I wake up every morning at 5:30, say my prayers and watch the Sun come up on the horizon. I see the trees swaying in the wind and hear the leaves rustling. The cool breeze makes the birds chirp and the music is so enchanting. I listen to them with great intent.I have seen squirrels sprint up the trunk of the Banyan tree standing for ages right outside my room. The hanging roots are a sight by themselves. I have often wondered which one of them is the real trunk. Monkeys are its devout visitors and the tree loves them.

I have also seen a lot of sparrows in my backyard where a window opens to the most beautiful garden that I have seen in a while. There is a mowed lawn which invites the fatigued to relax. The flowers, so vibrant that they catch your eye even before you look at them. Such is the beauty of the flowers and so delectable their sweetness that the garden is a chosen haven for bees and hummingbirds that frequent them.

I see the clouds dotting the blue sky reminding me of cotton candy that I used to gorge on when I was small. Such was the beauty of nature that I prayed everyday for the next morning.

When night falls, I would watch the skies for shooting stars. I have seen them a few times but I am always welcomed to the treat of a million stars every night twinkling at me as if trying to tell me something. I have named a few of them that I see daily and have always run into trouble identifying them.

The loud thunder and the blinding lightning scares me but then follows the most beautiful thing of all – the rain. All those drops of water – which once initiated life on earth still replenishes it with its bounty. The showers are a welcome break for the herbage robbed of its freshness by the unrelenting Sun. I stretch out my hand to have a first hand experience of the summer rain and an instant smile flashes on my face with the first drop on my body.

Nature has been so kind and bountiful to me as it has been to the others that I almost forgot the one thing which I see daily.

The iron bars shielding me from the outside heat and rain – almost being my personal
bodyguard. I have been here for 4 years and have almost forgotten what my tiny toddler looked like when I first saw him in the hospital in my wife’s arms. They were the most beautiful couple that I had seen. I have never seen them since and I fear, will never see them again.

I still remember them in my arms and that was the last time I ever said to my wife that I loved her. That was the last time I ever kissed my kid. I dread the day when they left me all alone in this punishing world.

I never defended myself when I was incriminated for something that I could never fathom to have done. Such was the perennial pain that I embraced the decision with a smile. I have never been out of this cell since then.

The day was nearing and I was eagerly waiting for it. It was my freedom waiting for me on the other side of these bars. I had prepared myself for that all these 4 years and no one could now snatch it from me.

It is the 5th of June and there is an uncommon and uneasy chill in the morning air. I woke up a little earlier than usual and said my prayers. I can see two prison guards waiting beyond those imposing bars – entrusted with taking me for my last shower in this prison. I can see the dark horizon and hear a few chirps and squeaks. I looked at the flowers for one last time and saw them fade away into the darkness. I took my shower and dressed up in new clothes. I had asked for new clothes and my wish was granted.

My stomach was growling now – not usual for it – but it was a big day today. I munched on some food and had a hot cup of tea. It tasted like sugarcane and I knew that I won’t get this anymore – this being my last tea in prison. I walked across the empty spaces and dark cells. I knew that those inmates wanted to be free, just as I, but they will have to wait. Today was my independence day and I was in no mood to share it with anyone.

I walked past the lone coconut tree in the premises and looked up to its helm and saw that it was barren. A stark contrast to my mind which was full of new hopes and dreams of the impending freedom.

I climbed a few stairs and came to a halt near a pillar. I saw the frame of a short dark man with a very despondent look on his face. I knew that he had a big role to play in my freedom. I smiled at him and blessed him. His face was grim. The time was quarter past 5 in the morning and the Sun was still hiding in its abode. I wanted to see it one last time though.

The short man tied my hands behind my back and I heard him whimper. I consoled him and appreciated him. I looked around me one last time and blessed all those who stood and then I closed my eyes.

The alien world awaited me and then the clock struck 5:30. I saw my lifeless body hanging on the gallows as I embarked on my most rewarding journey.

It is my birthday today and my family is waiting for me.