The Walk

By Anuradha S. Bannore

As we walked down the street we heard someone cry feebly “Help me!”

We turned in the direction of the sound

There was  not a soul to be seen

We continued walking when the voice pleaded in earnestness,

“Please don’t leave help me, please help me! I’m in great pain. I’ve been looted & beaten up. Kindly take me to a hospital”

On hearing this we immediately retraced our steps & looked everywhere but could see no one at first. On searching & moving towards the direction from where the sound was coming we suddenly saw a young beautiful girl lying in a pool of blood with many bruises on her body. We quickly ran towards her when suddenly out of the blue we saw a group of armed men charging towards us. Frantically we tried to run away from there & save the wounded girl who much to our surprise had disappeared into the thin air. We turned around on hearing a malicious laughter & were shocked to see the girl laughing her guts out & shouting, ” See how I tricked you, you stupid educated fools. Don’t you all know never trust anyone in the middle of nowhere. Now hand over all you have otherwise my men will skin you alive”

Seeing & hearing this was the greatest shock of our life. We tried to be friendly & make her see what she was doing was a crime & she could be jailed. All our efforts were useless. She grunted & sort of growled ferociously at us. It were as if she would pounce on us & tear us to pieces. Now the tables had turned on us & we pleaded anxiously for mercy. All of them pretended to be deaf & kept charging towards us with their terrible weapons. Then one of them poked their weapon in my friend’s chest so fiercely that I thought she will surely die but to our surprise she screamed & started running madly in all directions only to find more armed men jumping out of the bushes ready to kill all of us. There seemed to be no escape from the hovering death dancing before our eyes. We cried out in earnestness for help but in that god forsaken place there was no one to hear us.  We then started praying & asking God to help us. All our efforts were useless. By now it had grown dark & gradually all hopes of our survival were dwindling away. We just couldn’t think of anything other than our death standing right there in front of us. We knew within no time we would be a dead lot. None of us wanted to die in that manner but had no choice. We would be paying a very heavy price for being kind & helpful. We knew we would be murdered or rather butchered when these people found nothing valuable with us. We finally gave up fighting against them & silently followed their orders/ commands.  Our hands & feet were tied & mouth gagged. We were blind folded & led to god alone knows where. We were pushed into a hut, I think & literally dumped with no love or care. For hours we lay there all completely exhausted, fainting with thirst & hunger. The ropes & the gag hurt us terribly but there was no respite from this agonising pain. It was quite dark & it stank of smoke. Rather it was an amalgamation of all sorts of stinks.  Some of our friends we heard being dragged out  moaning in pain, heard a muffled cry & then there was absolute silence. We shivered in pain & fear of what that meant & knew where our destiny was taking us one by one on the darkest road of our life. It seemed an endless night. When finally the blind folds were removed we found ourselves in the most dingy basement there could ever be. We felt extremely hungry but got nothing to eat ecept some water to drink. We felt weak due to hunger but got nothing except water & beating because they got no valuables from us as we had none. That was the biggest crime on our part. They beat  & tortured us when we refused to give them phone numbers of our family. Their idea was to collect a ransom atleast. It was a terrible situation that we had landed ourselves into but what could we do now.. absolutely nothing other than wait for our turn to be ruthlessly murdered

We prayed for mercy and questioned God if that was the reward for our kindness but then thought it’s not God’s doing but the wicked avaricious humans who kill mercilessly for greed of just anything & everything. Waiting there in darkness we wondered why did we stop to help & decided if we survived henceforth we will never ever in our life commit this mistake again. We thought those who preferred to go their way without pitying such impostors were really sensible & not foolish selfish mean minded people but of course because of such impostors genuinly needy ones will undoubtedly suffer but we have to be cautious & since we can’t differentiate between the two it’s better to go our way lest we get caught in a devilish trap. This may sound like being inhuman but everyone needs to be safe. Life is too precious to be sacrificed on the altar of deceit.  This is just a story but nowadays nothing is impossible so take care everyone.

About the Author: About the Author: Anuradha S. Bannore is a prolific writer and an alumni of Jabalpur University with M.A in English. She retired as a teacher and currently lives in Vadodara India. 

3 Comments

  1. a very timely warning . people assume themselves to be unkind if they do not help people in distress but see the price one pays when such schemers cheat people … so one good turn really these days does not deserve another is what one gathers from this eye-opening story. Reminds me of ‘baba bharti’s ghoda (horse) . this Hindi short story is relevant here.
    well knitted story & true in every respect

  2. Thanks Ms Diwakar for your appreciation of my short story. It’s true some people make others life miserable by cheating them. Innocent people are trapped & tricked in this way

  3. Vanita Thakkar says:

    Nice narrative and a very important message in it.
    It indeed reminds of the Hindi story by Sudarshan – Baba Bharati …. his beautiful horse that was deceitfully and forcefully taken away by a dacoit named Khadagsingh ….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *