Crime Inspirational Thriller
Manan had stumbled on a desolate section of the library. He had hardly ever come here and never really saw anyone coming to that area. With the help of the minute light from outside, he tried to make out the contents of the room. The books here were a little different and the termite smell and dust everywhere told a sad truth. It looked like this room had not been opened for years now. He cautiously moved around the rooms when he heard someone coming to way of the room. “Who’s there?!” Someone asked. “Birju bhaiya, it's me, Manan. Would you come here for a second.”
Birju kicked through the big pile of books in front of him and came into the room after moving the table that Manan had jumped over to enter the room. “How did you get here?” He asked Manan. “ I was exploring the shelves right outside this room and I accidentally knocked off the big pile of journals on that table, it's quite a room here. Why was this hidden?” He asked bluntly to the young caretaker. “ I, no, no no one is bidding anything. This is a store. And that too full of scrap why would anyone hide. There's no use of all this”, Birju stuttered. “Okay. Then, you won't mind me exploring here a bit, would you?” Manan said as he went to read the names of the books. The shelves were stacked with books with notes and letters spilling out of edges. There were handwritten notes, marked maps, diagrams and blueprints lying all over the shelves and the floor. “But bhaiya, what would you find here? You have whole hall out there for great literature why would waste your time here?” Birju said in anticipation of luring Manan out of the room. “Okay, this is what is about to happen. You're going to leave this room and go back to your quarters. And I'm going to do what you would have no idea about. Nobody knows anything. It's 1 in the morning, if anyone comes I'll confess to breaking in. Okay?”.Birju looked down and went away without looking up or saying anything. But more than anything, the weird thing Manan felt here was Birju looked like he had done this before. He had once tried to stop someone and then quit.
Without dissecting his reaction, Manan fetched a few lamps from outside and started to shuffle through things. He moved around the room now, with the makeshift lightning, he was able to read the names on the book jackets and the labels on the shelves. It was not that he realized that the room gave clear evidence of being ransacked multiples times. Books were stacked at odd angles, notes were scattered, a few journals with torn pages, nothing seemed at at peace. As he shuffled, he stumbled across a cardboard box right in the corner of the room. Though it was taped shut, it was easily evident that the box had been opened and repacked multiple times.
( After 10 hours )
Manan didn't even remember where he was and how long he's been there for. He just knew the room contain him right now. His own body has given up on the chaos that was growing in his brain. Being in from with the root ending books with coats of dust, he now realized that over the night the dust has replaced the oxygen in his lungs and can no longer bear anymore. But what he was going through mentally, was a bigger concern than minor suffocation. Finding that shabby, tapped box had turned the life of the boy upside down. The moral and emotional turmoil was overwhelming his entire resistance at that moment. What he had discovered today was a life of a journalist, activist and a famous author Raghav Talwar. Through the course of his life, he had always focused all his resources on social work and public welfare. Both to a teacher couple, Raghav was raised with ideals and morals with firm believe in struggle for freedom. But as he grew up, the realities of the world turned him into a freedom fighter in a democratic country. From corruption to scams, from nepotism to reservations, Raghav had written, researched and struggled for the restoration of justice in the society. His ironclad principles were tested during strikes, arrests and the continuous tug of war between the political system and his moral code. He never acknowledged the fears of a common man. He was as familiar with jails as he was with his office, he had been instilled with enough laddhi charges for him to realize the weakness in the authorities. For him to realize strength in his truth and the fear behind their actions.
The old tattered box was containing the numerous newspaper articles he had written, books that were accepted by publishers, court statements and the police record of his arrests. But what drew the whole picture was a single red journal that contained the essence of his whole life. And of course, his death. When they couldn't contain Raghav’s work with simple threats and arrests, they upped their game. He was conspired in many false charges, investigated upon for days and weeks. He then was attacked and threaten for murder. When his individual strength won't break they targeted his family, like they haven't yet proven their shattering fears. It started then. All of it together. When Raghav was on the edge of outbreak and revelation. He has yet kept it down to strengthen hua research and evidence against the top hierarchical positions in the system. He had bore all the physical, mental and emotional trauma just to save his moment. His moment of complete victory. The moment when he would reveal the underbelly of the imposing system. With just the whiff, the authorities had prepared for worst and took similar actions. First, Raghav was taken in custody against false charges, he was investigated for weeks to break him down and reveal the research. But he had already set his big plan in action. His people on the outside knew their instructions.
But then, the system has eyes and ears everywhere. They first closed the doors of revelation through public media. Then, they hunted down the helping hand, which were never seen in public eye again. And since, none of this was known to Raghav. He broke in the hope that he had already taken care of things and did what he could and had to. He finally accepted to his false charges, just to end the whole torture and finally get out of the isolation. To his worst fears, all that was left of his dream was that secret box that he had hidden away somewhere, in an unknown location. A place he shipped it, in case of worst case scenario. He had prayed that it would never come down to it, but that red journal was all that was left of his truth and his dream. Manan was first filled with the brimming patriotism and instinctual urge to carry on the works of Raghav. A thousand ways in which he could reveal the story of the struggling rebel with a cause. Someone of the ideas were to publish the journal, the write-ups, the research and all the discoveries with absolute no fear of controversy that ought to follow. But...
Could he ever do anything to do this justice?
Before the patriot's duty of saving the people of his country he pondered if he could ever do justice to Raghav’s dream? For a little effort he put in empathizing with him, Manan would hardly contemplate with the idea of taking the baton in his hands. Doing as much as doing a faction to build on the dream of the noble man. Someone who perished in just hope of doing his duty to the public. And even though Manan decides to just take it all in as a story, a life story of a dead man that he can't do anything about. He couldn't shrug off the impact it had on him. The realization that someone’s whole life was contained in a dream. A dream to serve and do right to his country. And the whole saga started and ended in that one little box and that's all what is left of him.
No matter how hard he tried he couldn't stop himself from reaching to the conclusion that just like this one, there might be several dreams packed, tapped and hidden away in some dusted corner of some shady building. Rotting away with almost no possibility of anyone ever discovering it. Dreams that once must have been all of a person ever lived for. Is that what's the fate of dreams? Which once must have been, dreams to die for.