I'm wide awake. My eyes can see the silhouette of nothingness all around me. I feel cold. The cement floor is too cold in the midst of a monsoon night. The chill creep into the depth of my bones, removing all the warmth that is left inside me. I try to keep the living memory of my children playing together, giggling merrily around the house . Sara's hair was long and wavy, always messy and tangled. Abrar and his chubby hands, always crying and yelling , for his sister is a true troll. But I can't really remember their faces. Their lovely faces, God, help me. How did her nose look like? What is the colour of his eyes? Is it brown?
I cannot sleep. My mates have fallen into deep slumber, unaware of the coldness and the air of despair around me. After four years, the most uncomfortable place for most people is already a luxury for them. But I cannot feel comfort. I still have a hope burning inside me. And hope is a good thing.
I wonder how's my mother coping right now. I was always her favourite son, the jewel of her eyes. Of course I am, I am the only son out of eight siblings; who am I kidding? She was so proud when I excelled in my studies as a child, and I was more than happy to see her smile. I was the cream of the cream-as they called it, the crown jewel of the school, the district and the state. I was highly ambitious, too high , perhaps. I said that I want to be the prime minister when I was 13. I had a scheme and a perfected plan towards that, as if life will go on with my desire and my wants alone.
I always placed myself as the best among others, or so I think. Naive, I was, for thinking that success in these days are credited by my achievements and results alone. Get a doctorate and some wealth, you will be good to go. I shut myself from the lies of the world and became a hermit in my studies, ignorant and invincible. I forgot that this world is not perfect.
I was deep in my assimilation with political studies, when I saw how corrupt people are. Billions of money were siphoned out of this country, robbed in a legalized way. Tenders were given to cronies without a chance for other qualified firms. Government grants and shares were given to an elite few, sons of ministers and royalties, while the people suffer with the rising prices of goods . The rulers are no good muslims. They are drunkards and pimps, not to mention supporters of pure hedonism.
There was I, at the brink of success, leader of various student groups and community unions, the hope of youth. I stopped my vision of utopia and began to assess reality. All of these are so wrong. All of it need fixing and cure.
I made the biggest u-turn in my life. From a positive utopian, I became a pessimist who criticize everything that was proven wrong. I began to write in various forms of publications and media about this massive lie made by the government and the elites. I was like a detective , able to solve cases faster than Sherlock Holmes himself. I work with a team of free journalists and social activists, who like me, found a need to act as a public reminder. I put it as a part of my political studies to investigate such massive corruption in the country. Soon, there were raids and imprisonment of several corrupt elites and politicians, whom I know will despise me and my friends for the rests of our lives.
I know that the day will come when those elites would try to stop us for good. But I fear none but God himself, for I was searching for nothing but the truth itself. It was fun to condemn corrupt people, like we are the king of the world.
I was having a nice and warm cup of lemon tea with my mother-in-law when the cops came to my house. She was cuddling young Abrar in her lap, and my lovely wife was baking a butter cake in the kitchen. Even the officers stood at the door for a good minute to take in the fresh aroma of the cake. I was petrified , and the house became silently still. I was a good economist at a decent firm then , although my underground journalism was running wild and aggressive. The officers rejected my offer of hot lemon tea and searched my house all over. They took my files and laptops, stacks of documents and all the books I have. Sara woke up in tears to find her mother unable to speak a word. My mother-in-law was puzzled and somewhat terrified, the old lady was not used to such ferocity shown by the men in blue. After a good thirty minutes of searching and rummaging my stuffs, they handcuffed me and took me away in a police truck, in the name of national security.
" I will be back, mom, don't worry. This is just a slight misunderstanding. Abrar , please don't cry. Daddy will be home soon, I promise. Dear, I promise.."
My lovely wife was already in tears, her face showed complete despair and panic.
Weeks later I was told by my lawyer, a friend of my own, that the detectives found a blueprint of a bomb capable to destroy a whole building in my digital files. They said that there was a highly structured plan of a coup that involves some of my fellow economists and a number of high ranked opposition leaders. The "files" , as they said , were programmed to self-destruct moments after the officers found it in my laptop, and so they have no evidence against me.
It was a complete lie. There was no such thing. I am a decent man, with a happy family and a good salary for a living. I do not seek violence or such ridiculous ways of a coup d'état. I believe in democracy and fair election, and the only thing I go against was the obvious corruptions.
They had no proof-but yet they have suspicions upon me. I am officially a dangerous threat to the national security. I was sentenced under the Internal Security Act to an indefinite arrest. My fellow friends in our non-existent coup team joined me in imprisonment soon after that, and I know this was the end.
I have the rights to a fair trial, as I am a good citizen with a clean record. My children need a father to be with them, to care for the family. My mother is still having a trauma to have known that her beloved son is a "criminal" . To them senior folks, it doesn't matter if I'm guilty or not. The fact that I am a prisoner is enough to make me the biggest shame of their lives. My wife married an irresponsible man who tried to bomb people, they said. My children's father is a criminal , they said.
Who can bear the emotional pressure that my children have to suffer? Who can tell mother that I did nothing wrong, that her son is innocent? Who can help to lessen the trauma my young wife had to endure?
Even if I killed ten guys in public, I deserve a trial. I still deserve a court hearing , even if I cut off people's hands and hang them in the public market. I did nothing wrong, and there wasn't even any proof to support the accusations. I freaking deserve a trial as a human being.
I hope that you remember that the day will come when justice prevails. The day will come when you will regret the fact that you robbed me from my family and put me in prison. Whether it is in this world, or in the Hereafter, you will be punished for good. And I will never forget. Never.
I still cannot sleep. The iron bars and the cold concrete walls clamped off my hopes and my spirits . It is no good to despair , my friend, for hope is a good thing. I ponder in the darkness, in search for calamity. Light will prevail, my friend, and the night is almost over. Dawn is coming.