4 January, 2010
I was walking down to the town. It was a pleasant afternoon so instead of waiting for the local bus, I preferred to walk. The road was lonely and the evening shadows had started to make it look gloomy at some places. I looked at time in my mobile and realized with some horror that it was 3-30 p.m. My brisk gait slowed down at once and I looked down at the gorge downwards on the left hand side and the shady area on my right hand side. The sudden realization that it was a year back that my husband, too, must have taken a walk on the Heera Nagar road, and rather was brought, home after a very mysterious incident when he was found lying unconscious at the road side! The though made me go weak in my whole body. Could someone walk from the unknown on this busy road, I wondered. I stood still for full three minutes. Neither a vehicle passed nor a soul walked the road. I thought, what if someone emerges from the shady right side or the gorge on the left and hits me hard on my head and vanishes before anyone even notices! I had been walking to the town since last few days and at the same very time and was taking the same very route. I was so very conspicuous by following the same pattern. It was like inviting trouble. And my husband had done the same thing.
A scary, very scary imagination, you would say. How could such a thing ever happen in a sleepy town like Hamirpur and that too on a busy motor road and above all in afternoon when it is almost a day? You are right questioning the veracity of the truthfulness of such a imagination. But imagination must be allowed to run wild when there are questions that remain unanswered, even after a full year!
KS, my husband was found lying unconscious with bleeding profusely through his right ear. His right eye swollen and black, black mark on right side of his temple and behind the right ear near the circuit house at Heera nagar in Hamirpur. No one knows what must have happened on that day. No one claims to have seen anything, rather no one ever questioned it because I was not in town and he was alone taking his evening walk.
People said a lot many things in hushed tones. How could it happen to a healthy man who had till date never even taken a pill for Diabetes or High blood pressure that one develops at this age. He was left to bleed to die at the roadside. The question that how did it happen, remains unanswered even today. But yesterday while going downtown, I could feel an eerie feeling and had a sixth sense telling me that the undercurrents of gossips. unspoken or spoken in hushed tones, could be true.
It is not that I did not try to find out the truth. When I saw him, I was so angry with myself for not being with him when all this happened and at all those who by conspiracy of silence abet the wrong-doers that I could not help but call the Superintendent of Police at Hamirpur about this incident. He told me to lodge a complaint when KS comes to his senses. He wanted to know if he had any enemies. I thought hard–No, he didn’t have any, but I did have! I wanted to tell him that if he doesn’t come to his senses, would they not try to find how such a thing could ever take place in a sleepy town which has law abiding citizens? Did he not know that the police makes investigation even if the affected person does not make a formal complaint. What if some one dies and never comes to his senses to tell his tale? This incident remained a banal happening for the police persons and a mere news for the news persons who reported the next day that a man was found lying unconscious with bleeding ear and a serious head injury at a road side in Hamirpur!
If I am still curious to find out the truth and a bit afraid of walking the roads of Hamirpur, alone, am I wrong? If yeaterday I felt scared and afraid for my life, was a overreacting? Or was I being cautious?