THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || PART 3 Skip to main content

THE UNTOLD STORY OF A FEW GOOD MEN - KHEERGANGA || PART 3

Vishnu poured four cups and the owner asked me, "Do you want some?" I asked, "What is it?". "Oh! this is our favourite alcoholic drink prepared by jaggery in our homes. We can't go so far into the town just to bring a bottle. Our forefathers have derived a way to make it in home. Our mothers and wives prepare it." Although I would not have accepted the drink, but it sounded exciting and I knew I might never get to taste it again in my life. So I happily agreed. It tasted just like jaggery dissolved in some bitter liquid. I drank very very slowly intentionally so that they can enjoy their last day with whatever they had without involving me. I asked him, "So what are your plans for the future after this?". "Plans? Huh! This was not even a plan that is happening with us. We are in pain." Vishnu said, "Brother, this is something we never wanted. This is our living and they are snatching it from us" "They who?" I asked. "The government." "Oh! Why? They must be having a reason. They always have." "Last year the court warned us to take out our tents and not settle in the next season. They said this is illegal land for you. This is government's land and you have not bought it. You cannot use it commercially. Next year you should not put up these tents." "So, is this illegal?" "Yes" The owner of my tent area said. For simplicity let us call him Shiv. "So that means govt is right?" "Yes they are actually" A very sad tone came from my left where one of the worker was sitting. "Then, why did you put up these tents again?" I surprisingly asked. "Well, in the start of this season, we talked to the local minister. We talked about the seriousness of the issue. Do we have to really put out these tents? The minister said that you do not need to worry. You put up your tents and I will see the legal matter. And so we did." Vishnu was looking directly to me while speaking these words with a smiling face. Shiv said," We have invested 2-5 lakhs INR on putting up these tents. And the season started just last week." "Then what happened with the minister?"




"We don't know, the court judge came here to see the place and was surprised to see these tents. He ordered one week final warning to us. This time we have to go." The money they invested could not be returned now. They have invested for nothing. There is no way for them to recover the money. "You know, I came to set up this so that I don't have to work for anybody. I left my job, I abused the boss while resigning. I couldn't work under anyone, you should be your own boss in life." Shiv said. Vishnu said, "Aah! And what about your wife, you don't even care for her, you are married 10 years now." "15" "10" "15" and they argued. Vishnu told me about their family business. Both of them had their apple farms where they had their homes. Vishnu told me that "Each one of us used to export 300 cartons of apple to Delhi. That is lakhs of money there. But this time, due to unusual rain the apple farm is destroyed. This time I could get just 20 cartons of apple and Shiv could get only 15. That is double loss for everyone. Now they are losing the money they invested in tents and they lost the money from apple farms. This year they have no source of income now." But look at the pleasure of leaving this place with the glass of whiskey in their hands.




They did not know what they will do for the rest of the year. They were all confused. They were all destroyed. Keep yourselves in their shoes. You have no money and no future income source. On the top of that all the money you invested is lost and you live in a far away place which is very far away from the nearest town. You actually live on the mountain in a village. I could have sat with them for long but I wanted them to enjoy among themselves. Often people feel shy and do not do things in front of strangers. It was their last day. I went back to my tent. They had converted a stressful situation to something exciting by enjoying their last day rather than grieving on it. A few minutes later I could hear them singing loudly in Himachali. By the songs and sounds, I could easily guess they were dancing. They enjoyed their last day. A man was waving the torch whose light was visible on my tent gate. They were getting the feel of a disco. I was very tired. I slept after few minutes with a smile.


Next morning, I could not find the owner. I paid the bill to the worker and started descending the trek. While descending both of the soles of my shoes got torn. I was lucky that I was very close to the owner's village Nakthan. They had one general shop from where I purchased the glue. I reached Barshaini at around 3 pm and took the bus to Bhuntar for my way back. All the way my mind was stuck at their condition. Tomorrow these things won't matter to me or anyone living in the city. But tomorrow will be harder for them. It took me a 24 hour bus ride to reach my home town. All my way I slept and thought of them. I would have not written this trip if I had not met them. They served the special purpose. Their story should not be left unheard. I hope any of you meet any of them someday. I hope they are enjoying the same as much as they did a night before. I hope their life is all sorted. I am glad to tell the untold story of these few men. I hope you liked their story. Would love to hear it from you.

Thank You.

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