Monday, July 30, 2012

Binoy's End

It's a bad life being a bad writer. You know the goal, but seem unable to achieve it. I wrote the following for a story last night. Then I thought about it, and it didn't work with the overall logic of the plot. So, I had to delete the following portion and rewrite (and introduce a new character to lead it to its logical end...)

...Binoy wasn’t sure if Parikshit himself came up with the plan, but it was a brilliant one – to boost the image of the government and cripple the organisation. It was a tempting proposal to save himself from his current predicament. But his choice was already made. He wouldn’t repeat Badan’s mistake. He wouldn’t betray his organisation, not at any cost.

No, he said, “Parikshit, you are nothing more than a stray dog.

The other man smiled. He had become a proper politician. “And, don’t worry. I will come for my piece of meat when it’s time.”

The next day he cast was removed he was taken back to the empty room. The plan was simple to make Binoy agree to surrender, one way or another. This time they worked on his legs. They would heat a cane rod on an electric heater and hit his naked buttocks till the skin peeled off. Then they’d target the legs. Binoy had the feeling that his faceless tormentors were beginning to enjoy those torture sessions, which made the whole thing more painful.

“You know, I can tell them to finish you off, in an encounter, like they did to your friend, what was his name?” Parikshit said in his second or third visit, Binoy had lost count.

“Why don’t you?”

“Because you are my friend. And I want someone like you to help me. You remember those pieces you wrote in Ajir Batori, very moving. I actually memorized few of those lines, to use in my speeches. You can help me, and I can help you.”

No, Binoy did not need Parikshit’s help. That opportunist was never his friend. He was his minion, at best.

Binoy was still hopeful. He imagined that they’d leave Pradeep alone and the later would tell Manjit about the situation, and Manjit would find a way to get him out of here, the way Binoy. It was daring plan, to rescue Manjit from the Barpeta district court on his way to meet the magistrate, in the middle of the day. Binoy hoped that Manjit would try to return their favour.

But it was difficult to survive on hope alone, especially when they stated to mess around with the insides of his body. “Let’s fuck him,” one of them said after he was back into the torture chamber for the four of fifth time. He was already a wreck. He could no longer stand. He could no longer keep his hands loose or keep his head straight. He imagined rape to be a welcome change, but did not imagine what to happen next.

It happened in one swift coordinated movement. Two of them spread his legs, he was already naked, and the third picked up the cane rod and thrust it inside his rectum. He screamed like the sacrificial goat. He felt as if someone had cut him into half. He started to shit blood.

They were back once the bleeding stopped and continued with the exercise. Slowly, be begun to withstand the pain. He promised to himself that he’d live and he wouldn’t betray. He was at the end of the trial. What more could they do to him?

He had no idea that they had more innovative options in their arsenal. As he continued to refuse – it had become a pattern, Parikshit would visit him in the hospital and like a film director explain to him the role he must play and he would refuse – the tortures would go on. They would break him, then heal him, and then break him again. Binoy would withstand the pain with the memories of the three men who shaped his life – Badan Chandra Barphukan, Che Guevara and Kalitada. He may not win, but he was not ready to lose. No. not until the last punishment.

That evening, Parikshit was really pissed. He had an alternative plan. “At least help me find someone as big as you are. A top leader. I am sure I will be able to convince him. Then, I will tell them to kill you, or let you go. Whatever you want.”

“Why don’t you ask that sniffer dog who informed you about me?”

“He’s useless. He knew your friend Pradeep, who told him about you. And Pradeep was no help. Oh, did I tell you, you friend died. It’s more than a month now. You’d be happy to know that his body was given back to his family.

At the end of his tether, with all his hopes gone, that night back in the torture chamber, Binoy was in for a treat. There was a crate of beer on the floor and he was forced to finish the bottles, one after another. When he couldn’t gulp it anymore, they held his mouth open and empty the bottle, all of it. Then they asked him if he was feeling like peeing. When he said yes, they make him stand in front of the electric heater, its coils bright red, and ordered him to pee. It was too late when he understood the trick. He bladder was full and as his urine touched the coils, the electricity hit his groin and testicles. Before he passed out a second later, the only thing he could think was that he had no idea paid could be that painful. There was no metaphor to describe that surge of pain that enveloped his body like a bad adour.

When he came to senses, Binoy had decided, he would do what it takes, but first he must get out of this place. He told Parikshit that he’d surrender, even if it meant that his colleagues would hunt him down. But he couldn’t appear before the crowd like this, a broken skeleton? He needed treatment. And not in an army hospital. It was the only condition.

This was one secret Binoy had never revealed to anyone, not to Sarbeshwar Basumatary, not to Padum. It was an event Binoy had forced himself erase from his consciousness. But the time he had reached Gosaigaon, he had forgotten about it, that he had to die to remain alive. He lay there on the cold slab of the morgue for two hours, then killed the poor conservancy worker on the second shift, wore his clothes and limped out of the GMC hospital. It was a long walk then to the railway station, then a train to Gosaigaon, and another very, very long walk to Basumatary’s village, till a Good Samaritan offer to drop him in his cycle. By the time he had reached there, he was almost dead for a second time.

“So, what now?” Basumatary had asked after Binoy had recuperated, thanks to the former’s care and the herbal remedies of the village medicine man.

“I don’t know. What you did after you left your organisation, apart from coming here to hide?”

“I did not come here to hide. This is my ancestral home. This is where I was born. This is where I had buried my parents, and their parents. I had come home.”

(A Work in Progress.)

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