel like sharing it with you.” He proceeded with the story...
“My name is Jasbeer. This story is about the time when the Khalistan movement was in full swing in Punjab. Even though the Central Government had killed many militants through Operation Bluestar, the Khalistan agitation continued. The Sikhs felt as if they were being differentiated against by everyone. People outside Punjab often commented to us sarcastically, “ Sardarji, when are you claiming your Khalistan?”
The Stains - A Short Story
Sushant Supriye

“I was a student at Khalsa College, Amritsar at that time. We, the Sikh youth, felt the dream of Khalistan was a protest against the high handedness of the Central government in Delhi. We

were working once again to fulfill Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s dream of a Sikh Republic. I was an active member of the Sikh Student’s Federation. The police atrocities made my blood boil. I joined the militant movement in 1985. The weapons were supplied by the neighbouring country, which had its own agenda. Our mission was to get revenge for the brutalities and to remove the obstacles from the path of Khalistan. I turned out to be good at my work and was soon made the commander of my force. The police declared me ‘Category A’ terrorist. There was a price of twenty lakhs on my head.
“During those days, we were joined by a new boy, Surinder. His entire family had died during the 1984 anti- Sikh riots in Delhi that took place after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. He told us how
the rioteers had cut off the long hair of his old parents and siblings and then burned them to death by placing burning tyres around their necks. Surinder stayed alive just to extract revenge. He wanted to destroy all the enemies of the Sikh people. His words convinced me that he was the right man for this mission. Our force was in need of such young men with a burning hatred inside them. Thus, he joined our group.”
“A few days later, we planned a mission for that night. Around midnight, Surinder and I, along with a few other boys, were travelling on motorbikes through the Sultanwind area of Amritsar. We were armed with AK 47 rifles and our faces were covered with shawls. Surinder was driving the bike, while I sat behind him. The night was filled with mystery and adventure.”
“About twenty or twenty five metres ahead of us, we saw a police check post. There were two or three police gypsies and nearly ten to fifteen constables. We stopped our bikes but they had spotted and challenged us. I didn’t want an encounter with the police because we had set out on a special mission. Responding to my signal, the other boys turned their bikes and scattered away in the surrounding lanes. But Surinder lost his nerve at the sight of the uniformed men and began to tremble like a leaf. He and his bike seemed rooted to the spot and he didn’t react to my shouted pleas to move away. Meanwhile, the policemen were drawing near. I had to act! I flung away my shawl and fired in the air with my AK47. This stopped them momentarily. Taking advantage of the lull, I dragged Surinder towards a narrow lane. Seeing us escape, the cops opened fire on us. A stray bullet lodged in Surinder’s thigh. By that time, some of our friends had returned to help us. Amidst the hail of bullets, my friends and I supported Surinder between us and escaped on our bikes.”
“When we reached our hide out, I asked him, “Why didn’t you try to escape?” His face had turned ashen and he could hardly get a word out. We decided to treat him ourselves. We took the bullet out and bandaged his wounds. He didn’t appear fit for any missions in the coming few days. But my attitude towards him had soured. As I pictured him trembling at the sight of the cops, I regretted having admitted such a coward in our militant group.”
“But our missions could not be stopped. We toiled day and night to realize the dream of Khalistan. Sometimes, we had the task of hunting down a person charged with atrocities against the Sikh youth, at other times, we had to free some associate of ours from police custody. The other boys in my force and I would go on missions every second or third night, leaving Surinder alone at the hide out. We would return by day break. At times, we would also leave during the day. We had been plagued by bad luck ever since Surinder joined us. Many of our friends had been killed in police encounters. Anyway, that was our life. Sometimes, we celebrated the success of our missions, sometimes we mourned our dead friends.”
“Our efforts had resulted in the healing of Surinder’s wound. I wanted to give him one more chance to prove himself. Maybe this time, he would show his courage and live up to our expectations. So, I waited for him to get better.”
“One night, we were on our way back to our hide out, after completing a mission. The sky was grey, the air was wet and the dead leaves crunched under our feet. The time was four in the morning. The stars still twinkled on the backs of the fireflies. I was ahead of the others and entered the house silently. Surinder was awake and talking on the phone in the other room. I was a little surprised and went closer to listen to him. What I heard shook me completely. He was talking to the cops and passing on our group’s secret information. He had, perhaps, already called the cops to apprehend us. I was stunned.”
“We had been tricked. The enemy was in our midst, posing as a friend. The knowledge that he was a police spy made my blood boil.”
“‘Bloody traitor!’, I yelled as I took out my kirpan(small knife) and lunged at him. I stabbed him with my kirpan and injured him. We were both wrestling on the floor. But the cops hidden around us broke down the door and surrounded me. Their sten guns and turbines were aimed at me.”
Having spoken thus far, Sardarji now went quiet. He picked up his beer mug and drained it. “What happened to Surinder?”, my curiosity led me to ask.
“The police gave him half the amount of twenty lakhs that was the prize on my head. He absconded to Delhi with that money.”
“How did you learn so much about him?” I asked, surprised.
Sardarji’s face darkened. His hands were trembling and even in the air conditioned room, his forehead was covered in sweat!
At last, he managed to utter the words. “Because I am not Jasbeer. I am the unfortunate Surinder. I am that traitor. I told you the story from Jasbeer’s point of view on purpose.” His hands continued to shake.
His words left me stunned. The mysterious chapters of this story were unraveling one by one.

“The scar you mentioned was the wound I got when my reality was exposed and Jasbeer attacked me with the kirpan”, he further explained.
“So, what happened to Jasbeer?” I was still trying to comprehend this puzzling story.
“His world stopped that day at around 4.30 in the morning. The cops shot him before my eyes. He was unarmed. Many of the other boys of the group were also shot dead by the police that day. I am responsible for their deaths.” Sardarji’s voice was heavy with grief. There was a well of darkness behind his eyes.
I tried to console him. “Why are you getting so upset? After all, they were all terrorists.”
“Every man has multiple facades . The door you knock on and the man who emerges from behind it, is on you. I don’t know if they were terrorists or just young men who had been led astray. The only thing I know is that greed led me to betray the man who had saved me at the risk of his own life. The man who looked after me when I was hurt and healed my wounds. Betraying that man got me a lot of money but I lost my peace of mind. My conscience keeps calling me a traitor. I can’t sleep at night without the help of pills. I dream of dead people. A blood drenched and agonized Jasbeer often appears in my dreams. He asks me, “I saved your life. Why, then, did you betray me?”I cannot meet his gaze. I can still see his wide, staring eyes, his unkempt hair, his bloodied turban, and the bullets embedded in his chest, as if it all happened yesterday and not twenty five years ago. My past is a mirror which reflects a traitor’s face. There is a scream buried deep inside me, which I can’t let out. I have created the handcuffs which hold me hostage”. Saradarji let out a deep breath.
“Nobody can change destiny, Surinder bhai. But now that you have enough money, why don’t you get the scar removed through cosmetic surgery? If you don’t have to look at it every waking moment, maybe you will forget about it!”, I tried to advise him.
Sardarji looked at me with those haunted eyes. “The sea is filled with saline water and thus, it often dies of thirst. When the cops shot Jasbeer, I was standing next to him. My clothes were stained with his blood. My hands were red with it. Even now, I sometimes feel those stains on my clothes and my hands. I wash my hands again and again. But I can’t rid myself of these stains. I have tried many medications. I have received psychiatric treatment. But to no avail. You are right. I have money now and can have my scar removed. But how will I ever be able to remove the scars on my psyche?”
I listened silently. I had no answers or suggestions for him. There was a turbulent sea raging inside him. His grief was big as life itself!
We called the waiter to settle our bills and exited the ‘Volga’ restaurant. It was 9 at night. The air was filled with night time smells. A yellowish half- moon had emerged behind the glittering shops.
His lost voice came to me once again. “Are there stains on my clothes?” His forehead was crinkled with deep lines and his eyes had the silence of graves. He was a man trapped inside his own self.
I placed a hand on his shoulder. He seemed to recall himself from a great distance. A few silent moments were still falling like dew drops into the endless ocean of time.

It was time to say good bye. I stretched out my hands to shake his, but all awareness had set in his eyes.
“Some wounds never heal, some stains are permanent,” he muttered to the sky and ignoring my outstretched hand, moved towards his Honda City. For a long time, I watched as his car drove away.

------------------------------------------0------------------------------------


Sushant Supriye
A-5001 ,
Gaur Green City, Vaibhav Khand, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad-201014 UP
INDIA.

COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY
data-full-width-responsive="true"

Advertisement

|आपको यह भी रोचक लगेगा_

नाम

अंग्रेज़ी हिन्दी शब्दकोश,3,अकबर इलाहाबादी,11,अकबर बीरबल के किस्से,62,अज्ञेय,27,अटल बिहारी वाजपेयी,1,अदम गोंडवी,3,अनंतमूर्ति,3,अनौपचारिक पत्र,16,अन्तोन चेख़व,2,अमीर खुसरो,6,अमृत राय,1,अमृतलाल नागर,1,अमृता प्रीतम,5,अयोध्यासिंह उपाध्याय "हरिऔध",4,अली सरदार जाफ़री,3,अष्टछाप,3,असगर वज़ाहत,11,आनंदमठ,4,आरती,11,आर्थिक लेख,6,आषाढ़ का एक दिन,12,इक़बाल,2,इब्ने इंशा,27,इस्मत चुगताई,3,उपेन्द्रनाथ अश्क,1,उर्दू साहित्‍य,179,उर्दू हिंदी शब्दकोश,1,उषा प्रियंवदा,1,एकांकी संचय,7,औपचारिक पत्र,31,कक्षा 10 हिन्दी स्पर्श भाग 2,17,कबीर के दोहे,19,कबीर के पद,1,कबीरदास,10,कमलेश्वर,5,कविता,1050,कहानी सुनो,2,काका हाथरसी,4,कामायनी,5,काव्य मंजरी,11,काव्यशास्त्र,4,काशीनाथ सिंह,1,कुंज वीथि,12,कुँवर नारायण,1,कुबेरनाथ राय,1,कुर्रतुल-ऐन-हैदर,1,कृष्णा सोबती,2,केदारनाथ अग्रवाल,1,केशवदास,1,कैफ़ी आज़मी,4,क्षेत्रपाल शर्मा,41,खलील जिब्रान,3,ग़ज़ल,109,गजानन माधव "मुक्तिबोध",10,गीतांजलि,1,गोदान,6,गोपाल सिंह नेपाली,1,गोपालदास नीरज,9,गोरख पाण्डेय,3,गोरा,2,घनानंद,1,चन्द्रधर शर्मा गुलेरी,2,चमरासुर उपन्यास,6,चाणक्य नीति,5,चित्र शृंखला,1,चुटकुले जोक्स,15,छायावाद,6,जगदीश्वर चतुर्वेदी,9,जयशंकर प्रसाद,22,जातक कथाएँ,10,जीवन परिचय,32,ज़ेन कहानियाँ,2,जैनेन्द्र कुमार,2,जोश मलीहाबादी,2,ज़ौक़,4,तुलसीदास,5,तेलानीराम के किस्से,7,त्रिलोचन,1,दाग़ देहलवी,5,दादी माँ की कहानियाँ,1,दुष्यंत कुमार,7,देव,1,देवी नागरानी,23,धर्मवीर भारती,2,नज़ीर अकबराबादी,3,नव कहानी,2,नवगीत,1,नागार्जुन,16,नाटक,1,निराला,27,निर्मल वर्मा,1,निर्मला,26,नेत्रा देशपाण्डेय,3,पंचतंत्र की कहानियां,42,पत्र लेखन,168,परशुराम की प्रतीक्षा,3,पांडेय बेचन शर्मा 'उग्र',3,पाण्डेय बेचन शर्मा,1,पुस्तक समीक्षा,91,प्रेमचंद,23,प्रेमचंद की कहानियाँ,89,प्रेरक कहानी,15,फणीश्वर नाथ रेणु,1,फ़िराक़ गोरखपुरी,9,फ़ैज़ अहमद फ़ैज़,24,बच्चों की कहानियां,85,बदीउज़्ज़माँ,1,बहादुर शाह ज़फ़र,6,बाल कहानियाँ,14,बाल दिवस,3,बालकृष्ण शर्मा 'नवीन',1,बिहारी,1,बैताल पचीसी,2,भक्ति साहित्य,124,भगवतीचरण वर्मा,5,भवानीप्रसाद मिश्र,3,भारतीय कहानियाँ,60,भारतीय व्यंग्य चित्रकार,7,भारतीय शिक्षा का इतिहास,3,भारतेन्दु हरिश्चन्द्र,7,भीष्म साहनी,5,भैरव प्रसाद गुप्त,2,मंगल ज्ञानानुभाव,22,मजरूह सुल्तानपुरी,1,मधुशाला,7,मनोज सिंह,16,मन्नू भंडारी,3,मलिक मुहम्मद जायसी,2,महादेवी वर्मा,12,महावीरप्रसाद द्विवेदी,1,महीप सिंह,1,महेंद्र भटनागर,73,माखनलाल चतुर्वेदी,3,मिर्ज़ा गालिब,39,मीर तक़ी 'मीर',20,मीरा बाई के पद,22,मुल्ला नसरुद्दीन,6,मुहावरे,4,मैथिलीशरण गुप्त,8,मैला आँचल,3,मोहन राकेश,9,यशपाल,9,रंगराज अयंगर,42,रघुवीर सहाय,5,रणजीत कुमार,29,रवीन्द्रनाथ ठाकुर,22,रसखान,11,रांगेय राघव,2,राजकमल चौधरी,1,राजनीतिक लेख,14,राजभाषा हिंदी,58,राजिन्दर सिंह बेदी,1,राजीव कुमार थेपड़ा,4,रामचंद्र शुक्ल,1,रामधारी सिंह दिनकर,18,रामप्रसाद 'बिस्मिल',1,रामविलास शर्मा,8,राही मासूम रजा,8,राहुल सांकृत्यायन,1,रीतिकाल,3,रैदास,2,लघु कथा,95,लोकगीत,1,वरदान,11,विचार मंथन,60,विज्ञान,1,विदेशी कहानियाँ,26,विद्यापति,4,विविध जानकारी,1,विष्णु प्रभाकर,1,वृंदावनलाल वर्मा,1,वैज्ञानिक लेख,6,शमशेर बहादुर सिंह,5,शमोएल अहमद,4,शरत चन्द्र चट्टोपाध्याय,1,शरद जोशी,3,शिवमंगल सिंह सुमन,5,शुभकामना,1,शेख चिल्ली की कहानी,1,शैक्षणिक लेख,29,शैलेश मटियानी,2,श्यामसुन्दर दास,1,श्रीकांत वर्मा,1,श्रीलाल शुक्ल,1,संयुक्त राष्ट्र संघ,1,संस्मरण,10,सआदत हसन मंटो,9,सतरंगी बातें,33,सन्देश,26,समसामयिक हिंदी लेख,38,समीक्षा,1,सर्वेश्वरदयाल सक्सेना,16,सारा आकाश,14,साहित्य सागर,21,साहित्यिक लेख,20,साहिर लुधियानवी,5,सिंह और सियार,1,सुदर्शन,1,सुदामा पाण्डेय "धूमिल",6,सुभद्राकुमारी चौहान,6,सुमित्रानंदन पन्त,17,सूरदास,5,सूरदास के पद,21,स्त्री विमर्श,10,हजारी प्रसाद द्विवेदी,1,हरिवंशराय बच्चन,27,हरिशंकर परसाई,21,हिंदी कथाकार,12,हिंदी निबंध,199,हिंदी लेख,442,हिंदी समाचार,103,हिंदीकुंज सहयोग,1,हिन्दी,7,हिन्दी टूल,4,हिन्दी आलोचक,7,हिन्दी कहानी,32,हिन्दी गद्यकार,4,हिन्दी दिवस,58,हिन्दी वर्णमाला,3,हिन्दी व्याकरण,43,हिन्दी संख्याएँ,1,हिन्दी साहित्य,9,हिन्दी साहित्य का इतिहास,22,हिन्दीकुंज विडियो,11,aaroh bhag 2,13,astrology,1,Attaullah Khan,1,baccho ke liye hindi kavita,65,Beauty Tips Hindi,3,Class 10 Hindi Kritika कृतिका Bhag 2,5,Class 11 Hindi Antral NCERT Solution,3,Class 9 Hindi Kshitij क्षितिज भाग 1,17,Class 9 Hindi Sparsh,15,English Grammar in Hindi,3,Godan by Premchand,6,hindi ebooks,5,Hindi Ekanki,9,hindi essay,191,hindi grammar,50,Hindi Sahitya Ka Itihas,62,hindi stories,544,ICSE Hindi Gadya Sankalan,11,Kshitij Bhag 2,10,mb,72,motivational books,10,naya raasta icse,8,NCERT Class 10 Hindi Sanchayan संचयन Bhag 2,3,NCERT Class 11 Hindi Aroh आरोह भाग-1,20,ncert class 6 hindi vasant bhag 1,14,NCERT Class 9 Hindi Kritika कृतिका Bhag 1,5,NCERT Hindi Rimjhim Class 2,13,NCERT Rimjhim Class 4,14,ncert rimjhim class 5,19,NCERT Solutions Class 7 Hindi Durva,6,NCERT Solutions Class 8 Hindi Durva,17,NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Hindi Vitan वितान भाग 1,3,NCERT Solutions for class 12 Humanities Hindi Antral Bhag 2,4,NCERT Solutions Hindi Class 11 Antra Bhag 1,19,NCERT Vasant Bhag 3 For Class 8,12,NCERT/CBSE Class 9 Hindi book Sanchayan,6,Notifications,5,question paper,12,quizzes,8,Rimjhim Class 3,14,Sankshipt Budhcharit,5,Shayari In Hindi,13,sponsored news,2,Syllabus,7,UP Board Class 10 Hindi,3,Vasant Bhag - 2 Textbook In Hindi For Class - 7,11,VITAN BHAG-2,5,vocabulary,19,
ltr
item
हिन्दीकुंज,Hindi Website/Literary Web Patrika: The Stains - A Short Story
The Stains - A Short Story
As the evening wanes and the night arrives, there is a time when the sky and the earth converse closely with each other. A moment in time when the dyi
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lb9I6Qk5dF4/YIrdqhSYUxI/AAAAAAAAPv8/d392Dhz7Be0llFmlP4POCleDHkFoLf7CgCNcBGAsYHQ/s16000/download%2B%25281%2529.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Lb9I6Qk5dF4/YIrdqhSYUxI/AAAAAAAAPv8/d392Dhz7Be0llFmlP4POCleDHkFoLf7CgCNcBGAsYHQ/s72-c/download%2B%25281%2529.jpg
हिन्दीकुंज,Hindi Website/Literary Web Patrika
https://www.hindikunj.com/2021/04/the-stains-short-story.html
https://www.hindikunj.com/
https://www.hindikunj.com/
https://www.hindikunj.com/2021/04/the-stains-short-story.html
true
6755820785026826471
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Readmore Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All आपको ये भी रोचक लगेगा Categories ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share to a social network STEP 2: Click the link on your social network Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy विषय-तालिका