“Jailed for Five Minutes”

Image result for animated jail

A short piece

“Jailed for Five Minutes”

The first thought which generally crops up with the word ‘prison’ or ‘jail’ in the mind, is Crime. It is accompanied with the notion that somewhere, something illegal or incorrect has been done; a ‘crime’. The news of a criminal being thrown into a jail, does not create any indifference in any heart but the same heart becomes responsive when it actually stands behind those iron rods. The reciprocation is different when an upright person, such as me, experiences it.
A clear picture of a huge jail sparks in front of me. The Cellular Jail, famously known as Kala Paani, in the islands of Andamans, was the place which left me considering myself as a criminal. In the month of May, when the sun is bent upon smouldering whatever it touches, the beautiful journey of spending my holidays led me to visit the ancient prison of Kala Paani; built by the Britishers in nineteenth century. The name itself conveys the seriousness and cruelty of mankind.
The three long rows of brick with around seventy cells in each, justify the gruesome reality of confinement, slavery and torture of the Indians by the Britishers. As I looked upon the wooden plank where the prisoners were tied and beaten up, I realized that what heavy price was paid by our patrons to free our nation. They lived in those cells, not bigger than a tunnel, in chains and darkness. This thought made me hysterical. I felt thankful to those freedom fighters who sacrificed themselves for our freedom. Veer Savarkar, a great freedom fighter who was imprisoned there, spent his life in remembering, loving and preserving the rich heritage of India. The spirit of ‘Swaraj’ which had flown in his blood had now turned into silent echoes.
I entered into the prison of that martyr and realized that the dingy room was sufficient to kill a man within a day. But then it occurred to me that I had been standing inside the cell for only five minutes. It felt like five years. It was suffocating.

Today I am comfortably sitting on my couch at home, relaxed and without any tension for fighting for my society, leave alone country. But it is in those five minutes which I spent in the prison, ushered in me a kind of consciousness. I am now aware that I cannot act as an irresponsible citizen. Neglecting one’s duty towards the country and acting selfishly has become part and parcel of many self-centered citizens. Still a ray of hope exists in the corner of my mind and instils into me whispers of perfect peace. I say this to myself, There is a place in me where there is perfect peace, there is a perfect place in me where nothing is impossible’.

Miss. Baljeet Kaur

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