Dedicated to Dr Binayak Sen
They had no manners, the police people. They didn’t knock on the door. Instead, they knocked it down. Maybe they didn’t consider our door as a door. It was a poor door. It broke into three and a half pieces. The half piece landed near my face. I slammed my eyes shut and pretended to be asleep. If I had ear- lids, I would have shut them too. The first sound that I heard was that of a coconut falling on mud followed by the scream of Kakka. More coconuts started to fall and kakka’s screaming stopped. I got the courage to open my left eye and saw the police people kicking Kakka in the stomach. Red liquid trickled out of his mouth. It was not betel juice .Mamma started to scream when the police people started to chase her. It is better to play police and robber outside the house, I thought. Her scream came to an end when the police people stuffed her mouth with her red blouse. Mamma would have closed my eyes like she does when “grown-up-people-scenes” comes on the TV screen.
It was Doctor uncle who gifted our village with a TV.
He gave a speech about Gandhiji and then switched on the TV and everyone clapped their hands. Well almost everyone because I didn’t. But that was because I had three stupid monkeys in my hands. It was a prize for reciting Vaishnava Janato, the song that Gandhiji liked very much. When Doctor uncle gave me that statue of three monkeys, someone took a picture. Doctor uncle tussled my long hair and told me that Gandhiji was the father of our nation and I asked him who the mother of our nation was, and he laughed and the whole village started to laugh, and I felt stupid. That was one gift I didn’t like much. Why should monkeys close their eyes and ears and mouth? Monkeys are no doubt, stupid animals.
Police people are more stupid that monkeys. Otherwise why should they drag me by my hair and push my face into the photo of Doctor Uncle, and ask,
“Where are you hiding him?”
They caught Doctor uncle because he was not hiding from the stupid police monkeys.
The village people saw Doctor uncle being dragged into the blue van and they heard him say “Satyameva Jayathe”, which means Truth shall Win. But when the TV people asked them about it, they said that they saw nothing. They felt bad inside. Then the newspaper people showed the village people so many newspapers which said that Doctor uncle has won a big prize for being a goodie good man , the village people said that they have not heard anything about it. But they felt good inside.
I still have that photo of Doctor uncle smiling like a good little boy with a big long beard, giving me that stupid three monkey prize.
One day, I will go to that big jail and knock on the jail doors because I have good manners, you know, and I will ask the jail people
“Where are you hiding him? “
If they give him back to me, then I will bring him back to my village and in front of all the village people, I will give him back that stupid statue of the three monkeys, and I am sure that he will throw it into the river.
Maybe then he will tell me who the mother of my nation is.