The Disobedient

 

The Disobedient

                                        

Ranjit Singh was the landlord of Bandhangarh. He owned a palatial bungalow and most of the land in the entire area. After the death of his two wives, he was living all alone in the vast bungalow. He kept a Doberman dog named Vaghya for company.  The caretaker of the house, Prem Nath, a middle-aged man, was looking after Ranjit Singh since Ranjit Singh lost his mother in his childhood.

Ranjit Singh’s father was a good-natured man but was always lost in drinking, day and night. Prem Nath tried to raise Ranjit Singh as a better human being. But since childhood, Ranjit Singh had got an idea of his being the son of a landlord. He never cared for anyone’s feelings when the person did not obey his orders. He started imposing severe punishment on the errant. For this, every resident of Bandhangarh was scared of him.

In his teenage, Ranjit Singh had once punished Prem Nath when he failed to perform as per his instructions. He punished Prem Nath and made him starve for three complete days. A milder punishment as that was his first offence.

“This being your first crime, you are given this mild punishment. The next time the punishment will last for a longer time and you will be thrashed by a hunter. Remember, you will not be spared.” Ranjit Singh treated his caretaker with such respect.

Vaghya, the Doberman his companion was always tied up with chains. He was given the choice of food. But he was trained to obey Ranjit Singh and no one else. Every evening, Ranjit Singh used to take Vaghya for a walk controlled by a thick chain.

Whoever came across them, was extremely scared to see the ferocious duo.

Though Vaghya was Ranjit Singh’s friend, with whom he used to open out his heart, he was never spared a severe punishment whenever Vaghya committed any offence. Thrashing with hunter was a usual affair.

Vaghya was extremely unhappy over this treatment. He wanted to leave this jail where love was absent. He was looking for an opportunity to escape and lead a life where affection was showered.

Once Ranjit Singh had gone out of the station and Prem Nath had to take Vaghya for the evening jaunt.

Lovable Prem Nath affectionately took Vaghya out and they went to a garden. Vaghya found many other dogs had also come for the stroll. All of them were very happy with their owners. Vaghya decided to escape at the most opportune time.

Prem Nath patted Vaghya and had an affectionate dialogue. Prem Nath let Vaghya take a round in the garden without being controlled by the chain. Vaghya found this opportunity to escape, and he ran away.

Prem Nath was shocked to find Vaghya missing. He searched everywhere but without success. After an hour, he gave up the search and returned home.

The next day when Ranjit Singh came back, he was extremely upset when he knew that Vaghya had run away. He fired Prem Nath left and right.

“So Mr Prem Nath, you have committed the offence once more. Your meals are stopped immediately and be prepared to get thrashed by a hunter. But first of all, I must find Vaghya. How could he run away from me? I will search everywhere and will bring him back.”

He contacted the police and moved all the wheels, searching for Vaghya everywhere.

In the evening Vaghya was back in the house.

Ranjit Singh took out his hunter. Vaghya was tied to one pillar. Sensing the worse, Vaghya started trembling.

“Prem Nath,” Ranjit called at the top of his voice.

Prem Nath anticipated the punishment. He quickly came to Ranjit Singh. He stood on one side. Vaghya was tied up to a pillar on the opposite side.

‘So, you wanted to run away from me? “ looking at Vaghya Ranjit Singh thrashed a whip of the hunter. A splash of blood oozed out from Vaghya. He whined. Prem Nath noticed begging pardon in his eyes. But Ranjit Singh was not to stop at just one whip. He continued one after another. Any human being would have felt sorry for the dog. But not Ranjit Singh.

“Stop. Please stop thrashing him anymore. Poor innocent animal.” Prem Nath shouted from his position.

“Sure, I will stop whipping him.” After a few more thrashes on Vaghya, Ranjit Singh moved to Prem Nath.

“Now let me see who will plead for you.” Saying this Ranjit Singh whipped Prem Nath with the hunter. One after another he whipped him. Blood splashed from Prem Nath’s body. But he stood without uttering a single word, suffering severe pains. After many whips, Ranjit Singh stopped. “This is enough for you for today. Prem Nath, this was for your careless behaviour”.  

But Vaghya’s eyes showed some different feelings. “For my escaping attempt, why should Prem Nath be punished? This is atrocious.” He thought.         

He snarled at Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit Singh whipped a couple of more hunter thrashes on Vaghya and pulled him to the dog room. “No food for Vaghya for the entire week.” He proclaimed.

After chaining down the bloodied Vaghya to a pillar in the room, the door was closed.

Confirming that Ranjit Singh retired to bed, Prem Nath took some food for Vaghya and with some antiseptic to apply to Vaghya’s wounds, he entered the dog room. With affection, he applied an antiseptic to Vaghya’s wounds and gave him some food. Vaghya was hungry for 2-3 days, he gobbled the food and thanked Prem Nath wholeheartedly.

The next two days, Ranjit Singh ensured that food was not served to Vaghya as well as Prem Nath.

Vaghya’s hatred for Ranjit Singh was growing further.

That evening, Ranjit Singh’s new girlfriend visited him. After showing her the entire house, he came to the dog’s room.

Ranjit Singh opened the door. Showed her Vaghya.

“Why are so many wounds on his body?” the friend asked.

“That is the punishment for his misbehaviour.” Ranjit Singh proudly told her.

“But this is wrong. That is not the way to keep dogs.” She said.

“No. This idiot deserves this type of treatment.” Ranjit Singh argued.

“But now, he is going to disobey you more. This treatment is going to push him away from you,” the friend said.

“He dare not disobey me.” Ranjit Singh.

“I bet he will not obey you.” Repeated the friend.

“I will show you.” Saying this Ranjit ordered Vaghya to stand on two legs.

And Vaghya ignored him. Again Ranjit Singh shouted. “Vaghya. Stand up on two legs.”

Vaghya again ignored him. Ranjit Singh’s friend laughed.

Feeling insulted, Ranjit Singh again shouted at the top of his voice. “Vaghya.”

Vaghya was determined to put Ranjit Singh down in front of his friend.

Ranjit Singh shouted again. Vaghya remained unmoved.

The friend again laughed loudly. “Ranjit, forget about this. I will leave now. Tell me when your dog starts obeying you.”

She picked up her purse and got into her car and left.

Feeling insulted, Ranjit Singh took out his hunter and entered the dog room. He saw Prem Nath feeding Vaghya.

All the more annoyed, Ranjit whipped Prem Nath first and then turned towards Vaghya.

“Prem Nath get out of this room. I want to see how Vaghya can disobey me.”

Sensing the worst to happen, Prem Nath left the room but not before unchaining Vaghya.

Ranjit closed the door and started thrashing Vaghya.

One after another whips the hunter. Vaghya was whining louder and louder. But Ranjit Singh was in a murderous mood. He was not sparing even a single minute. One after another whips.

Vaghya moved to save any further whips. And to Vaghya’s surprise, he could successfully save himself as he was free to move. The chain was loosened. He moved further and he was out of the reach of the hunter.

Vaghya realizing he was free to take his action, jumped on Ranjit Singh. With force, he chopped the muscle of his stomach. Spurts of blood came out of Ranjit Singh’s stomach. While dodging Vaghya’s attack, Ranjit Singh dropped the hunter. Now without any weapon, Ranjit Singh was defenceless. Vaghya was tearing off one bit after another from his stomach. Ranjit Singh fell, and Vaghya tore off his face. Ranjit Singh lay silent in the pool of blood. Vaghya continued ripping his body into pieces. Licking the blood on his mouth, Vaghya looked triumphantly around.

Sensing the end of the noise of hunter thrashing, and the low sound of whining, Prem Nath opened the door. He found Ranjit Singh lying dead in the pool of blood and Vaghya licking his mouth full of blood.      

Seeing Prem Nath, Vaghya jumped close to him and started licking him vehemently. Prem Nath picked up the hunter and threw it off.  

      

Vijay Likhite

 

 

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