Sunday, August 5, 2012


This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 30; the thirtieth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.
There he was.... standing at the beach looking towards the sea with keen eyes. That ebony body was well suited for boxing. Boxing came to him naturally. They all loved him at the Boxing Club.

But nowadays there was a sudden change in him, he was turned into a soul less person for quite some time. He would be seen around but he always seemed to be lost in his own thoughts. His presence was like a rootless tree.

He was a prospective Olympian for the club but he would not be seen at the club for long. They kept wondering what might have happened but nobody would know. A couple of months back the team had been to Liverpool for the Boxing tournament but he never fought a bout, for he returned home without telling anyone.

While in Liverpool the team happened to visit the International Slavery museum of Liverpool. The city once infamous for being the capital of Slavery trading.

He had never heard about slavery before and the experience came to hit him like a lightening shock.

He was taken aback by what he saw. He was pained by the images. The "Middle Passage" numbed him.

Thousands stuffed in cargos of ships as if they were cotton or coal. The men would be shackled together with iron chains during the treacherous journey of 5-6 weeks on the sea. The women would be beaten and physically forced to have sexual relations with the crew members. The sick would be fed to the sharks. So much so that the sharks would follow the slave cargo in anticipation. For they were just the slaves to them, a commodity that would bring them prosperity. They would buy them or kidnap. Nobody would be spared, be it women, children or even the olds. Every able bodied person they could lay their hands on would be forcibly brought on the cargo. They would be branded like other commodities with name of the brand written on the shoulder. Children deprived from their mothers, mothers taken away from their children, fathers forced away from families. They uprooted generations for centuries in the organized trade.

The archives of the advertisements hit him like a bullet. It would roam in his mind like hundred pins.

Available for sale, Just brought from Africa, 41 healthy men of The Cunard brand, 9 boys (they would surely turn into obedient slaves), 13 women. The auction would be held at the town hall.

He could not go through the whole museum. In Whatever he saw, the emotions took him over. He could not see, he could not walk, he could not talk, he could not listen. His soul was lost.

When he could find some composure he took the first flight he got & headed for home.

He could never bring himself to fight a boxing bout after that. For the first time in life he looked at his skin with a keen interest. Deep within himself he knew what ailed him.

He found the answer after a long searching & it was not boxing. He needed to go back to his roots for healing. He needed to find his roots.

There he was standing at the beach looking towards the sea with keen eyes. The sea was the route to his roots. years ago millions were forced to take the route & made rootless. But here he was now, taking the same route to find his roots.

Notes : *Middle Passage : The "Middle Passage" was the journey of slave trading ships from the west coast of Africa, where the slaves were obtained, across the Atlantic, where they were sold or, in some cases, traded for goods. It was the longest, hardest, most dangerous, and also most horrific part of the journey of the slave ships.

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. I’m thankful to Nikhil(The silent words), who introduced Blog-a-Ton to me, and I debuted in 12th edition.
Credits Image - Shades of Orange by Harsha Chittar Courtesy - Curious Dino Photography via


  1. Impeccable and beautiful!!!
    I loved the integration !!

  2. Very thoughtful take on slave trading (or) the modern name human traffiking, Pavil. ATB and thanks for telling us about the Middle Passage!

    Cheers! Stop by the Butterfly Brooch - Kappu

  3. Heard and read about slavery a lot, but thank you for documenting the Middle Passage. Advertisements, flyers, museums. Shudder. Am so glad I wasn't alive then. The advertisement you have posted gave me goosebumps. Is that a real one or did you make it up? ATB for BAT.

    Deepa's Kaleidoscope

  4. You bring thoughts, vivid and beautiful into the plot. I didn't quite picture it that way, Pavil.

    Congratulations on a veteranship, and this blog seems to be mainly Blog-a-Tons ;) All the best for this one.

    Leo - My Blog-a-Ton Story

  5. Engaging read...and reading it gave me goose-bumps!Thank goodness, such practices are no more...
    Good one! Congrats on being a veteran :)))))

  6. Wow . Reading of such things makes me shameful of being a human being . How horrible .and no body questioned for a long time . Sad ! Have u really been to that museum ?

  7. viva_andya, Karan,Kappu, Panchali : thanks for your comments.
    Deepa : Thanks for your comments. yes....the wording of the advt. is very real the numbers may vary. I have seen the museum & it was quite an experience. It stayed with me. I started with different concept in my mind but did not know when I got pushed to what I have posted.
    jaish_vats : Thanks for your comments.I spent 5 weeks in Liverpool recently for work & visited the museum then. Its a wonderfully curated museum.
    Leo : Thank you. Yes its mainly Blogaton but there is also one poem in hindi which u might like being a good poent yourself. As I said in my comments in BlogATon I am lazy although I want to write. & sometimes Blogaton makes sure that I write. Its quite a motivator. Could u elaborate on how u had pictured it ?

  8. This is an amazing story .. you have integrated a different topic with the picture in a perfect manner - especially highlighting the fact that there could be people who have unhappy memories and associations with the sea.

  9. The most unique take on the topic so far !!
    Salute the idea!

  10. Horrific tale of the middle passage brought out in a lovely narrative manner.

  11. Ahem! Where's the pic?? Missed it?? ;p

    The post is very insightful... I felt like reading more... but you stopped :) Good one! And yeah, a different one.

  12. Congrat Pavil on veteranship. I wish you update the picture as well.. Anyway, All the best.. Keep writing..

    Someone is Special

    1. :) Congrats on the well deserved win.. Keep writing..

      Someone is Special

  13. a traveller i find your words resonating..Good job.Keep it up :/

  14. hmhm.... that was quite a emotive read.

  15. You have a good blog. though it looks like you do only blog-a-tons. Following you. :)

  16. Very intriguing. Emotional! Good narration! Kudos to this one vapil.