He used to sing on moonlit nights

Maskwaith Ahsan
Art & Literature, Story
He used to sing on moonlit nights

The queen is adamant to fight drugs. To her surprise, only statistics support her claims of achievements on billboards, while the life of the populace shows no sign of development.

Dazzling TV promotions claim success in education, health and job sectors but in reality there is no school that offers education, no hospital that supports health and no job to be offered to the youth. Frustrated, the youth surrender to drugs and then there is no youth left.

The prince boasts, but we have produced businessmen who gallop the booming economy.

–But the young slumber in drugs and frustration. We must fight this problem.

The prince says, fighting against drugs is a nasty job. You must give it to those who can eventually be cursed by the people. Your hands will remain clean as always.

The queen rings up her royal force chief, a likeable person from her own district. She trusts subordinates from her own district. Her district is like her family.

In the meantime, the minister for information and the minister for cultural affairs enter the royal chamber.

Are we still popular, asks the queen.

The minister for information smiles, we are as popular as the sun. They may dislike the scorching sunlight but have no other choice.

The minister for cultural affairs boasts, we are as loving as the moon. We have divided the nation into two groups: pro-moon and against-moon.

— Who are pro-moon?

— Those that live for you and can die for you.

— Who are against-moon?

— Those who question your holiness.

The minister for home affairs enters the royal chamber with a serious face; a face desperate for happy expression. Law and order seem never manageable, he murmurs, only Allah can help us.

The royal force chief tries to lighten up the chamber.

— Sir is Allah with us as well?

— I visited the ‘Aalim’. He confirmed that Allah will be with us.

The queen declares zero tolerance against drugs. There should be only two addictions: patriotism and religion. We want a purified society.

The home minister mumbles, purification means bloodshed. We already face complaints about missing persons.

The prince claims all allegations to be false; criminals escaped from trials are the ones who painted these complaints about missing persons, staged by the moon-traitors.

The royal force chief rejoices with pride over “operation clean drugs”; dead bodies found with drugs and pistols on them tell and retell the story of crossfire.

Journalists inquire, are you not telling the same story over and again! A person is not guilty until proven so in court. Is not this an un-lawful act!

A royal force member smirks, a journalist too can be caught with drugs.

A widow and her children cry out at the press conference, he was not into drugs. He was picked up and killed without any reason. Allah shall not tolerate this tyranny.

The queen’s spokesperson clarifies, during great missions small mistakes can happen.

The widow and her children curse, when someone in your family dies will you feel the pain!

A group of citizens celebrates “operation clean drugs” and the death of their enemies.

An audio clip of a person’s killing in the name of crossfire suddenly goes viral. It got recorded on the victim’s wife’s phone. The horror of the audio reminds everyone of genocides of the past. The last cries of Ekram can be heard on the clip, his daughter on the other end of the phone asking, why are you crying abbu? A royal force man is heard shouting, keep quiet you son of a swine, just before the chilling sound of fire bursts through. Collect all the shell casings, orders the royal force man to his cohorts. The wife of the victim wails through the phone, he is not the son of a swine, he is innocent.

At the funeral people say he was the son of a patriot. His grandfather donated land to the locality; his family only gave and expected nothing from the country. Some say, low-born demons serve the queen and killed this innocent man.

Suddenly another audio-clip of Ekram hits the social media. He is heard singing. His widow whispers to the clouds, he used to sing for all of us on moonlit nights.

Maskwaith Ahsan. Maskwaith Ahsan is an international journalist, educator and the author of over 14 books. His columns appear in several Bengali newspapers, magazines and websites across the globe. He also hosts his web TV show E-SouthAsia. With socio-political satire...

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