And They Walked Into A Bloody Sunset: Killed For Honour

Posted on September 4, 2010 in Short Stories & Poems

Read on as Shruthi Venukumar expresses her grief on the growing trend of killing for honour in India.

She was brought into this world, riding on her mother’s pain,
Nine months of nourishment behind her, a lifetime of it ahead.
Nine months of being a burden to becoming a bundle of joy.
As she blossoms, along with food, is fed into her…
Fairytales of handsome princes, beautiful princesses … eternal love … topped with an “And they lived happily ever after!”
Alas, as she enters maidenhood and finds love,
In her Prince Charming, the other line of eternal love in her life – the family-
Vitiates into eternal hatred.

And they do not live happily ever after.
They walk into a sunset so bloody that the colour turns into a morbid black.
She is cut off …
Cut off from the family, that was promised to be an eternal ocean of love.
Cut off into pieces.
Culled like a piece of meat.
Bloodshed in the name of blood.
Killed in cold blood, often by her own blood brothers and blood mother …
For finding love in forbidden folds fondly but firmly falling into castes, Gotras …
Or simply for failing to fill into family wishes.

A 19 year old girl tortured for hours along with the one she thought she would share her life,
Electrocuted, sharing death with him …. while the neighbours heard muted.
They called it a family affair.
It’s all in the family.
It’s all over the papers.
Girls in the rural countryside forced to drink to their death.
A cocktail of pesticide.
Apparently affirming that suicide is the highest form of repentance.
A budding journalist allegedly murdered for looking for love beneath THE caste.
Along with her died her unborn – a line of lineage eliminated.
The matter gets no follow-up.
And dies an unnatural death – much like the girl.
Morbid murder deal running across family affiliation …
Men conspiring to put an end to each other’s “misery” … killing off each other’s erring sisters.

Honour killing indeed.
Killing of honour.
Failure to honour the sacrosanct promise…
Made to a nascent child – a life that is a safety net and a blanket of love – under a different premise.
Disowning one’s blood from a loyalty stemming towards the “society” with a force sallying.
Callously turning the page on a line of thought that in all simplicity states …
That society is but the collective individual.
And not a hollow portal for false pride.
Human sacrifice at the altar of Khap Panchayats…
In the holy name of retaining purity of descent.
A mindset down the camber of ascent.

Little did I know that our proud adaptability,
Would lean leniently towards the chaffs of Talibanisation.
The very same Taliban that has daggers drawn chopping off the noses of young wives,
For defying or decrying abusive “bitter” halves.
Or gladly maims women,
For showing a little toe outside the Hijab.

The real culprit?
Rogue laws running proudly parallel to the laws of the land.
Rogue laws that keep ignorance of science…
Delinking genes from clannish blood.
Heavily fed on a diet of figs, nourished by the figment
Of imagination, laid out on a bed of myth.
Young “progressive” politicos echoing the slimy salvos of Kangaroo Courts,
Singling out certain mutants of the elders to pay respects and a political ear to.

Deterrents stand ignored and insulted.
Be it education, awareness or the proposed chokehold of laws.
Or even migration to shores alien.
Crossing Over but with a finger and thumb clamped onto the medieval cart of honour slights.

The crying need of the hour …
Routing out the medieval mindset of the past…
Within the post-modern man,
With injections of rationality and humanity.
Across varying doses of potency.

When they talked of emotional detachment from loved ones,
Seldom would the ancient saints have thought,
That the manifestation of detachment would be in so gruesome a manner.

Yes
She is brought into this world riding on her mother’s pain.
She is sent away from this world paying for the pain,
In leaps and bounds.

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