Mulaquaat #2
Yerwada Women’s Jail Pune
3rd July 2018

By- Koel Sen

We wait. The wait is long this time.
Monsoon clouds hover above us.
Papa, hasn’t met her since they picked her up from home.

We park ourselves on a small bench outside the Mulaquaat Kaksha that can barely fit two people. I have made two cute little friends there, who come panting with their tongues hanging and greet me with a nudge on my knee. It’s cold and windy, about to rain.

Papa is writing down on a small piece of paper, things he needs to tell her. His gentle hands shiver from rheumatoid arthritis. In a bit, I see him dozing off while doing so, sitting next to me.

The wait is long this time. We are tired and un-slept and hungry. I start counting the dark-grey gravel around my feet. They start merging into different patterns. I look up. The tall white wall of the Mulaquaat building has grey formations on it, that start moving, turning into little hazy figures. I wonder if I am hallucinating. I remind myself, I haven’t slept and it’s the stress. The mind can play such crazy tricks while you wait outside the jail, I wonder how it would be inside… I hold my tears as a deep hollow feeling swallows me from inside.

We meet. Maa and Papa do most of the talking, I try hard to deflect the obstruction caused by the light reflecting on the glass wall this time. I want to see her properly.

In a bit, I get the intercom to talk. Among other regular talk about moneys, medicines, cot and clothes – she suddenly tells me… “There’s this big built old lady, OK, who is like the ‘boss’ around here”… .”What?!” I say, “Maa, are you getting bullied ?”, “No, no, “.. she said “She asked me to ask my daughter to buy her a bra, she has given me her size.. .” “Maa, seriously.!?” I asked. “What now, are you running charity services inside?”.. .we laugh, “I got you your bras, give her one of yours… Don’t let anyone bully you Maa, don’t be the usual softie that you are.”…

It begins to rain outside.

It’s her 60th Birthday on the 1st of August, she will now be produced only on the 2nd of August. Well-wishers are welcome to send her cards, letters and love to the this address –
UT no. 311 of 2018
Shoma Kanti Sen
Yerwada Women’s Jail
PUNE – 411006


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