Rahim’s Eid

Posted: November 19, 2013 in STORY
Tags: , ,

After finishing his morning namaz, Rahim hurried. Being punctual, he did not want to be late to his work. He got ready and told his ammi to prepare a strong cup of tea. He knew it would be morning soon and before that he had to complete his work. He pulled his polio leg along and tried to increase his speed with all his effort. His mother said “Slow beta, if you are late one day it’s ok, people will understand”. Punctual Rahim said “Nahin ammi, I have to go. People will be waiting. I have to go”. After he drank the hot tea his ammi gave him, he picked the bundle of papers in his hand and started walking towards Jayanagar fourth block, his usual work spot. While he was walking, he looked at the front page of the ‘Bangalore Mirror’ and chuckled seeing a minister’s photo. He didn’t know how to read but he recognized each minister by his face. He pointed out at the minister and said “Until you are on that chair, you will be in the headlines for only bad things”. After distributing the newspapers he sat on his usual spot and started selling the laundry bags and hand kerchiefs. Telling one good thing after another about his goodies and grabbing passersby’s attention, he succeeded in selling most of his items too. May be people sympathized with him and bought the things from him rather than the lady who was selling the same things, sitting few meters away. Around 2 he went home for lunch. After having lunch with his ammi, he was back to work at 4. His mother had told him “you don’t have to work so hard beta”. But Rahim never said anything.

Rahim was the fourth child born to Mubina and Irfan, after 3 daughters. Until he was born Irfan used to beat Mubina daily for giving him 3 daughters whom he has to get married rather than a one son who brings home dowry. Finally when Rahim was born, Irfan was happy. Later when he realized that his most loved son is polio affected, he left the house for good. To earn two times meal, Mubina started doing household work of her neighbours. To feed her family she didn’t even hesitate to warm another man’s bed. Rahim who was aware of the condition of his home and family, started working at the age of 10. Since then his ammi stopped working outside. At age of 14, he got all three sisters of his married. Now they may not be rich but at least they could have two times meal without any problem.

As Rahim started walking towards his work place he said to himself “This Eid I have to buy a gold chain for ammi, I don’t know from when she hasn’t worn anything that is made of gold. This Eid I will take ammi for shopping saris and a chain”. His mind was filled with his own thoughts as he failed to see his friend Manohar calling him from behind.

It was 10 in the night and roads were all empty except for the usual vendors and street dogs. As he started to walk, he thought if he could kill a cat, killing a human looked so unreal at this point. Then he recalled Manohar’s words. “How long will you sell newspapers with that leg? You kill an old man and you will get 50000 rupees. You are my friend and so I thought of giving you this chance. It’s easy money, all you have to do is press the trigger, that’s all”.

That night, when Rahim went to bed, his head was filled with various thoughts. Killing an old man is not difficult is what Manohar had said. As he is physically handicapped, people can’t suspect him. His mind was encouraging him while his heart was demotivating him.

Two days before Eid, he got into a Mangalore bound bus with Manohar. He had the picture of the person whom he had to kill, in his mind. The old man looked very humble. He wondered why someone wanted to kill that old man. After fighting with his heart, he got into the conclusion that killing an old man who was going to die any day is not a sin”. Rahim looked strong from outside but from inside he was weak. His inner voice kept on telling him “You are not following Mohamed’s teaching, you are not a Muslim”

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She risked a side way glance at the youngest one which was sitting in front with her. He raised his eyebrows and gave her one of his “you are gonna kill me” look. She patted his head with her hand and said “Cool dude, I’ll take you home safely, trust me. She increased the speed of her car knowing that she was followed by her sister. She said “Wonder when they will stop treating me like a kid”. She saw the reverse L board shining on the glass and said “Thank you guys for coming with me, it means a lot to me”. In response 2 elder sitting in the back seat made weird sound. She said “now don’t tell me that even you are scared to travel with me with my LLR?”. When she didn’t get any response she said “ok, let’s listen to some music,” and slowly she tuned the radio with her left hand while her eyes were focused on the road.

Agnes that’s what she was called. 23 years of age, she was an energetic, smart and an intelligent teacher in a convent school. Even though she was the youngest one of her siblings, she was very responsible.

As her adamant dad forced her to improve her driving skills she made use of this opportunity and had taken her dogs to the vet. They acted like gentlemen with the doctor. They didn’t fuss while the vet pricked them with the needle. She patted their head and said “I’ll treat you with an ice cream, promise”. As soon as the dogs were vaccinated, they entered the car fearing that if they stayed back, the vet will inject them again. On the way back, her elder sister had called her and said to meet her in Shivanna’s hotel for golibaje. She never understood her sisters lover for golibaje. Whenever she came down to Kinnigoli, she used eat only golibaje and buns. As she parked her car in front of Shivanna’s hotel, he waved and said “Hi, How’s you? Your sister has come?”. She smiled and said ”Hello Shivanna, how are you? Yeah, yeah she has come down. Who knows better than you!!”. He hid his smile when he saw his regular customer getting out of her car. As Agnes locked her car door she noticed her dogs’ eyes focused on her face. She said “ok, ok. I will get some for you”.

**************************************************************

Manohar was riding the bike and Rahim was the pillion rider. He checked his gun for the 2nd time. He recalled the shooting classes Manohar had given him. He started saying a prayer while Manohar spotted the car of the old man whom they were hired to kill. From Moodbidri, they were following the car without blinking an eyelid. The speed of old man’s car made both of them wonder why he rides the car in such speed in his old age. They were just few meters away from the car when suddenly the old man lost control of the car and it spun in the air like a wagon wheel and landed few meters away.

Manohar said “If he is dead already our work is done but if he is alive then this is a golden opportunity. We have to kill him. We may not get a second chance”.

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When Agnes started her car with a heavy stomach her sister shouted from behind “focus your eyes on the road, you’re responsible for 3 dogs’ life, don’t be ignorant….”. She started the engine, showed her third finger and pressed the accelerator. When she saw a bus over taking she yelled in the car “Go, go. Don’t eat my head, be happy”. She reached Morukaveri junction and was in the minimum speed when she saw a car somersault in the air like in the English movies and land a few meters away from her car. First thing that came to her mind was the driver. As she was the only one near to the spot she got out of the car and locked the door and told the dogs “I’ll be back guys, wait till then”. She just ran with her heart beating like a drum.

When she saw the driver unhurt except for few bruises she thanked god. Somehow she pulled the driver, who happened to be an old man, out from his secured seat. She made him lie down. When she saw him panting for breath, she thought that may be due to the accident, he panicked. She got water bottle from her car and gave him to drink.

Her sister had stopped her car few meters away from the spot. When she came running Agnes said “Go back, call an ambulance”. When she heard her younger sister she ran back to her car and kept on dialing some numbers. As Agnes was busy watching the old man she didn’t realize the motorbike coming in full speed towards the spot.

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Manohar kept the bike running. Before Rahim knew what he was doing he got down from the bike and shot the old man. Then his eyes fell on the girl, who was trying to help him. She appeared to be in shock.

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Something made her look in the direction of her dogs while the gunman fired in the old man’s direction .They were barking. All they wanted to do was to protect her, save her from the imminent danger. Before Agnes could react, the old man whom she had saved few minutes back was lying in his pool of blood.

*****************************************************************************

Manohar said “Kill her, she has seen your face, we can’t take any risks“. With his heart crying, he aimed his gun at the girl’s heart and pressed the trigger. He turned back and saw the gal again who was trying to breathe while her body was living her last moments. When finally she stopped breathing, her eyes were open staring at Rahim and he knew it’s going to haunt him till his death.

**************************************************************

When she felt the blood flow through her arm she looked down at her chest. She took a minute to realize that bullet was there stuck in her heart. When she felt herself collapse, she looked at her dogs helplessly who were trying to break the glass. Her sister was coming running towards her calling her name over and over again. She closed her eyes and opened them with all her strength to see the killer’s face. “Why me? What did I do to you?”. She asked him in silence while her heart stopped beating

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As soon as the bus stopped in Majestic, Rahim picked his bag. His eyes were swollen without sleep. Manohar handed him the money and said “Happy Eid, buy sari for your ammi, do whatever you wanted to”. With a heavy heart, Rahim took the money from Manohar and got into a bus to his home.

He got down from the bus and started walking towards his home. He was walking while he saw the burnt lanes. He got curious to know what had happened there so he hurried towards his home. When he saw his burnt house he threw the bag on the floor and ran towards the ruins of his house. People who were there caught him but he tried to run again screaming “My ammi is there, my ammi is there”. His neighbor said ”Due to short circuit, your house was set on fire. When this happened she was sleeping. Before we could do anything, she….”.He sat on the floor beating his chest “Ammi, come back, I don’t have anyone except you”. He wept till he had no strength left in him. It’s then his eyes fell on the money which had fallen out of his bag. He picked the bundle and threw it in the still burning flames which swallowed his mother.

*************************************************************

It was Eid and all the Muslims were rushing towards the mosque for the prayers in the morning. Goats were crying anticipating their death. Rahim cried thinking about his ammi. How different Eid would have been if only his dear ammi was alive, he thought. To run away from his misery, he got up at the usual time and started walking with a bundle of newspapers in his hand. His heart cried thinking about his ammi. When he turned the paper he found the picture of the girl whom he had killed and his heart stopped beating. Her eyes were looking straight into his soul, he thought. From passersby, he got to know to know that girl’s name was Agnes. With Agnes on his mind and his ammi in his heart, Rahim started to walk to his empty house. When the Eid al-Adha hit his ear, he knew he was never going to forget this Eid.

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Comments
  1. Hari Kishan says:

    this one is really good….you are writing like a pro now….keep going…was hooked to it till the end…one of your best works I have read until now

    • sylvia says:

      Thank you Hari…you made my day…was bit worried whether readers likes this kinda of narration….Thanks a ton… and yeah i am learning,implementing the ideas given to me….Credit goes to my readers:)

  2. Sanyukta says:

    Great writing Syl 🙂 Every expression was well captured…. Narrated like the movie Vantage Point… our next year’s Sonata Story writing contest winner is here 🙂

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