Shevlin Sebastian’s short story captures the fragility of human relationships and the chaos they can lead to when any one person in it tends to go awry.
Sawant Singh pressed the accelerator. There was a roar from the exhaust as the truck gained speed. He was on the Bhopal-Mumbai National Highway No. 3. Sawant was carrying a truckload of oranges for traders in Mumbai.
As he stared at the road, he could feel the sun beating down on the truck. The cloth of the turban over his forehead was wet. He could feel the sweat gathering in his armpits. Next to him was his assistant, Rupesh. A Dalit, he lived in the same village of Tarn Taran as Sawant.
Sawant looked at his watch. It was nearing 1 p.m. It was time to stop for lunch. After a kilometre, he turned left onto a narrow road and travelled for half a kilometre. Soon, he saw ‘Rupinder’s Dhaba’. There was a large parking area in front. Sawant could see several trucks, a few cars, and two-wheelers. He shut the engine, stepped down, and walked towards the restaurant. Rupesh followed, a dark-skinned, thin man in brown trousers and slippers.