Silence among the echoes
Tonight I feast. I feast on some of the best delicacies I have always relished. I feast upon foods fit for the Gods. I feast on Tandoori Chicken and Paneer Makhanwala, Biryani and flavoured curd salad, Jalebis and Ras Malai. Tonight I feast. I feast because it is my last meal among the living world.
But somehow I am unable to enjoy this feast. This morsel of food for which I started my journey on this path, now seems like my worst enemy. Every morsel seems to weigh me down by my sins. Every morsel holds me down with memories of people I have wronged. Every morsel brings to my mind faces of family and friends I have lost. Yet, I feast. I do not feast on the food. I feast on my memories and my repentance. For tonight, I see it all. I see LIGHT.
From nothing to everything in just a decade is a rise which the lesser mortals cannot even dream about. My journey has been phenomenal; from a poor beggar on the streets struggling to earn a loaf of bread, to the owner of five bakeries. And not just bakeries, the group of companies included hotels and real estate too. But all built upon the blood of innocence. As I dip this loaf of bread in thick chicken curry, it seems of blood. It reeks of death. I wonder. Yes I wonder, how blind I had been, that I could not see the hate in my victims’ eyes as I shot them. I have been deaf to the curses of their mothers and I have been mute to the questions of their kin.
But life comes a full circle. It always does. Crime seems interesting. Crime seems fun. Crime seems easy. But crime never pays. The old man had advised against it. But I was young. I was angry. I was frustrated with the struggle. Crime seemed like a logical beginning and the expected end to my long and arduous life. I did not sleep the night I killed my first victim. And for many nights after, I would sit by the window and stare at the moon. I would curse God and mock him because even though he had tried to hold me down, I had risen. I had risen to be a man to reckon with. Soon, my name would strike terror deep in the heart of every living being. The power made the money look secondary.
It wasn’t long before I started replacing love with lust. My family’s love replaced by the lust of money. My friends replaced by the lust of sycophants. I fooled myself into believing. I cajoled myself into trusting. And that was the beginning of the end. I had failed to realise that power is easy to come but difficult to sustain. The masters had abandoned me and the hounds were hunting. It wasn’t long before I fell.
The years behind bars saw me awaken from my dream. They made me realise how alone I was in a world without money or power. The ones who mattered, the ones who loved were gone. Except my mother. The only one to have ever visited me here. Once and only once! But I felt so ashamed. It was the time; I decided to end this peacefully. Not to fight the capital punishment awarded to me. I would never bear to see that look in my mother’s eyes… ever. It has to end. It has to end here.
And so, as I wait for the time to walk, slowly second by second, I have all the time in the world to think about a life gone wrong. No, made wrong, by false promises, false hopes and false dreams. I have everyone to blame for me leaving this world. And in the end, I have just one question. Who was it? Me or them? I have no one to blame. Finally, it’s time. It’s time for silence. It’s time for peace. It’s time…to find the silence among the echoes. It’s time.
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