Veeru was my classmate and also a member of our childhood gang. He lived in a nearby town. However, our farmhouses had shared the boundaries with each other. In my childhood memories, Veeru was a tall and very skinny boy. His skin color was also very dark. He was not very interested in the study, but he continued studying because he was an obedient grandson. His grandfather was a wise man, so he forced Veeru to go to school. Veeru had a younger brother but no sister. He loved farming and often came to the farmhouse with his father but played with the little gang instead of helping his father. How many times his father told him not to play with us, but Veeru never cheated on us.
We all had some dreams. We all failed to achieve our childhood dreams or goals. Veeru had wished to join the Indian army. We had seen his skinny face turning red when it comes to defending the country. We were in middle school when terrorists had set fire on his father. The young Veeru saw his father die in front of him, but he could do nothing. He had heard his father screaming. I doubt anybody seen their parents burning alive but except Veeru.
Veeru never expressed his feelings about his father’s death. He was closer to his grandfather than his father. The little gang had split after Abu’s death. Some of us were sent abroad, while some were sent to other parts of the country, but Veeru never had left his ground. Most of the time, the local schools and colleges used to get closed unexpectedly due to strike or curfew. Most of us left town after passing 10th grade. Veeru attended higher secondary school without us. But he never attended any college or university.
He tried to do some business, but he failed. He could not even join the army. unfortunately, he became a politician for a short time, which did not last long either. Veeru could not make false or lame promises, so he quitted politics. He became an activist for the local farmers. He went to jail for fighting for the rights of farmers. He still goes to court to the present. Veeru eventually becomes an organic farmer. He tries to avoid controversy, but sometimes he can’t control himself when things go wrong, or he sees injustice. He is successful in his agricultural business. He is happy in his personal life or he also pretends to be happy like others.
He found me through Twitter after reading my article about Abu. He was also a big fan of Abu. Abu had taught him how to use guns and pistols. “I immediately bought a gun and a pistol as soon as the government allowed the civilians to carry licensed guns,” Veeru said proudly. He tried to call me and tried to facetime with me, but I always refused to talk with him. But he never gave up on me. He keeps writing to me, but I never respond.
After reading about my emotional pains, Veeru tried to comfort me, but he failed. He often advised me. Once on father’s day, he told me, “Your daughter is just your daughter.” His statement had a deeper meaning, which I could not understand until now. We all had changed except Veeru. The survivors of the little gang had acclaimed the highest academic degrees, but Veeru could not pass 12th grade. But he has accomplished the most considerable degree compare to us, which is called “humanity.” Like me, Veeru always has a hard time hiding the truth.
However, he had hidden one truth inside of him for a long time. He didn’t share that truth with his family. I found Veeru strange when I saw him recently. He is no longer a thin man. He is a handsome man who wears a turban and has a long beard. He has an athletic appearance.
He wanted to share something with me. He thought we are still members of the same little gang who used to share everything with each other at the end of the day. However, he didn’t know that time has changed everybody except him.
Veeru had his own secret, which he wanted to share with me. My life is no longer a secret. At first, Veeru hesitated to share with me, but he couldn’t keep inside of him. He made me swear off the Almighty, so I won’t share his secret with anybody.
He told me about two events in his life, but one of them has shaken me. I couldn’t think for a few minutes. I felt darkness in front of my eyes while he was telling me. Suddenly I slapped him and asked, “What’s different about you and him?”. I became distraught and told Veeru, “Delete all my information and never contact me again. It doesn’t matter if you are even dying, but don’t try contacting me”.
I left in a hurry. I never contacted him again. Neither Veeru contacts me. After my pain had subsided, I think Veeru was right, and I was wrong. My personal experience had covered my humanity and ideas for a while. As my pain has been started to lessen, I saluted Veru and proudly said, “I am proud of you. Only Sardar can have such courage which you have proven it.”
Veeru’s pain is more intense than my pain. He saw a life worse than mine, but he has not lost his dignity and humanity. He has found a way to help others. Veeru keeps a tiny portion of his income, and rest he donates to needy people. He had emptied his mind by sharing his secret with me. But his conversation still bothers me. Unfortunately, I can’t share it with anybody.