The title to this post was going to be a tie between "The Comeback Kid" and the one that you see up there. Although my return to this blog after a year did sound quite dramatic when I first thought of it, I have to admit, it doesn't feel so.
Its 3 minutes past 4 in the early hours of 29th june, 2013. And yesterday was what I call the perfect birthday.
I always thought that the perfect birthday would be one waking up to a beautiful partly cloudy morning, being wished by the very few that you absolutely adore, and then proceeding with your day in the least eventful manner. No unnecessary shouting, screaming, throwing tantrums or what have you. Then of course, the most gorgeous truffle cake on the planet that you cut in the presence of your immediate family (who, hopefully, are happy at your big day), some red wine in your hand, mix in some very delicious dinner, that one special call and that's it. Call it a birthday, and put a cherry on top.
Maybe thats not what I got. But put a cherry on top of yesterday, and Perfect is what it feels like.
I didnt lie, though. I did spend it in a jail. Thankfully just as part of an internship. But I associate an ironic sense of poetic justice to it. A reminder about the thousand and one ways that my life has been blessed.
There were men with Bachelors and Masters degrees in Engineering who were now locked up in the high security prison in a corner of Delhi. A boy who idolised AC/DC having won the Prisoners Idol multiple times- shielded from the world for the next 12 years convicted for murder. A smart man of 25 with his back and arms sprawled with a tattoo of a tree ("The wisdom tree" he said.) given the responsibility of aiding with the Control Centre functions of the Convict Ward. Then there were the rape undertrials, whose very presence left me feeling cold. Just barely a few days ago, I had seen a malnourished boy of 10 who had been accused of rape at the Juvenile Observation Home. It sickened me that the crime of that child and these men- were uniform. What could possibly make them want to throw their lives away?
The irony was, I saw the most beautiful paintings tendered by artistic accuracy by some of the amateur artists of this prison.
Some of them bowed low and gave way to the teenage law student, some stared insolently, some went about their lives without seeing the visitor in white kurta and blue scarf, some smiled with innocence.
Its a puzzling world- inside the prison and outside it. Yet for some mythical reason, I have been blessed. Maybe so are you.
Dont let that reason be a waste.
And thats how I reached 19. In a jail.
|Nil and I, June 2013|
Note to self: Please avoid bad haircuts. Preferably, dont cut your own hair.