“How is your town then?”
“An underrated heaven. Though it is a small town no one noticed it much. But for me it is not less than heaven” said Shivam.
“Tell me more” asked Sakshi.
“Do you know in clear nights we don’t need to go to the highest places to see the sky full of stars and the moon?
There are not bigger buildings but indeed their lives people with noble hearts.”
“How was your life then? It must be amazing right?” Sakshi asked excitingly.
“Yes it was. I was always a happy guy. In my childhood running behind squirrels and butterflies and then growing up with my younger brother fishing and swimming in the stream nearby.
It was all fun until one day…” he paused.
“One day a boy beaten my brother Ishaan and took his pocket money. He was even elder than me. I broke his jaw. I used to be very emotional and impulsive then.”
“You miss your home.”
There was a silence.
“Shivam, did you really kill Mushtaq?” Shakshi broke the silence.
“I wish I had.”
“Look I know that you are innocent even the jailor knows this. But I want to hear everything from you.”
“Five years ago I came to Mumbai in search of a job. After struggling for almost a year I met Mushtaq through a friend of mine. He told us to arrange 2 Lacs and will enroll us into a decent job.”
“No. He took our money and fled. This much amount of money was too much for me. I was a son of a post master. He had taken a loan for this sum. I lost it. Guilt and grief was all that I was feeling.
Every day I used to call Mushtaq but his phone went off. One day it connected and he picked it. I asked for my money back and he refused to do that.
I decided to go to his place. I wanted my money back at any cost. But when I reached their; he was already dead. I got panicked and went back to the lodge where I lived.
I didn’t talk to anyone for two days. And then police came searching me to my lodge and I got arrested.”
“Where was your family all the while?” asked Sakshi
“After two months Ishaan came to meet me. He had started working in a small company. Baba had left his job because of the people whom he couldn’t face.
His son was booked in the charge of murder it was more than enough shame a person with ideology could take.
I told Ishaan to never see me again. I never wanted to put my family in any further problem.”
“I will see you next Sunday” said Sakshi and left.
With the sound of trains whistle Shivam woke up shocked and terrified.
He was free now. He was arrested because he was the last person who has called Mushtaq. It was not enough evidence and because of his good behavior he was released from all the charges against him.
Shakshi; the lawyer who runs an NGO for the people who are in jail because of false charges, she has fought his case.
Shivam looks into his pocket. He has a ticket to his ‘Home’.
“Did you take the train?” asked Sakshi.
“I am not going. It has been seven years. I can’t make them understand. They won’t accept me.”
“You just stop using your mind unnecessarily or will fire you from the job. Just take the train come home fast.” She said.
“Ok. Wait… what? ‘Come home’?”
“Yes” she laughed.
“Where are you?” he asked holding his tears back.
“In the underrated heaven.”