I would like to divulge a little secret about myself if you can loan me your ears and mind momentarily. There is something I keep hidden in the darkest and deepest corners of my home. If curiosity gets the better of you and you happen to wander down to that deep, dark corner in spite of all the warnings and obstacles, you might unravel the mystery. It is the source behind the faint sporadic sounds of lament and ululations you hear in the silence of the nights. Looking down into its deep brown eyes, it will arouse feelings of sympathy; but believe it not, for it is a master of treachery. It will cajole and compel the human in you to set it free, but only I have the ability to give it real freedom, the kind which it craves. In order to spot this recluse, you do not have to spend much currency to come visit my museum, it can also be seen in your neighborhood, home, school or, work. It can appear plural in crowds, or singular hiding in the shadows of the small alleys.
I will not cut to chase and disclose its exact location as it will spoil the fun of discovery. But tell me, have you ever felt the urge to steal when no one is looking or maybe torture an animal only to set it free later? And if we add some libido, alcohol and weed to the mix, does it not take euphoria to a whole new definition of excitement? Do you experience moments of adrenaline rush which give you a feeling of invincible power and pleasure? Those nodding in affirmation with lips curled in a sneer, YOU exactly know what I’m talking about, don’t you? I know you fear God, but you are not really dying tomorrow, are you? This is the first hint that the creature lurks close. When there exists a feeling of invulnerability and omnipotence, I suggest you keep your mind alert and eyes open.
Let’s leave these questions hanging on a cloth line for now and digress a little. How many of you stood to protest and support the right to ‘freedom without fear’ for women in our country during the recent demonstrations? The news reports lead me to believe a whole lot of you showed up in huge numbers and displayed a lot of vigor and valor in front of strong reinforcements. Vents such as these reduce the burden of silence on our conscience, allowing repressed anger to surface. You see, unless it involves us directly, we often blind ourselves to crimes such as road rage, child abuse, domestic rape and, sexual assault even in its most heinous and brutal form. The creature brings with it this slyness; it can do no wrong for it is always a victim of its surroundings and never an orchestrator. So we gladly pin the real responsibility in the lapse of law and order on the existing poverty, lack of prevalent education, our country’s unresponsive governing body and the slow, laborious justice system, merely letting the responsibility slip and miss our own frail shoulders.
I pray that you never have to encounter this despicable creature in its full regalia. For in its best form, it is capable of skinning a man alive and then devouring him piece by piece or in a crowd it can rape a woman and literally spew her guts out. It has no brothers, sisters, mothers, sons or daughters. The fact that it resides in your homes, away from any watchful eye makes it most vicious and unforgiving. Sometimes in its lesser evil form, you can spot it lurking in the background when an employer kicks or beats a maid or in damnation of women for being women or often when you choose to walk away from a person in need of help. Very few of you have actually been able to disassociate and capture this fugitive, unfit even to reside in a zoo.
Let me tell you a story of a man named “Ahimsaka”, who tried to destroy the creature by stabbing it repeatedly in the chest with a blunt, overused sickle. He was a highway man and a murderer who meticulously decapitated any person travelling through the forest and mutilated their bodies before letting the wild animals feed on them. Ahimsaka’s reason for this barbarism was just as cold and horrifying as his method to kill. He never killed in rage or under the influence of intoxication, his intent was not to rob money or seek vengeance, he killed for the sole pleasure of killing.
Ahimsaka kept all his victims’ fingers for himself, as trophies beaded in a necklace around his neck. I will spare you the torture of reading the special treatment he reserved for women, as it will wrench your gut, make you queasy and give you nightmares. He was always boastful in his approach, so he kept a count of his victims. By the time he reached victim 999, he was most dreaded in the region with a respectable award on his head. Ahimsaka was eager to make his 1000th kill, and so one day as he waited in ambush for a prey to arrive, he saw his mother walking through the forest towards him. She feared for his life and wanted to warn him of the bounty. Seeing that no other prey would come his way, he decided to kill his mother and make her his 1000th victim. Just before she could reach him, Ahimsaka spotted another man in orange robes walking towards him. On seeing the monk approach, Ahimsaka decided to kill him instead and wondered whether the monk was actually mad or fearless, who in spite of the danger had decided to venture into the forest. For the first time the ruthless killer felt reluctant to kill someone so eager to die. When Ahimsaka raised his sickle to cut the monk’s head, the monk made a request that Ahimsaka grant him one final wish, as was customary by tradition. The killer agreed and asked the monk to state his final wish. The monk said, “It is a very small request. Cut off a branch of the tree under which you stand.” Ahimsaka looked puzzled and amused at the foolish monk but he obliged nonetheless and cut off a branch from the tree. The monk then calmly said “Now, put it back. Let it be part of the tree again. Let it blossom.” Seeing Ahimsaka’s inability to complete the task, the monk spoke again “You can cut my head off, but you cannot manage to give me life again. If you cannot create life, what right do you have to destroy it?” These words transformed Ahimsaka, and he decided to make the creature within him his 1000th victim. So he stabbed the creature over and over again, only to realize that what existed within him could only die with him. That day forth, Ahimsaka denied the creature its freedom, entrapped it in a cage forever and spent the remaining years in search of salvation.
However, salvation and resurrection only exist for a penitent person, someone who has truly managed to expunge the creature and purify themselves of it. Real catharsis does not exist for those of us who allow the creature to persist within to the extent of killing all trace of humanity. In those cases, there should be no filing of mercy pleas and no delays in hanging the creature until death.
Now I might have cheated by not fully disclosing the real purpose of this article. One was of course, to arm you with the necessary information to help you spot the creature in its most natural habitat. Two, was to make an appeal to those of you bordering between humanity and monstrosity. Regardless of your circumstances and past experiences, it is in your power to deny the creature the freedom it craves to make you an instrument of its evil. I know there are some shortcomings to this approach because through this I can only appeal to a rational mind and a rational mind is normally strong and well-guarded against infestation by parasites. But a rational mind often falls prey to escapism, harmful silences and criminal rationalizations. So I will take my leave hoping that if ever any of you happen to spot a four year old getting assaulted by an instructor in the school or any such devious acts in your home, neighborhood or street, you will not keep mum.