When Manu met Anna

via Short Story - Sanesh C K published on August 18, 2011

Manu was very tired and thirsty, he is in the streets of Delhi in search of a job. He moved from company to company in search of a job. It is more than a week and he could not find a job. His pocket was almost empty. He searched for water, he could not find any tap water in the streets. Bottles of Coca Cola and Pepsi showcased in shops were so tempting, but Manu could not afford that money.

He used to sleep on the roads. He was very tired today. He saw a stadium under construction and thought of taking shelter under that. Suddenly some security guard and some people chased him away. They were shouting, it is CWG building, who will be responsible if it collapsed and you get trapped inside? Manu was thinking, why such buildings if there is no shelter for poor?

He had hardly any money left in his pocket. His family used to work in FCI gowdowns, where they used to clear rotten food grains. Though they had all days job, their agents used to pay them very less. He wanted to get back to his home town. But the high bus fare due to Petrol Diesel price hike, has robbed Manu of the idea of getting back to hometown.

He wanted to have some food. When he went to a hotel with Rs 10, hotel owner shouted at him. Don’t you know inflation is high and food prices had gone up? You cannot get anything for Rs. 10 here. He saw some water bottles kept there for sale. Since he was very tired and wanted desperately to have some water, he took the bottle and opened it. Hotel owner shouted at him and kicked him left and right. He was handed over to police.

Police took him to jail, and there he saw many people, some people with all luxury with TV, phones etc. He heard people telling their name as Raja, Kalmadi, Kanimozhi, Hassan Ali etc. All jail authorities respect them. Jail is good, Manu was thinking.

Then he saw in a corner, one aged tired person sitting and reading. Nobody around him. Manu went near to him, and asked his name. Aged person said, Anna Hazare. Anna showed Manu a photo and told, Gandhiji, I am following this great leader of India. Manu asked Oh, it should be Rahul Gandhi’s grandfather, I know Rahul Gandhi, one day he slept in our village? Anna replied with a smile. No. They have looted everything. Including Gandhiji’s name. Manu was perplexed.

What crime did you commit to come to Jail? I planned to fast against corruption in this country and the government does not like me protesting against corruption, Anna replied. They want me to have food rather than fast. My son, you are so tired, please take this food which was given to me by Jail Authorities to break the fasting. Manu said, Annaji, you are fighting for younger generations like me. I don’t want that corrupt food by government. I can skip meals and join you in this fight. They both said, Vande Mataram, Bharat Mata ki Jai.

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