A Tale of A Nation
Saba stared around her, in a cool calculated manner. Even though clad in an un-chic salwar suit, she didn’t appear like the usual helpless woman, stranger to the city as was evident by the heavy luggage she carried. The bus stop was crowded & no one paid her any attention. Except 2 men. Each was standing at the farthest corner of the stand & was watching out for her. Saba gave them one look & nodded her head.
* * *
Sinduhstan’s early morning newspapers reported another attack by terrorists in the commercial capital of the country. There were photos of victims splashed across the newspaper. Full-page photos of people with their guts all over the place. If there was a competition of the goriest picture ever published in media, the top prize would have been shared by Sinduhstan’s dailies. Kumar frowned, ”This won’t do.. these people had to be stopped.” And it was his duty to do that. He headed off to his office- the IB of the country.
Saba was the only one who was captured alive by the police. Her accomplices shared about 20-25 bullets between themselves. Now she was being carried to their top intelligence headquarters to be questioned. She was only 19, but well-trained. She knew how to handle torture of various degrees & she knew how to keep her mouth shut. There weren’t getting a single name out of her lips. Right as the vehicle stopped outside the office, Sabha curiously glanced outside. There were women holding placards, screaming her name. Her English was poor but she could make out that they were rallying for her-that she being just a teenage girl shouldn’t be subject to torture. She blinked. These women were actually saying that she could be an innocent, what’s the term…misguided soul?!
Feeling slightly light-headed she kept on walking to what she thought was the interrogation room. Kumar waited outside. His boss had asked him to put her in a high-security cell. He was here to how her to her room. He followed her in. Saba was holding on to the wall for support. There lay a huge bed, a plasma TV, a coffee-maker & a split AC in the room. “What? Didn’t you like it? Is anything missing? Don’t worry the other essentials are in the attached bathroom there” Kumar pointed. “Is this some kind of psychological thing they are trying? I will not lose my head. I’ll stay alert. They can’t break me down this way” Saba was determined. She had heard of terrorists being tortured beyond imagination. Why, last time one of her group members was caught in USB, trying to blow up the sub way, he could never talk again. In the eastern parts they held public executions, but this?! What’s with this country?!
As the night grew, there was a knock on the door. A pot-bellied guard appeared at the opening, “So you prefer Dum Biryani or a plain one will do?” Saba stared open-mouthed. “Arree, don’t feel shy. You will be staying her for a long time, might as well get to know you preference. We should treat you well, after all our culture says Atithi Devo Bhava” he chuckled. With that cultural shock, Saba sat with a thump on her bed.
P.S: "This post is written for BLOGESHWAR and Campusghanta "