The Blind Lap – Jestin Jacob Cherian


Yellow lights flickered endlessly in that old rusty room. We were tied into the murky walls by ropes and chains. A few were even hanged by their bellies, humped against the dusty doors. The doors tasted like bread went bad, all stale and musty. Some of us have been here for years and some were simply lucky to have escaped sooner. Every time we hear that beckoning bell at the front door, our souls rage with apprehension. They writhe and twist and shout, yearning to be liberated from this misery. Sadly, over the years the ringing has lulled a bit.

I have been waiting here for five very long years, staring through the openings made by the great mother through her tears and whispers. Every time the old, splintered wooden door creaks, a familiar wrinkly face comes walking in, very slowly. Stone rimmed spectacles droop down the Master’s sagging cheeks, as his silver eyes pop out. He clings on to papers of different sizes and colors that show a bald-smiling-face, and the other one points lewdly towards one of us. Over the years, I have witnessed this exact moment thousands of times. During the darkest of times, it feels like I am trapped in a time warp. All of us do.

I may never understand why he wants us, or what he craves to do with us. However, one thing is for sure. It was never sorrow that lingered in his silver eyes. It was but a faint, short-lived sparkle. A momentary glimmer of relief, perhaps happiness I think. Maybe he wanted us gone.

But, where are we heading? No one dared to ask. There had been occasional rumors of inmates like me getting raped, murdered, butchered, torn to bits or torched, and finally thrown away. I am still tempted to leave. Is it not better than a life lived in the darkness? At least they could embrace the magic of light. Or, so I feel. Some mornings, we hear rare stories of our kind thriving within the gentle hands of a considerate few.

When it comes to choices, the Master is the meanest of the lot. His skinny, freckled hands always touch up the beauties among us, as he fondles with their stunning curves, gropes at their thick and thin tatters, and whiffs in the sensual scent of these pear-like pin-ups. Theirs is a body structure that turns heads, one that can never be mine. The men who come to this wretched place, never seem to care about what we feel. Their lust pulls them to the lookers, the apparently better ones. I guess an old, fat hag like me may never get the freedom some of us so dearly crave.

Nobody has ever searched for me, I guess. None has found me anyway – this I am sure of. Neither the father who sold me for petty money nor the withering mistress who gave me birth. Perhaps she too was abandoned by that malicious man. I have never known any siblings of mine. This leaves me all alone in that crowd.

Someday, somebody who cares more for what lies within than what shows on the outside would finally take me away. Alas, I may bask in the magic of light. Freedom will be mine.

Or at the least, I want to continue believing. Let me.

Yours ever,

An old-dusty-book from the shelf


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