Unlike yesterday, today I started whimpering out loudly… “O stranger! Call out me sometimes! Here I am living a fragmented life…! O stranger…”
“Just whining here, all the day, to exhibit your unsatisfactory is like throwing perfume into ashes” the old prisoner advised me, as I kept on sobbing all the day. I think my cries weary him a lot, but I could not adjust this new life behind the bars.
“What else can I do here all the day, unwilling to my home-face…?”
“Like, I do. Sharing the agonies with our heart itself and mourning silently. No way out, else square your shoulder to get out in a fake encounter”
“Same thing, I can’t take it again. Now the pain is more than yesterday. Last night, the fellow Constable had helped me to break the bar, and then you had avoided me to do so and advised me the same. No more of that, I could reach my home by now…”
“Many like you, attempted to escape with thousands of promises given by police constables and disappeared behind the curtains of time forever, in fake encounters…it’s my experience. Rest depends on you” he repeated the same, which he had advised me last night, when the jailer had helped me to escape from this hell.
And now I started to walk to and fro in the cell, thinking what the least I could do. Then I noticed a leaf of paper glued on the wall. I narrowed my eyes to read what actually was in it. It contained…
“The entire world’s a chess board.
And the Men and the Women plays
merely the draughts,
One rides out the other for self-subsistence.
Oblivious Languorous Draughts,
Parades out, Tossing and Turning…”
“Hey man” I yelled out loudly “are these your poetic verses?” pointing my finger to it.
“Yea, Its mine” he answered. I went through it again. Some of the midst lines were not so clearly visible and the following ending lines stated,
“…After fighting all the faces,
Terminating face’s of the Dignified King
But, Callously Chained, Callously locked, callously aimed”
“…and it’s very hard to cultivate their termination” he unveiled the hidden message of his poem. I felt a bit energised.
After a couple of minutes, I came near him and asked politely, “what did you mean?”
“I mean ‘Ever dog has his day’. Wait for their turn” he answered.
“Whose?” I asked being confused by his complicated-philosophy. Pointing his finger towards the cops he replied “Those on their profane pilgrimage and making this cell our shrine” he said and asked, “Did you feel so much of pain, in just two days?”
I couldn’t answer, so I turned away my face and lied on the mat and again started whining,
“O wandering bird…
Where’s the light? Where’s my life? What’s my life…?
You’re not with me but I’ve your smile…
Your face is not to be seen but I feel your footsteps…
You’re nowhere near me but your heartbeats are where my universe is!
Fragmented my heart here, so yours there far away”
He facing away from me started, “there are many in this wide universal theatre, acting worst play than you”.
“I know I know… Do you know my part on this worldly stage?” I asked him.
“A protagonist missing the path leading to his life-partner” giving a brief introduction, I narrated all my intense feelings for my dear. “In my last billet-doux, I had pledged her to get my knot tied with her. On the arrival to native, we were about to prosecute further life happily together… and had promised her, ‘Upholding your arm, I’ll keep until doom…”
Some tears washed my dried away cheeks. It reflected on his sympathy too. He came near me and asked me in mourning mood, “Don’t you know, what life means?”
“I don’t know. What do you mean?” I counter-fired the question to him.
“Bliss and distress, it bears
Still, silent it remains
No one has yet learned
What actually, the life says…” he replied in poetic atmosphere.
“I was just new to my dear’s life. My life with her was like a dream, busted within a fortnight. A fifteen day bridegroom was in gaol ‘He gave me dreams of love in thousand colours’ she still cries saying this” He shared his long ago days, with me.
Helpless I asked him, “Is helping others, a crime?”
“In present scenario, there is no discrimination between white and black. May be helping have become a crime. So, what’s yours?”
“I was happily on the way to my home by air, after three years abroad. When I was waiting the arrival of airplane to my native, a gentle man, seemed enigmatic, robed in decent casual garbing came to me and attempted to speak. He pleaded me to keep an eye on his briefcase, so that he could get refreshed in nearby provided bathroom. I placed it near me and waited his comeback.
It was about half an hour more, he didn’t return. The aeroplane to my native arrived. Some cops arrived there and were seemed in search of something. One of them looking at me signalled others silently and threw a provocative look at me. Before some seconds to blinking of eyes, they surrounded me and took away his briefcase bag and me too. Before I could unveil the truth of the bag, they unlocked it before me itself and found some packets of illegal drugs and a revolver! “It’s… It’s not mine…” before I could end it, one of the cops said, “Yea… yea we know it. It’s conclusion of every crime”. “It means?” “Yippee! Finally, we’re successful in caging the international black air”
Before I could do anything, they veiled my head and on unveiling I found myself here in this cage…”
“So, our elder heads used to say, ‘no reliance can be placed on appearance” my mate remembered his master’s voice and continued “It’s the experiment of those in powers”.
“Let the experiments be made on the worthless bodies. Not on those who shall not get past” “Fortune favours the brave. Don’t lose the light of hopes” He advised the least, he could so far.
The dead dusk had passed out and the silken darkness of night had been unfurled. Hooting owls seemed to mourn for my destiny. Even the contrast of moon was nullified.
When I turned towards him, he was found sound asleep. Feeling dog-tired, I stretched myself on the torn mat, without undergoing a second of drowsiness. The poor images of my home began to flash before my eyes, my weak, old paralysed father, lying on a mat, unwilling to cough smoothly, without eyes and without teeth and my old mother blowing the smouldered fire beneath the firewood stove. My elder sister, of twentieth year, still untied the knot to his kismet. The manure for the fire of the stove was from me itself! But, now I am lagging here behind the bars.
“What does the silken wind whisper?
Where is the pure innocent bud?
Where’s the light? Where’s my life…?”
These tears I shed shall not be good to both in regime and who gave me his briefcase.
Even, evil dwells in freak of the nature, supernatural avoided nothing. Sun rose with all its glory and the spring grew on the mountains far away. I woke up dissembled.
“Light can be hid behind the curtains of darkness. But, Pain cannot behind the face” he broke the pin-drop silence of the cell.
“The heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of” I answered and didn’t endeavoured to whine again.
When jailor was on about, I called out him and “Look. I am Innocent and do please emancipate me. I am in need of liberty. Your deeds, of locking irreproachable aren’t pious” Cried all at once.
“I know I am on my profane assignment. Just to put off the fire of my hunger” he said and went away.
“Shamed be, he who thinks evil of it” I started murmuring and realizing my future, I turned to my cell-mate, the melancholy imprisoned poet, and said “…And now I am sure to dwell my rest of my life here itself. Hope your friendship shall enlighten my further days behind the bars…”
…..And I lived on… Forever!