The time was almost one o’clock on a hot spring day in March 1948, and Ravi who was seventeen, and Kumar who was sixteen were walking down the streets of Mumbai in India. They saw an elderly man being harassed by some teenagers, the Patel boys, who were well known for having a reputation as a bully. Continuing their walk, Ravi and Kumar saw the elderly man get hit in the face and saw the assailants run off. They went to help the injured man. Minutes later the police arrived. They questioned the elderly man about who had done this to him.
It emerged that he was a local resident of an old peoples by the name of Singh. More out of fear than shock he pointed to them accusingly. “These two hooligans”, said Singh, as he spoke his hands were visibly trembling Despite the fact the man had obviously extremely poor eyesight, the police officers proceeded to herd Ravi and Kumar into awaiting police van to go to the police station. Back at the station Ravi and Kumar had to convince the police officers of their innocence. “You’re making a dreadful mistake”, said Ravi, stuttering and splut “It was the Patel boys,” added Kumar, who was perspiring intensely.
The police officers were not convinced that they were telling the truth, and Ravi and Kumar were due to be sentenced at Kerala High Court. The family of Ravi and Kumar could do nothing to help Ravi and Kumar’s case and were extremely distraught after hearing the news. Ravi and Kumar had failed the lie detectors despite the fact that they were innocent. Kumar had heard that the police officers conversation about how they got the lie detector. He heard that it was one that had been damaged and repaired several times. “Do you still think you’re innocent? ” said a police officer. Ravi and Kumar were shattered.
Ravi and Kumar were sentenced for three years in Karnataka state prison. This prison had one of the worst reputation for abusing prisoners in the whole of India. Ravi had heard about a man who was hanged, yet later proving to be in the clear. The ruling was due to start in three days time with Ravi and Kumar terrified of what was going to happen to them once they were in the prison. Three days later Kumar and Ravi were set to go to prison. They were both terrified. On the way, Ravi and Kumar sat next to each other. They looked around suspiciously and saw a group of boys were crying.
Ravi began a friendly conversation with a man sitting beside him called Ahsan; he talked about how he was also innocent, and about how he was mistakenly convicted of killing his wife, and how justice did not prevail for him. One hour later, the prisoners arrived at the prison. They were called out of the bus one by one, like dogs at the races being called out of their kennels. Ravi and Kumar came out and saw the prison, it was disintegrating, the walls were tarnished with the urine of prisoners, and the barbwire around the prison was electrified, it really did look like a house of horrors.
As every one came out Ahsan slit one of the police officers throat, which made his blood squirt out, pouring out like a barrel of red wine. This killed the officer. Ahsan was set to be hanged the next day. The next day Ravi and Kumar were woken up at five O’clock in the morning; their instructions were to thoroughly scrub the floors in the hallway where their cell was. This was what had to be done by the new prisoners on their first day. At seven O’clock the prisoners were stopped and were made to look at the hanging of Ahsan, the hanging of an innocent man made guilty.
As Ahsan was asked if he was to say any prayers before he was hanged, he spat at the prison officer’s face. As he was pulled up, Ravi and Kumar looked away as it was a sight not be seen. After vigorously scrubbing the floor for another four hours lunch was served. It was a grey looking cream. Ravi had asked the man who was serving the food what it was. The man laughed in his face, little did Ravi know that the food was all the left over meat from the butchers in the town, all of it minced. Kumar had heard someone talk about the chief prison officer.
He was well known around the prison for persecuting the prisoners. The next day the head prison officer, Mr. Raja came to the corridor where Kumar and Ravi were accommodated, to see how the prisoners were maintaining their corridor. Kumar and Ravi were trembling with fear, after hearing about him. As Mr. Raja approached Ravi and Kumar’s cell, he took a good look at Ravi and Kumar. He approached Ravi and started to thrash him with his stick, which was made of willow, as Kumar looked on in despair. Ravi had been beaten for not tidying his bed.
After Ravi and Kumar had cleaned the toilets, they went to eat their lunch. Ravi had complained to the man who was serving the food and spat it back in his face, after it had made him sick, little did Ravi know that the head prison officer would hear about this. Ravi and Kumar had been getting prepared to sleep. The head prison officer went to their prison cell, carrying his lethal stick. He walked up to Ravi slowly and dramatically, and began to beet Ravi. Then he slowly took out his pistol loaded with one bullet, and then aimed it at Ravi and then, boom!!!
Kumar became angry, got the prison officers stick with the blade at the end of it, and slit his throat. Mr Raja lay flat on his back with blood pouring out of his gash in his throat. Kumar stood there like a reflected general. What had he done? He never meant to do this. Into the background, he could hear police sirens. They were coming for him. As he was handcuffed, he saw a face in the crowd. It was dear Luxmi. She had tears in her eyes. As he was dragged into the police van, she stared at him. Her eyes said it all. How did he ever know about it?