☛ Submission for October, 2024 issue (Vol. 5, No. 2) is going on. The last date for submission is 30 September, 2024.




(Original English Version of “Aaj Ka Abhimanyu”)


-         Rita Garg (India)


Around dusk, Raunaq and Hemu, the coal miners, were returning to their cottages. Suddenly, they saw a car and an ambulance stop near a rock. Strangers be better avoided in this area of criminals. For that, they hid behind the rock.


Hemu knew about the gang of a so-called businessman, the Boss and his main goonda, Reni. On the basis of their appearance, he indicated Raunaq that they were the trouble creators of this area of coal mines.


Reni and his Boss were busy analysing their trafficking business. Their dealings pertained to arms, drugs and human organs. The Boss, a keen observer of his trade and every movement of employee's performance, expressed his disgust about a blunder committed by Reni, "We can't carry extra burdens. Once, the human organs are collected, you must throw away the bodies immediately."


"We sell human organs. Naturally, human bones and flesh are meaningless to us. Emotions are not needed in this line of ours. Only feel elated by giving life to those who are willing to live at the cost of someone else's life."


“We – close to God – Saviours of human life!"


“Soon this line of organ transplant is going to extend to the medical science of pets. People, short of kith and kin, pet animals for companionship and look forward to save the pets at any cost.”


"Often the growth of science has an inadvertent role of imbalance between the moneyed and the poverty – stricken ones."


"I have provided very expensive eight ambulances with recent amenities and qualified medical staff. Besides, much of expenditure is involved in keeping our crimes hidden from punishment. From time to time we shift from one place to another and save our exposure. You can't understand the expenses of this line. How many livers, hearts and kidneys you collected today?"


"Sir, three each."


"If all the eight teams work like this, I shall be ruined."


"India has lots of places to visit and other facilities so many come for organ transplant. Lots of business is there."


With such discussion of barbarous and savage activities, they moved ahead. Raunaq and Hemu ran home fast.


Reaching home, Raunaq narrated his family the discussion of those two criminals.


The eyes of his wife, Vimala, filled with tears and her entire body communicated what a nine month pregnant would not even pronounce but she did say," We abort."


"No." Raunaq was firm in tone. His realization of facts and realities could not frighten him. Rather with a fake smile, he took hold of Vimala's hand," See, there is nothing for certain. May be these people vacate the region one day. Hemu, my friend, was telling one and all that in his area, the spread and activities of these people had stopped. Hoping against hope, we too might get over all this."


Assurance rejuvenated the defeated Vimala. She fell asleep on the ground not covered with a sheet. The one and only sheet was meant for the husband and the children.


Suddenly, an invisible voice called, "Amma, Amma." She had never seen any apparition and faithfully worshipped God. She became suspicious because all the children were sleeping and Raunaq was snoring.


"Amma, I am your unborn. Listen to me. Amma, please listen to me. You were talking to Baba and I could hear each and every word of yours."


"I am not so strong as Arjuna's son Abhimanyu in the Mahabharata. Often you listen to the Mahabharata stories in the temple. I could also learn his story. While in the womb of Subhadra, Abhimanyu could learn the art of entering Chakravyuha. As she had gone to sleep so Abhimanyu couldn't learn the strategy to come out of that martial circle of soldiers, called Chakravyuh."


"One day, they shall kill me. They are going to kill me. Don't deliver me. Finish me right now."


"Amma, find some method to finish your unborn."


Vimala sat down. Her unborn was not listening to the skill of Chakravyuh entrance. Rather, he was sucking the issue of "No Home Coming."


She started rubbing her belly and also patting as if the infant was there. Either her lullaby or exhaustion made the unborn quiet. Rest started falling on the eyes of Vimala too.


Next morning, she woke up with the painful shrieks and cries. The entire neighbourhood came to help her deliver another victim to help the business of Reni and his Boss. As the infant was seen, some women started singing with joy. Lots of smiles and jokes spread wings in the air.


In general, the atmosphere of tensions mounting with new sufferings every day, relaxed. The smiles with demands of jaggery and sweets spread wide. Wow! Fun! Their fun and joviality surpassed the comedy of the most highly paid actors.


God is kind to those whom he loves forever and ever. Anyhow, these 'not loved ones' had to face the twist. That was bound to occur.


A shout from behind the curtain in the room to separate the delivery scene, reached 'the happy ones' to put a jerk and curb the joviality.


To shock all, the midwife working fast, cursed them all, "Oh! Keep shut. Tell men outside to make arrangements for the burial of the still born babe."


What the nervous mother couldn't do, the embryo did. Vimala lying semi-conscious recollected each and every word of the invisible voice coming from within. Reni's nocturnal inquietude could snatch the life out of the safest place – the womb