BANNER CREDITS: RITUPARNA CHATTERJEE
A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
PHOTO CREDITS: ANIESHA BRAHMA
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
When I head this for the first time I thought this was a joke. Barring trivial exceptions, the life of a convict usually stretches to beyond fourteen years after he comes to know of his lifetime sentence. I found it somewhat strange that in India a life imprisonment is synonymous to fourteen years. It somehow reminded me of the exile in The Ramayana.
Then I thought about it. Fourteen years is a lot of time, guys. I was in my first year at college fourteen years back. Consider the fact that I was imprisoned for some heinous crime at that point of time; it would've meant that I would've been released roughly at this time. Which means that I would have missed out on college, university, ten years worth of job experience, my bank balance and what not, including the fact that a career would've been impossible for me after I was released.
Would we prefer them to imprisonments that really last a lifetime? I suppose so. At least you get away; at least you can call yourself free; and most importantly, you have something to look forward to - a day when you'd be free. That's the most significant difference between the two situations - one of them actually gives you a dream to live with: the other eliminates even that. It kills hope.
Some other countries have ninety-nine years or a real lifetime imprisonment. I shudder at the sheer thought - remnants of a wasted life, neutralised by the fact that all hope has been obliterated, somewhat similar to a Dementor's kiss. The Indians are better that way.
I sincerely hope that all lifetime imprisonments last a span of fourteen years, with the scope to get away if you behave well (like they show in movies: that's true, right?).