I am minor, I am underage, I am juvenile
Main sola saal ka hoon, yes only 16 years. Matlab, what do you mean you don’t believe, do I look older or younger? Older...? Nahin nahin... sachi, I am 16. Kya main jhooth kaisa bol sakta hoon, I will show you my birth certificate. Here see, 1997 is the year I was born. The school where I attended, it cannot be wrong. Police jab aayen to my mohalla, they checked with my grandmother, she told ki I am 16 years old. I will be 17 soon.
Nahin nahin, India has best system to check proof of age — birth certificate. Best hai. All these bone density test, hum juveniles ke liye bahut dangerous hai. Luckily for us they don’t check anything else.
One journalist had come to my village in Uttar Pradesh, he checked with all my neighbours, everybody, they had told ki I am at least 23. But birth certificate saved me — 16 years old. Sab jhootha, main sola saal ka hoon. I am minor. I am underage.
I am juvenile. They have given me three years, kya hai teen saal...by the time I will released, I will be only 19. Mujhe kuch nahin hoga. Arre yeh India hai yaar. Sab kuch chalta hai. Big big peoples, important peoples, rich peoples, they do anything....they are corrupting... bribing ministers. Compared to them, maine kya kiya..aurat thi..arre she stopped the bus, ....she should not stop have stopped the bus, mera gunah kya hai, unko maari kya, did we kill her? She was with that man, they were holding hands and all...we got excited...Internet pe seekha, arre mera phone pe sab kuch download kar saktha hoon.
Boss I keep telling you I am underage, I am not allowed to vote, I cannot drive, arre I cannot drink, how can I be a criminal. I am teenager. The other four, mere bhaiyon, I feel bad that they are getting the death sentence. But they are older. Seedhi si baat hai, mai gunhegaar nahin hoon, how can I be a criminial, main baccha hoon.
I am going to jail for only three years. Teen saal jaldi se jaldi jayega, what is three years…I will be 19, I will still be teenager. Jail mein I will meet many kind of criminal.They will be teaching me all good good bad bad things, seekhunga, when I come out, then — you see I have tasted the blood. I will come out and I will still be protected by the law.
Shayad death sentence for my brothers will make difference. But for juveniles, kanoon kaafi badalna padega. What is three years. Kuch nahin.
I am minor, I am underage, I am juvenile. Jai hind.
Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62 @gmail.com
The views expressed in this column are the individual’s and don’t represent those of the paper.