His real name was Ketan Majumdar. His father, Mahesh Majumdar was a science teacher and was addressed as Majumdar Saheb in Vatva, Ahmedabad. He never made teaching his business, even though it was his profession. Not only did he teach students at school, but his house too would be always teeming with students. He had believed that his salary from his teaching job was enough to run his house, so he would never conduct tuition classes. So the students who’d come to his house were those who needed extra help with their studies. His wife would ensure that these students would get to have snacks every time they visited their house. The teacher who taught the children in his village always wished that his son Ketan too do well in his studies. But Ketan felt that his father was forcing him to study. His father didn’t mind whether Ketan was doing well or was weak in studies, but when he was informed by a few elders of the village that after dropping out of school, Ketan has begun drinking with other boys of the village, he was crest-fallen. At first he tried to convince himself that all these people are lying to him and that his son has started drinking held no substance. “I teach the children in my village, how my own son can fall behind in life,” he thought to himself. But he was proven wrong that same evening when he was waiting up late-night for his son Ketan to return. He wanted to hear it from Ketan himself that whatever the villagers were talking about him was untrue. Ketan returned home drunk that night, he was not able to walk properly on his feet and could tumble down any time. Seeing his return home in that manner, his legs felt weak and he could collapse down.
Majumdar Saheb’s wife saw her husband’s condition; she managed to get him into the bedroom to go to sleep. She then brought Ketan inside the house. That night, his father cried while in bed, his tears wet his pillow. Every time any of his students would get the top rank in studies, he’d feel immense pride as if he has conquered the Everest. But today, because of his son Ketan, he felt as if he has lost all that he has earned in his life so far. He was trying to convince himself that Ketan is still young and can be brought to the right path after being counseled. But such an instance never actually came as Ketan went out of hand with every passing day. Now not only did he would get drunk but also started using foul language and would get into physical altercations too. The father had issues with his son’s way, but now Ketan had begun complaining to him that how he as a father has never done anything for him. Ketan wanted to live a luxurious life like his other friends. His father was providing everything he can from his teacher’s salary. But Ketan found it unsatisfactory. Majumdar always feared that his son’s greed for luxury could lead him to a disastrous path. That morning, he received a call on his phone at 7 AM from the Sabarmati Central Jail. Upon receiving the call, his face went blank. He put down the receiver after the call ended, the expression on his face still unchanged. His wife inquired whose call it was, but he simply stared at her with his clear eyes. His wife found this to be very weird. Shaking his shoulder, she repeated her question. Majumdar looked at the phone, then turning his head towards her, he said, “Ketan has been relieved of all his sins. His wife couldn’t understand what he meant by that. They would always worry for their son Ketan who was lodged in the Sabarmati Jail and would weep in loneliness. But what was to make out the statement that Majumdar had just said.
She tried to shake him out of his expressionless stance repeatedly and spoke in a high pitch, “Can you please tell me what it is about Ketan?” He voice had a fear of sorts. Majumdar closed his eyes, took a deep breath as if giving oneself some strength, and told his wife that Ketan was no more now and they need not wait for him to return anymore. Hearing this, his wife sunk into the floor and started to wail. Ketan has been lodged in the jail since the last 10 years. In the year Majumdar had retired from his teaching profession, Ketan got arrested for a murder. In an inebriated state, he had stabbed a paan-shop owner to death with a scissor. His father had hired a top lawyer using his provident fund money to save him from the legal consequences, but he lost the case and Ketan got sentenced to prison. But Ketan had not let go of his gangster ways inside the jail too. Though it was not possible to get alcohol inside jail, he’d keep singing songs from the movie ‘Sharaabi’. The fellow inmates would address him as Ketan Batli. Life inside the jail was quite different. Just like lions in the forest, prisoners would mark their territories inside the jail and would not let anyone venture inside those perimeters. Manga too had his own empire inside the jail and ran a gang. He’d target the rich inmates and would demand ransom from them. The poor inmates were made to serve him and would even hit them whenever he felt like doing it. Newly inducted Ketan noticed this trouble of Manga inside the jail since sometime after his arrival. Though they didn’t have an encounter so far, Manga’s activities inside the jail would make Ketan’s blood boil. When one of Manga’s henchmen came to Ketan’s barrack to demand money from the inmates, Ketan stood up and told him, “Go tell Manga that from today he should not even dare look towards my barrack”
This is the 16th part of the serialized novel 'Deewal' based on the Sabarmati jailbreak attempt, written by Prashant Dayal, the editor of MeraNews.com