I don’t know how the brave become brave, I can’t say how their body and soul detaches itself from fear.Ask me and I will say that fear for a man is as inseparable as his shadow. But for them fear is a feeling they are too benumbed to feel. Benumbed by what? Passion, poetry, and war cries?Or just survival? That for me would always remain a mystery.

They stand and take blows in their heads, offer their back instead of their face so that they could stand again scream back their once unheard cry for justice. They have an option to stay back in their houses, compromise, live their shares of lives and die peacefully. After all we all will walk into a ceremonial blaze or be laid in a coffin and fed to the worms. Why make the journey so painful? Why then bother about the revolution, the outcry? Why the love for the glory road that is so filled with scarifices? May be they don’t believe in death, may be all they know is to live.May be they are intoxicated by life and it’s once beautiful face.And they want it back so dearly. May be because I still am in dark about what makes their blood so fluid and so fiercely warm.

Knees are crunched, ribs broken, blood trickles and forms patterns on each face.They wear the ornaments of bruises and wounds, the tattoos of their revolution. Hand in hand they stand together, like a wall. Heads roll but never do the knees buckle.I ask myself, will I ever be able to stand like that, will I ever be able to dissolve my fear and forget that pain is as real as the weapon that causes it? Truth has always come as a heavy burden to me. Knowing the truth and closing your eyes to it are two different things. Speaking the truth is a job not for the faint hearts. You are worse than the ones who don’t know about it.

And then you hear of people standing for the same truth and attaining salvation. Am I made of the same crust as they are? Same eyes, same nose, same two hands and same flesh that bleeds if even pricked by a needle. But I look at them, scared but safe from a distance how they stand and ask with valor to be given the death of a warrior or just justice. “Long live Revolution” they scream. They have brought down the regimes, they have usurped Kings and Queens, for me they will always be the brave and the beautiful.

Bravery isn’t an easy trait. It’s not an adventure. It sometimes is the only thing you need to survive and sustain.

Some day, I hope I will be with them. Some day, I hope I will be lying next to them. Some day.

For Satyendra Dubey
For Shanmugam Manjunath
For Navleen Kumar
For Irom Sharmilla
For the ones who stand for their rights in Dantewada, Bastar and Dhinkia.

Tapas Mohanty

The author is a Mechanical engineer (in its true sense as he works in a manufacturing firm), likes words and when it comes to the world, he sometimes prefers keeping a Photographic Lens between him and “them” only that they don’t know he has it – Street Photographer.