Get out of here you darn kids, he said giving us a nasty look. He must have been in his late fifties though he looked much older. How could he say that to us? But the rules had been set. He was an outcast. The villagers would not speak with him and he would not let any villager near his house.
But we did not care about the rules. We had to teach him a lesson or so we thought.
He was not a native of the village. It had been six years since he had arrived. But the rules were set from the very first day. Some said he was a dacoit others said he was a petty thief. Imagination ran wild in our village. One day he was a terrorist the next day he would be a mad scientist and the next he would become a dark magician. He was the reason for everything bad that happened in the village. He was the chart buster topic for gossip across the village.
It was late night and we had crept out of our beds. Four of us met by the side of the temple. We decided to throw some stones and break the window panes of his house. That should teach the old git a lesson. Ironically we were planning to take his house apart by the side of a temple. The only risk was what if he had a gun? He would be fast asleep at this hour. What if he was a real magician? But we did not think much about that as we did not have any answer.
In the bright moon light we crept silently towards his house. We were lucky not to be seen by a drunkard. We reached the gates of his house. Then through the barb wires we entered his garden. There were a lot of trees, flowers and vegetables that he had planted. It looked impressive. But we did not have time to admire its beauty. We were here on a mission. Why not uproot some of the plants? One suggested. Yes, we all agreed. Uproot some trees, then break the
window glasses and finally run to the temple became our mission objectives.
As we were about to uproot a tree we noticed something moving in the garden. Then it was louder. Oh! God we were doomed. It was a wild boar charging at us. All of us shouted in chorus for help. Then we saw the boar falter in its strand. Just an instance later we heard the first shot and then another three. The boar had fallen to the ground. The front door of the house opened and we saw the old man come out with a gun. Would he take a shot at us?
Are you alright? He inquired. What? We were looking at each others face unable to comprehend what he was saying. The first thought was he was awake and he had a gun. The second thought was what if he had not killed the boar? The third was who would save us now? Are you doing fine he demanded. We could only give him a mute consent. What were you doing here tonight? We were planning to uproot your trees and break your window panes. One of us said.
Why did you want to do that? You were not good to us this morning. Now we were ready to get shot. But he simply smiled.
The gun shots had pierced through the silent night. We could see a crowd heading toward us led by the village elder. The village elder looked angrily at us. We mutely pleaded for forgiveness. What were you up...? The village elder was about to shout at the old man when his eyes fell on
the wild boar. He was confused. What had happened? He demanded an answer from the old man. But the old man did not speak. The mob was getting angry. They wanted to punish the old man. Then four of us told them about the entire incident. There was a pin drop silence while we spoke. Overnight the old man had become a hero in the village. We were let off due to his request.
The old man lived the rest of his life in the village as a hero and not as an outcast. We used to visit him at least once a week and even on his death bed he was grateful of that fateful night. The village school is named after him.