Wednesday 6 July 2016

The Story of Gabo

This is a story from the early 19th Century America.

Gabo was the strongest man among the slaves. He could plow three times the area that his fellow mates do in a day. He got muscles and some brain too. 

The slave owner, Jonathan was a cruel man. He was one of the richest in the state, thanks to the exhaustive work done by the slaves in the corn plantation. 

In the morning, slaves were given two pieces of cornbread with some cooked animal fat. They start working at 8 o'clock sharp in the morning in the field and toil in the blazing sun until 6 in the evening. A 15-minute break was given at noon for the lunch during which they had to swallow three pieces of cornbread with animal fat, in the open field itself. The dinner was the same. 

During the ten-hour duty period, a single wrong move by a slave could attract a number of lashes from the supervisor, by the order of Jonathan. It may be three lashes for not removing the hat when the supervisor is arriving and twenty lashes for getting fainted during the working hours. The slave women had to fulfill the needs of Jonathan and his friends, in addition to the fieldwork. 

On Sundays, they were given a two-hour break for lunch where a piece of chicken is added to the routine portion. As soon as they finish the lunch in the packed thatched hut, where they are allowed to take the meal only on Sundays, they have to listen to the preaching of the reverend who comes after a sumptuous meal with Jonathan in his cottage. 

The reverend used to say that it is the honourable duty of the slaves to be obedient and follow the orders of the slave master, for which the Good Lord in heaven will reward them.  

“The Good Lord rewards only human beings. The reverend says that we will also be rewarded by the Lord. Then we should also be human beings” Gabo started thinking. 

Thinking in that line for weeks, Gabo understood that it is wrong that they are being kept as animals by the Master. He started talking to other people after the dinner and convinced them to get escaped from the captivity of the Master.

After a couple of months of planning, one night, when the lamps were blown off one hour after the dinner, as usual, he executed the operation. He knocked the guard unconscious and let all the salves creep through a hole in the fence that he had secretly carved for two weeks. He led them through the forest clearing the way by cutting the bushes himself. 

After about seven hours of continuous and arduous walking, they came to the top of the hills. Then Gabo addressed the fellow slaves.

“Friends, you are no longer slaves. We are on our own. In a few hours the sun will rise and we’ll start walking again. Now we have to find our food. There are ample supplies on the other side of the hill, but we have to work for that”. 

Gabo asked his fellow-mates to take a few hour rest and he himself leaned on a tree trunk. Tired by clearing the way forward, Gabo was soon fallen into a deep sleep. 

By the time he opened his eyes the sun was shining bright in the mid-sky. He quickly got up and looked around to find no one in the vicinity. 

Bewildered by this unexpected absence of his mates, Gabo started walking back on the track towards the slave quarters. As he was a few miles away from the field where he used to work all his life, he heard the sounds of the guard dogs of the Master. 

In a few minutes, Jonathan appeared with his security force and captured Gabo. By that afternoon the badly beaten lifeless body of Gabo was seen hanging from the neck by a rope in front of the slave quarters. 

On that day, as the morning sun was peeping through the trees, an elderly man of the breakaway slave mass told the others "We will miss the breakfast today and maybe for the rest of our lives". 

Then one by one has started telling that how grateful they should be to the slave master for providing them food right on their tabletop. And a lady started crying, saying that how nice the Master is to give them chicken on Sundays. And soon everybody started recalling the words of the Reverend “The obedient slave that follows the master will be rewarded in heaven”. 

Thus, the slaves have come to the conclusion that Gabo is crazy. Maybe he has gone mad by the influence of the devil. So that they decided to go back. 

One of the slaves, who has been really worried that Gabo will miss his breakfast, has informed the slave quarter supervisor regarding their adventure in the night and also where they can find Gabo.

This 19th Century slaves are well existing even today, every corner of the society. Perhaps, you may be one of them as well. The slave mentality-bearer feels very comfortable within his slave quarter, irrespective of the unjust advantage that the masters take out of them. Therefore, one should be very careful before playing the role of Gabo, even if you are very much concerned about the victim’s plight. 

Whenever you feel that you need to help a modern-day slave to get away from his quarter, always make reconfirmation regarding his will before you come forward to break the chain. 

Perhaps, they may love their chain more than they love their freedom.