Thursday, 22 January 2015

Signature on the wall

I have never thought that a name and signature on the wall can bring me such troubles.

It is somewhere in the suburb of Thimphu where my friend lived. I used to stay with him before and whenever I visit Thimphu, I always stay at his place. 

There were names and the signatures of the builders on the doorway signed with names perhaps written for remembrance or just for show; only the one who wrote it knows the intentions and the reasons himself, it was haphazardly signed and looks more like a graffiti when near and it looked like some sort of grotesque design from far. Only the elite few amongst the workers or those who knew how to write signed there.

“Anmul Haq”, “Muhhamad”, “Badal”, “Amir”, “Kumar”, “Panwar” and so on, the wall was big enough to hold hundreds of signatures. All are very common names of an Indian, as if to make the signature more distinct they signed against their names.

I happened to be near the same building and I wondered whether my friend stayed at the same place or not. I was on temporary duty to Thimphu. Seeing the signature reminded me of the past and now there were additional graffiti saying – “I love you Namgay”, “The snake Gang rules” and many others. I think, graffiti attracts graffiti.

I also thought that I will add my signature there, just for fun and also to make my friend notice, if he still stayed there, or any other friends who may pass by and bothered to scrutinize the graffiti on the wall as I did.

It is interesting to go through the graffiti and signatures and all the intentions behind each writings and intended person if sees it would understand instantly, I thought as I took out the permanent marker and signed there, thinking not many people recognize my signature, I wrote my full name under it, and to authenticate even more I put my rank  “CAPTAIN”, I added the date below that and wrote a short message “I was here”, intended just for my friend who happen to stay there and for some who may take interest, just like that.

That night a girl was brutally murdered and the house nearly burnt down. Before the news I heard that police are searching for one captain and list of Indian, some of them are caught and put behind the bars, maybe the same person who signed and wrote their names on the wall, as the wall stood standing, even after the fire had been put out, bearing my name freshly written with all the others. Oh! Sh&@T! and that captain is me.

I know that I was not guilty of crime and thought of facing the police. But on second thought proving myself not guilty would not be so easy, as all the circumstantial evidence pointed towards me as the murderer and an arsonist, and as we know that, it is much easier for the police to bundle up somebody and put behind the bars, rather than showing their inadequacies of not being able to catch the real culprit. In that case I fit their definition for ‘bundling up’ and no one will ask question.

I wanted to pull myself out from the suspected list, by deleting the signature that, linked me to the murder, I did not commit; writing it was so easy but now deleting it wasn’t that easy, not because the marker being permanent but that piece of evidence, as the police believed, was protected with ribbons and do not cross signs. If I try to do something there, it would amount to tempering of evidence and I can be charged. I thought I would give it a try anyway as it would be better to get charged for tempering whatever may be, than murder.

When I reached near the wall, I saw a group of men with a all types of weapon, not the weapons of destruction, but weapon of constructions and were busy deleting their signatures. I took out my cell phones and took their picture. I think one of them saw me doing that. If they were not guilty I can be their friend;  I came here to do what they are doing. If they are not guilty why they are erasing the thing? But then they can ask the same question to me too. We all want to avoid the hassles of inquiry of police. Sometimes the inquiries are just for show as the decision of charging you and the charges were already formed. Solving the crime is far important than catching the right culprit.

I ran away from there and now that gang of constructors and contractors are coming behind me.  I knew what they want. So to make it even clearer and to save myself with some concrete evidence I put my cell phone on video camera mode and keeping it in the palm of my hands facing behind and I started filming my pursuers.

Now, I have two groups of formidable enemies - police and the gang - after me.  I did not know what to do? If I go to police the police would either lock me up or the group that is after me, if police believe the video recording. If they happen to be innocent and went there to do what I went there to do, then I would never forgive myself. I have a grave task at hand now; to investigate the murder myself avoiding the police and the gang of construction workers.

My friend who stayed there gave me a call and told me that I was the prime suspect. When I asked him how, he told me that there was a clue left by me on the wall, for the police just like many seasoned murderers do. I explained to him that it was signed and written for him, to which he told me that he stayed there no more. My organization had conveniently declared me as AWL (Absent without Leave).

My phone rang again, I did not want to pick, but the noise is becoming louder and louder I stretched my hands and it fell on the floor. The crashing sound woke me up from a night mare, drenched in sweat being so glad that I m now out of all the troubles back there, just opening my eyes brought me into a different dimension that we call awake(fullness),  and also because my phone kept ringing despite the fall, a sure sign of it not being broken.

I have never felt so relived to be awakened from a sleep and when the call ended, my cell phone was in video mode and there is the recordings of the people breaking the wall, which is not clear or is it my eyes playing tricks on me in seeing the continuation of the nightmare????