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Then secretary Seth Ghanshyam Dass blustered into principal office and sank into chair close by the chairman. Chairman raised his limp hand towards him and the secretary shook unenthusiastically. He then looked at all one by one and nodded indifferently.
'Where is professor Tiwari, principal sahib?' He focused at principal and then looked hither and thither uncertainly.
'He has just gone to drop his daughter at home.' Principal replied politely.
'Ask him to control his daughter.' Secretary blurted out brazenly. All the staff stunned to hear his comments about professor Tiwari's daughter.
'What is wrong with his daughter, sir?' Principal widened his eyes as rested his elbow on the table.
'Wrong? She has illicit relationship with your Mr. Pal.' Secretary stared doglike at Dr. Pal shrewdly. All the eyes startlingly focused over Dr. Pal. Dr. Pal, in astonishment began to look here and there. Perspiration streamed down onto his face. With consternation, he struggled to smile but smile was far away from him. His mouth had gone parched. All the staff had heard rumors about it days back. Therefore, they knew that Seema, daughter of Congress Party Chief Babu Lal, was behind the conspiracy against RSS man Dr. Pal.
'It is mere allegation, sir.' Dr. Pal mumbled, hands felt sweatiness.
'Mr. Ghanshyam Dass Ji, please don't sidetrack the main issue.' Principal stood up in anger.
'We teachers are always above the party line.' Dr. Pal reasoned as he observed all faces around him appeared disfavoring him. Merely two-three lecturers shook their heads dizzily.
'How can you insult our good teacher? Don't you know, we have a good reputation of our college?' Principal grunted. Chairman studied situation and smiled at principal. Then he turned his face towards secretary Ghanshyam Dass.
'Mr. Ghanshyam Dass Ji, don't be silly?' He utter advisably.
'First think then speak, buddy.' He patted on his back friendly.
'I have a proof, yaar' Ghanshyam Dass groaned.
'Proof? What proof?' Dr. Pal confused as his chair shook.
'Let me show you, principal sahib' Mr. Ghanshyam Dass rose and disappeared out of the office and returned a minute later with a photograph in his hand.
'This is what that proves professor Pal' character, principal sahib' He threw down the photograph on principal table. The principal took it and scanned through astonishing eyes. He sighed deeply. He noticed all eyes were curious to shoot a look on photograph. He maneuvered it into table inner rack. Dr. Pal wondered someone had hatched a conspiracy against him taking snapshot surreptitiously. Who were those silly people to tarnish his image?
'Dr. Pal, let me come right to the point, is it true what the photograph does show.' Principal asked candidly. Dr. Pal felt hot urine tickling down his legs. His distraught eyes suddenly fixed on secretary Ghanshyam Dass Ji.
'What should I say, sir?' You know me even better than myself, sir. Ultimately you are my boss, sir.' Dr. Pal spoke timidly.
'Could you ever think this photograph be manipulated? Today, we know technology is advance' Principal narrowed his eyes favoring Dr. Pal then he stared at secretary Ghanshayam Dass Ji.
'I wonder, who is my enemy, sir?' He took a deep breath and swallowed the glass of water standing close by him. But who could stop tears streaming down cheeks? All the staff grew sympathetic towards him. Principal at once decided to suspend the meeting- useless, useless, useless. How he could see Dr. Pal weeping in the meeting? He at once suggested the management to form an investigating committee to probe into the whole episode. How can we take decision (of suspension) so abruptly? Chairman did not raise any question about it and rendered the all powers to principal to appoint some teachers to investigate the whole episode.
'No, chairman sahib, no- don't do wrong. Don't let free principal sahib to take any decision independently' Secretary Ghanshayam Dass shouted with disappointment.
'Leave it yaar. Have you not heard that teachers are always above party line?'
Chairman chuckled freely and put his arms around his shoulders.
'Buddy, let's see what happens. Don't ever cry over trivial things, yaar.' Chairman again guffawed with wondrous smile and rose from chair. And then, he flew Ghanshayam Dass out of the room. All the college staff followed him obsequiously. His boisterous laugh made all the college staff somewhat relaxed.
Next, they drove off college campus leaving behind lecturers' community waving goodbye. Dr. Pal too struggled to wave but his hands did not rise as Ghanshyam Dass was staring at him cold and hostile. Dr. Pal for a moment studied the face of principal unresponsive and felt the claws of fear and embarrassment tearing his heart. His body grew cold and clammy and face obviously went white.
'Come, Dr. Pal'come.' Principal said and entered the office, not proudly, not humbly. All the lecturers went off one by one shaking hands with Dr. Pal and principal. There was a sequence of stares that generated the feeling of itchiness in Dr. Pal. After the close door meeting of nearly half an hour, Dr. Pal lumbered back his home, raucousness on his face, fuzziness in his mind and uninviting ruinous feelings in his heart cunningly haunted him.
He was utterly dissatisfied to the advices of bondservant principal. Principal had advised him to seek apology from management and applied for long leave till the session concluded so as Sheela could complete the last year of her graduation freely. Also, he should not think of taking action against Seema and Sunil. Might we rusticate Seema from college? She is the pampered daughter of Congress Chief Babu Lal Ji, yaar. Most importantly, principal had warned him to do whatever he is advised to do so otherwise MLA Sahib might be compelled to make way for his suspension.
At evening, Dr. Pal rang up his two three colleagues but they were no longer enthusiastic to help him. All the night, he kept crying into his pillow...MLA sahib might be compelled to make way for his suspension...and morning, he explained the entire episode to wife. His wife comforted him, promised him to do her best to retain his glory. Professor Tiwari also reassured him to placate the management. as secretary and his wife were classmates.
'I know, you are innocent, yaar, daughter has explained to me everything. She is far much remorseful' Dr. Pal listened to him patiently. Can truth be deceived? He did not answer. He feared if he would speak a little, a new sort of conspiracy would crop up in his way again and he would fall into a bigger crisis. He silently got off the phone...thank you, thank you, thank you... and stretched out on his bed close to wife. Again, phone bell rang.
'Sir, it is Sheela.' Her voice was full of anxiety. Dr. Pal puzzled if he spoke to her.
'I am really sorry sir. Sir, you... only because of me fell into trouble, sir' She continued.
I have explained all that to papa honestly, sir. I had asked Ruchi to take snapshot and she did but I am much amazed how bitch Seema got it from her, sorry sir'
Then Dr. Pal heard her weeping. He put the receiver down and focused at his wife, her face, breasts, mouth, cheeks with complete satisfaction. A kind of victory set in train to run onto his face.