Friends and family. Journos and photogs. Known enemies and spies. Curious spectators. Gun yielding men in camouflage planted at every corner of the place. Anxiety and anguish. Unease. Should one make a wrong move, say a wrong word; who knows what might be explosively propelled through these metal tubes. The room inside is engulfed with fear and anger the combination of which results into a battle of emotions. The latter seems to be taking first place. It is the safer emotion after all. But for how long can fear win? We’ll see.


Then an outbreak of whispers for a moment and yet you can’t tell from where they come. Everybody’s mouth seems closed. Still, you hear the whispers. Silence again. This time it’s so loud you can hear the heartbeats of the next three people to your right. At the back, something drops loudly on the floor. All eyes in the perfect unison of a rehearsed stage play scene, turn towards the back. Before you know it, the enormous double doors to the sacred chambers fly open. Eyes with the same unison with which they turned to the back turn to the front now. Fast and furious, the man with a pristinely white hat and black robes emerges. The clerk commands all in those words which he has said for years. Bearer of the verdict takes seat and the rest follow suit. “Bearer of the verdict” – fancy it must be. The role is undeniably a pompous one. Comes with an importance which even a meek and gentle holier-than-thou servant of the Lord and not-about-these-worldly-things man would secretly desire. Today however, not so much. In his mind he battles with a demon that came to life when he accepted to hear this dispute which amongst other things,  had quickly turned from the sublime to the ridiculous…

Show time.

In the dock is a man. His face tells a story of years of indescribable emotional, psychological and physical pain. Exhaustion from inhalation of that air like fluid whose inhalation brought not only major discomfort to the eyes but also significant harm to the respiratory system. The lines on his cheeks and forehead are a mark of frustration over the years. A constant reminder of humiliation, torture and oppression. He manages a stiff reassuring smile. It gives the people for whom he relentlessly goes to battle with Goliath hope. It’s consolatory, but it’s just that – a mere consolation because when you look deep into those windows to his soul, contrary to amusement that a smile is meant to portray; you find pain, years spent at war which he will never recover and worn out strength. However, the will seems intact. Guess that’s why he chooses to go back to battle.

It has only just began.

Even the darkest hour has only 60 minutes.
-Morris Mandel