a story......

Gappu..who was he?

Killing mosquitoes with both hands was his favourite time of the day in the evening. Gappu very much enjoyed doing so while sitting in the varandah of the Dhaba, where he worked as a helper. He helped the Dhaba owner, Makhan Singh in serving food and washing the dishes. Gappu was about fifteen year old when I met him in that Dhaba. He was so nice natured and soft spoken that none could imagine him doing this kind of job. He looked well groomed. He himself told me there that he enjoyed killing mosquitoes with his hands in the evening.

I was curious to know from where had he come here and asked him but he didn't tell. He straightaway refused to tell about his personal life. This again compelled me to think that he had come out from a well to do family but then why was he doing the dishes here in this roadside Dhaba? I enquired about him from Makhan Singh too but he was too unaware of Gappu's where-abouts. He told me that Gappu had come to his Dhaba asking for work, he needed a help so he allowed him to work here.

Makhan Singh used to go back to his home nearby in the night but Gappu used to stay in the Dhaba itself as night watchman.  There was lots of mosquitoes in the area that used to irritate him during the night. I had stopped at this Dhaba for the lunch while going to Shimla  and this boy was still in my memories after I left the Dhaba. During my return journey after a week, I stopped at this Dhaba and was more curious to meet Gappu than to have lunch. I ordered for the lunch and was sure that Gappu will be there anytime to serve me the food, but food was served by Makhan Singh. I asked Makhan Singh about Gappu but he told me that Gappu has gone and he didn't know where? Actually day before yesterday police came to his dhaba and policemen told Makhan Singh that they were searching for a teenager with doubtful intentions who had penetrated the area from some  foreign place.

After that when I called Gappu he was not there. He had moved out from that place. I am still thinking after an year  after all, who was Gappu?.....



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