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When You Cant Escape

I woke up to the news that some people had killed a few persons of a particular community in America or Britain. No idea. What a bad news to begin the day with. But what we experienced in our locality here was something different.

A handful of people of a particular community of the area were offering prayers in open, instead of their respective religious place. It was the same community whose people had been killed.

“We should pay a close visit,” I told to one of my friends. “Won’t that be an interference,” he suspected. But I insisted and both of us started walking where they were offering prayers.

We started walking nearby the proceedings as all was happening on the mid of the road. We were walking by the side fields. A member of the clergy community was leading the prayer. The grieved mass followed. Though not empathy, but I had sympathy for them.

Suddenly, some of the community members saw us and started shouting; stop mother-fuckers, catch them etc. “We are here just to be a part of it. We didn’t have any intention to create any disturbance.” I even said that I condemn whatever has happened from the core of heart, thinking that they were neighbours, after all. When they can have so much feelings for those whom they didn’t even know, except the thing that they belonged to the same religious community, there must be some special space in their hearts for me and other people of our own locality, I thought. But perhaps I was wrong, at least this time. And looking at their angry faces, we decided to run. I asked my friend to turn in left and I turned right. We ran through the bushes. Meanwhile, I was saved by an inch.

I kept running and reached the place full of police personnel, barricades etc. “Hey, not this way!” One of them shouted. Knowing their inefficiency, I decided to change the route and go to some of my known youths who were known as bad elements in our society, but for me, people with revolutionary zeal. But then I remembered my press card and decided to talk to them as I thought it could work. Till then, the people chasing me were out of sight. Perhaps they had left. I went to police, running, and asked for help. “Who the hell are you?” I showed them my Press Card and an official kept that. I repeated, “I am from press.” He showed me another one which had blood stains. Looking at it, I decided to run but it was late. “Not so hurry son,” one of them said as they approached me. I was caught and brought to an old big house made of grass and mud in our locality.

“It is for your safety,” cops said. The place was full of all the people of my age I could think of in my area, including those revolutionary ones. They greeted me warmly with smiles on their faces, though I could sense a kind of uneasiness on those faces. They were avoiding any kind of eye contacts with the cops. I avoided ‘that’ feeling.

All were in the house but kind of free. Police seemed to be right, perhaps for the first time. But soon I reached, we were asked to go into the rooms.

Every walls of the rooms were made of grass with the help of mud and had wide open fronts, which could only be covered by wide doors.

As we entered, police tried to close the gates on the wide open fronts. “Let’s talk to the officials,” I said, but others with me laughed. Perhaps they had tried it earlier.

However, a few among us came together and stood in front of the doors against the iron chains and barred the closing of the doors. Those were not just the iron chains, as I observed, but the chains of injustice, repression and state’s anti people’s policies. Those ‘bad elements’ of society tried to break those chains and and break free, shouting anti-state slogans and ‘inquilab zindabad.’ We didn’t have any leader but everyone was his own. Some tried to hit back some of the cops which wasn’t an alien thing. But I knew police was going to project them, project us, as terrorists.

Next we heard some explosions just outside or inside the house. And the next, bullets passing through the left side of the walls. In all those hullabaloo and screams, I just could feel warmness in my left ear while I saw youths in front of me collapsing like cutting trees. Lifeless. And that time, I could not even be scared for myself or remember anybody, even God, for help. Rarely anybody survived in those hundreds, but I don’t know who.

After around an hour I was walking in one of the lanes in the locality. An old woman asked, “You too were inside the house son?” I did not answer and lowered my head and passed. She added, “But you just lost a minor thing.” I ignored.

I took a turn. The house where Kafkasque was witnessed was in front of me. The bodies were being brought out by the people of the locality. In that melancholy weather, I just sat down by a building by the side of the road. I saw up. The sister of one of my friends was weeping on the roof of one of the buildings. “You left him to die,” she accused me. Then I tried to touch my left ear. It wasn’t. I saw the people bringing dead bodies on that broken road, one by one. I wasn’t willing to count. I broke down.