Friday, November 12, 2010

The Escape (FICTION)



With a mischievous glint in his eyes, the little kid looked beautiful – cute - serene. Despite all that they had been through, the kid smiled as if smiling was the only expression known to it. The kids expression bought a weary smile onto the wrinkled face of the freedom fighter. They were being chased down by the Raj. Day in day out his comrades were hunted and shot down by the government.

The Freedom fighter was tired – he had gone without food for the last three days; and had undertaken travel along a most hazardous route from Nasik to Bombay. But now, despite the fact that he was tired, bruised and battered, he knew that he was on a noble mission; He had reached Bombay… But so had his pursuers, they knew that he was here and they were thirsty for some more blood.

The government had already killed 7 of his comrades – mercilessly. However, he had, with the little kid, escaped... but he had been battered…There were clots all over his aged body, his muscles pleaded him for rest… a bullet had brushed his shoulder – rendering his right arm motionless – useless.. .another bullet had brushed his thigh... Bullets – were they the most dangerous things invented by man… Bullets – using them a guy as weak as a lame goat could kill a man as well built as he had been, that too from a distance of more than 20 feet – ridiculous! … He did not like bullets, nor did he like any fire arms. He liked swords and maces. Bullets always reduced the room for manliness in a fight… the modern fight was not a competition of competence, but that of resources. And right now, the government had far better resources than he did.

He looked at the serene looking kid again – it had been with him since a long time now. It had even accompanied him in the jail, the kid was the freedom fighters biggest moral support. He wanted to be never separated from it. His comrades had rebuked him for his attachment with the kid and had asked him to leave it behind – but he wouldn’t listen to any of that. He was clear – where he goes the kid would go. And it had caused him grave inconveniences – having the kid with him…

3 days ago, the freedom fighter had escaped from the high security Nasik jail, with 8 of his comrades and the little kid. They had a mission and a very simple one at that. They had to deliver a map to one of their friends who had been working from the outside. The map would give his friends the location of the huge consignment of weapons that was hidden somewhere near the western coast of Bombay. He ( and his friends ) did not believe in the non violent form of agitation that was being pursued by some illustrious persons. No movement could be achieved without blood – look at the French Revolution, the Russian revolution – everywhere martyrs like him had shed their blood for a higher good. His people would be proud of him – very soon they would be an independent nation. His countless comrades, friends would be recognized as being “Shaheed”. He smiled, ignoring the pain in his jaw…

The next morning he would have to reach the appointed place – by 4am in the morning. Just 5 more hours, and his calling towards the independence of his nation would be complete. He would then die, even kill a few of the white well built young men – he allowed himself to chuckle at that.. but he did not realize that he chuckled too loud…

A strong young white man heard the muffled chuckle – he had been searching for the old escaped convict. He had travelled from Nasik to Bombay chasing a rogue gang of prisoners ; he and his team had hunted them down – and he had enjoyed it! He enjoyed the sight of the rogues withering in fatal pain, and witnessed their last breath. His job demanded mercilessness – but that was something that came to him naturally. He was a merciless, heartless killing machine. He signaled his men to close in on the target…

The freedom fighter picked up a sound, then some more and then some more! They had found him! It couldn’t be! How on earth! The frigging whites! God Damn them, their 8 generations! He struggled to his feet, the kid seemed very heavy now.. he just couldn’t carry it… He must leave without the kid. He must, else he would get killed and his mission would get compromised. He needed to make that sacrifice.. He kept the kid down, bowed and did a final namaskara to the ‘Bal Krishna’ Photo that he had been carrying all along. He looked at the Lords face again – and tried to extract the last ounce of faith… The Lord smiled at him – for the last time…

The freedom fighter ran with all his might – the white soldier saw him and smirked! Took aim and bang….bang… bang…

The next morning news papers reported “ Major terrorist attempt on Mumbai foiled. The Army hailed by the president of India for leading yet another Anti terror operation”.

The news paper also featured a picture of the White Soldier – Major Kaul – from Kashmir,India; and that of the freedom fighter - the terrorist...


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A departing thought : A similar picture of a martyr ( or a terrorist depending on the view point ) and a white man was published on 23rd March 1931... Martyr or terrorist - Good or bad is a matter of perspective...


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