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Behind The Bars

 

by

Afifa Iqbal

It’s been 33 days since I killed my dad’s boss and I have been in jail for a month now. Life here is much like the free world; just more crude. Power and money are everything in here, too. I lacked both out there and I lack both in here. What a pity it is! So, here I am, sitting in a C class cell when I should be in an A class. Well, never mind, it’s just my usual banter about things I have no control over; and it reminds me of you because I used to vent out my frustrated feelings in front of you. Now, back to my  sweet little, cold, dark and damp cell; I have become quite used to it now and it doesn’t bother me anymore.The only thing that seems to bother me nowadays is connections. I was an introvert when I was free but now I have to change this aspect of my personality if I wish to survive here. It’s not easy to be here but then again what in my life has ever been easy.

However, making a new connection is sometimes so confusing and inevitable, you have to connect because you have to survive. But deep down in the very corner of your heart , you know that this connection will damage your soulno matter how much damaged it already is, because that’s what connecting to damaged beings do to you. On the other hand, maintaining the connection also takes its toll on your soul. You want to disconnect because it’s hurting you badly but you are unable to do so as sometimes that connection is the only real connection that you have. You can’t let it go but slowly and steadily, you are losing the strength to keep it so. In such situations, I have no idea what a person is supposed to do? Or more specifically, what I am supposed to do, mother? Parents shouldn’t die so early or should I say, get killed so early. I have taken my vengeance but now I am stuck; in a dark dungeon and I see no light at the end of it. Just darkness over darkness, despair following despair and agony encompassing agony. Survival isn’t my problem but connection is. I, surely, have made a friend, a few frenemies and a lot of enemies. Friends or enemies, all are damaged and cursed in their own ways.

Isn’t it ironic? Those who are locked behind the bars for the damage they have done to the society are damaged themselves. I think, it’s a  vicious loop. You are ridiculed, let down or messed up by the society in one way or another, so you went on to damage it. Not everyone but quite enough people do this, the very reason prison population is increasing.

I have started to become more mindful of my surroundings. I think a lot and my mind is opening up to the realities of this dark realm. Like I said darkness over darkness and pain over pain. The scary friend of mine; the one I mentioned in the previous letter has been a good friend; albeit being a damaged one. He is guilty of murder just like me. He killed his brother amidst property dispute. As  expected , he realised his mistake soon. But mistakes or shall I say crimes like murder can never be reversed. So, here he is, sitting in a dark cell, fighting his way through life or shall I say through jail ( and doing it in a successful manner). Prisoners avoid him and never have I seen a single prisoner picking a fight with him which is quite peculiar as prisoners are habitual of picking fights with each other; either for power-display or personal grudges. He is tall; probably 6 feet, muscular and has a long scar on his face extending from left ear to the bridge of his nose. There is a rumour that this scar has got a pretty nasty story but I haven’t found the courage to ask him yet or investigate from other prisoners; partly because I am new and partly because I don’t care about anyone anymore.The world can go to flames for all I care about. Anyhow, as long as he delivers these letters to you, I have to be nice to him and I hate being nice now, I hate being a being that sometimes ‘feel’, the tiny voice that tells me that I can still ‘try’ to be a good person. Believe me mom, it’s not a matter that I can or cannot be a good person now; it’s a matter of aspiration  and honestly speaking, I don’t want to be a good person anymore. I want to be reckless, savage and powerful. And I assure you, if I ever got a way out of here, I’ll be. Speaking about my release, I have heard that there’s a prisoner in B class cells who helps people in getting out of jail, even if they are murderers, drug dealers or rapists; but obviously, he demands a pretty handsome amount for it which I haven’t got yet. Anyhow, I’ll ponder if I can work out a plan to strike a deal with him. I’ll write to you soon!

Yours truly,

Saeed

 

 

The blog was originally posted in the Read Pakistan Mag.

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