SOMETHING IS BREWING
By Neel Anil Panicker
“What’s that smell?” Lakhi asked, careful not to raise his voice.
Ali inched his ears forward. The decibel levels were increasing alarmingly.
Despite the two seated barely half a feet from each other, it was proving quite a task to listen leave alone reply to each other.
“It’s the procession. Incense sticks, burning oil, camphor…all the other paranerphalia. Don’t you know this is Ganesh Chathurthi? They are carrying Lord Ganesha idols for visarjan,” Ali replied, a tad annoyedly.
The two looked through the iron bar railings and saw as far as the eye could see a long line of trucks
Seated atop each one of them were a raucous band of bandana sporting clad youngsters besides a few middle aged and elderly men and women, their foreheads smeared in gulal, white milky liquid streaming out of their mouths, all swaying wildly to the ear splitting beats of foot tapping Ganesha songs from chartbuster Bollywood hits, the catchy lyricsextolling the virtues of the much loved Elephant God.
As the sun came down harshly through the barbed wires, Ali turned his eyes away and looked at Lakhi. Around them were around ten odd other prisoners.
Roughly under an hour had elapsed since the van had left Gate No. 3 of Tihar Jail.
Ali smiled as he recollected the happenings of the day. Early in the morning all of them had been lined in the main prison yard adjacent to the Soap Factory. A warden had walked upto each one of them and passed a metal detector around their bodies, closely looking for any beep sounds.
The effort ended in fruition as out came out several blades, more than a few knives, a couple of cigarette lighters, packs of cigarettes, even a an ice pick and a battery charger.
The guilty were harangued and marched down to the Chief Warden’s Office from where soon enough one could hear their heart rending cries and wailings as the sound of leather boots, and heavily knuckled belts on searing skin tore asunder the early morning air.
Third degree mechanisms and then hard labour followed by several days of solitary confinement__prison punishments were clearly not for the faint hearted and the feeble minded.
Ali and Lakhi exchanged quick glances. The latter had the foresight to keep his improvised spatula safely tucked under his stone bed.
‘No point getting caught this foolishly, ‘ he had reasoned while persuading Ali too to do the same with his cellphone.
Soon their turn had come and after a thorough full body search, the duo were cleared and along with other waiting prisoners commanded top board the vehicle that was warming itself, anxiously awaiting to ferry the inmates to Tiz Hazari Courts.
“ What’s your mind saying? Will the judge grant you bail today,” Ali inquired of Lakhi. The question brought forth a scowl in the latter’s face.
“Bull shit,” he spat out. “ It’s all one big elaborate charade. The bastards have been ferrying us back and forth like cattle every three months or so. All we do is show our mug shots and then the Judge slams his gravel and barks, ‘bail plea rejected’.”
Ali caught the discomfiture in his cell mate’s voice and was about to say something when Lakhi continued,”The only good thing that comes out all this façade is that I get to meet my gangsta friends who sneak in a few packs of ciggies, even a bottle of whisky or so. Besides, I get to meet Billo, my love”.
The last words sent Ali’s mind scurrying into a tizzy. A s his heart beats increased, he felt a stirring in his loins.
Very soon his eyes brightened and so did his face as thoughts of meeting Liza after such a long time flooded his mind, filling his heart with inexplicable joy.
©neelanilpanicker2017 #parteighteenofadangerouslove #fiction
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PART FIVE https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/neelwritessixsentencestoriesepisodesixofdangerouslovefiction/
PART SEVEN https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/neelwritesgaffarmian-alifeoutsideprisonwallsthreelinetalesfiction188words/
PART EIGHT https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/neelwritescatsoutofthebagfffpppart8ofdangerouslovefiction08082017/
PART TEN https://neelwritesblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/neelwritesalonelyvigilparttenofadangerouslovefiction35812082017/