Friday, February 21, 2014

Diamonds Are Forever

The city of Bombay woke up to a news that sent shivers down the spine of everyone who read it. Super cop Surjan Singh, one of the best police officers to lead the police force of the maximum city was caught red-handed with diamonds worth crores of rupees in the wee hours of the morning. Newspapers and tabloids, having no other bones to chew on, didn’t relent and shot every spade they could in delivering the news. No matter which paper you picked up or wherever you went, it was the same news that was the talk of the town. 

President Award recipient Surjan Singh caught red-handed with diamonds’.

“Nowadays you can’t trust anyone. If people in the police force itself act like this then who is the common man supposed to turn to?” “This country is going to the dogs; only God can save it” was the gist of discussions at every street corner across every section of society. Scams and other news of corruption had always given their daily attendance, but this news was different as it was about an officer whom people looked up to and regarded highly. It was about Surjan Singh – a man you could bank upon.

News channels leaving no stone unturned broadcasted the live happenings as and when they happened. “Surjan Singh has been taken to the Bandra Police Station where he will be questioned. The police will file for a fourteen day custody to investigate the matter further” a middle-aged, suitably well-dressed but with an unkempt beard correspondent reported.

“Surjan Singh has shamed the entire police force. It’s a sad day for all of us serving this city with honesty and pride”, a senior police officer replied on being questioned. 

“Such people should be flogged to death, only then will they understand” was the reaction of a few commoners.

‘BREAKING NEWS: Surjan Singh to be presented in court’ flashed across the TV screen. Though the courtroom proceedings wouldn’t be covered live, this news made sure that the interest of the audience was kept intact and would prevent them from shifting focus to other topics or channels. However, in the courtroom, things were different.

In the midst of the tsunami of people, a simple maroon tee-shirt clad man wearing loose fitting jeans made his way or rather was pushed to the front section. Unless seen carefully, you wouldn’t be able to recognize him as the Surjan Singh everyone knew. Always seen in his uniform, with an upright posture and no-nonsense demeanour he carried out his duties to the very best of his abilities. Be it any case and of any complexity he was always there with his force, even putting himself in the line of fire. It was always service before self and not vice versa. So much so that even his own family life was in peril with his wife feeling ignored and no kids, even on the anvil. However, today was different. The aura around him was missing; his face was pale and eyes droopy. You could easily see that he was lost in thought with anxiety, irritation and worry causing multiple lines to appear on his forehead. The crisscrossed nature of those lines somehow reflected the state that he was in - nowhere to go and no solution in sight. Things had happened too fast for him to react.

Read the complete story in State of the Heart.

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