Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ram Mohan Roy ( 28.01.07 )

He looked up at the warden and said nothing. He said nothing because he had nothing to say. Infact he could not remember the last time he had said something. For him, everything ceased to exist. His last hope had also gone. His only route to escape.

He had wanted to kill himself by wringing his own neck with the bedsheet, but the usually inefficient warden, Mr. Roy, was awake that night. He had meant to be silent that night but a groan had escaped from his throat and this the warden had heard. He could not even die in peace. After that incident, his bedsheet and pillow were taken away and he had to sleep on hard ground. His misery knew no end.

His name was Ram. He was an ordinary guy living an ordinary life. He was an unusually silent person. He talked only to reply and he talked in monosyllables. He had made only one good friend in his life. His friend was Mohan. They both worked as assistant accountants and earned just enough to keep their stomachs filled.

Ram could still remember that fateful night. Inspite of all his efforts to forget, the incident seemed to have been etched in his memory. After another monotonous and dreary day at the office, he had set out to go to  Mohan`s home. He rang the bell but no one answered. He pushed the entrance door and it turned out to be unlocked. Inside, he saw his friend lying on the floor, stabbed on his chest. The sight of so much blood unhinged him for a moment but after regaining his senses he rushed to take out the knife from his friend`s chest. This proved to be a mistake, as his fingerprints in the knife would later sentence him to a life in jail. The knife stab had done enough damage on Mohan, he was dead. Ram`s next reaction was to call the police and inform them of the stabbing. After that, he left for his home and as soon as he reached his home, he collapsed on his bed.

It took a month for the city police to trace Ram. The investigating officer was keen to prove his intelligence and worth. Taking Ram`s fingerprints as conclusive proof, he piled up enough evidence to convict Ram of murder of his friend Mohan.

The judiciary was quickly convinced of Ram`s guilt. It took the judge only 3 years to decide that Ram was indeed a murderer. After listening to the public prosecutor about the case, even Ram was unsure about his innocence. It seemed to him that whoever was a better speaker between the defense lawyer and the prosecutor would get the result in his favour. The public prosecutor turned out to be a smooth orator and Ram got a life term. After witnessing this farce called justice, Ram suggested to the judge to punish him with the death penalty instead of the life term. This further confirmed Ram`s guilt in the eyes of all.

In jail, Ram was gifted a special cell all to himself where he could live in solitude. He owed this luxury to the fact that he was a dangerous murderer. In the beginning, he would tell that he was innocent to the only person in his vicinity, the Warden. The Warden would do nothing but nod his head. Eventually even those words faded away and ram stopped speaking at all.

17 years later, it was time for the Warden to retire. In these years he had not failed to notice the agony in Ram`s eyes. Never for a moment had he believed that Ram was a murderer. The Warden was basically a good man. In a gush of sympathy for Ram, he asked Ram whether he could do something for him. Ram wanted nothing but to end the never ending misery and torment that his life had become. Ram asked the Warden to lend him a blade. The Warden instantly understood the implication of the words, yet he agreed for he was a good man. Ram took his life the same day and finally gained the freedom that he was longing for.

The next day, the Warden received a notice stating that prisoner Ram was to be released and his life imprisonment term was to be reduced considering his good and peaceful behaviour.

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