Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Not Yet Dead...


I could not save her.

At night when the sky is lined with broad strokes of the darkest charcoal, and sketchy shadows form under the street lamp… I hear her cry like a haunted soul; she calls out to me in a cold-blooded shriek, her repeated screams splitting my core into pieces of hideous self-pity…

“Mother! Don’t you love me anymore? Won’t you save me? Come fast!”

I did not betray you, sweet child… I had no place to hide your little body… forgive me, won’t you? If only I could hide you in my empty womb… warm and safe…if only I could place you in my vacant eye… if only…

Yet I hear her sob, “Will you let me die then mother? They are burying people into knee deep graves… and trampling on those not yet dead…”

I have searched for you in vain for days and nights, and at last the rain dissolved all hopes. Why didn’t you return to me little one? I have lined your pillows with down feather… the hearth is yet to cool down… we will play your game of hide and seek later…

And she wouldn’t come. Out of the darkness I heard her reply, “But I can’t stop the pain mother… my eyes, they hurt…they burn and no one gives me water here, not a soul left to help. You told me once that God doesn’t harm the faithful lot… then I shall be safe. They won’t be able to push me into the pond- several of us have drowned there already… I have seen their bodies, pierced with bullets and charged with sticks…”

Muffled sobs rack my frame.
I asked you to hide somewhere, I asked you to run. Why didn’t you listen to your mother? And now I survive, while you are gone forever…

“I dragged my limp body to the fields mother, but you were not there to guide… they had forced you into that house, tearing your sari into pieces, reducing it to rags… hitting your swollen face till blood oozed from the corners of your mouth… you asked me to run, you asked me to hide… but where could I go?

The muddy lanes now wore a garb of sickly red, and I saw men digging graves, their faces twisted with wild glee. I escaped that gruesome end too… but how far could I run mother? I must have fallen in that field, while the world seemed to hiss and glow… spinning in circles… round and round…
They set me on fire… remember this dress? The flower-pattern you made for me… I could not salvage this while I burnt…”

I did find you sweetheart, in someone’s field. Your face charred and black… a bullet that had pierced your weak chest and a mangled body which no one could recognize… it had been days… they could not bury you alive, nor could they drown you like countless others… they set fire to your little frame and watched your life ebb away… my phantom child…

I have summoned the ghosts of the past to keep me company sweet one… while I covered you with a cloth caked with my blood, and once again your blood mixed with mine… without the umbilical cord this time. Should I hold you against my withered chest? Does that lend you comfort anymore? I pressed my ears to your distorted mouth, to your dead tongue, and waited for your response…

11 comments:

Priyadarshini said...

ANU! MAN! WOW! I have no words. The article says such a lot. It positively shouts out at the reader, and at the complacent, cocooned world. And I tell you, if I hadn't been this cold-hearted brat, I would actually have wept. Awesome!

Suki said...

The ghosts keep returning, until they have completed all they had to do in this world. When they keep coming back, heed them. One day, they will talk.

Lost Poet said...

The body disintegrates and the memories remain. the ones we have never seen, come back to haunt the ones who can see.

And we wait, because some feel that the spirit watches over.

Nice piece Anurima. I like it.

Inam said...

very powerful. reminds me of the plunder in Singur...the tragedy is built up well...and also the coldness.

Lost Poet said...

Waiting for more...have the exams taken their toll on you?

Sharad Mathur said...

WOW..


sharad

anurima said...

@Priya: Thank you, would have hugged you had you wept. :D

@Suki: So many ghosts... of the past and the future...

@Lost Poet: Thanks! :)

@Inam: this piece was a fictionalised account of the nandigram- singur tragedy, i'm glad you liked it. :)

@Lost Poet: Duh!!! :P

@Sharad: i'm honoured! :)

Sharad Mathur said...

thanx for the visit!

im blogrolling u :)

sharad

classical punk said...

Its Bloody brilliant......

Shamash said...

effused words spelling out the needful

beautiful post
liked it
will visit again

anurima said...

@sharad: thank you, will do the same soon... as soon as i figure out how to! :)

@classical punk: wow... thanks!

@shamash: do visit again, glad you liked my work :)