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(This work of fiction is based on the 1986 Gorkhaland Agitation led by the Gorkhaland National Democratic Front (GNLF) Supremo, The Mahamahim, The Raja of the Hills, Late Mr. Subhas Ghising in the enchanting land of thunderbolts, Dorje-ling or as we like to call in now, Darjeeling. The agitation took a violent turn in the mid ’86. This short story finds its setting in such a background of a local tea estate of the name Tukvar which constituted a fundamental population of GNLF supporters during this agitation.)
”Kahamay Katyo ni Betha ko Lauro. . . . . ”
”Oh why in the hell did I chop this useless Sal branch. . . . ” grumbled the man-butcher remembering the old Nepali folk song which he remembered his grandfather sing to him during his childhood days when he would return from his duty as a Captain in the 1st King George V’s Own Gurkha Rifles Regiment.
Indrajit Thakuri was born in a family of accomplished warriors who hailed their bravery in the Gurkha Regiments of Britain. Indrajit himself, however, fell short to the legacy of his forefathers. All he had accomplished in his life was that he had ordained himself the post of a local newspaper-man in the tea garden of Tukvar. Throughout his 50 years of existence, he had garnered little influence and respect in his village. But now it was not so, he was respected by all. . . nah he was feared, for it was the hour of revolt, the hour of the rapid manhunt when men looked out to capture CPIM goons and deliver them painful death, to be butchered and Indrajit was the man-butcher.
The inhumane act of butchering and torturing them was his. Now Indrajit was the Mahakala as in the war cry of the Gurkhas, the slaughterer, all in the name of equivalent exchange of blood, the blood which was shed by the Gurkha martyrs and the blood which was shed by the CPIM, of those innocent men who were crushed down in the rampage of this mass homicide all under the banner of patriotism and the desire for the independence against the tyrannical Bengal rule only for the reunification of the state of Gorkhaland with the Indian state but was this bloodshed the only answer to it? How Indrajit got such vile and inhumane is a story for some other day. Nevertheless, he enjoyed this period.
“Angoore ko banai katerah. . . . “
He wiped his blood-drenched hands on the ends of his Dawrah only to rejuvenate the indelible blood prints later.
A CPIM supporter had been caught hiding in the densely overgrown plantation garden last night. He was to be tortured and butchered. The young goons of Tukvar had already caught him and sent him to Indrajit for settling the debt between the two parties.
Indrajit presented himself in the mud-hut where the Damned was waiting for his execution. The Damned already knew the faith in store for him for he had well known about the hospitality that his own kith served on to their fiend.
The Damned was reciting the Gayatri mantra. The Devil leaned forward to the sight of the Damned.
“Nay, you shall find no refuge in mantras as such. Your faith is sealed. “
The Damned knew it too.
”Kahamay katyo ni betha ko lawro. Have you heard this melody before?” asked the Devil.
The Damned could not reply. He had wet his pants.
”The one before you, a wimpy fellow he was, ” the Devil explained. ”Two swings he took to his neck before they were cut down by my Khukuri. A Strong lad he was. What do these Bangaalis feed you to make you such strong? Fish Heads?”
“Our hill lads! Without pork meat, we don’t even go to shit! You scoundrels, you sell your dignity and loyalty to these Bangaalis!“
Saying so the Devil spat on the face of the Damned. The Devil then took him by the hair and dragged the Damned soul towards the corner of the hut and sealed the door hinge before again returning back to his victim. He pulled out his Khukuri from the Khapat which hung onto his waistband and aimed it towards the Damned.
“One swing or just a slit in your throat? Tell me boy what do you prefer?”
The Damned finally gathered the courage to speak in a moment of panic resembling fear as in a goat about to get slaughtered.
“Make it quick! For the love of Mahakal Baba make it quick!” pleaded the Damned as he broke into tears.
The Devil let out a huge laugh and then again transfixed his eyes down towards the Damned as the way he liked to stare into the eyes of his victim while he beheaded them. Raw emotions gleamed in the eyes of the Damned. The final moments of a man revealed the most out of his personality. Usually, Indrajit’s victims cried and begged in their final hours, but this man in front of him asked nothing but for a quick death.
Indrajit let his eyes wrinkle into a grim-ish smile as he swung his hands to deliver a hit.
He swung his arms midlength and a loud scream echoed through the neighbourhood.
The Damned held his palms against his face and let out another agonizing scream as blood dripped out from his left eye socket.
The The devil laughed his heart out savouring the pain in which his Damned was drenched. He had cut through the left eyeball of his victim only to quench his thirst of sadistic passion which he had gained within the span of the riot’s breakout.
Indrajit went out of the mud-hut and brought himself back with a large Doko, a hand-woven casket and imprisoned his crying victim under its hood. He then shut close the windows and latched them tight. He locked the door as he exited the hut. He knew what was to be done to his prisoner now. The Damned was now set for torturous confinement with a cut eye enclosed inside the dark walls of the hut. Indrajit then covered the windows with rug sacks from the outside so as to let no sunlight air inside the hut.
”How evil I am! , “murmured Indrajit to himself as he let out a faint chuckle while listening to his prisoner crying from the inside.
Indrajit then walked himself towards the nearest stream to clean his Khukuri singing an old folk song as if he had returned after accomplishing something great.
The Damned cried in anguish, his heart-shaking cry echoed all over the place. He started screaming, cursing Indrajit in the foulest of language, he started crying out begging for water. He begged for release from his suffocating confinement. He banged the window through the narrow edges of the Dokko begging for water. He lost his mind in a few moments and started begging for sunlight and fresh air, but his cry was only met by the plain walls.
Indrajit returned to the outside of the hut and studied his victim’s last cries. He knew that excessive blood loss would soon take its toll on his victim. The Damned begged for air and sunlight again and again. His mind had been broken down. Indrajit drew his Khukuri and pierced a small opening through the wall, allowing little sunlight to enter the inside of the hut.
”Is this bright enough?,” asked Indrajit, innocently to his prisoner.
“Let me out you scoundrel!” screamed the impatient Damned.
“Oh my guest, isn’t my hut very cosy? Enjoy some more of its fresh air! Here I’ll open a bigger hole for light to enter. . . there. . . now is this bright enough? “
” To hell with your hospitality let me out! For the sake of , Mahakal Baba let me out! ,” cried the Damned.
“Well, let me sing you a song, dearest guest! Kehi Mitho baat garah, raat tyesai dhalkindai cha. . . The night is falling can’t you see it, oh revered guest? This is as much light you can see for now! Please accept my sincerest apologies! , ” petitioned the Devil.
“To hell with you! You shall not enter heaven! I shall make sure that I kill you and your wife as soon as I get- ”
“-You dare not talk about my wife or else!”
“-and your sister! “
“You’ve had enough! Wait till I peel your skin off your bones! , ” shouting so, Indrajit drew his Khukuri out and rammed himself through the door of the mud-hut.
He saw the floor drenched with blood which had poured itself out from the victim’s eye socket. The Damned had broken through the Doko but had gone blind by now and could not judge the direction from where Indrajit had come. Out of swift rage, Indrajit swung his Khukuri onto the neck of the Damned and sliced it clean with one shot. Blood spurted out from the vena cava of the headless victim and Indrajit cooling his rage, drenched his Khukuri with blood. The headless body fidgeted for a minute before everything was silenced. Indrajit finally cooled down and spat upon the beheaded body with disgust.
”Damned be your soul! ,” Indrajit prayed.
“You wanted sunlight, right? Here enjoy this darkness for eternity now! Damned man, you wanted the windows open right? Here, I shall fulfil your last wish! ,” said Indrajit as if talking to the dead body and walked his way through the corpse towards the window.
Indrajit looked again at the gory sight with little disgust, cursing the so-called traitor of their motherland and finally opened the mud-huts window.
Dimmed ray of the setting sun poured through the window and blanketed over the headless body for once. Indrajit then bent over on his knees and extended his gaze towards the dead body.
And with a grin he then asked sheepishly as if expecting a reply, ” Now mister, is it bright enough? “