That is what I have become.
Inside of these brick walls; bare and cold; dark and damp.
It is the one name that I must respond to, at all times.
It is my identity.
But, one would ask, was I always it? Was I always to respond to it? Was it always my identity?
But it is, now, and I mustn't ever forget it. I used to cringe at its mention; get irritated; flustered, even. But I could do little to shrug it off.
A force much stronger than myself, had thrust it upon me, and I was to carry it away, in thick and thin.
Who was I, then?
I don't think I remember, anymore, with what the media says about me; statesmen's public condemnation and the cell's security's constant mockery.
"You fire whore!" they yell, sometimes.
"You like burning things, do you? Why don't you try and burn yourself away from here, you ****face!"
It used to burn me, on the inside, at first. I would break a little everyday, for the past...as long as it has been here. But now, I have grown tired of retaliation.
Besides, it was just a name...
I was born into a Parsee family, in Gujarat, India. But, I was never much of a believer of any religion; moved to the United States for university, and before I knew it, got embroiled in the event of the fire.
As an Indian I had witnessed much of debacles that conflicting religions had created in the country over the span of several decades. Even at present, underlying tensions ran strong; so it was only a matter of time before the tolerance got the best of everybody there.
I did know so much that no religion wanted anything vile; it all preached peace in one form or another. But somehow, man's perception of another took different forms and shapes over time. His own religion got the best of him.
The brain is an extraordinary invention. The only one of its kind without a manual...
Pyromania. I was accused of. Wicked. A wretch. A liar. I was called.
But, I hadn't done anything, I swear.
Behaviourists and psychologists, alike, were called in to inspect my mind. Eight hours they spent interrogating me; only to go away to compile a report proving to the world that my inherited faith had created a fissure in my sanity, giving rise to my obsession of setting things on fire.
Every one of my naive answer was thrown against me, at my face. One after another, after another.
It's funny how when you are little, your Mama always tells you to follow the path of righteousness. Of truth. "It will be your strength in the face of adversity," she would say to me.
But I did tell the truth. All of it. Down to the belief that my forefathers carried.
How did it all go wrong, then?
Nevertheless, I was hopeful. As we beings are, often. Always hoping for the better. Always thinking it is going to be fine.
The freedom of speech. I was so proud to have it in this country, where I now am locked up, barely able to breathe in the stench of my own urine.
The rise of the media. Oh, how I would punch my fists in the air for its support. How much I was proud of it.
But what did the media do for me, in return?
They broadcast their statements, instead of mine. Showed their half of the story, instead of mine. Followed their opinions about me, over mine...
And declared me guilty.
That was the day I cried. With tears of blood in my eyes. Flooding down my face, ceaselessly.
I had lost. Everything.
It was that day I realised, that none of us are alive. We exist in the universe, yes, but do not live. Exist: transfixed, mesmerised, hypnotised even; made to operate of the accord of an unknown force; instructed to want fool's gold around us.
As stragglers of a rat race, running after the valuable.
It wasn't anymore about morals. Or ethics. Or anything right. The principles of a virtuous life had all fallen to waste.
It was all about power and wealth, now. And about doing anything to get it.
Power and wealth.
The only two things I didn't have.
Not even a trace.