Sunday, 10 May 2020

Sudeepto Mishra, Prose 500 2020, Longlist


An Acknowledgement

At one end of the city’s land borders, just next to the light house there was a wrecked cottage and there lived an old wrinkled guy hiding from the whole world. He was in search of something but never stepped out much to seek for it on the out. He was mysterious and full of covertness. His latent gardening skills had his backyard turned into an orchard. Fruit farming was one from the few of his passions left.

I still remember that day when I met him for the first time. I was trying to steal some ripen mangoes from his backyard and then I heard a loud voice, “Get out from here or I will shoot you.” Hearing this I just ran, not because of his threat but I thought there lived no one in this house. I presumed him to be a ghost which later became partially true.

Today after so many years, I want to acknowledge him for pulling out a writer from me. I want to share his last words to my readers and it will be a heartfelt gratitude to what he has given me in return. So here it is…

“I am old. I see things darker. I fear death. It’s not because I am a coward. It’s because of my sins. What I have done to people is haunting me now. I can’t utter meaningful sentences. My nerves have gotten weaker. May be my past deeds have made me to fall into this never ending hole. I am 102 and I feel empty. My purpose of living is blank now. It is erased completely.

At times I force myself to take my life. I want to die, I want to feel the death, and I want to take me away from these worldly things. I have tasted enough of it. I want to be so far from human emotions. These emotions tangle us to live. They are like addiction, like a serum where you lose the liberty to be inhuman.

I am a murder. Once upon a time I was a genius in killing people. I have taken many lives in my life span. I have terminated many emotion carriers. I have made many others to cry, to shed badly for the death of their loved ones.

And now when I want someone to take my life and make me free, I find no one. There’s no one to set me free. I desire to have an instantaneous death, a death with less complexity and more uncertainty.

If you are the one then after killing me, just complete my story. It’s on my desk. A stack of my life’s sins is imprisoned in those pages. Use them wisely. And yes one more thing, I want you to earth me in my backyard near to that mango tree.”

I hope you all like it and I also hope you all will finish this book because it is not a fiction but a real story.

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