So far – We got relieved from the Naxal group and started our journey back. While I was on the police van reading the Nadi to one of the officers, we heard a loud scream from the millionaire’s car from a girl.
As we were driving a little closer, we could hear the scream and so the vehicles were stopped. I got down to know why. One of the daughters of the millionaire had let out that scream from an unbearable stomach pain. The pain grew every minute and so was her shrieks. The others were trying to console here when we inquired if there are any hospitals nearby. The policemen said that we had to go another 20 miles for a hospital.
We were worried whether this girl will be able to bear the pain till then. No one could understand the reason for a girl who was totally alright to have pain all of a sudden. I called her Dad privately and mentioned what I was told in the Nadi and told that the hidden palm leaves be taken out at once.
At first, the dad was angry “What? Did she do such an act?” but conveyed the information swiftly to the girl. The girl said “Please forgive me. I desired that let one of the Agastya Jeeva Nadi be with me and so I stole it from you. Only after I did so, I began to get this pain” – she cried and took out the Nadi and extended towards me. Within five minutes of she doing so, the stomach ache started subduing.
I thanked Agastya Muni and since there wasn’t any use with the palm leaves, I left them there. The girl got some rest as the vehicles paused for this. The railway station though was visible from where we were, with the dim light, it occurred to me that it may take up to twenty miles. So I bid farewell to the millionaire right there and started with the policemen. It was 12 in the night when I reached the station.
There weren’t anyone in the station other than a couple of beggars. The person in the ticket counter handed over the ticket to me in a half-asleep state and said that the Chennai train will come at 1.00 AM.
I am not sure if this is a connection from the previous birth, the policeman from Tamil Nadu and his close friend sat along with me in the platform for company. I desired to sip some hot tea but there was only a beetle-nut shop. As there weren’t much who alighted and descended from that station, I was made aware that none of the trains stops here for more than two minutes. Apart from Badrachala temple festivals where a few trains from nearby town stops at this station.
If we think why this station was built at all, it may seem as if it was built for the sole purpose of other passenger trains to stop by letting the express trains to pass. As a couple of express trains comes here in the midnight, I thought of catching hold of one to reach Chennai.
Due to the heavy rain and flood that embraced Godavari, my body started shivering out of bitter cold. I felt inconvenient as well as relieved on seeing the policemen waiting on me. We were chatting about stories from Tamil Nadu, its politics, the general happenings, cinema etc, about four people wearing half-trousers came in to the station rushing, all bearing wooden sticks.
Before we could assimilate what’s happening, the railway ticket counter was closed and the already-dim light was switched off, leaving just the moonlight to shine subtly. They started walking here and there from a place and it appeared that something is about to happen.
But I didn’t worry as I thought “Sage Agastya is with me, why worry?”
They came near us and upon seeing the policemen on uniforms, they ran away like crazy. The alerted policemen started chasing them and a fierceful hide-and-seek game happened there.
15 minutes passed by.
The two of the policemen caught hold of just one person in that group, tied his hands on his back and dragged him. It was just at that time that the express train to Chennai came too.
“Who is he?”
“He belongs to the Naxalites group. The other three has escaped. As he fell down, we could catch him” – they bid farewell to me as they proceeded to take him to the police van standing outside.
With no space left even to board the train, I got the scoldings of people seated even in the foot steps of the train and somehow got inside. I could see only heads everywhere, with no space even to stand.
I haven’t reserved any ticket, so I got in to the compartment for the unreserved. A ticket checker came from nowhere and said “come here” in Telugu to me. I peeped via the window and asked ‘Are you telling me?’ with a little anxiety.
“Yes, there is an empty berth in the nearby compartment for the reserved. Do you want to come?”
I agreed happily, got in to that compartment and leaned on the berth and gave the checker some money for what is required.
“Give only what is required for the reserved berth” – he gave back the extra money I had given. I thought ‘such good people exist even today’. Though I had got a comfortable berth, I couldn’t sleep and so was the TTR. I began to talk to him slowly where the topic touched upon the Naxalites. It seemed the TTR is a knowledgeable man in many a things. From what he said…
“Don’t you know? One of the naxals who came to loot was caught by the police. It seems they came to loot in the ticket counter, but got caught. They said his name is Nagi Reddy(!) and it seems he is a big shot”
“What, Nagi Reddy?” – I was surprised.
“Why, do you know anything about him?”
“No” I said immediately.
I thought it could be the missing brother of that policeman. Later the Maha Muni confirmed it to be true as well. I was totally surprised.
~ to be continued…
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