This floor has two names—the Haunted Corridor and Solitary Confinement. The second name is the perfect name for this floor. The floor is completely deserted after the independence. Only this cell has been kept in working status because this is very much small and suffocating with the window being out of the reach. This cell was created at the end after the jail was open back in 1905. There was this empty space. The jailer, a British one, the name I couldn’t recollect ordered this cell to be constructed just to torture his prisoners—read revolutionaries and the freedom fighters. If you scream every one over the floor can hear it. As old Mahmud recollects his early days. The scream used to resonate like an unnatural sound, and many times that sound used to create a ripple of frightfulness letting some of the young and novice fighters to spill the beans—read the secrets of their team and their plan. Sometimes the prisoner used to be thrown in here and leave with some rats. Bhulo was very much helpful in those times. He used to feast on them. Once a constable tried to shoot him but he missed it. The result, though it’s a sort of legend, loss of one of the eyes of Bhulo. Now he has become old and roams the veranda of this floor only not the other floors.
Now I got the reason behind calling this floor haunted one. When the sun set the darkness crept in the chamber. Bhulo also get into the chamber and lie down at the dark corner or jumped on the bed. The only light trespassed into the chamber is of the moon when it is full or crescent. The moon needs to be high on the sky, the sky needs to be clear, and the moon needs to be at the ishaan kone. The environ needs to be silent. The breathing of Bhulo joined with the chorus of the bugs and insects. This chorus compose whispering sound; intoxicating one pushing to write in this notebook. Though it’s a not a notebook. Few pages of some old torn tattered manuscript stitched together. It is a size of a palm and remains wrapped in this red colored shawl type clothing like the tantrik of my village’s used to wear. They used to worship the death. On some new moon night, in the dark of the middle of the night, they used to meditate and chant sitting on some dead body. The rope is the extra portion of the string that seems to be a portion of the string that is used for hanging an amulet on the neck or to tie on the waist or hand or wrist. Once, Mahmud had told me this story of a writing book. He said…
I should have listened to him. I shouldn’t have got into the fight. Now this silence, the chirpings of the bugs and all, the heavy toiled breathing of Bhulo—all are driving me insane. The morning is far away I know because it’s not much longer ago the sun had set for the day. Today it is a night of a crescent moon. So the moonlight is in her haziest form. And I am writing or I have been dictated. These whispers…these whispers are not truth. Back in my village there was a tantrik who used to worship death…who used to sit on…
What a weird nightmare I had. To-day it is a full moon. After remaining in the dark of the new moon followed by the hazed way to the full moon, to-night moon seems to be blessing. Even Bhulo had been looking at the moon. The hole of his missing eye was looking some deepest hole like the one we had dug for the tube well. He is now sleeping noisily. With the passing days his breathings are becoming more toiling. It seems he is having problem with the breathing. Sleep boy sleep. There is nothing to fear here.
The nightmare had visited me again. Bhulo with his two eyes licking his paws and stealing glance at every opportunity. I am lying on water as the tantrik from the village sitting on my chest and chanting a chasm, not Sanskrit but something old ancient language. He wants me dead—I heard my thought echo through a shrill voice. It was of Bhulo. He says those words into my years. Suddenly I find I had been thrown into some dark void. And there’s I woke up. And now writing this, in this dawn light which will get vanish soon because the window do not allow the sunlight to be get into the chamber. But, it let the light of the moon to trespass.
This phase of maroon is going to conclude soon. I can sense it. It’s either the notebook that will kill me or they are going to free me. It’s being three full-moons and two new-moons, so one and a half month or so. The only companion of mine has been Bhulo. And the only visitor has been the new guy in the force who supplied me water and meal of two rotis and some boiled melted curry once in the noon every day. Once Mahmud had said this chamber is cursed. It always wants a life to be alive. All these weeks that I were here I experienced nothing like of the ghostly but the noise of the silent night seems to be false because there were some one or more than that that whispers in the night when it is of new moon or… …
The thud, soft and suddenly startled me. There are some scribbles here. I think it is an approach to camouflage this notebook—hand-stitched—with a dual colour pencil. I know they will kill me. But before that I have to write down in this book so that when there will be a search they will know how much I knew and at the same time it will act as a mock threat keeping them pondering what more information had been passed on and what threats they will face. For my watan my life is trivial; nothing stands at top before my duty I has been bestowed with. Let stop here because I heard some footsteps. They shouldn’t know of this copy.
The cell is a square one. It just seems out of the place. It’s like someone had pushed in a box made of brick and mortar between some big giant boxes. The chamber is six by six. A window is there at five feet or so. The morning sun falls on the balcony outside the gate and quickly recede back making a dusked environment inside the chamber. In the noon it became very much tempted and hot. In the night, last one was a full moon, the chamber get lighted by the full silver moon. That moment and the moments that followed I missed my wife. I hope she is fine and waiting for me. Writing in the moonlight is a foolish work; I should write at the dawn when the rays of the sun passed through the cell. And I should finish before the guard came up with my once-a-day meal. There is a cat—old one with one eye. He is sleeping but breathing noisily as he grasping the breath with all his strength. This and the bugs are creating a whisper.