For Love


For Love

(Short Story by M. Menonimus)


For Love

For Love

For Love

At about 9 o’clock in the morning, the prison ward police came to Hall No. 3 and called out, “Harbhajan, prisoner no-321, you are summoned to the office of the superintendent.” 

The prisoner Harbhajan followed the police silently and thought about what the matter could be. Going to the door, he saw that another three prisoners were on the line to meet the superintendent. After a few minutes, he was called in. The superintendent, looking at the captive, said, “Harbhajan, an order has come from the court last evening that the prisoners who were accused of being accomplices in the attempt of derailing a train in Kanpur on January 11, 1942, will get released. So you should get ready to leave prison. Come here again after about an hour.”

Harbhajan did seem neither to be cheerful nor to be thoughtful, he remained as usual. Then after the guard’s order, he went to the saloon where he got his hair shaved. Then he changed his prison uniform and at just 10 o’clock he went to the office of the superintendent. Already another prisoner was there. The superintendent called Harbhajan in and he quietly went in. The superintendent put forward a file and asked him to sign on it. He did accordingly. Then a police warden came in with a pack in which there was Harbhajan’s dress that he was wearing on the day of his arrest. After then the superintendent brought out a bundle of rupees from the drawer and counted one hundred and twenty in ten-rupee notes and kept it on the table. Then he put forward another file of paper and asked Harbhajan to sign on it. After that the superintendent, handing over a bundle of rupees to Harbhajan, said, “Here are one hundred and twenty rupees as your monthly allowance given as per Government law. Take it and purchase for your wife and children whatever you like.” Saying so, the superintendent gave a smooth smile looking at him.

Then two police escorted him to the gate where there was a van and Harbhajan got in. Harbhajan lived in a cozy house that lay on the outskirt of the town of Kanpur. The day was bright and the sky was transparent. The deep blue hue of the sky made the canopy of the earth. The van picked up its speed. The road that he left five years ago seemed to be worn out. The trees beside the road grew taller. He looked ahead. The pedestrians were coming and going. Their eyes were in the front. None seemed to look back. Harbhajan showed no emotion. He looked taciturn. Suddenly the image of his wife Rohini came to his mind. He felt how wretched he left her! After only six months of their marriage, he was imprisoned. During these last five years, he had no news of her. He thought, “Is she well now or is she remaining the same as she was five years ago?” How deep her love was for him! Though he was poor yet he was happy with her. In truth, he was proud of such a faithful, simple and charming wife. He reminded me of how she looked shy at his first kissing in the bed of roses!

Already the van arrived at the Three Stars Enclave and he got down the van. He thought he would go directly to the shop. He put his hand in his shirt pocket and felt the swelling of the money. He thought he would first purchase a sari for her wife. He could not give her a new additional sari except what was given at the wedding. She was very desirous of getting a Benarshi sari. He walked ahead noticing the banners of the shops. He found that some new shops had been established during these five years. But he was looking for his known shop called Konark Sari House. He remembered that it lay on the right-hand side just after the turning. After walking ahead for fifteen minutes he found the shop. He went in straight. He was somewhat hesitant as he was wearing an almost worn-out dress. He thought that at first, he would buy a shirt for himself. But later on, he decided that he would first do marketing for Rohini. He ordered the shopkeeper to show him a Benarashi sari. The shopkeeper took out several pieces of saris from the self and he selected the rose-coloured one. He thought it would match her well. Then he took a blouse, a petticoat, and a bracier of the same colour. It all cost seventy rupees. Still, he had fifty rupees in his pocket. Then he came out of the shop and began to walk on.

Suddenly he felt that the weather was changing. The brightness of the sun fell down. The blue sky became clouded. He thought that soon it would rain. He hurried on. As he was walking on, the image of his charming wife came into his mind again. He thought about what she might be doing now. He imagined how his wife would react to seeing him after five years. How would he approach her? He thought if he had not been put to jail he would have been a father of a child by now. Then the image of his old mother came to his mind. While he got arrested his mother was suffering from a fever. Her hair was about to turn grey. He thought that within these five years the number of her grey hairs might multiply.

Already he had reached the Chalk Market from where his house was at a ten minutes distance. He tried to walk on quickly. But as much he tried to walk fast so much weak he began to feel. His locality was actually a suburban village. The homes were thickly set up. Then step by step he reached house no.1 which belonged to one of his far-off relatives. Harbhajan’s house no was 5. He felt hard walking. But somehow he got to the outer courtyard of his house. He looked at the tamarind tree which he planted himself now had grown taller. He felt too weak to walk even a step ahead. Then he sat down on the plank under the tree. He thought that somebody-either his wife or his mother would come out and embrace him with affection. In the meantime, a man about fifty came out of the house and looking at him asked, “Who are you?”

Harbhajan looked at him but did not reply. The man then jerked his towel lightly and put it on his neck and again asked him, “Where have you come from?”

Harbhajan did not answer. Then all of a sudden he saw Devashis coming towards him. Devashis was his cousin living in the same village. During his childhood, they had good intimacy. At the very first sight, he could recognize him and look at him with tearful eyes. Devashis accosted him and uttered, “O! Brother Harbhajan. Are you released? When have you arrived?” Saying so, he sat down on the plank by him.

Then Harbhajan asked him “Where is my mother? Where is my Rohini?”

Devashis gave out a sigh and replied, “Brother, your mother died after six months of your arrest. And after the death of your mother your Rohini had sold out the entire homestead and gone off to her parents. Then I have heard that she has been remarried off to a wealthy businessman.”

Harbhajan became dumb of emotion. He tried to cry out but no sound came out of his mouth. Devashis found no language to console him. Then after a long pause, Harbhajan asked his cousin, “Do you know where my Rohini had been married off?”

Devashis replied, “I don’t know for certain but heard that she has been married off in the village next to your Father in law’s.”

Then Harbhajan brought out the pack of clothes from the nylon bag and asked, “Would you do me a favour?”

“What favour?” Devashis replied.

“Would you go to my Rohini to give it to her?”

“He has left you then why do you need to send her the things?”

“It is because she was very desirous of getting a Benarashi Sari. Here is a set of Sari, blouse, petticoat and a bracier that would match her well.” Saying so he put his hand to his pocket brought out a note of ten rupees and gave it to the hand of Devashis as travelling allowance.

Devashis took the package in his hand and said, “It would be given to her. Is there anything else to tell her?”

Harbhajan paused and then said, “Yes, tell her that Harbhajan loves you much.”

Then he heard a roaring sound of the cloud followed by sharp lightning and then heavy rain began to fall as if it would deluge the entire world. 0 0 0


For Love

N.B.  The short story ‘For Love’ originally belongs to the book ‘The Prostitute and Other Stories‘ by Menonim Menonimus. For Love

For Love 

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

Books of S. Story by M. Menonimus:

  1. The Fugitive Father and Other Stories
  2. The Prostitute and Other Stories
  3. Neha’s Confession

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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