The Escape

Her family finished  packing their clothes to leave her Dad was in no hurry to go anywhere he was relaxing with his newspaper Mom was busy giving finishing touches to her cooking. Suddenly neighbors from the left side of the wall told them to leave that instant or there was danger of getting killed.

The food and the luggage were left untouched as they were getting ready to leave, Mom wanted to put on her long garment,she’d be walking on the street she wanted to cover herself, the minute she picked it up to wear it, Dad said.

“You can’t wear this , they’ll kill us, they’d know we are Muslims.”

Reluctantly Mom put down her new garment, she was uneasy there was something else she wanted to take with her, she turned around and saw her little suitcase, she picked it up, inside was all her religious books.

They left the house from the back door, as they were walking along on the dusty street  a man in a bicycle hollered.

“Take away everything from this house.”

They kept walking they were afraid to call the rickshaw puller, they’d have to say where, if they named the place they’d be killed, it took a long time to get to their destination,when they reached there the man inside who knew her Dad  showed them the part of the tent where they could rest.

They stayed two days in this place as refugees. On the third day they were informed arrangements had been made to take the train to their place of safety.

The compartments of the train was overcrowded, her little brother cried of heat exhaustion he was thirsty too, there was no water there, a man wanted to strangle him when he cried,he said.

“It’s better to kill the child instead of endangering all of our lives. The enemy must not know there are people in this compartment.”

Her Mom  cried  and held on to her baby. It was a bright night,she saw a bright star and prayed to God to help them  get to their stop safely.

When the train reached a few hundred miles it was stopped, the train tracks were covered with trunks of trees,  there was firing going on between the army and the rebels . The shooting continued for several hours, the army managed to get rid of the rebels.

The train tracks were cleared and the train was given the signal to move.They reached another hundred miles where there were friendly faces distributing food and water, they were smiling and praying  they said they hoped they’d be able to cross the border to their country safely.

Early in the morning the family arrived at the station from where they were to take another train,they got off and were advised to rest in the waiting room.

While they were waiting in the lounge, there were trains coming in one after another. There were fewer passengers in them.

The last train was completely empty that train was supposed to bring the sons and fathers of the people waiting all they saw was blood stains and empty seats. No one could ever know what happened here.

Her  family waited for two more days to go to the city where her father was supposed to work.

This is my entry for Speakeasy#148

Word count: 555

48 thoughts on “The Escape

  1. Terrific pace-very edgy and tense atmosphere Ranu.I could feel the terror and pain-communal disharmony is one of the worst fears and the 1947 partition and later the 1984 riots are still fresh in so many minds!Well done!

    I have been so busy-wrote something just a while back but it is so late here-past 3a.m -not pleased with what I have written-will post it tomorrow morning if there is time left.
    GN from me 🙂

  2. What a terrifying experience! I could feel for the mother, wanting to protect her child, but fearing it could put them in danger. (Sometimes it’s impossible to keep a child from crying!)

  3. What a terrible odyssey for people to have to live through, and yet so many in our world do have to go through this or similar tragedies…though this is a work of fiction it has all the qualities of a true story…very well written!

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