The metro stairs. Longing and desire mixed in an embrace. Yes. The day they parted. One final look at each other and time seized that moment for her. For the rest of her life.
“You are the purest purity can get.”
Like the pure Damayanti. Like the pure prayers. Or like the pure visits to one’s inner self.
Gosh! It is twelve. She needs to have her breakfast. Oh! Well, make it and then have it. Then call her mom. Assure her that she is safe and no one raped her last night. Well….on and on and on the day shall drag.
“I like the perspective you have on life.”
Did she have any? Could she offer herself that luxury? She was inexperienced. True. But sometimes knowledge and advice save one time to experience the inevitable in life. There are things that sell and yet others which die a neglected death. Or they do not bother to be a part of any recognition.
Ouch! She burnt her fingers! It happens all the time. Each time she thinks about herself, she does that. Ruins a part of herself. Better to be selfishly self evasive, henceforth.
The day she left her old place, a girl eloped with her lover. Ha! She said. Classic fate of being too tied up with what ought to be done. She did not even elope. But was never even there or here. Crass cheater she is!
Maa wanted her to take up teaching and not go to the valley or the forests with that dangerous profile. Who knows she might be killed? Or that she might be raped? Or that she might be…well let us not freak her out! At least she hopes her flesh is still hers. Some people dispossess so soon, otherwise.
The kitchen she has this time is pretty ok in space. In fact, perfect. Just as she always wanted. She can even put her head down in the sink and cry her gut out. Only the muffled sound of running water in the basin shall escape the shut door of the space. And she can always smile. Always.
The place she wrote her story on was sparcely populated. Long winding hillocks. Pure air. Oh! Perhaps this is what it meant to be pure. Inaccessible. Resistant. But soft and pliant. To him. Only to him.
The family she dined with there were a local farmer. Their son was dragged one night. He was 15 then. Very bright. He recited Nagarjuna the other day in class and wore a red scarf. Her mom thinks her son is innocent. Just as perhaps her mom thinks she is.
He was killed. They said it is murder. The others an encounter.
She got her food in the plate. Layed her daily dose of Kafka and coffee and her notepad on the charpoy she got from that village in Binswara. She opened the pad and caressed the thin trail of ‘To didi, with a fond salute”.
She knew he was killed. And mercilessly murdered. And chopped into tiny parts. His balls cut and his hands chomped off. And his legs crushed to pulp. And his head beaten as mashed boiled potatoes. Well, she knew it was so.
The police officer she visited the next day was all smiles and handsomeness. Batch 2004 IPS. Very promising career ahead. But last night, he was there on the site. She could see him from behind the sack and the almost falling rock. Ordering the constables to make no mistake. To play the game right.
“I shall do my duty, ma’am. As you do yours. Honestly. And sincerely.”
She was stunned at the audacity.
“You should try your hands in Delhi, ma’am. This place is too freaking dangerous. Not for the likes of you.”
She left with the contact number he asked his assistant to thrust in her hands when she was leaving from the decrepit gate of the government building.
And the rally thereafter. And the numbness she felt when she left to submit her story to the press. And the calm resignation she felt at leaving the job.
Uff! She shall have to warm the food yet again. She forgets a lot these days. Small things and big things.
“You are an inconstant”, he had said.
Life goes on. When there is a chorus, the individual melody of a voice vanishes. Singularity always attracts. But can never be owned. Never.
“And you would leave me.” And she did. But before that, she left herself. Totally.