Shylock and Portia, in a court-scene,
One to shed blood, and the other
Not to shed blood, on one and the same condition,
To be true to the court, in favor of justice,
On rules and regulations, against Antonio,
A poor man, indebted to Shylock, a rich, money bag.
Financial transactions, always rough and tough,
If careless, as happened to Antonio,
That he failed to pay back, the borrowed money;
The violation of terms in Shakespeare’s play
‘The Merchant of Venice’, just a play, to act,
An imagination, but impossible to re-cast in life.
Money, borrowed is borrowed,
That should be returned, as Shylock demands,
But not on one’s life; we agree, what Portia argued,
On the term of justice, twisting the very same
Arguments, creating a defender from the
Very same plaintiff, by a verbal war, in court-room.
Not only in Shakespeare’s play, but also in Indian courts,
Both plaintiff and defendant can argue and win easily,
Regardless of the level of crimes; as it’s not justice,
But money that wins, on cunning arguments, not on
Truth, but on possibilities and chances, the fabricated stories,
Become truth in courts, with the support of power, people say;
Listen a special case that comes before the court,
And see the woman, taking pledge upon truth.
‘I promise, I will state only truth, and nothing but truth’,
And she started explaining the incident, very truthfully.
“My neighbor, came home with his cousins at midnight;
And attacked my husband, with an axe, killing him on the spot,
The postmortem report is put up, that he died,
On head injury, caused by a sharp weapon, my Lord’; “
She wept in court room; but the advocate of the defender
Questioned her, in a firing tone and afraid of his shouts,
She answered his queries, with shivering words;
‘What was the time then? and what were you doing?’
“Time, I don’t know exactly; I was sleeping then; “
‘Have you had bolted your doors at night from within’
“Yes, we do; but this happened outside the room”
‘NO extra comments; only answer to the question.
Have you seen the defender? When and how?’
“Yes, I saw him running out, with blood stained axe.”
‘Was there any light inside and what the kids were doing?’
“No, we do put out the lights; and children were also sleeping.”
‘All you were in one room? what was your husband doing?’
“Yes, the same room, he was also sleeping along with us.”
‘Where he was killed? ‘Did you see him killing?’
“In the front parlor; I heard a loud cry of my husband.
I got awakened and found the door was opened
And I ran to the front yard, I saw my husband falling,
In pool of blood, and my neighbor, with the blood-stained axe ;
‘Was there any fight with your neighbor, anytime before?’
“That I don’t know.” the pleader turned towards the judge
And repeated her answers, in a different tone, and meaning.
‘Me Lord, she says she was sleeping in room, with no lights;
The house was bolted, from inside, she clearly stated;’
‘The time, she knows not, nor she saw my client, killing;
And whom she saw running may be mistaken as my client,
Who was in his cousin’s house, 200 kilometers away,
Impossible for my client to kill him with no previous enmity,
Immediately, she raised her head, thinking something
To be submitted; “yes sir, I remember, a verbal fight,
Between the two, on a financial transaction, weeks back,
With his wife and my husband had, I remember now…”
The judge was brooding over the files and never listened;
And the pleader took this opportunity, to shut her voice.
‘No ..no, nothing more, only answer to the question.’
And she was forced to leave, without completing her version,
By turning the attention of the judge, to the next witness;
‘Sir, let me call the next witness, and I heard my name in high pitch.
‘Mr. Peter Emanuel’ that sounded, mixed with my heart throbs;
And I felt, someone touching on my shoulder, he, the killer!
‘Sir, you haven’t seen me on that night, that is the truth,
And please state the truth, nothing but what is true to you’
There was no time to think what he intends, as his face, I could
Never recognize after these ten years and I know not,
What controlled me, fear or anger or sympathy or the truth…
‘Mr. Peter Emmanuel!’ my name sounded once again on air.
No sooner did I enter the witness-cell of the court,
The very tall and stout fellow with a Glass on on his nose,
The fearful sight of the pleader, appeared before me;
And within no time he started asking questions.
‘What exactly called your attention on that night?’
“A loud cry I heard and I ran towards that home.”
‘Whom and what you saw there in that house?’
“I saw the man lying dead in blood
And the lady and her children, crying around him.”
‘Have you seen anyone else, running? With an axe?
“No, she was telling it, but none I saw there.’
As I never moved around and searched..”
‘That‘s all my lord.’ the pleader concluded
And turned towards the judge, in a victorious style,
Explaining my words with a cruel stress and style;
‘Your honor, listen, what the sole and only witness told,
He never saw anyone, apart from his own family, there.
And it’s clear, my client was not there, in this story.
I left the court room, with much pain inside,
As I couldn’t understand why that man met me
And requested to state the truth what I saw.
‘Is it not truth, if anything that I haven’t seen,
And is it possible for a man to see the whole truth,’
I felt something wrong in my statements.
The court of justice, after a while, ordered the verdict,
Favoring the killer, as innocent, with a curse on her,
The poor lady, for fabricating a lie against him.
She burst out, shedding tears, but no one listened’;
Her pleader too blamed her for not producing
A concrete evidence, against a crime happened at dark.
Her husband, being killed at midnight, she saw.
Why they not accept her, as the sole eye witness,
And the innocent tears of her children, the truth?!
Liars and killers, escape creating fake evidence,
Manipulating cases of murders and thefts;
Denying justice and betraying the very root of truth.
Thinking this and that, I reached home, and my wife,
In the front yard, as if, she was waiting for me.
She smiled, with no extra meaning and asked,
“She failed in her case, is it? I don’t have any faith
On the other man.” that burdened my heart little more
And I explained , what happened in the court.
She sighed and stated, “then, I have no doubt, it’s he, the killer
And he is sure, we haven’t seen him, in that darkness,
As we never searched beyond the gate, that also he knows..”
Am at my wits end, this is me, sometimes I feel forget myself
And I forget to do the very inevitable in time, am so sad,
I felt wounded, for attending as a witness, in darkness,….