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Through the Eyes of an Indian Warder

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Through The Eyes of an Indian Warder:

Burma is such a dreary time in the month of October. The mornings are always full of rain which puts a tiring, depressing atmosphere in the purgatory that we work in. True this is our daily workplace, but nothing about the days in here are positive, let alone fun. It is all business. For I am an Indian warder, working in the execution division of this jail, and now at 7:00am, in the gloom of early morning, doom will occur, in the toll of a bell signifying another death shortly after 8am.

Khali, a Hindu man, was set to meet expiration just after 8 this morning. He stood not too tall, with a frail stature, sporting a mountainous moustache above his mouth, resembling a strong man character from the local town circus.

I am a rifle warder; never wanting to shoot, but ready in an instant should a prisoner step out of bounds. Our jobs mainly

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consist of fixing bayonets, placing and setting handcuffs, and reassuring confinement. In preparing this prisoner for the long 40 yard walk to death; we all stood very close, boxing Khali in tight, shortly the 8am bugle would sound. It was clear we needed to proceed urgently, as we were not on par with the schedule.

The gallows is an ominous setting; that no one is proud of witnessing. Lots of cold bricks and overgrown landscaping, but all of the entire two beams, cross bar, rope hanging ensemble signifying immortality. Upon entrance, the hangman prepared for demise holding a cotton bag to cover Khali's head and clutching to the thick twine to render around his neck. As Khali prepared to reap his consequences, cries to his god pierced through our ears, Ram! Ram! None of us know the true meaning of this chant; we also did not care, for this was his destiny.

Finally the super yelled out "CHALO!" A loud clanking noise occurred and then somewhat of a soothing feeling came over the yard. Khali was dead, toes pointed to the ground, his body limp. Subsequently, the remaining prisoners would be served breakfast and we could all go about the rest of our day. The super called out the time of death, eight minutes past eight, a mere formality. Our business was done here.

In walking back to our destination, a jolly scene immersed throughout the prison. Some singing, a little constant chatter, cigarette smoking; just an overall ease seemed to set in to the majority of all involved. Francis lisped about Khali's ease in his final minutes, comparing and contrasting his moments to former death prisoners and their resisting approach to leave their cells and accepting this fate. There was also reference made to, checking lifeless bodies after hanging, which ensured death, yet recalling Khali's lifeless body and his limp toes pointed downward.

None of those conversations bothered or affected me in any way. I



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