Prison, Prison All The Way

Prison, Prison All The Way

“What would you call it?” Lulu, my parrot, asked. “Is that a writer’s block?” his mischievous tone was unmistakable.

“Oh, Lulu! I am not a writer so there is no such block. I am a blogger and have not posted a blog for almost two months. And I had been posting a blog almost weekly for sixteen years ……”

“Isn’t that unusual? Why does that happen? Have you lost interest in blogging? Running short of subjects?”

(Lulu, my parrot)

“I don’t know. Maybe all this and something more. I could not think of a subject to write on and even when I got down to writing, I could not proceed beyond a few words”.

“What keeps Modi going?”

“Dunno. I am no Modi. Why this question?”.

“What keep Rahul Gandhi going although he seems to lose every contest?”

“Dunno. I am no Rahul Gandhi. You see, I write is for my pleasure; I am not driven by the desire to do social change”.

“I know your problem. It is not lack of inspiration to write. You do not think about a subject well enough. A subject must be thought over long enough till your fingers start writing something automatically.”

“Hmmmm ….”

“What’s the subject on your mind?”

“I am reading ‘Fractured Freedom’ by Kobad Ghandy. He strongly protested discrimination against Indians in England and the English jailed him. That was in the early seventies. He later led the revolutionary politics in India and the Government jailed him for ten years. How could they jail a person for ten years, mind you, ten years, without having any evidence?”

“Is this the first instance? Surely not. Teltumbde was granted bail by the Court for want of evidence against him, but by then he had already spent over two years in custody. He was arrested in Bhima Koregaon case. Stan Swamy died in custody; he was 84 and was suffering from Parkinson’s disease.”

“Miscarriage of justice it is.”

“Yes, indeed. There is truly little we can do about it. But you will not say the same about the other prison and its prisoner ….”

“What’s that?”

“The prison of your mind. Do you get me?”

“You speak in riddles ….”

“Those repetitive thoughts which generate negative emotions. All of us keep thinking about events which hurt us, and we keep thinking and reliving them. It keeps us where we were, we do not progress. That’s the prison of our mind. Can you escape it?”

“You are right I sometimes regret that I did not bash up someone when he insulted me. That event is often replayed in my mind, although I realise that it is of no avail now”

“So, you are held captive in your own mind-prison!”

“Yes. Captive. Hmmmm …. How to escape the mind-prison?”

“Try meditation, Vipassana if you wish.” Lulu said after some thought.

“That’s a good suggestion.”

“And see if you can forgive. It is exceedingly difficult to forgive, but worth the trouble because you gain peace of mind.”

“I heard that forgiving might require a counsellor’s help.”

“Governments all over the world are notorious for keeping prisoners for long years without evidence and trial. Did you read the story of Martin Myers who tried and failed to steal a cigarette, and he has already spent 18 years in prison for it?

“Eighteen years! That’s shocking!”

“Well, it is true! One man can not change such things although the system badly needs change. But coming out of mind-prison is in your hands. This is easy said but difficult to do, yet worth doing.”

“Any guidance?”

“Read ‘The Top Five Regrets of The Dying’”. People at the deathbed expressed common regrets like ‘I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.’ All this is the work of mind-prison which prevents one from living a life true to oneself or expressing oneself. The book offers some suggestions.”


“Focus on your mind-prison, break the jail, it is not easy, but much easier than changing the ways of law enforcement guys.”

Lulu nudged me and pointed to my meditation mat.

PS: Feature image Saad Chaudhry on Unsplash