A voice that is inimitable
Understand I have already passed seppuku
Soulful - so free when it bleeds
Life is elemental when it sways with the trees
Speaking past tense, don't cof-fin me
Because beauty is no less when it falls in the breeze
Life's only a dream within a dream
Everything the subconscious perceives as it seems
The truth is never ridden through a sky so serene
The soul of the wind always weeps dead leaves
Before I reveal who wrote the lines above, I need to share the once again another example of my trysts with serendipity. That I should write this post today is also relevant as today the Cabinet
ponders over an amend the existing law so that provisions of the Indian Penal Code relating to adult offenders become applicable to juveniles between 16-18 years. The parents of the young woman brutally murdered last December have also petitioned
the Supreme Court seeking directions to put one of the accused who was then a minor on trial by a criminal court by quashing a law which bans such prosecution of juveniles. The question raised is whether a young criminal can be reformed. This is a debate that is on, just as the debate on capital punishment. I must admit that I am for reforming young minds but find it quasi impossible in the present situation where reformatory facilities are in a terrible conditions and no one seems to be wanting to improve matters. Quite frankly I had never experienced the situation in real terms till now.
Last month we had a young volunteer staying with us who came one day and asked me whether she could ask a young man on death row to write to me as she had been corresponding with him for some time and told him about project why. I was a little taken aback as this was a first for me and quite honestly did not know what to expect at all. I agreed but was a tad apprehensive.
The young man in question was 19 when he committed the crime and was condemned to die when he was 20. He has been on death row for 4 years. I received a letter from him a few weeks back and was astonished by its contents. This could not be from somehow accused of a heinous crime. The letter was filled with hope and positive feelings as well as deep reflection and spirituality. I wrote back and got another letter. The poem above is written by this young man. But that is not all. In his letter he writes about wanting to publish his poems and sell his art work to start and organisation to help children in need. I do not know the details of the case and hence cannot say of there has been a miscarriage of justice but to me the words of this young man are not those of someone who is a danger to any society. I do not know what will happen to this young man. I do hope he gets justice, whatever it may be.
I have been deeply moved by his letters and it has been a learning experience I least expected. There are many questions in my head that need answers. I guess this is an story to be continued.