He could sense the flurry in the hospital as he gained consciousness. It was a miracle that a man in coma for the last almost 50 years could regain consciousness. The resonance of “Inqulab zindabad” still rang in his ears. He remembered now having received a lathi blow from the British police while hoisting a tri-colour. He turned his attention slowly to the environment around him. Everything seemed to have changed – the people, their clothes, their lingo, their tastes, everything. As he walked out of the hospital there was a strong urge to know and understand the present. He picked up a newspaper from the nearby stand. It seemed that evolution of man was now in the reverse direction. The paper was full of depressing news of war, terrorism, murder, suicide, robbery, industrial unrest, hollowness of politicians etc. Is this what he had fought for with the British ? There must be some link with the past to which he could reconcile himself.

            There was a procession coming towards him. But what is this he heard. They were chanting “Inqulab Zindabad, Inqulab Zindabad”. So the spirit was not dead. He moved forward. He belonged to that procession. As the procession reached the market place, there was sudden anarchy. The mob resorted to looting, arson and burning of vehicles. He stood still dumbstruck. The police were upon them now swinging their lathis. He stood still not bothering what happened. He did’nt care. He received a lathi blow on his head. He was aware that he was fast receeding into unconsciousness. He prayed to God that if at all he was to gain consciousness again, it may only be at a time when fellow feeling would be back, the beastliness in man had faded, the narrow walls between one and other, between nation and nation did not exist, when human values would reign supreme.

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Amit Mukherji

Member Since: 14 Mar, 2014

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