Ever since I saw this movie, "Ek choti si love story", a few months back, a similar story which I am intimately familiar with, has been haunting me. If you have not seen the movie, here is the brief story. This Manisha Koirala starred movie is about a teenage boy falling in love with a woman much older to him. In most of the movie, the boy observes his beloved 'auntie' using telescope and experiences a whole array of emotions depending upon what he observes. A radical theme for Indian cinema but movie was in news for wrong reasons - actress Manisha accusing director & producer Shashilal Nair of inserting nude scenes depicting her which were allegedly shot using a dupe, which supposedly defamed Manisha. Nevertheless, it was a different movie.
Soon after I finished watching the movie, I started remembering a similar story that happened to a friend of mine during 92-93. Coincidently I also happened to read a news piece about one of the characters in Dharwad version of "Ek Choti Si Love Story" and decided that it was time to pen this one.
Let's call him Darshya. Name is mangled to protect his identity. Darshya was a misguided young man. He hailed from a very cultured and nice family but did not have the discipline that most of us had. Darshya had lost his father when he was very young and his mother was in a sort of mild depression ever since. As usual Darshya fell into the company of wrong friends during his teenage years. Due to this he got exposed all exciting things too soon. Sex was one of those exciting things. Darshya was the authentic source for answers to all our sex related questions. He also used to tell stories of his older buddies engaging in exciting orgies. Knowing some of his notorious friends and their backgrounds, I did not have any doubts about the stories of Darshya.
During his early teens, Darshya was only a pain-in-the-butt kind of a kid. As usual he played cricket with gusto. He used to say that he would migrate to New Zealand and play for that country as he had heard about Deepak Patel, a player of Indian origin who made big name playing for New Zealand. Darshya was clueless about immigration laws etc. Prior to his cricketing hey days, Darshya and his gang of little rascals were notorious for one thing, which I still do not understand how to term it. It was a real estate boom around KUD area. Several new houses were being built. While a house is being built, a large water tank is constructed to store water for construction purposes and it eventually serves the purpose of a septic tank after the construction is over. Darshya and his gang of little rascals used to wander the area aimlessly urinating in every tank they found. Watchmen were upset with these kids so much so that it used to be their conversation opener when two watchmen met. Once, after a coordinated effort from several watchmen in the neighborhood, Darshya and his gang was caught and thrashed thoroughly. One cruel person wanted to strip them and parade them nude ("Chonna kaLdu od-soodu" in Kannada). Looking at Darshya, who had grown like 'honagya', they gave up on stripping them and let them go after thrashing them thoroughly. This incident pushed Darshya's mom into much more depression.
This background information about Darshya was essential to prepare the reader for the future adventures of Darshya. Darshya was a good cricketer and went on to play for KUD but nothing else in his life was exciting. He could not find any 'maal' (girl) solely due to his notoriety and other 'honagya' characteristics. At that time, Darshya's vagabond friends gave him the idea to chase some hot auntie. After having heard of myriad of tales of success of 'Turki Patil" with aunties, Darshya wanted to pursue this avenue with zeal. (As far as I know, "Turki Patil" systematized the art and culture of 'auntie patao' (seducing married middle aged women) in Dharwad. This notorious Casanova had secret liaisons with several aunties. "Turki" was added to his last name because he was always scratching private parts of his body apparently to relieve himself from the itch generated by some venereal disease. No wonder considering the activities he was into. Turki Patil died a few years ago due to unknown cause and as you would have guessed, people attributed it to AIDS - a reasonable possibility).
First rule of "auntie patao" was to become friends with her kids. For Darshya there was this auntie in the same lane as his who was quite friendly with everyone in the neighborhood. Darshya used to provide cricket coaching to her son who was around 5 years old at that time. Since Darshya did not have anyone left, his best friends were a bunch of kids who looked up to him as their big brother.
On the pretext of coaching her son, Darshya used to spend inordinate amounts of time at auntie's house. Auntie was a very friendly woman and used to talk to Darshya very freely as she did with almost everyone in the neighborhood. Many women miss their maternal home so much so that they try to simulate their maternal home wherever they live. They find a neighborhood kaka, mama, ajja, vaini, tamma, negaNNi and other relationships in their different neighbors. Many of them sorely miss their little brothers and yearn for the company of a young man who can remind them of their little brother. I myself have been fortunate to receive such affection from several neighborhood aunties for which I am grateful. I am sure many of you also have similar experiences.
This woman also had a special soft corner for Darshya probably due to the fact that she too had a younger brother of his age. Lustful Darshya took her friendliness and casualness totally wrong. On top of it, Turki Patil, who ogled at anything remotely feminine, pumped him up describing his encounters with aunties in lewdest and raunchiest language adding fuel to Darshya's 'kaamagni' (fire of sex).
Subsequent to being exhorted by Turki Patil to go and bite the proverbial forbidden apple, Darshya's nights were dominated by fantasies regarding the neighborhood auntie. Darshya was vexed as how to seduce this auntie who had almost fallen for him (according to him). Asking in person was not an option. We small town kids were not so much street smart to ask 'aati kya khandala'. So, once again Turki Patil gave the idea to write a letter, pass it to her and wait for her response. Turki Patil also assured Darshya that it was least risky. For this small amount of risk, Turki Patil was painting a rosy picture of unimaginable possibilities.
Finally Darshya got a letter written. No idea if he wrote it or someone else wrote it for him. Looking at his scholastic aptitude, I cannot understand how Darshya could have written a grammatically correct letter in legible Kannada or any language with a script. Turki Patil who had performed 'dumki' in SSLC several times also could not have come to his rescue. So, some professional love letter writer helped him out and Darshya got his letter.
One fine day in the winter of 1992, Darshya gave that letter to auntie. She was apparently surprised but accepted it without realizing what was in it. Darshya had placed the call and now had to wait to get the 'line'. Darshya had given her special instruction as how to respond positively to his proposal. How to respond negatively was not specified as anything not positive was going to be considered as negative per the advice of Turki Patil.
As many of us would have guessed, the response from the Auntie was totally negative. She was decent enough to have just stopped interacting with Darshya. Being graceful in addition to being beautiful, she did not create a big issue out of that but gave one cold hard stare to Darshya for one final time and that instilled the fear of God in Darshya. That's when his nightmare began to unfold.
Till now Darshya had considered only the positive outcome because Turki Patil had conquered so many aunties and assured him that all aunties were desperados. With the negative response, Darshya started to get cold feet. There was a reason for his enormous concern - auntie's eldest brother was a PSI in Dharwad at that time.
So what? Many people have relatives in police, how does that matter? In order to understand, you need to recall (if you can) about the tenure of this cop in Dharwad. He was in Dharwad only for a year or so and then got transferred to some 'better' place as relatively crime free Dharwad did not interest him much. He was one of the cruelest cops that people of Dharwad may have seen. He was rude, brash, cruel and sadist beyond description. He was very bitter when he came to Dharwad because he was transferred to Dharwad from a lucrative place due to his high handedness, which was sort of a punishment transfer. Sedentary Dharwad frustrated him even more and he became more sadist and used to torture even small time criminals beyond their capacity to withstand. He forced many small time criminals to become big and if they failed, he tortured them so much so that many who could not grow and contribute to his coffers left the town. Most infamous case was that of the gang of vehicle thieves he arrested. There was this gang of local hoodlums who stole vehicle and vehicle parts from the vehicles parked in driveways and sold them for whatever they could fetch to get their jolly life going. Leader of the ring was the only son of an excise officer. Needless to mention, corrupt excise officer had blind love for his only son who had lost his mother as a child. This gang operated with the very knowledge of local cops for a few years. Either the gang leader or his father used to settle the police by throwing few bones to cops. Since many cops used to participate in the shameless parties thrown by the excise officer and used to look up to him for foreign liquor, they used to ignore the menace of this gang.
That all changed with the arrival of the cruel PSI we are talking about. He sensed an opportunity to make money here. Here was a son of an excise officer, who if caught and blackmailed, can create a small gold mine for the cop. He could milk the excise officer to the tune of at least few lakhs. He went ahead and caught the gang. That was news. They were 7-8 people. Other than excise officer's son, none of them were from affluent families. PSI was very frustrated that he had caught a bunch of losers. Frustration transformed into sadism. He tortured these people so badly that they would not be able to pass on their genes to their kids as many were reduced to be impotent due to mindless torture they were subjected to for weeks together. At the end of police custody, they were not even able to stand on their own legs. He used to show the mangled bodies in the torture chamber to the excise officer and threaten him that if he did not loosen the purse, same thing could happen to his son also. All this was part of negotiations with the excise officer to extract a hefty bribe.
This digression was necessary to paint the picture of the cop who could have potentially come after Darshya if his sister were to complain to him. First, Darshya had misunderstood this auntie that she would fall for his lust. He again misunderstood her that she would use her cop brother to have Darshya screwed. Turki Patil who had a minor brush with this cop scared Darshya to hell. Story goes that Turki Patil was once slapped so hard by this cop when he raided a blue film parlor in Ramnagar that for two days he could not eat well. Turki Patil was more intimate with the details of the torture meted out non-affluent members of the vehicle thieves gang and described all that in spine-chilling and blood-curdling detail to Darshya. What scared Darshya most was the fact that sadist cop used to break the spine during torture, which effectively reduced potency in men to do anything - from simple tasks like bending down to complex tasks like making kids. Darshya, who I assume, was still a celibate at that time could not take this risk at any cost. His spine was too valuable and he could not take risk with this cop. What to do?
Darshya again looked up to Turki Patil for advice. Turki Patil suggested him to run away from home. Darshya knew one thing too well. In order to sustain his 'honagya' like body he needed good food at any cost. He dismissed running away from home considering his legendary appetite. Only option left was to run to his sister in Bangalore. Darshya had a sister who was married and was living in Bangalore. Turki Patil endorsed the idea and Darshya dashed off to Bangalore sometime in December. Turki Patil also gave a 'kitabi' advice to Darshya - not to venture out too much in Bangalore as the PSI in Dharwad might have called up his counterparts in Bangalore to be on the lookout for Darshya. Story goes that some other person, who too had gone to Bangalore, bumped into Darshya near his sister's place in Bangalore. Darshya had come out for a snack between meals to take care of his legendary appetite and that's when he had bumped into this other guy from Dharwad. Darshya, who was chatting causally, suddenly rose up and left abruptly in between the conversation and the other guy could not understand why. The other guy came back from Bangalore and Darshya's episode was the first news he heard. Then he could trace back to possible reason, for sudden departure of Darshya, to some cops showing up at the eatery in Bangalore where these two were too. Darshya, who did not want risk his spine, took no chance with any cop - it did not matter whether the cop belonged to Dharwad or Bangalore.
No idea how this story ended. As far as I know Darshya is hale and hearty in Dharwad and probably married too. I hope his well-preserved spine served all the purposes he was concerned about.
I had to tell all this story because recently read in a Kannada tabloid that the PSI, who was once in Dharwad, was recently suspended after he was involved in a lock up death. This sent shivers down my spine imagining what could have happened to our dear Darshya if his fears were to come true indeed. Strangely, tabloid sensationalized this lock up death incident by describing the cruelty and sadism of this cop. Tabloid also mentioned that wherever this cop was posted he reduced the future population of criminals by reducing the potency of the criminals he caught by his mindless torture.
I am sure that suspended PSI must be camping in Bangalore to get his suspension cleared using his clout with one of the ministers from North Karnataka. Anyway 80% pay on suspension is not bad either. He does not care for his "pagar" but can not miss his "gigar" which is at least 5 times of his 'pagar' and not available when under suspension.