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A short story by Srijit Mukherjee, XII ‘E’

Source: The Loyolean, Chp 6, Vol II, 2006 

The whole scenario changes after our progress reports. Home becomes a goal with Mr. and Mrs. Warden monitoring every move made by us, inmates. Any cheeky or sloppy work is followed by a verbal round of fire and when we return the fire, they see to it that their choice of verbal artillery is such that they are eventually the last men standing’. Life becomes miserable for us as the wardens make some nasty plan for us, usually on the sly. Cutting down on allowances and suppressing feeble pursuits of something in our favor, top the list, followed by a scheme of non verbal communication. This last one is the most dreadful of all. It includes s’ich glares, stares and gestures, that a real prison inmate would get cold feet. The worst part is when we have wardens from other prisons. Both parties criticize wholeheartedly about their inmates and take credit on their part and boast of their cruelties like cutting down on television time, monetary allowances and yes, even phone calls. Kindness, morality, good behavior and purity of soul are given a definite back seat in these conversations.

After a few weeks the two wardens decide to hold their fire and call a truce. But unfortunately, the few weeks numerically sum up to 7 or 8 and their anger subsides after a long time.

Therefore, it is time for us to rise up in union and fight for our rights to make the wardens understand that we should not be deprived of our basic necessities. We should make our arsenal of reasons, logic and excuses stronger so as to be able to withstand the cold winds and the snow blizzards.

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Word of the Day

  • buttonhole
    Definition: (verb) Detain in conversation by or as if by holding on to the outer garments of; as for political or economic favors.
    Synonyms: lobby.
    Usage: It is not easy to buttonhole her for an interview.

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