My Memoir

Appeal For Identification

Image: The drum
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It is the time of the day which is not only most personal to me but also the one that builds up the rest of my day. Every morning I leave my house and pick up the rolled newspaper lying outside my door. I board the train and find a convenient space for myself to remain on my feet if I do not get to sit. Not to mention the five to seven minutes journey from my house to the station. If I add up these tiny five to seven minutes which I dutifully give away and have been doing for so many years, it is a whopping 121.6 hours. Or more. Anyways.


I settle and pull out the newspaper from my bag. I absolutely relish this time of the day when I do not bother about almost anything. My phone stays in the bag completely neglected; the surroundings and the constant change of human figures around me have no impact. It feels nothing actually which is wonderful. We seldom feel “nothing” because our minds are conditioned to always feel something or the other. The nothingness is what I crave for. I read the pages. It is a mix of information, advertisement, mindless liners, thought provoking articles and so on.

I turn few more pages and there it arrives. Without a notice or a warning.  I wasn’t prepared even after so many days. It is inappropriate to call it an advertisement since it talks about neither a product nor a service. It is a small box randomly positioned anywhere on the page and it reads in bold “APPEAL FOR IDENTIFICATION”. It is the box that carries images of unidentified dead bodies and their descriptions. The visuals of mutilated faces, torn skulls, deformed countenance is nothing but disturbing, heart breaking and devastating. There is no photoshop involved, neither are those images sent to a lab to modify and mellow to suit one’s eyes. It is reality sprung on my face everyday. I can’t help but imagine the trail of the loved ones of the dead. They must have had families, they must have been happy at one time, they must have talked and above all they were once alive. What must have transpired and led them to be found dead later on. Why were they so unidentifiable in the first place that the corporations had to publish their images in the newspaper. We all move around with some sort of proof of identity on us or with us. Then why not these. Does that mean there was no mobile phone, no wallet, no piece of paper found on them which could lead to their families or friends. Or is it that they had none. They were perhaps the loners or the depressed souls wandering around waiting to meet death tired of being alive.

My mind pauses and I hope the unidentified are claimed so they may get a decent burial or a cremation. I bring myself back and finish reading the rest of the paper. I don’t know why it makes me sad.

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