In the winter of 2000 I got sentenced for seven years for murder of my neighbour. Though thatâ€™s a different story how I got into this murder but to cut it short I didnâ€™t kill the guy, but everything was framed so well that if I would be sitting on the other side of the table I will definitely feel that I was the murderer.
It was my first time in the prison and when you are fresher you really face very tough time during your initial days and so were with me. I wasnâ€™t that a tough guy, but slowly with time I made my space in prison. In prison time moves very slowly, as you generally donâ€™t have many activities to do. I was never an avid book reader, but it become my interest and also started writing few things. First tried on daily diary, but prison isnâ€™t the right place, as in prison what will I write about. Most of the days my diary entry would look like:
Woke up at 6. Formed a line for breakfast at 6:30. Waited in line to eat that same old shitty breakfast which you will never eat even if you get that food for free. But of course as usual you get very less options in prison.
After breakfast got ready for work at 7:15. Today I worked in Foundry workshop, I had planned to cast a dummy car, I gave a try but was unable to make a good mould. May be tomorrow if supervisor will allow I will try once more.
At 11:30 I went back to lunch, today I found that Roger, inmate who is in this prison for last 40 years died in the prison due to heartache. I wonder what he was doing in this prison for last 40 years. But as usual the normal answer you get from everyone here is, that you can get in here but getting out is not possible. I donâ€™t believe all this, these are the imaginations of losers. After getting this reading habit I have got lot of positive energy in me and I m sure I will break free from this place very soon. I m going to use this time in prison very judiciously, going to enhance my knowledge and overcome my shortcomings like short temperedness, impatience and some other issues which I have.
By 12:00 we again formed the line to go for work at stone crusher station. This is something I really donâ€™t like, this kind of work doesnâ€™t involve any creativity and it makes me very tired. Sometimes it becomes hard for me to even come back and read a single page of a book. This job ends at 4:30
From 4:30-5:00 pm we took shower today and got ready for dinner. At 5 dinner happens, it seems too early but you are really hungry after such a day that you can even eat dirt.
At 5:30 pm itâ€™s a time for mail call and medication, this is time when I sometimes read for other inmates as I m one of the most educated men in the prison. I like doing this work as it somehow connects me to outside world, most of the letters are full of emotions but I have got use to reading them. I always wait for the letter which tell me about some latest movie or may be someone has gone to some new place for travelling or something. But it was a bad day, I read two letters and that had some sad news in them.
6:00 pm is time when we go for outside recreation, television, hobby shop, self-help groups etc. Usually we donâ€™t get to see much of television as this has caused lots of issues as most of inmates have different level of interests. So I started visiting a small library of our prison, usually itâ€™s a quiet place where very few people visit. Although today I had planned to do some gym but again, I preferred my good old place library. Today I found that most of the books in the library are very old. Even the magazines are somewhere like 6-7 years old. I m planning to talk to someone, maybe warden to get some new novels or magazine editions. But I feel afraid to talk to him as I donâ€™t want to get into his eyes much. Its always better to keep a low profile at such places.
At 9:00 pm count happens and we all get back to our cells. Cells get locked and we have an hour and half time with lights to do our stuff. After that lights go out. Today I just feel like doing nothing, may be that letter which I read for Justine is making me sad, I donâ€™t know what is this emptiness which is making me low. But I have to get away with it, as at a place like prison once you get engrossed with something you canâ€™t get rid of it easily. So after finishing my diary today I m going to sleep early.
So thatâ€™s a typical dayâ€™s entry. After few days of doing daily entry I found that diary writing became a boring and sad job. So I started writing short stories. But I judged myself that I m not a good writer but I found very good topics to write. So I kept writing even if it wasnâ€™t so good.
First year passed, I made few acquaintances but not many friends in the prison, maybe I wasnâ€™t the kind of guy who someone will prefer to befriend with. In my second year of prison some new inmates joined in. And one day I found one of the new inmates has started visiting the library, though we didnâ€™t talk much but from his outlook he didnâ€™t seem like a guy who will like to visit library. He had huge build, with strong muscles all over him. His body was mostly tattooed with strange symbols on him. So normally I would avoid such a person. But he started coming to that same place almost daily and one day he spoke with me. His name was Ruffus Nichels, he was imprisoned for involvement in some bank robbery where his other partners got killed and he got arrested. I told him my story, though I donâ€™t share my true stories with others as it seems funny to tell people that you are in prison for no crime. At least I use to get some respect for murdering someone. But still I told him, he took it normally and just asked me one thing what are my future plans. I didnâ€™t get him completely when he asked me such a thing, I wanted to tell him that I m in here for next 6 years and he will be here for next 5 or 6 years so what kinds of plans should I think of. Actually he didnâ€™t give me a chance to say anything, he moved back to TV room after asking me this.
That night I wondered on that question what is my future now, After 6 years will it be easy to adjust outside, will I be able to get some job, and how will people react to see a person who had spent 7 years for murder. These questions were something which screwed my night. It made me remember my initial days of prison when it was so difficult to sleep here. I use to get a feeling that my 7×10 feet room is falling on me, you I m unable to breathe, but then slowly I got use to it. I found my solution by closing my eyes and donâ€™t see anything once those lights are out. So I did the same that night and closed my eyes till I fell in sleep.
Next day, same time in library we met again, immediately I asked him the same question â€śwhat is your future?â€ť and he looked at me very strangely, and he said â€śhave you ever been to Himalayas, there is small town, which gets snow only for about 4 months and full year of sunshine. The view from that place is so beautiful that even the Gods can get jealous. And you know I m going to live at that place by end of this winters.â€ť He was so confident when he told me that thing of his, I thought he is definitely a crazy guy I should immediately start avoiding him, But honestly when I imagined that place it seemed beautiful but only imagination, imagination doesnâ€™t do any good in prison. Before I said anything he asked me â€śwhat are your plans my friend?â€ť
To be continued…