Mushtaque B Barq

 And he raised his head!

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Locked in a prison cell, the walls were wailing like a toddler in a class after getting out of mother’s lap, the bars had all the rust of the world depicting malice in human heart, the door like an orphan was keenly looking for a guardian to allow the jaw bones grab the half chewed bone of a bird accidentally killed by butcher’s knife. He could hear behind the bars the tumbling autumn leaves moving waywardly. His nostrils could sense the chill of naughty autumn that creeps through crevices of a lonely window under which he takes an imaginary picture of the proceedings of which he is being deprived of for his being involved in sending a poor man as a morsel to the soil. His stiff limbs would bark at times whenever the food plate was pushed through the bars and his twitch would echo from the cell to disturb another prisoner who would only get out of the grooves of solitude which to him seemed heaven. After finishing his plate he would push it out of the cell to register his plight for his belly basket would never sing a song to let the cook to know how badly it was cooked.

Raising his head he would let his eyes gaze at the ceiling where a bulb had all the filth around its bosom to cover the intricacies of the filament like a virgin at pastures would keep her blooming protuberances out of the wild eye of the wind and wild animals. The light of this bulb never reached the corners of the cell for darkness suited the one who is pushed to the cell for his hands had reached to the den to extract sin to satiate the wolf within. Often he would sigh for something none but he knew and toss his head against the bars as a mark of remorse. His silence would even kill a new born who cried not in haste but in the cradle to sense pain behind the wrinkled forehead. The feeble ray of sun early in the morning would sign on the roughness of window sill to let the sinner know that repentance is the way leading a sinner to salvation. And at dusk the faintest ray veiling its entire luster tries hard to reach the mind confined in the cell to stimulate its half dead pulse and viscous life serum that with time had lost its fluidity owing to repeated intake of satanic salt dissolved in sugar coated tablets.

During that night he got off his broken string bed cushioned with dirty mattress that had all the maps of the world well marked on it. He looked at the ceiling where a spider was trying hard to get back into its web. He wished to help the tiny creature but he couldn’t because between the ceiling and the floor the space seemed infinite. He pulled his bed and tried to reach the web, but he failed to maintain balance and fell down. No one was around; he tried to stand up but failed. His fall was significant, his bruised body narrated woes of his sin. His head was too low, touching his chest; the chin had almost pierced into his breast bone to let the puss of sins ooze out of his robbed muscles of heart. His eyes had joined in the chorus that his heart had started on the platform of regret.

From adjacent cell laughter broke the silence. The fallen angel realised that his broken wings are no longer wide to lift himself up so he shut his eyes and jammed his sinful cosmos into the sockets. The more he tried to capture his pastures of sins, the more his meadows appeared far beyond imaginations. The man from the adjacent cell laughed again.

“His blessing are beyond human imaginations”, he shouted.

The fallen angel raised his head, smiled and lifted his body. The rise was significant, he realised that his sins are insignificant as compared to His blessings. He adjusted his bed and sat cross-legged to peep into his own territory where city gates were pushed open to allow a sinner freshly dived into the sea of his own globe to obtain the pearl of salvation.

In the depth of his own mind he was lost. The loss was colossal; he not only lost his own figure but also fissures of frustration.

“Congratulations”, a voice surpassed the barriers of the prison walls.

He again raised his head; everything seemed bright in the cell as like his much comforted heart. He lifted his gaze at the ceiling and the bulb broke into pieces. The bang brought the jailer to the cell and the bulb was replaced. The cell appeared lively like its prisoner.








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