• kewal sethi

a twist to an  old story

a twist to an  old story


once upon a time, there lived a rich man named das. he had a number of mansions of every size and his business was spread over a vast area. besides the wife, he had two mistresses who lived in their own palatial buildings. das used to visit them as and when it suited him. in due course the wife gave him a son, a handsome person, brave and courageous. he was named aarcee. his mistress, kekier, who was more beautiful of the two and also younger, also bore him a son whom he named bhacee. the other mistress was barren and very cut up about it especially when she heard about aarcee and bhacee. the rich man saw the solution in adopting a son. the mistress, having agreed, a maid, who was pregnant  at the time, was persuaded to give her offspring in adoption to the mistress, named sootra. as it happened, the maid gave  birth to twins, both male. having given the word, das adopted both of them and named them ellcee and esscee.

the four, almost of the same age, grew in their respective houses. however, once sootra fell critically ill and was unable to look after the children. it was arranged that ellcee will live in the house of kaulya, the wife and esscee in kekier’s house. this arrangement continued for some long time. when sootra got well again, the boys were reluctant to go back to her, having grown accustomed to the other boy in the house. sootra, did not have that much of affection which a woman bears towards her own progeny,and she  let them continue in the other houses.

in due course, das became old and the boys became youths. they got themselves good wives and were settling down to happy life. at this juncture, das thought of handing over his business to aarcee. when kekier heard about it, she was very angry. being younger and more beautiful than the others, she thought her son deserved to be made in charge of the business. she swore that she will deny all favours to das unless this was done. she also demanded that aarcee be made officer in charge of business far away from where the family was living. she reminded das about how she had rescued him from a nasty litigation by exercising the influence of her father and das had in return promised her any favour she cared for. das, very unwillingly, agreed to both the demands. aarcee was to be sent away but ellcee insisted that he will accompany aarcee wherever he went. thus it was that aarcee, his wife essi ta and ellcee came to live in a small town,

the new dwelling was in a very disturbed area. law and order was conspicuous by its absence. the workers were unruly, undisciplined and shirkers. there were criminal gangs all around. they had not lived there long enough when a female, who claimed to be sister of a gang leader, became enamoured of aarcee and demanded a liaison which aarcee rejected out of hand. feeling insulted, the female complained to her brother. once when aarcee was away from the house and ellcee was also sent away by aarcee’s wife on some errand, essi ta was abducted by the gang leader shan.

finding the wife absent on return, aarcee and ellcee went around searching for her. they were informed by a beggar in the street that he had seen the men of shan near their house and more likely than not, he was behind the abduction. aarcee contacted a private detective agency headed by echhmar to help them in the search. echhmar, guided by the information provided by the beggar, soon reported that shan indeed had done the deed and essita was  in a safe house belonging to the gang. aarcee tried to get an fir registered by the police but shan was not only a gang leader but also a leading political figure and police refused to have anything to do with it. all they could do was register an fir against person or persons, unknown, for the abduction. they left no doubt that nothing further will be done in the matter.

echhmar was once again approached by the brothers who advised that only a rival gang can help them. the next most powerful gang was led by bal but he and shan had, after a gang war some time back, divided the territory and had now adopted a policy of leaving each other alone. but there was a way out, confided echhmar. if bal was to be replaced by sug, a prominent member of the bal gang and having ambitions of his own to be a gang leader,  the gang may turn around to help aarcee. money was no consideration for aarcee and soon a number of members of the gang had been purchased. a freak accident disposed off bal and sug became the chief.

having become boss, sug was a bit apprehensive about taking on shan. echhmar however advised him that freak accidents need not be infrequent. it did persuade sug and the authority of shan was challenged. it would be too much to describe the gang wars and the surgical strikes that were part of these. helped by the treasure box of aarcee, the shan were in for loss of its stalwarts, some by defection and some by elimination. one major defector was shan’s brother veeshan  who had a thorough knowledge  about the hideouts of the gang. as the shan gang lost its shine, the police lost its fear of the gang.  an upheaval in the gang followed wherein shan was replaced by his brother veeshan. essi ta was rescued.

meanwhile things were not going well with bhacee. das lost his will to direct the affairs of the company and the company suffered. many of his vice presidents doubted bhacee’s legitimacy. after das kicked the bucket, the position of bhacee became even more precarious as the fortunes of the company headed downwards.  soon enough he gave up effort to put up a brave front and declared that he will work for return of aarcee. this was not easy as aarcee was pre occupied with affairs about his wife. but as soon as that problem was resolved, aarcee returned to the headquarters to be anointed as the chairman. ellcee, bhacee and esscee were made vice chairmen and happiness prevailed all around.

(note -could the original story be envisaged)


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