Today was the day of the quarter when he could come to that particular square area where sunlight could reach in his prison. It took nearly a half hour for his eyes to stop watering and stay open. For 89 days he only sees the dull glow of the prison bulb and breathes the stale air. Today the most-intelligent again thought about that morning twenty five years back when he agreed to go with his younger brother, the most-dumb to buy the batteries for the dead torch.
Just as they turned the corner from the shop after buying the batteries, they heard the crowds, and then the policemen running after them. The brothers were so poor that they didn’t even own a TV, so they didn’t know who had died. One of the policemen spotted them and immediately shouted to his colleagues to get ahold of them. The most-intelligent brother immediately stopped on being called out to because he respected the law. He and the most-dumb brother were immediately handcuffed and bundled into a police van. When in the van, the most-intelligent one asked the policeman, as to why they were handcuffed, the policeman immediately slapped him hard and said, “don’t get smart with me. I know your types, you look all innocent and are the biggest criminals.”
The most-intelligent never asked anything after that and along with the most-dumb and 100 others, they were packed into one holding cell for the night. The most-dumb didn’t know what had happened and started crying. The most-intelligent while hurting from the hard slap, asked the others who were with them about why they were rounded up. They were incredulous that he didn’t know. They told him “the grandson of the king was stabbed today by two boys.” The most-intelligent was shocked but quickly understood why he and his brother were arrested.
Apparently the grandson of the King had come to this town to give a speech but could not even reach the venue as he was shot at by two boys wearing masks. The grandson was rushed to the hospital and the police was making an all out effort to nab the culprits. The most-intelligent rued the timing of this incident .. He had his 12th standard exams looming large. He was expected to top the school, but now the question was whether he will even get to write the exams !!
The next morning, the top police officials and the secret service folks came, and all the 100 odd prisoners were paraded in front of them and a handful of eye-witnesses. One of the eye-witness was the King’s grandson’s best buddy and he kept looking at the most-intelligent one keenly and suddenly caught hold of him and told the senior policeman – “This is definitely one of them. He is of the same height. I could see his eyes and they are definitely the same.” The policeman who had slapped the most-intelligent one immediately piped up, “this guy was just a few hundred metres from the spot where the incident took place when we caught him. Am sure he is one of them. He even tried acting smart with me by asking innocently why he was nabbed.” That sealed the most-intelligent one’s fate …. He never got to go home since then.
The most-dumb was let off because he was not identified by the grandson’s best friend. One other boy of the same height and weight as the most-intelligent one was caught 15 days later and finally the case was solved. Since the grandson survived the attack after extensive surgery both these culprits were put behind bars till their death. They were in solitary confinement and were allowed to see sunlight and the open skies every 89 days once for three hours.
Nobody bothered to get into the details of the case … No one is 100% sure if the right culprits were serving the statement … The clinching evidence was the eye witness identifying the most-intelligent one and the other boy. Also the stature of the eye witness ! He was the King’s grandson’s best friend, who has never made a mistake in life. Justice had been served quickly and the King had promoted the policemen who helped nab both the culprits, especially the policeman who had caught hold of the most-intelligent one. The eye witness also was suitably rewarded. Long live the King, shouted the adoring masses and the TV channels.
The most-intelligent one’s mother was allowed to visit her son every week till he turned 21 and then just once a month. The first time she saw her elder son behind bars, she broke down and ran out of the prison. The most-intelligent one was a brilliant student who could never hurt a mosquito let alone hurt a human being. Her hopes were pinned on him because the most-dumb had already got addicted to drugs. From the second visit onwards she was a little more composed and spent the alloted one hour hugging her son and whispering words of encouragement. She prayed to all the Gods she knew, and hoped for justice.
After five years when the visits were monthly, the mother had lost all hope of justice but the most-intelligent one gave her encouragement and asked her to seek the King’s appointment. In the five years, the most-intelligent one managed to complete his 12th, B.Com and M.Com. He in fact had started helping the prison with their accounts and many of the policemen brought their children to take his Maths tuition since he was a brilliant teacher. His mother managed to get the King’s appointment but was told clearly that she cannot ask for reopening of her son’s case nor ask for mercy. The King did a public relations coup by adopting the most-dumb as his great-grandson because the grandson who was the heir to the throne didn’t have any children !!! The King’s popularity soared.
The mother didn’t know whether to be happy or sad and for which of her sons. She was a special woman and she cut off her ties with the most-dumb and just continued visiting the most-intelligent every month. The final twist to the tale came last month…. The old King had died eight years back and his heir, the grandson died three months back and by a strange twist of fate the most-dumb, the adopted great grandson became the King. In the twenty years after being adopted, the most-dumb had lived it up. His drug addiction had worsened, he started using more sophisticated drugs at fancy foreign locations. After some advanced plastic surgery, he started looking like the old King so the people just loved him. The King had ensured that only his good deeds were written in the textbooks and similarly only glowing things were written about his grandson and great grandson. The gambling, womanising, commissions on several deals … All were hushed up. The TV channels were taken care of and didn’t report anything !
Anyway, the mother hoped for a miracle now that the most-dumb had become the King and she immediately applied for a mercy petition. Just last month, the King’s order, rejecting her mercy plea was delivered to her. Her heart stopped that very instant and she never saw another sunrise. The most-intelligent one was brought in chains to do her last rites.
Today, the most-intelligent one looks at the sky and suddenly starts to cry for the first time and just doesn’t stop crying …