I had no option left but to approach the Chaudary sahib himself. I was led into the courtyard of his estate, where about a dozen imposing men holding bamboo sticks surrounded me. It was a palatial compound, ever growing, with a large courtyard mottled with Neem trees. A cobbled path lined by the trees stretched to the main building, a veranda with tall columns wrapped around the building. As I was lead on the path I suddenly stopped and looked around and saw that the Neem trees had no shadow. The courtyard full with trees was bright and stark with the sun beating down as if the trees did not exist. A hot wind blew in circles. Beads of sweat poured down my brow and I shuddered at the sight. A lathi poked me in the back indicating that I should keep walking. The tall figure of Chaudary sahib emerged on the veranda. All the men straightened their postures. A trance like feeling overtook me too. He twirled his mustache upward, caressed his beard, and threw an angry stare at me. He said in a booming voice, “I have heard all about you. What’s your problem? Can’t you get on with your life and stop bleating all around the village and at baba Gulabay’s house?” “Sir, I am a poor man…” But before I could finish a stick expertly knocked my front teeth out of my mouth and a few swift kicks were dispatched to my hind side. “Did anyone ask you to speak?” One of the men said, still busy with the stick work. Others kicked me while I writhed in pain on the ground. Finally they stopped and picked me up by the arm. “Go home. You will see your goat there, and never come back again and stay silent forever.” ordered Chaudary sahib. With this the guards dragged me out of the courtyard and shoved me onto the street. The news of baba Gulabay’s fall had reached all corners of the village and the streets were deserted. “They have found my goat,” I thought. A smile almost made it to my lips and for a moment I forgot my pain. I couldn’t wait to see my goat again and hastened toward my house. Published in Daily Times, July 17th 2018.