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
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.