Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Promise

It was a sunny day and she drove her old age mini pickup in hurry towards the station late afternoon. As she passed the old level crossing few miles before the station she heard the train leaving the station. She was driving for hours sacrificing her food breaks since morning.
This is a great day, she said to herself. She even remembered now that how she forgot to leash the dogs and even kept the farm door open in a haste to reach. She always preferred once a while to have her wild cattle’s run into her own farm rather than outside where teen poachers who always kept strangling them for the fresh meat and leather. The risk seemed unworthy today. The day she had been waiting for was finally here. She remembered her childhood, sitting on the farm fence and looking at the trains passing by with her old father and talking about the travelers and the journeys …
The dusty road ran through the sunflower farms spread around, the gusty wind twirled up the dust painting the trees and shrubs with golden tinge. Here it came, the station. She saw couple of cars and pickup trucks moving around the cargo and few passengers. Then came the old farmer with his buggy ( horse cart) crossing her way, he waived at her and with one hand he managed to point towards the station with a smile on his face for her while the other hand engaged in tightening the leather leash binding the wild horses in a subtle discipline of the road.
She felt as if everyone now knows about her pricey possession awaiting her at the station. She pulled her pickup almost near to the cargo entrance and rushed into the section where she could see a big parcel of her ‘sunflower seed crusher’ wrapped in a tidy cloth packaging with her name and farm address printed with the red ink. She ran towards it, her hands were all-over the package just like cuddling her beloved dream. It took her several hours to complete the paperwork, pay off transportation charges, finding few men who helped her load the machine behind her pickup.
“Are you ok? Will you be able to unload it yourself at the destination: said the chap who was eager to help her organizing it to load?”; “its fine? I have few laborers down there who will take care, There you go!” she handed over few coins in his hands and slammed the door to return. She did not like him staring into her cleavage while she was closing the rear loading bay doors. He seems to be candid and kept on smiling at her...his golden hair indeed had some magic. “Life is tough!” She said to herself. She knew that she may had to wait till next four days that anyone will come to her farm to unload the stuff once she is back after a long return journey. But she preferred lying to this guy as she suspected him to be the part of the local goons and decided to avoid him altogether.
As she drove away from the station on her return, she kept on gazing in the rear view mirror. The guy kept looking towards her direction. His golden hair kept shining away in the setting sun.
This is not the first time that she has been bold to the strangers, as a practice she has managed the art of showing her self confidence and being aggressive as part of her biggest defense. Twelve years in the remote farm after her father’s death in her late thirties. She exhibited her first remarkable achievement to be the only one to own the seed crushing machine and to start her very own oil factory in the territory. No one has ever even dreamt of such desire. Shouldering the responsibilities of her large farm solely was not only difficult at the adolescent age but demanded lot by sacrificing all the fun in her demanding age and working towards fulfilling the promise she made on the deathbed of her beloved father…she was almost day dreaming by then!
KRIIIIIIIIISH! The vehicle came to a grinding halt as she tried managing a deep turn and the rear wheel seems to have divorced the well run business. Luckily she managed to control it with great skill and effort, and just halted it just before the abandoned check post. Just about twenty-two miles away from her farm and at least an hour long good walk to the next juncture to the nearby garage. She was helpless. The wheel base was piping hot and vaporizing, she realized that the wheel base was jammed with the broken brake sole and gave up.

She went back to pickup the loose tyre where she spotted some thing broken besides the wheel nuts! She realized that it must be the crafty act of someone doing something to the wheels!! She failed to notice that it is the brake drum which broke. She continued her imagination, blame game!! The first face which came up on her mind was ‘Him’, the guy with golden hair…it must have been him, he must be on my chase, he looked stranger and must have done this…or he could have be sent by those poachers, local goons…god knows!!
Her mind was contemplating the distance, task in hand and the setting sun. The loneliness while was her pal for some years now had just turn away inculcating fear of being young and alone into her fast imaginative mind. The spare tyre was of no use as the vehicle needed a complete overhaul of the rear axle and the wheel assembly. Her heart started beating fast; she looked around to see no one for miles. Her farm seemed far far away to reach…and she had no answer for the current situation...
Deserted road was still playing with the wind and twirling the grass. She felt trapped in situation, the new machine after years of savings and craving was right there in front of her not letting her leave it unattended to reach out for help and on the other side setting Sun and the her farm which required her to be there for the evening activities safeguarding it. She was trying to keep her cool but anxiety was taking the toll. About few hours or so that she kept waiting for someone to pass by for help…but no one turned up! Clock kept ticking and her mind kept playing with all evil ideas and characters she would have been afraid of thinking, she was tortured with almost insecurity and deserted feelings…
Sun was almost setting, it was bit cold so she pulled old rag from beneath the front seat and wrapped herself, as she continues to wait, it had been at least five times that she got down and went on to reanalyzed the rear wheel, as if she would get some extraordinary innovative idea, but luck seem not favoring her intellect! She was broke, small tears ran down her face and she remembered her father holding her hand and helping her pass through small challenges in her childhood days, she remembered him and wept!
While she started she had kept some fruits and portion of bread for her journey but her overconfidence mumbled and she did not bother to carry it with her at all. She was tired and hungry. The fatigue started taking over… the cool wind slowly kept caressing her and for a moment her eyes took her back down memory lane!
Ku Ku! Ku Ku! She heard a small kuku clock chiming, her eyes opened slowly! Suddenly she remembered vehicle breakdown, New machine was still there in rear and there was no one to fix the wheel assembly, she was wide awake by now and found herself in a cozy bed with a small yet bright window opening besides her, the room was modern and simple and quite! The walls were nicely painted with cool pestal colors and smalls picture frames delicately placed on the walls with some facinating posters and kids running on the beach! she realized that it's been ages that she was looking pictures of sea and the sunset over the water.
It must be late morning as she could realize looking at the morning sun. The place was unknown even the surroundings, she swa her pickup just parked outside and was fixed. She slowly, cautiously took herself off the bed and moved near the door. It was locked! She got confused, and started knocking on the door; no one seems to have heard her plea. She gave up and looked around to see a glass of milk kept on the corner table near the other side of bed; as she was hungry; she rushed towards it and emptied the glass.
She kept thinking, again started knocking the door with more force but it did not work…she choose to wait not that long as she heard a dog barking outside with someone approaching, she was worried. The attire of the room was almost claming her down and just then someone opened the door! She was shocked!!
“Sunbeam Edibles” was the most profitable venture for the oil mill celebrating twenty fourth year of operation; the neighborhood was proud and well stabilized due to hundreds of jobs running the sunflower oil processing with hundreds of machines and acres of farms producing sunflower seeds. Second floor of the administrative office was reserved only for the directors, the spacious offices indulge into profit stories and soaring demand for the produce.
The board room had all the ultra modern equipments and large glass top table, you did also noticed a nice portrait of a women with a dog standing beside a golden haired person with a mischievous smile, yes they both ran this business in the valley for decades since they met each other accidentally with one single seed crusher and a broken pickup truck. That night seems to have changed their lives as he comes from the seashore far off the country and she was the one who traded her life for her father’s dream!!
Had you noticed that frame where they both stood outside a small church in nearby village, that must had been their wedding day, she was smiling and their hands were tied together for good!! Had you noticed it…

3 Comments:

Blogger sonal said...

wow!!!

Like it...

9:44 PM, March 08, 2007  
Blogger pragati said...

such a sweet and nice story :)

2:39 AM, June 25, 2008  
Blogger Rajesh Dangi said...

thanks...

2:59 AM, June 25, 2008  

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