I slowly walked in the bushes and tried to decipher the figure that deluded me from a distance and seemed like a human. I went closer and surged as soon as I saw it collapse. Into a cavity. I would hold it, but the sight beheld me momentarily and rendered me motionless, thoughtless.
I peeped into the Earth, I saw nothing. I simply recalled the fall and felt wretched. I hoped I could have saved the human from falling into the pit.
Bright lights, then buffed over my head and started approaching me. The siren, confirmed that it was a police vehicle.
“Run away”, my head kept chanting, like one of those useless mantras.
“Now”, it again authorized.
I found myself staring in all directions, my head moving hastily, heart thudding impatiently. I wanted to run away, but my feet were held firmly on the ground.
“Will you surrender for no fault of yours?”, asked the voice in my head again, and laughed nastily.
I knew there was something that had overpowered me then. As the place lightened up in the presence of the police van, I found myself in a graveyard.
I pressed my memory very hard, and tried to think what had led me there. Where did I start from? The chronology failed to make sense.
I surrendered. The police took me away to the one of those cells where they keep sinners. Sinners who have killed people. I had capitulated, to be one, with a fear of not being able to preserve my side.
My soul hated me for giving in so easily. I was being taken for a crime which I wasn’t aware of, the victim untraceable, the incident incredible. But the criminal existed. Me!
I woke up as soon as I saw myself in the prison, vomiting ugly tasting syrup. I could feel the taste pretty much after waking up. All the while I wished whatever was happening wasn’t true. I woke up, and went to my table to complete my next set of chapters for the novel.
I looked out of the window, and the same graveyard appeared. I realized, I was hallucinating, consciously. I smiled, and picked up a pen and started characterizing my protagonist. I knew what I wanted to write.
I rejoiced, as my phone rang and I saw Roy’s name. He was the light at the end of the tunnel, for me.
I talked to him; spoke to him about the dream, and how I decided to write about my central character. He said he loved me. I knew everything was perfect in my perfect little life.
“Your next hearing is now, madam. Your lawyer is waiting for you”, the warden informed.
“Now? But I have to finish a chapter today”, I pleaded.
“There’s nothing to write Ma’am. You have no such provision in the jail”, she said.
“A poet that he is.. Roy, I remember what he always said. I am going to take inspiration from him, let me complete this. This one..just 40 minutes!”, I pleaded.
“Now!! Ma’am. The lawyer is waiting”, she commanded.
I felt the pain in my thighs and my eyes hurt as she pulled me out and exposed to the light.
***Talkhiyaan kaise na ho ashaar mein
Hum pe jo guzri hai hum ko yaad sab
Shehar ke hakim ka ye farmaan hai
Qaid mein kehlaayenge Azaad Sab
~ Javed Saab