This floor is the most vacant one of the building. There’s a cat—an old tomcat—roaming and now sleeping at the corner. He has a one eye while one eyes he had lost to a fight. He was once a white but now a dirtied white one. He shares the meals with me and other prisoners here. Sometimes he just sat on the bed and hanging his tail keeps looking at me. As if I am a thief and he is the guard. Sometimes he just yawned and let his head dropped on his paws that he cumulated by overlapping each legs. He looks ghastly because the missing eyes create a suction-look on his head. That day I observe that one of his ears—the left one—had been chewed off and the puss on it had gather maggots. I asked him how it had happened because the hurt was very fresh. He yawned and looked into my eyes; then he gathered his paws and dropped his head. He does not like to get petted. Once, at first, I tried to pet him but he growl at me. But, he never scratched me. In night sometimes he breathed so hard that it gives the impression of being another being here in the dark. I think it is these breathings that sounded like the whisper I heard at the nights sometimes.
The bluff is all needed to win the hand, you know. The money you let others to bet so that you can win depends on how you wink, how you act, how much you can remain calm. My hands are itching to shuffle the cards; the nose wants to smell the wine and the cigarettes; to heart wants to count the won currency notes. Are you listening? When the night get deeper and the ruthless old constable Lawrence brushed his fat stick on the grills sometimes banging them on the iron of the gates, I miss that life—the life before that stabbing. Before I become a monster? Monster is the right word, I think.
This stagnant period is the worst. At morning the jailer came and let me know they are going to start my judiciary within a few days. I have lost the count of the days as well as the nights. The beard on my face, when I brush them with my hands, says it has been over three months I am here. He’s now looking at me. Today he has not gone into the darkness. But, sitting at the gate and looking at me in unwinked glance. He might be thinking something. Did he want to kill me? Or looking at me to help me escape? My brothers haven’t come for me. My wife also didn’t come or send a message to me. All everybody had wiped me off from their life. It just seems I have become a shadow or a passerby in their life. Ungrateful I will not call them because it is me who has been ungrateful to them. I never looked back at my wife. I always throw hurdle in the path of development of my brothers. Being the elder of all I have never looked after of my brothers and sisters. When my father died I sent off Ma to Kashi because I do not want to take responsibility of her in her old age. I have been the ungrateful to them. Now if they pass death sentence on me I will happily accept that. (Cont’d)