17 January, 2021

Road To Perdition

Road To Perdition
It is 5 pm, July 17, 2002, and I'm near Dasna jail in Ghaziabad. Most things don't matter now: it doesn't matter that I'm a journalist with tehelka.com, nor the fact that I have been accused of abetting poachers whom I only wanted to videotape in the criminal act. It doesn't even matter that I have a wife and a two-month-old child. What matters is the fear inside me. It's black in colour and thick as the Delhi fog. And it becomes impenetrable to courage as I somehow remember forgotten stories of the bestiality within the confines of those impregnable walls they call JAIL.

Dasna jail has a looming and forbidding iron gate. The accompanying constables suddenly swoop down on me. One grabs my hair, two grip an arm each, the third pulls the loop of my trousers. The door carved out in the iron gate clangs open with an ominous rumbling sound. I'm pulled inside. I'm now the Dasna jail staff's. They watch me contemptuously as I sit on the floor. I'm a heap of palpitating fear. I'm the pig in the abattoir, I've no esteem. I'm the neck under the state's cleaver, I expect no mercy. I...



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