Mumbai dreams may have taken a horribly sour turn for a star-struck teenager from a small village in Bihar had he not been spotted by a good Samaritan cop.
Sudharshan Kumar Rai (17),of a small village in Dharbhanga district of Bihar,was full of flashy stories about Bollywood. Many villagers like him who had settled in the city would frequent his village and fill him up with tales of the star-spangled city.
The lure of Bollywood was so intense that he stole money from home and jumped into the first train he saw. The train took him to Delhi. He stayed there for a few days before catching a train to Mumbai,the city of dreams.
On reaching Mumbai,Rai chanced upon an untended bicycle. He stole it and wandered around the city aimlessly for at least two days till two officers of the LT Marg police station saw him.
It was 3 am of November 16. Finding it strange that a young boy was cycling around the city so late,they stopped him and,upon further enquiries,found out that he had stolen the bicycle. They took him to the station house where he met Assistant Sub Inspector Shankar Patil,who was on duty.
When he came in,he was smelling really bad,as if he had come out of the gutter. We got a soap and gave him a bath and new clothes,which he hadnt seen since he left his village, said Patil.
Then we shifted him to Dongri remand home,all the while trying to trace his family. At first,he was not very helpful. He gave us a wrong name,a wrong phone number and even a wrong address. He claimed to be from Naini in Allahabad district. After I found that the phone numbers he had given were wrong,I went to meet some shopkeepers who I know are from Naini. They clarified that the village he was mentioning could not be in that district, said Patil.
I and the superintendent of the Dongri remand home got together and finally managed to coax out the phone number of the school he went to. Upon calling the school I managed to speak with his father who is a teacher at another school in the village. His father came as soon as was possible to take his son but the formalities took at least eight days, he said. Patil even paid for the stay of Rais father. They are very poor people, he said.
Asked why he went so far in the call of duty,Patil replied simply,It was my duty. If the father had not come,I would have gone all the way to the village to drop the teenager.