THE CHIEF WARDEN’S OFFICE
By Neel Anil Panicker
“Pandit, are the papers in order? Have you checked with the court authorities? And what time is the hearing?
As the series of questions delivered in typical staccato fashion reverberated off the walls of the corner basement room that served as the Chief Warden’s Office, the assistant warden looked wearily at his boss, his sleep deprived eyes still swollen and sporting a reddish hue.
“Sir, I have doubly checked. Everything’s in place. The hearing, Sir, is at Tiz Hazari Courts, 11 am.”
Across the table, Chief Jail Warden of Tihar Jail, Ambarnath Mishra’s shoulders stooped; his hands which were shuffling through a sheaf of worn out papers laid out on the massive oakwood table, dramatically stopped and were now clutching a pair of paper weights, which he began to furiously rotate in an anti-clockwise fashion.
Tiz Hazari Court had always been a bugbear; the last time, and that was barely a month ago,
there had been a shootout inside the Court premises __three prisoners beside one of the jail staff had lost their lives, all in a space of ten minutes.
After scratching his head, the fingers desperately moving around his bald pate as if desperately searching for a few strands of hair, Mishra looked up and barked out the orders, “Line up all the prisoners by eight in the morning, and run them through a pat body inspection. I suspect trouble with a capital T.”
©neelanilpanicker2017 #thechiefwarden’soffice#adangerouslove #partsixteenofadangerouslove #fiction #240words
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