A toddler was scribbling on the walls with an old crayon he found somewhere. Another toddler was getting the sand from outside and pouring it in the room. Two kids were running around the tree in the lawn. Inside, in another room, the caretakers, Karthik and his wife were shouting at each other. It was not unusual for the kids to hear them fighting with teach other. Initially, they were frightened when their caretakers fought with each other. However, they got used to these sounds and started ignoring them.
Karthik said, “Will you stop shouting at me? I have to go outside now. Please do not stop me.”
Sanjana tried to control her anger. She said, “Go wherever you want. But, stop drinking. It is ruining your health and our lives. You started off as a noble person. But, the way you are ruining everything because of your drinking is really disappointing. Think about the kids. We are supposed to take care of them. But, what are you doing these days? Always drinking and hung over.”
Karthik threw a flower vase near her and shouted at her, “Stop it already. Don’t you know why I started drinking? I feel for the kids. I feel for them more than anyone else. Can you stop that corrupted politician from taking over this land? Don’t you remember how much I worked to buy this piece of land? Now, after fifteen years, he wants this land because it is in the center of the city and it has good commercial value.”
Sanjana never understood his logic when it came to drinking. She said, “I understand everything you say. But, how is it related to drinking? Aren’t you wasting the little money we have with us to take care of the kids? Isn’t it foolish?”
Karthik said, “Listen. It’s not just about today or tomorrow. I want to take care of these kids and more kids for many more years to come. The chain of events is killing my dreams. And, that is causing me pain. I find solace only in alcohol these days.”
Sanjana realized where this discussion was going. She decided to divert the topic. She remained silent for a moment and thought about Karthik. She decided to focus on his strengths. She said, “You are a great man. Why don’t you focus your energies on helping someone and doing some good?”
Karthik liked the way the conversation was going. He was glad she decided to divert it from being judgmental about him. He said, “How can I help someone without money?”
Sanjana said, “Try this. Go out. Help at least a few people today in some small ways other than money. Look at the satisfaction you will get. If you do not feel better after that, go and drink. I’ll not stop you. But, be true to yourself.”
Karthik liked the idea and stepped out. He rode on his bike to the highway.
For a moment, he wondered if it was foolish to waste his time trying to help people. He thought it would be better to go and buy a drink. But, he decided to at least wait for a few hours to find opportunities to help someone.
As he rode forward, he saw a cop standing on the road beside a jeep signalling him to stop. Karthik wondered if the cop wanted to check his documents.
Karthik stopped and took off his helmet. As he was ready to take his documents to show to the cop, he was stopped by the cop.
The cop said, “Hi. I’m Anand. My jeep broke down. I did not stop you to check your documents. I need a ride urgently. Can you drop me off at the next bus station. I need to go to the hospital and give blood to an old man who met with an accident. They required my blood group, AB Positive, which is a rare blood group these days.”
Karthik felt glad he got an opportunity. He said, “I have the time. I can drop you at the hospital, if required.”
Anand said, “Thank you so much. You are a great man.”
Karthik said, “My blood group is the same. But, I drank too much on Saturday. So, I’m not sure if I can donate blood.”
Anand said, “Let us check with the doctors there. Thanks for informing. But, why do you people drink so much?”
Karthik smiled and said, “I own an orphanage. I was never into drinking until this politician set his eyes on the orphanage and his hell bent on ruining my life and the kids’ lives. I’m not sure if it is the right thing to ask. But, as a cop, can you please help me deal with that politician who has been threatening me to vacate the place? He wants to build a commercial complex there.”
Anand said, “I don’t know if that justifies your drinking. But, who is this politician we are talking about?”
Karthik said, “Markandeya”
Anand smiled and said, “I can try. But you know how powerful he is. Let us see what can be done.”
Karthik realized that nothing can be done. He started getting worried about the lives of the kids. He decided to go drink after dropping the cop at the hospital.
After reaching the hospital, Anand asked Karthik to accompany him, in case the old man needed more blood.
Karthik was asked to wait outside. It took thirty minutes for Anand to donate blood. After an hour, the doctor said that the old man needs more blood. The doctor said that Karthik also can donate blood as it has been more than forty eight hours since he last drank. Karthik felt glad he could do one more good deed.
After a couple of hours, the old man woke up. He was worried as soon as he woke up. As soon as he saw Anand, the old man, Dhanunjay said, “Sir. You must be a cop. Can you please help? I met with this accident when I was going to my friends place to give him money. It’s in my bag over there. Can you please take this money there? He lent me this money some time ago. He needs it now for his daughter’s wedding. The wedding will be called if this money does not reach in time.”
Karthik could not control his anger. Even before Anand or anyone else could speak, he said, “How can you encourage dowry so publicly? And, you are asking a cop to take part in that heinous activity? Think about the girl. Aren’t you ruining her life by getting her married to a man like that who demands dowry?”
Anand said, “Let’s decide on that later. I will go there and see. But, I have no vehicle. It’ll take some time before I can get a cab.”
Karthik said, “I can take you. I already told you that nothing important is waiting for me.”
Anand and Karthik took the money and went to the marriage venue.
As expected, the bride groom’s parents started shouting at the bride’s father for not giving the promised money.
Anand wanted to step in and arrest them. But, he decided to send Karthik instead. He said, “Karthik. Can you silently go and get the bride groom here? We’ll deal with him directly?”
Karthik liked the idea. He managed to get near the bride groom and got him out of the function hall. The groom was terrified as soon as he saw the cop. The groom said, “Listen. Please do not arrest me. My father threatened to kill himself if I spoke against his wishes of accepting this dowry. I hate it. I feel like a coward. But, I care for my parents too. In fact, I was trying to talk to the bride. But, she is angry on me and is not taking my calls ever since I told her about the dowry affair. Her parents did not tell her.”
Anand laughed and said, “Are you sure you are not acting here as I am a cop?”
The groom, took hands out of his pocket and showed them that he had sleeping pills. He decided to swallow them as soon as the money reached the venue. He wanted to prove to his father by killing himself.
They quickly made a plan. Anand walked inside and threatened to arrest the bride groom and his parents. Karthik gave them a lecture about the ills of the dowry system. Finally, the bride groom agreed to marry the girl without taking money and his parents had to accept.
The bride’s father thanked Anand and Karthik for coming and saving his daughter’s wedding.
Karthik felt glad for all the good deeds he did for the day and decided to leave. Anand asked him to wait for a few minutes.
Anand went to the bride’s father and said, “I know you sir. You work for the anti-corruption bureau. Isn’t it funny you had to pay dowry for your daughter’s wedding?”
The bride’s father said, “We cannot help it. It was my daughter’s life and the bride groom is a good guy. I could not help but accept.”
Anand said, “If there is a chance for you to help someone in a similar situation, will you?”
The bride’s father said, “Sure. You guys inspired me.”
Anand introduced Karthik and said, “This man owns an orphanage. The Minister, Markandeya, is planning to own the site of this orphanage illegally. Can you help this man who has been helping everyone since morning?”
The bride’s father said, “We need to catch him red-handed. I have a plan. I need your help as a cop in this.”
Three days later, they implemented the plan and the politician was caught red handed and arrested.
Karthik gave up drinking and took care of his kids and the orphanage. He continued to help people every day.