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The Young Saviours

‘We have to save him’

‘Certainly, we must and I swear that if get hold of that goon I’ll give him a good dressing down’

‘but remember, he’s 22yrs elder to you’

‘And still pea brained…what a pity’ 11 yr old Ravi said with a grin.

‘Shh…there he is’ Jonna said pointing to a middle aged man who just sauntered in front of Ravi’s house. The children gazed at him in horror. The man glared back at them, squinted his nose and scowled at them-his over-weight physic depicting the epitome of an addicted drunkard-a rasistance to the society at night.

Jonna pretended a mock smile (as if she was really too happy to see her drunkard neighbor).

Probably this man who now tried to stable himself on his shoes too tried to smile back at them for he had transformed his grimace to an uncanny fashion of his face.

Ravi raised his hand to wave him goodbye then turned to enter his house. But instead, both of them ducked quietly behind a jamun tree to observe this chap’s actions.  And then they watched him smash a glass bottle right in front of the driveway and continued staggering from side to side along the boulevard.

‘Bruno’s in grave danger’ Jonna whispered

Ravi nodded as he resolved in his mind ways to sneak into his neighbor’s yard and rescue Bruno.

‘What now?’ Jonna asked

‘We’ll enter through the back gate which opens up right in front of Bruno’s kennel. We don’t have to open it. We’ll climb over it. Okay listen…’

As soon as Ravi had explained his plan, they heard

‘Let’s go before it’s too late’

They had executed the plan as it was decided.

Bruno lay writhing on the ground-his golden-brown coat smeared with vermillion and sand. His emaciated legs moved in disharmony. His black eyes starred up at the sky, as though it was his style of praying, a dog’s way of expressing his grief.

He yelped as Jonna took him on her lap. ‘Oh you poor thing’ she said brushing her fingers through his fleece, ‘Don’t worry we’re here to set you free’. He let another painful yelp.

And as they tried to trespass out of their

‘Who’s there?’ the drunkard stepped out of the darkness, flashing a torch at his pet and the two teens. ‘What are you two doing here?’ he asked infuriated.

‘We, we came here to rescue your dog’ Ravi replied trying to be brave.

‘Rescue my dog at his own house eh?’ he mocked

‘He’s not happy here’

‘Oh really? He’s absolutely happy here. Now get out and go to sleep. It’s late’

‘We’re taking Bruno along with us’

‘My dog doesn’t have a name. and besides he’s a part of my property’

‘Now he does have a name and he isn’t just a part of your property. He was meant to be your friend and to be given that right. But you torture him and abuse him after your alcohol pangs’

‘You mean with this’ he said helding his belt high, ‘If I wish I can do the same with you’

‘Listen, we didn’t come here to fight with you’ Jonna intervened ‘All we want is Bruno to be given real love and care’

‘He gets so’ Bruno’s owner replied

‘You don’t feed him well. You don’t pay any heed to him. Then why don’t you let us adopt him?’ Ravi asked agitated.

‘You didn’t buy him right. I bought him. So I won’ let anyone else have him for free’

‘So it’s all about money then’ Ravi clarified ‘Well then, what’s his M.R.P.?’

‘I bought him for 10,000 bucks’

‘Look at his condition first. We won’t even pay you 8000. 5000 and be done with that’

The drunk gave a thoughtful look.

‘Agreed. But I need the money in cash’

‘Deal’

Rhea and Rahul each contributed 3000 bucks from their savings to buy Bruno back from his estranged owner.

Nowadays, Bruno is seen playing in Rahul’s courtyard or being fed biscuits in Rhea’s porch. According to them, that was the best spent 3000 bucks of their life.

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It was a Sunday morning; an as usual Sunday morning. I casually sat in the park, enjoying the sight of many young and old that came for evening walks or to work out their fats.  ‘My fats will never burn even if I do hundred push-ups a day’ I thought. My eyes scanned the entire area-greenery amongst concrete. That is when I spotted this girl- Niharika. I didn’t know her then though she was my neighbor  She came with her mother, clasping her mother’s hand like a tiny tot at my age. At first it seemed a bit amusing. Her mother led her to a nearby bench- made her sit and she left to join her friends circle. She sat there, her head turning from left to right. Her hanky slipped down. She didn’t notice that. I guess she was busy in her own world. So, I duly went and picked it up.  I think she ignored me too.

“Excuse me, you’re hanky” I said, as politely as etiquette demands. She held out her hand in response. I sat beside her. She had beautiful brown eyes that matched well with her fair complexion.

“Hello-”, I began, “I’m Tania. What’s your name?”

“I don’t talk with strangers” she retorted looking away from me

“We can be friends…”

She sat still. As if I was akin to any other abiotic component. My touchy nature would not let me forget and forgive this insult (not exactly one). ‘Do what you want! Sit alone in this park and I don’t care!’  My mind hauled over the coals.

Days flew by. And contrary to what I had stated earlier, that incident faded away gradually.

It was a social gathering held in one of our neighbor’s house. I had no interest in visiting such parties. But that day, the extent to which my sister pissed me was at its utmost limit and she was successful in removing the ‘unsocial’ tag from me.

The house was so cramped up. I wonder why ladies held such activities in their miniature bungalows in no other attempt but to showcase their affluence. And comically there was no trace of mosquitoes while it was a rainy day. How will they survive if they get in?

I sat in one of the corners alone for a few minutes until my chum came over.

“Hey, how’s on?”  , she asked

“Fine. School’s hectic although” I replied.

As we were in the middle of our conversation, that ‘I-don’t-talk-with-strangers’ girl entered. As usually, she was accompanied by her mother. She was donned in an oblong yellow dress. How weird.

“Poor girl” my chum sympathized

“Poor? Doesn’t seem so.”

“Not in that way but…she’s blind”

That was the shock of my life. She was blind. Whatever she did, the way she behaved, what she wore had only one reason behind them-the fact that she was blind. She had beautiful eyes which didn’t serve their actual purpose. She didn’t even know how she looked. She never saw and could not see this beautiful but cruel world. She was BLIND. I suppose that was the worst irregular conjugation I had and will ever make in my life. That day was a turning point, a vantage point to check my judgments.

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