In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom short story stories
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aakashtiwari
aakashtiwari A Storyteller
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Their stories were separated by decades but it was the pursuit of freedom which brought them together.

In Pursuit of Freedom

1887 British Occupied India

In a dark prison cell, amidst the glow of a candle flame, three prisoners were sitting hurdled together.

They haven't uttered a single sentence since a long time. Their eyes were glued on to the piece of parchment on the floor.

On the parchment was a map of the prison cell, hand drawn by them, part by part over the many years of their stay in this prison.

Amongst the three of them, the one with the brightest smile on his face was only seven years old when he was brought here on the charges of treason.

One day, while he was playing outside and his gaze went towards the building where the British flag was waving in place of the ever present Indian flag, it was only natural that he felt the need to bring down the flag and to restore what was right in place of wrong.

So when they took him away and sentenced him to a life in this prison, he didn't even know what was his real crime.

But now, he was sixteen years old and after spending his entire childhood behind these bars, he finally felt hope when he saw the map in front of him.

After the initial cloud of doubts were cleared from their minds, the prisoners knew it was finally time. Time to raise their chin and their shoulders, to take a leap of faith into the unknown and to finally march on the road towards their freedom.

1947 Independent India

They were running without a moment to catch their breath, without a moment to look back upon their assailants because they know they can't.

Not after the things they have seen on their journey, the things they know would happen to them if they ever get caught. Because in the godless world they are in now, there is no right or wrong.

So, they have to keep running till every ounce of breath remain in their lungs.

They have to believe in a miracle, a miracle that no matter what happens, in the end, they would be together, whether in a world here or in a world far beyond.

1887 British Occupied India

They were now crawling inside a dark, forty foot long tunnel which was left abandoned because till now no-one was even remotely aware of its whereabouts.

The tunnel leads out to a river which usually flows at its peak during this time of the month, so if they were lucky and they reached the end of the tunnel unharmed then the river could easily lead them to a place far beyond this prison.

So, even though their arms were bruised and the clothes torn apart, still they trudged towards the only ray of light in this otherwise dark tunnel.

But, what they didn't know at that moment was that they weren't alone in the tunnel because behind them, at that very moment, hundreds of guards silently entered the tunnel.

1947 Independent India

They were on the ground, in each other arms, ready to accept their fate as the sound of their assailants grew louder and louder with each passage of time.

They knew they couldn't outrun them, that It was a race which was biased from the beginning, where the result was decided even before the race even started.

Still it was hope that dragged them here, which make them dream of a future where they could be together and even though their future seems bleak now, still this dream will remain alive in their heart.

1887 British Occupied India

The three prisoners could hear the footsteps approaching them as they were about to reach the end of the tunnel.

It was only briefly that the guards and the prisoners confronted with each other because immediately, one of the prisoner lights a matchstick and threw it towards the gathered guards, as they all witness this with perplexed eyes.

Because there was a reason that the prisoners chose this tunnel for their escape, that they were crawling all this while in the dark. This tunnel was not created by any man but was created over time and so trapped within the walls of this tunnel were the gases which only needed a spark.

1947 Independent India

They could see someone approaching them from behind but he stood still at a proximity from them. When they glanced towards him, they saw an old man staring at a threshold, holding a gun in his hand.

And so, when their assailants finally caught up with them, they only saw an old man standing there, holding a gun whose barrel was pointed at them. There was only a single question in their mind which they didn't get to ask because the old man was already ready with an answer,

"Once I fought for my Freedom and today I will fight for theirs!"

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