He was sitting in a small cell hiding his head under his knees, a police man was standing alert at the end of the long gallery; each side of gallery had number of small adjacent cells, each containing at least one human being caged in, the stink of cheap cigarettes, dirty clothes and human refuse was all in the air making it nauseating; quietly I walked to the end of gallery, requested the police man to open the door of cell with a small boy inside.
Following the footsteps of police man, I read the definition of freedom in the eyes of an inmate who was holding the metal bars with his hands; it read nothing but freedom to walk a few steps under open sky, permission to breathe in fresh air. We, human being, are singularly strong in our capability to quickly adapt to our environment and then desire for some thing better, an invariable urge to improve takes the form of an intimate greed deafening to our inner conscious.
Bowing down my head I entered into the cell, the door height was purposely low to serve as a reminder that you come here to obey not to argue, to submit to the laws of the state rather than make them for yourself. It was a very small room, on the southern wall of the room was an open toilet which seemed to have never been cleaned and disinfested, on the north side a five feet long wooden bench with a pale bed sheet served as the bed for inmates. All the walls of the cell were crying with master pieces of drawings, engraved names, curse words and semi porn shapes, a history of inmates psychological condition can not be understood better anywhere else than on the walls of these small cells.
Bare feet, he was sitting in a corner of the room; head in his own lap, his two knees were hiding his head completely, arms were hugging his knees like he was in intense pain or cold. I sat down on the bed, waiting for him to pay any attention but he acted like a cadaver, a breath less soul waiting for nature’s disposition. I got up and walked to him, I then realized that he was crying, almost silent mewl. I sat down on the floor with him; he smelt like a skunk, I wonder how many days has he not taken a bath. The arrogance of being a decent man from free world was whipping me to get out of this place leaving behind my intention to unearth the state of justice in our country.
What is your name, I asked him;
Anwer, the sobbing kid replies, what did you do wrong Anwer? He pulled his head out of the clutches of his knees; his face was wet with the tears of misery, his lips were dry even though a stream of water was running down his eyes, I was caught stealing from a shop, he replies, I will stay caged for two years.
What did you steal, I asked then;
Two kilogram flour, I have three younger brothers and two sisters, my father died two years ago in a bomb blast, my mother is sick and we had nothing to eat for the last 3 days, I go to work but owner of our workshop laid me off, in one tenth of a breath the story of his miserable life rolled down his throat, a story that pulled me out of grace in my own eyes, I felt like I am drowning in the waters of shame and inhumanity. A story of every other inmate,be it a child or an adult, most of them are the victims of their circumstances. We who live in furnished homes, ride good cars and eat what and when we desire can not feel the agony of the life on the other side of the fence, we don’t realize that test of humanity is not laid out only in saying prayers and fasting during month of Ramadan, its not in being nice and courteous to those who are at par with us in society, we stand accountable for not taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, poverty is entirely a man made phenomenon, we love to rule on the spoilage of our fellow human beings, we are mother of all snakes who eat her own off springs.
Two years for two kilogram of flour, out of dire poverty, Lord, a country where tones of food is wasted every day in the restaurants of high society, a country where billions of dollars are spent on most affluent people in name of health care outside the country, a country where corruption on the massive scale is the only characteristics to be very successful, a ten years old child is caged in a grave size cell for two years convicted for stealing two kilogram of flour.
With heavy heart I left the cell, asking him no more questions, we are proud citizen of a country where a person responsible for splitting the country into two is laid down in the grave with full protocol of honor and elected prime ministers are hanged, a country where innocent girls are buried alive and dictators dance on the dead bodies of protestors, calling it show of force, a country where a despotic cavalier always gets indemnity of every crime, and innocent kids of a madrassa are slew cold bloodedly. Geographical and ideological boundaries of any country where justice is not manifested in the rule of law and rule of equality but will always budge to powerful, where honorable judges are bought and sold like a commodity in the market, is always susceptible to forces of disintegration.
A hurricane of thoughts kept hammering my head till I reached my car, a soundless engine with a cold air from air conditioner felt like an anodyne for my inconsistent thoughts, I realized the fact that amenities of life and for the life are the real enemy, we would smell the stink of reality unless a fragrance of greed diverts our attention, an antidote towards miseries of fellow human lies in our blindness, a blindness of insight and blindness of conscious.