“Did getting an interesting book from the library take this much time for you? ”
“What great fun is there in books ?”
“How can people get so affected by other people’s thoughts?, perhaps it’s all only their imagination!”
“No one will second your idea to stay back here alone with some faded pages for company . Forbidden world for you is our fine kingdom of these narrow dirty lanes . Every where we are reigning as ‘terror boys’. “
“Set route for us to get into the shopping centre. Lights will be switched off there after midnight. “
“Only use torch light to see. Festival season services and sales assure heavy cash coming into the shops. Get ready fast guys , great fortune is awaiting us.” “Edit instructions that I give in case there is need to save yourselves .”
Jina paused for breath .
“ Udit , Kiesul get the tools ready.” “Biko ! are you sleeping ?”Jina shouted.
“No “ said Biko without lifting his head from the book that was in his lap.
Into his mind nothing else had entered . His lips were speaking on their own.
Books breathed joy into his soul. Rushing through the book Kiesul remarked “oh! Pages sent to give me headache. My gods! Nothing better you can do?”. Kiesul threw the “thing” on to the floor.
To hawk plaster of Paris idols was never his favourite time pass but hard business for keeping himself alive
Ugly broken plaster dolls kept under the old shelf awaited unknown future like the boys.
Nothing calmed Biko’s mind like books. Getting second hand readable books from the vendor on the sidewalk , read and return every Saturday for free.Biko called it the library. His mates didn’t bother to find out more. Biko read books all the free time he got.
Udit and Kiesul were ready for riding the dangerous track of destroying oneself. Biko read ,read until he fell asleep.
A loud knock on the tin door startled Biko. Suddenly he jumped to his feet.
From outside emerged two policemen , one sporting the lathi in his left hand. soon Biko joined Jina in the police station. The policemen were on the trail of Udit and Kiesul.
“Young men enjoy yourselves till we find the other two. The sooner you give their details the less number of slaps I will give you. “ The policeman shouted.
Time entered only very slowly, breaths seemed unable to travel into their lungs.
“You urchin you are incredible. your photo is in today’s paper. So you write serious stuff during daytime and do serious crime at night. “
The inspector thought for a while before dialing on his mobile .
Jina showed more regret on having served as the one who created trouble for sensitive innocent Biko than for his own wrong deeds.
“ Sir Biko is not one among us, we are simply roommates just friends sharing a small dark damp room “
“Read to win” had selected Biko as the overall champion in the national essay contest .I had the opportunity to give him the medal. Don’t you remember me? Am I not correct?”
Asked the commissioner. Biko was brought there by the inspector.
A car pulled up in front of the court for youngsters. “Sir are we late ? ”
No they have just finished the procedures. We were at a vending machine. Biko now you are going with Mr. Das. Their trust will help you to build a bright future.”
The inspector huggedBiko