Saying this she reached out with her hand to pick up the receiver. But before she could do so, Gopal held onto the phone.
“Memsaab, aap aisa nahi kar sakti, aap bina baat mera zindagi barabad kar rahi hain” He said imploringly and in a trembling voice. Fear of the future, was writ large on his face (“Mam, you cant do this. Without a reason you are going to ruin my life”)
But hearing him repeatedly deny his misdeed, and seeing him holding onto the receiver, further enraged Anu.
“Naukar hoke tumhari yeh himmat” She was boiling with anger. “Phone neeche rakho” (“Being a servant you have such guts. Keep the phone down immediately” )
Gopal did as ordered.
My wife started dialing a number, most likely to the nearby police station. I didn’t know what she was going to complain. Gopal kept staring for a second or two and then on an impulse, he lunged forward and snatched the phone away from my wife’s hands.
My wife had a look of disbelief on her face at what Gopal had done. She seemed so angry that she couldn’t even speak and slapped Gopal on his face.
The slap shocked Gopal. He put his hand on the cheek where he got slapped.
I was a mute spectator to the proceedings in my own house. I was riveted to the cam window. It was almost like watching a movie, only that it was happening in real and my wife was involved in it..
“Tumhe dus saal ke liye jail bhijwaoongi” my wife screamed.”Abhi ghar se nikal jao” (I will get you imprisoned for ten years. Right now, you get out of the house)
Gopal didn’t react to her words, but just stood there. He wasn’t pleading or imploring anymore, but stood there silently holding his cheek.
“Bola na, abhi nikal jao, yahan khade kya ho” My wife repeated again, but this time a bit shakily, rather than angrily. I could sense fear in her voice. I was not able to see Gopal’s face, but she could. (“I told you to get out of the house. What are you standing here for ?”)
Gopal still didn’t react and stood silently. And then suddenly he pulled hard at the phone bringing the phone wires off the wall. He pulled a few more times and the wire snapped.
This brought out a scream from my wife – a scream of fear. But not for long as Gopal jumped towards her and covered her mouth.
My wife’s muffled sounds were coming through his hands as she struggled to set herself free from his grip.
Seeing this turn of events, I was suddenly afraid. I had never ever felt threatened by Gopal, but now I was very concerned about my wife’s well being.
Anu was violently moving sideways, trying to free herself. By now our servant had gripped her with both his hands. Though he wasn’t big made, he was clearly much stronger than my wife.
I was contemplating calling the police myself, when I noticed that in the tussle, my wife’s loosely worn sari had slipped down from her shoulder, exposing her blouse..
And it didn’t escape Gopal’s notice either. Though I couldn’t see his face, as his back was facing me by now, I could see his head had dropped lower as if looking at my wife’s bosom.
Taking advantage of Gopal’s momentarily loosened grip, Anu tried to scream for help but was silenced by a slap from Gopal. I was in a state of confusion. On one hand, my wife’s exposed blouse in front of our servant was turning me on, but on the other hand his audacity to hurt my wife was making my blood boil with anger. If I were there, I would have surely thrashed Gopal. I was considering whether I should rush home or call the police.
Tears were rolling down my wife’s cheeks as the slap had subdued my wife’s scream to a whimper.
“Tum.. tum chale jao, main pp..police ko nahi boloongi. Koi complaint nai karoongi. Bas abhi tum chale jao, mujhe tang mat karo” Anu pleaded with him (“Please go away. I wont call the police or make any complaint. Just dont harrass me now”)
My wife was so helpless and I was feeling the same.
“Let me lay my hands on Gopal and I will kill him for sure” I thought angrily.
“Ek thapad diya to seedhi ho gayi hai na , saali randi” Gopal barked (“You have straightened after the slap, you whore”)
“Gopal, tumhe achanak kya ho gaya hai” my wife said “Please abhi chale jao. Main haath jorti hoon” (“Gopal, whats suddenly happened to you. I am telling you with folded hands to go away”)
Experiencing an authorative and superior position for the first time, Gopal seemed to be enjoying it . He placed his hands on my wife’s blouse covered breasts, which instantly Anu pushed it away and began to scream for help.
“Bachao..ba. .” But before she could finish her cries for help, a hard slap threw her against the wall.
“Saali randi, chilayegee to galaa kaat doonga” Gopal warned menacingly. (“You whore, if you scream I will slit your throat”)
I could never imagine the usually soft spoken Gopal could turn out to be so dangerous and intimidating.
Her body seemed to going weak with fear, as she began to slump against the wall. She was trying to stick close to it, as if wanting to merge with the wall and not be seen.