Lock-up Blues


Why did I do it?
The untold answers had sank into a spider web bit by bit,
In almost all four walls of the dingy room
Urine stench, swarming flies and an old, scraggy mat of gloom

And the mates with their offenses written on their foreheads
A thousand more questions covered me with the veil of dead
Not even poverty with its chronic insufficiency—
Not even an inadequate lunch matched the thirst for liberty

I didn’t even see what it was written on me
But I can tell it could never be good; it had to be dreary
It had to be what all the worst things I could be
Any trace of dignity had streamed down into

A commode in the corner—but why did I do it?
And I was not a drunk who pledges sobriety during bad hangovers
And there was not even a chance for any sort of hangover
I was always on; and I was always on ‘it’

I wouldn’t know how the cops would arrive unexpectedly.


Except there I was low and craziness it was clearer,
Who else has not lost dopamine in any sudden disaster?
And I was locked up.
When I would face up

For an assurance of the next shot that was not easy
I had only to find the money
It was not easy with neuron-snapped ho-hum
But it gave me freedom

To go back again and be the source of trouble
Life’s too fickle
I would fake to make me look clean
And the insanity inside me would come unclean

It was living moment by moment
But it was not living in the philosophical constant current
It was a mad sort of moment
I still knew the police wouldn’t stop their daily manhunt

All I needed was to go to get an amount for payoff
I only got to find my bank account number and runoff
Now a part of my conscience has melted into nihility,
But why did I do it this way?

I wouldn’t know why the cops would arrive unexpectedly.


[Reference: An article by Yambem Laba, Forgive us Sanatomba, we couldn’t mourn for you then, which was posted on / This list also includes a few additional facts from other online sources.]

Cases have been registered against 187 police personnel involved in various criminal activities: Gaikhangam (Courtesy: Imphal Free Press, 7 July 2015)

IMPHAL, 6 July 2015: In all[,] cases have been registered against 187 police personnel and nine have been dismissed from service for involvement in various criminal activities during the period 2012–2015, the Deputy Chief Minister who also holds the home portfolio, Gaikhangam told the Manipur Legislative Assembly today. The Deputy Chief Minister was answering to a question raised by NPF MLA, Samuel Risom, who asked the Home Minster to clarify on the ‘number of State forces (Police, MR, VDF [and] Commandos) involved in criminal activities from 2012 to 2015 and the measure/disciplinary action taken to check such activities’.



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