ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

MADRAS: CHAPTER SIX

Updated on June 13, 2012


Early next morning, Chandru got up to the unfamiliar and unpleasant loud noise of the bell. Late that night, officer Ashok had come to meet him in his room and asked Ram to wait outside.

“We all knew your father. He was a good man whom we all admired. I trust you shall live up to his name and repute except in those certain aspects mentioned in that letter. Leave other matters to us and focus on your own wellbeing, you can’t afford to lose more. Chandru, I wanted to give you some words to enlighten you as to this appointment with the Major. Fair to say he has taken a peculiar interest in you and I am not sure at all it’s good. I am sure you shall avoid noticeable oppurtunites for degradation at his hands. Dress smartly and appear with a clean shaven face, be the most presentable you can tomorrow, do you understand?” he said.

Chandru was surprised at all the notice he was being favoured with, and simply nodded.

Ashok hung around in silence for some time with his head bent down and said slowly, “Whatever happens, remain neutral” he said and wished Chandru good night and left. These events and his grave look and words implied more than he’d let on and made Chandru very curious, but he was bent on proving that he would take whatever came to him like a man and was sure he needed no help from any so he did not ask much or display his anxiety and doubt to the Officer. But a single thought of the Major was enough to dispel all confidence and fill him with a loathing fear.

So that morning, he dressed and shaved with particular care. He woke Ram up and they made their way to the mess to have breakfast as instructed. It was a large hall with a counter at one end for cooking. The benches were filled with the sepoys at one corner and the Officers on the other. The few Englishmen had a separate mess.

Chandru scarcely ate for he was full of nervous anticipation. At seven, Ashok came to fetch him to go and see the Major. The thudding of the brown boots on the floors of the silent corridor was the only sound as they made their way to a cabin.

The Officer stepped forward and knocked twice on the door and was admitted by the low cold voice of the Major. They entered as Ashok announced, “Cadet Chandra Kumar” and left the room.

The Major had been having coffee and writing something, obviously for he had a pen in his hand and white sheets on the side of his desk. He breathed in slowly in a meditated manner and began to carry on with his work and speak at the same time.

“Good morning, Chandru” he said quietly writing away on his papers. He looked even more imposing than ever with his neat and broad moustache and combed back hair and penetrating, cold gaze.

It took a few seconds for Chandru to find the voice to answer and it was still a little shaky despite his utmost efforts as he returned the greetings.

Without looking, he waved Chandru into the wooden chair opposite of his desk.

“So” he said, suddenly looking up, with a mischevious twinkle in his eyes and jesting smile, “I am sure we’ve met yesterday. How do you find me? Are you pleased with the idea of serving under me?” he asked.

This fashion of speaking, his inexplicable nature baffled Chandru further but he lost a little of his fear of the man and replied with a terse yes, still looking down on the floor and staring at the wall and displays alternatively.

“I find your father, Raj Kumar had been a member of this regiment for 17 years” he asked and looked at Chandru who seemed at a loss to know how to converse with this strange man. And, without waiting for a reply, he went on. “I am pleased you have chosen to join us in the footsteps of your father. You are a fine dandy young man, if you discard my comments of you earlier” he said with a slight chuckle and spoke in a very friendly fashion.

“My deep condolences for your loss, I am sure. Has your father told you much of us and our regiment. I hear the Colonel and him were good friends. He must have given you lots of accounts of his time here, has he not?” he said, smiling.

“Yes, sir”.

The Major seemed to wait a while before saying, “do you know how he died, my boy?”

“He was shot with sixteen others during the Delhi camp” Chandru replied slowly.

“Ah....” ejaculated the Major. Then he looked up and held Chandru’s gaze and said, “He conspired with sixteen other soldiers and staged an ambush, killed unarmed Englishmen and was shot down.”

Chandru gasped and shifted nervously in his seat.

“I bear no ill will to you but you may well understand my inspection of you yesterday” he said gently.

Chandru felt his throat clog up and choke and he stared down fixedly on the ground, as his eyes grew moist.

“Chandru, if you shall excuse me calling you so informally. I have taken a great interest in you, men like are the ones this country needs now. You, being a well-educated fellow must know the prosaic violence and idiocy of useless adamancy and I am sure you shall know better than your father. I trust you greatly. I am sure you do not like me much at present but I had reasons to like your father which I choose not to reveal now and I genuinely wish you do not come to such an end” his voice trailed off at the end and he looked away.

“You may go” he said, still looking away as Chandru quietly left the room, overcome with a wave of emotions and a new regard for the Major.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • sharonchristy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Christy 

      6 years ago from India

      Thank you Sueswan!

    • profile image

      Sueswan 

      6 years ago

      Hi Sharon

      Another great chapter.

      Looking forward to reading chapter 7

    • sharonchristy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Christy 

      6 years ago from India

      Thank you shiningirisheyes.

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Major Sharpes image has changed greatly.

      I am so enthralled and on to the next chapter.

    • sharonchristy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Christy 

      6 years ago from India

      Thank you Gypsy Rose Lee!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up. Just great Sharon at least now Chandru knows not to fear Major Sharpe. Keep them coming. Love reading your story.

    • sharonchristy profile imageAUTHOR

      Sharon Christy 

      6 years ago from India

      Thank you for your wonderful reviews JKenny! God bless and keep you ever!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Wow, that was awesome. Major Sharpe was go grand, noble and honourable. I couldn't but admire Chandru's fortitude, it's difficult to imagine the sheer terror that must have been going through him. Looking forward to chapter 7.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)