Just I must.

Roohan won the elections of the National Party by a huge margin. He was loved, lauded, and had all the innings of a successful politician. A wonderful father, a loving son, and a dutiful husband and he checked almost all boxes of congeniality within in party and his country in general. His wife Afsana was no less, along with the kids she helped cut a pretty picture that enabled people to feel trust and elect Roohan again and again. The Nabius River project was his pet project, developing the river-front was Roohan’s pet project. Ofcourse it was, the family owned vast stretches of land that flanked the mighty river and Rohan left no stone unturned in cashing in on the location they owned. The land prices were steeply controlled during his time in office. Grinning ear to ear upon his win this term he began thinking of what he would do next. Just as he was twiddling his thumbs in great alacrity his personal assistant walked in with a box of sweets. “Hearty congratulations sir”, he said, “I knew that this was bound to happen. The phones haven’t stopped ringing. There are so many congratulations in order, even the Prime Minister sends his regards” he said. The nation is rejoicing. Roohan decided that it was time to strike when the iron was hot. “Arambol, please bring me the Nabius County File. We need to pass the resolutions that will drive the land prices up, in fact we should lose not a moment in sanctioning the new airport along the stretch and bid for moving the special zone far across.

The planning was endless. No one could easily see the hidden agendas. The growth in wealth was obvious but disguising a variety of charities kept the man out of the public eye. The ransoms, the bribes were all done ever so suavely. But with a lot of charity in the offing, with a whole lot of government funded schemes the growth of wealth was overlooked and even keenly forgiven by the masses. It did help that Roohan and his family looked like they stepped out of a high octave magazine. The picture was ever too pretty and everyone wanted him to win. “I just must”, he would say, ever so keenly in private. To his close counsel, to the people he believed in, to the trusted few. They alone could see the sheer determination that Roohan operated with. There never was a dull moment with the man. He thought a plenty but did even more. He was a man of action and that’s how he’d like to have been remembered. The ministers were east, the next few months passed as per Roohan’s plan, hectares were annexed, and papers were swiftly exchanged. Foreign investments were invited and extremely rare business deals were fixed. It would only be a matter of time before the chunk of family owned assets would become truly unsurpassable, when land turned gold. There seemed to be no stopping the man.

When a University was transplanted no body said a thing. When fields were razed no one said a thing. The people saw bigger universities being built at far off places, land that was earlier untouched began to be tilled. And the Nabius River flowed on, looking at every change of reform, every change of land, every movement of people. Some atrocities are not clearly visible, especially when they are eclipsed, when people are smoothly manipulated the real happenings are muddled up, covering up the unbecomings or rather bending the unbecomings at will into becoming. The River was a harbinger of life, the River was the main attraction of people and Roohan cashed in of the river, it’s generosity, it’s dependability. The people were pawns but the man was shrewd. He willed his destiny to be that of wealth, he dreamed of his future generations living as royalty. He imagined his children never having to worry about generations to come. There should be not a day in the future of my clan of uncertainly, and thus he set upon a mammoth task to change land use to make his land the most sought after, to make his land his fortune. And to a large extent he was successful. Blessed they said, though he knew the truth. For they say that the flame of truth never dies out, it always fans, burning ever so lightly but steadily in every heart, even if it is blemished.

Life is amazing thought Afsana, as she opened up the windows to welcome a brand new day and in the process wake up her kids from a long nights slumber. Just as she kissed her little one to life, stirring him gently from the clutches of sleep she heard a shriek. “Oh my God”, Roohan’s voice was unmistakable. She ran to the home gym where Roohan spent all his mornings. Worried about physical harm Afsana scanned the room and found Roohan staring at the large screen television stone eyed. Afsana followed his gaze and in bold letters the news footage declared that THE MIGHTY NABIUS CHANGES COURSE. Just like that, to be just, the mighty River Nabius, also the longest river in the world changed its course and in the bargain submerging all of Roohan’s lands those that were once claimed by his forefathers at the onset of civilisation were all under water. Roohan couldn’t believe his eyes yet a gut feeling made him feel like sinking down to the ground. He was shocked, the goosebumps stayed and they would stay for the next whole year. The lands that he helped mark, the lands he changed land use for spending billions in the bargain hoping to make gazillions went in water, the mighty river had a strange course. Astrologers never predicted it, there was no way something as sinister as this could have been planned. There was no protagonists except for the River here. Roohan had no one to blame, no one to be angry at, nature had literally taken its course. Holding his head in his hands Roohan said, I just must, I just must, and repeating the words again and again it began to sound like Just, I must be to Afsana. She immediately knew what she had to do. Nabius had played its part, just as now would she.




  1. 1.just behaviour or treatment.”a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people”