Or was it that Madhukarrao had eliminated them….
Many such thoughts filled Ganeshrao’s mind. Just then Ganeshrao saw that the three trusted workers were returning. Their walk had a new vigour and their faces sported a victorious smile. It indicated that they had carried out their task successfully. A smile also broke out on Ganeshrao’s face. Now he became eager to hear the news from the three trusted workers. He did not want to miss the joy of hearing from them the good news of their victory. The three came and stood behind Ganeshrao. Ganeshrao was about to get up and listen to the news from them when a heavy blow from the thick stick fell at the back of his head. Ganeshrao reeled and fell down. As he fell down Ganeshrao opened his eyes and saw that one of the colleagues, Bimba, had himself hit him on the head. He stared at the other two workers in great surprise. They were looking at him with a viscious smile. Just then another blow fell on his forehead. This time the blow was given by trusted colleague Raju. By now Ganeshrao realised that he was betrayed.
But why?.... And how?....
There was no way to know.
Subsequently the sticks fell on his head, back and stomach. There were only three who were beating….the trusted workers. Those three beat Ganeshrao so much that he became almost half-dead. Just then a huge lot of red-workers were seen to be rushing over there. The three ran away.. Ganeshrao, who had fallen on the ground, was able to see the side of the dais. Trying to save Madhurani from peope’s wrath and jostling, four-five workers had brought her to her car. Madhukarrao was among them. Those men quickly climbed into the car. Madhukarrao’s eyes met those of Ganeshro. Looking at him Madhukarrao gave an enigmatic smile. Then pointing at Ganeshrao Madhukarrao said something to Madhurani. Madhurani’s eyes met Ganeshrao’s.
It showed that whatever was done was by Madhukarrao and it had Madhurani’s approval.
But why?.... And how?....
Just then Ganeshrao noticed a gold-chain around Madhukarrao’s neck. It was Ganeshrao’s. He had handed it to his three trusted workers for safe keeping.
So the matter stood thus…
Ganeshrao began to clearly understand things one by one… The coming of three trusted workers.of Ganeshrao and giving him the news was a part of Madhukarrao’s game plan…. To force Ganeshrao raise his arms on him. And indeed he did. And when Ganeshrao went to raise his arm against Madhukarrao, Madhukarrao must have brought it to Madhurani’s notice. For evidence, he had Ganeshrao’s gold-chain and finger-rings. And Madhurani was convinced that Ganeshrao was keeping her in the dark and taking such a bold step. He was certainly a danger to her. Then Madhukarrao must have asked Madhurani’s permission to do away with Ganeshrao. The permission must have been given by Madhurani.
Even then, there was a tiny ray of hope in Ganeshrao’s mind regarding Madhurani.
She would now arrange to take him away….
He was already prepared to go.
But that glance was now not recognising him.
That glance was not scared.
Even so much violence all around had not brought fear into that look.
There was no sadness…and there was no sympathy….
In that look there only was an ambition….
If required, trampling all those who came in the way
She looked at him but pretending not to have, averted her eyes. She instructed to move the car away as quickly as possible. Starting the car they went away from the scene. Ganeshrao gaped at them. He was unable to trust his eyes. His other workers, still thinking that Madhurani was on the dais, were battling against the violent people. Abandoning all of them Madhurani had fled.
And all these men were fighting like stupid fools. Lying on the ground, Ganeshrao was still struggling. Now it was not to save Madhurani’s life but now it was to save himself. Just then suddenly a huge mass of crowd came towards Ganeshrao. The crowd was so large in number that Ganeshrao could not do anything. Those people literally crushed him under their feet and went ahead. One after another, stamping on him. No one was able to hear his shouts in that chaotic confusion.
The wave of people had crushed him under its feet and was now weakened. But not a single part of his body had gone unhurt. Even slight movement caused him great pain. Lying on the ground he glanced around. The swarm of bees that had arisen from the honey-comb were still stinging people. People were trying to pull those bees away from their body and kill them. Several bees died in the process.
After all they were merely worker-bees….
His duty was to provide security to his Queen-Bee. Ganeshrao was waiting for his last breath. Rather, he was eager to die a quick death. Because, giving up life at least meant putting an end to all pain Suddenly his glance fell at the sky.. The Queen-bee from the honey-comb, accompanied by a few other male bees and worker bees was moving east. In search of a new abode. And, ignorant of the fact that she was going away, few of her workers were still giving a determined fight. Just like Madhurani’s loyal workers.
Ganeshrao took a last look around. Some of his colleagues were still dying while others continued to fight. Ganeshrao thought it over…..
Each one who is dying here is dying a worker-bee’s death.
Even in that condition a smile spread on Ganeshro’s lips. He was happy that Madhurani’s workers who were dying around him were dying a death of worker bee… But the death he was getting was that of a male honery-bee’s.
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Original Novel by Sunil Doiphode
English Version by Anil Ekbote