Tomba said “Let’s elope, Asha”.
Asha: no I cant its not the time we must earn first I mean we get to be constructive and productive first, I don't want to dumb my kids in another gutter like folks do here
Lets be practical...and you know I will wait for you till you come up with a proper stand.
Tomba: what do you mean by “you will wait”....I been waiting for you so many years...you mean I am too poor to feed you or bring my kids up? Okay fine...wait.
I wont come up with anything here I know, my dad is not rich as yours.
It is you that I have to come up with. All I have to show in this world, not world, in this town' is even if I am worthless for a single penny job, I can be a good lover and a great husband and father.
Yeah, Asha I get your point I should leave my dream like I have left those cities where I learn.......
Asha: hey my boy, don’t be sad…I am not going to leave you even if you leave me....
Inside of tomba glows little with happiness...it seems all he needed was some good soft word which can lift him upwards a bit.
Asha: Ok if we elope now, where will we go? You have any friend out here nearby?
Tomba: Come on Asha I am not prepared mentally for all those running and all...
Asha: I hate you...you can not keep your words. What happen to your dream of showing the town you are good lover and husband…forget the kids…I guess there is not a drop of blood of man inside your vein
I am going home…you keep sulking here or day dreaming. Wait for the sky to fall and drown yourself in the Loktak Lake and suffocate…
Tomba, “Do not you think you are being bit harsh on me”
Come on I am ready do not go...I will lead you…
Tomba sighed, “Oh god! Where is the key of my god damned scooter...check it inside your purse...Oh! I got it…”
He started the engine of his museum stuff sort of scooter. Asha keeps mum standing next to the scooter. The smoke from the silencer pipe is blowing her thin black pant…he grab her hand and pull her to sit for the ride towards a different life that they have never come across.
Asha asked, “Where are we heading? Imphal is that side…”
Tomba is busy with his thoughts of finding a friend, anyway I know a friend here
His name is Shamu. We will go to his place.
They reach the place. He calls out Shamu and murmured something. Shamu said I can’t believe you are in love; forget of being eloped...you used to have a sort of attitude which is.....forget it.
I will call my mom and tell her...you two go to my room...my room is next to the drawing room where you will find the poster of Old comrade Pete Seeger. Old habit never dies.
Asha: So we have eloped
Tomba: yeah we have, nothing is so exciting yet
Asha: ha-ha we have a long night ahead...You are going to love it
Tomba: I never thought you could talk that. Anyway I love being dirty
i raised myself up whole of my life next to sandy bank of Imphal river, which is very dirty and shitty.
And you know one thing i am a very good observer. I did observe the dried cow dung being blown up into real big when it rains...HAHAH.
Asha: very funny!! (Sarcastic tone).
Asha is asthmatic. She needs her medicine every now and then...she asked Tomba to get his medicine as she had forgotten to bring it. Tomba asked her to wait for Shamu to come back.
Shamu comes back and asked, “So my friend what do you like to have for dinner? I can get you fresh fish of Loktak Lake.”
Well anything will do as I don’t have money with me...
I am buying you bastard leave that habit of saying you are poor, don’t spoil your father's image with every time you breathe with your stinking god damned mouth.
Saying it Shamu heads for the small market which is half Kilometer away from his place where women sell fish from Loktak Lake and Ningthoukhong canal. Evening scene there is watch able. Anyone can leave message there. It will reach Imphal or anywhere automatically. But the news reach bit distorted when it reaches its destiny. So one has to filter the news Like Often scientists do when ever they received Photons from another galaxy or stars.
Tomba enters the room where Asha is changing. He takes some money giving a peck on her head, looking differently into her eyes as if he is going to be exiled.
He rides on his scooter and looking around for a chemist shop. He asks to a roadside roasted maize seller. The man tells him he has to go for another half kilometer. He goes on.
He can see Manipur Police and Indian armies being on the road. He sees a long queue of people, including Kids, women, and old men. He soon reaches the spot. H is stopped by an Indian army.
He is inquired about what all he is doing here and check his ids and driving license.
He is asked to join the queue.
He said,” I just eloped with my girlfriend today; I need to get her medicine and get back to her, Please, Sir.”
The Army said, “Fuck you, we are killed here on these roads of yours by your own people and you fucking your girlfriend, Listen to me now is the real time for us to fuck you.”
Deep inside him he becomes worried what all it may bring in the end. Soon he is thrown to a military colored truck with some other fellows. All his dreams seem to fade now. No one knows him there, he is stranger and that makes the situation worse for him.
Their eyes are folded blind. And who knows where are they being driven?
The clock strikes 9 'o clock. Asha becomes restless and helpless too.
Shamu soon learns the news that there has been an ambushed on Assam rifles near Leimatak.
Five AR Jawans, one lady and two men were killed on the spot.
Shamu informs Asha about the things. Asha soon breaks down as if she was cut into pieces by the night. Tears rolling down on her cheeks silently, she remains silent to digest what is happening.
The warmth of the tears she can feel. Slowly she asks Shamu, “What shall I do now?”
Shamu suggests she better go back home. Shamu requests his mother to drop Asha at her place with some other old folks of the locality. Soon Asha is transported like she was dead.
Morning comes with the sound of newspaper-boy throwing newspaper. It does not take much time for habitual protesters to come out on the streets and demand to release Tomba and the other fellows.
The streets are filled with smoke from burning effigies. The trees are cut down to block the roads.
The cops are shooting tear gas shells driving people crazy and wild. Things go on like this for a week. Schools are closed, markets are deserted, and news in the newspaper is so much to read. Every corner has a sit-in-protest in white clothes with big, big banners.
The politicians keep mum.
Days go on with the same old sun
Kids playing and having fun
Like summer vacation breaks out
On a side the cops are in hunt
Of the Land's real sons
Everybody gets a gun
Some shows it off
Some not and hide
An open secret to be told
The insurgents demanding money
To feed the brainless with the guns
Who knows no shit to talk
Who knows what the cost of sweat is
And finding the cost of freedom
Even an ocean of such people
Does not deserve
One drop of sweat of rickshaw pullers
Two years pass by. Asha is married to another man. She now has a one and half year old daughter.
She often remembers Tomba's word. But she does not speak it out to anyone. It is a closed chapter of her life. She teaches in a college. She was forced to work by her parents to keep her occupied with something as she sulked whole day and night.
“Silence was what haunted her sleepless nights
Sweating underneath, her own skin like, blanket,
Her eyes were closed, her soul was fried
Her hands grab the end of pillow
Which wiped the tears off.
Facing the walls of his different faces
She knew he was a poet inside
Who felt the depth of Imphal River.”
yet to put up more!!!!!!!