Sunday, December 28, 2008


The atmosphere in the village had turned volatile. A mob had gathered. Most of them were armed with sticks. Some with stones. They wanted revenge. They wanted to beat up the neighboring villagers for desecrating the statue of an erstwhile leader. Me and my friends were all out supporting the mob and wanted to witness the fight. In spite of an appeal from a few whom we referred to as cowards, the mob was now heading steadily towards the neighboring village. We were following the mob keeping a safe distance.

He had been a great leader. People looked up to him in times of difficulties and dangers. For years his statue was worshiped by all. In recent times people had forgotten about him but nonetheless the desecration had not gone down well.

As the mob approached the neighboring village we could see the enemy group approaching as well. They too were armed. There would be a real fight my friend said. The two groups were now facing each other. The leader of our village was asking the other group to apologize or face the consequences. The leader of the other group was demanding evidence.

It looked like there could not be any peaceful resolution to the problem. The two groups were about to strike when their eyes fell on the statue. There were two old man cleaning up the statue. One man from our village and the other from the neighboring village. The angry villagers had stopped in their strides. The two old man had led the bitter fighting between the villages for years. Each of them bearing the marks of the intense rivalry. But today they were cleaning the statue together. They were silently doing the cleaning act. There was a moment when I thought that they smiled at each other.

I wondered what each one might have said to the other. In a few minutes the anger had pacified. The same villagers were now providing helping hand.

We were too young to understand what had happened. Looking back in time I think after years of fighting the two had realized that violence is not a solution any problem.

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