I was all of eight years old…
Yes, that was what I was. But I have no name. I had a name. But that I no longer am. I am every tender, helpless girl, lured, caught, outraged, raped, and murdered in a society where everyone is busy making stirring speeches about saving the girl child whenever it is profitable to do so.
I know not your God. Not even mine. I loved horses. It was happy tending them. Whenever I was with them, it was achhe din for me. Also for them. I was all of eight years old…
I don’t know if that’s how it is in your kind of world. Achhe din for all or is it achhe din for some and scary days for the rest?
We were family, my horses and I. And the forest never held a shadow of peril for me. My parents knew I would be safer among them than I’d be in the bosom of God. No animal had ever hurt me. My mother even believed that no man would eat in raw a tender child. In school, my teacher told me men are no longer cannibals. I believed it.
Then, one day, I was with my horses as usual. A normal day. Not a patch of cloud in the sky. The breeze smelt no danger. The horses were happy on the grass. All was going well.
But, unknown to me, a wolf was on the prowl, with murder frothing in his mind, with paws as large as the devil’s cricket field.
It felt like a sledgehammer on my mouth. I was choked. I lost consciousness. But I could still feel the weight of the beast crushing my ribs and pelvic bones. A spear of lust, springing from loins of primordial hate, tore into my flesh where the heart meets the soul.
I was caught, a lamb by blood-thirsty hunters. I was a tiny dish. My meagreness maddened them. Beasts ranged and roamed at will in the nursery of my littleness.
One by one… one by one… they ate into me. A tender shoot, feeding a horde of shrieking, slurping gluttons.
Look! Mark that man over there. He’s older than my grandfather. How he spouted his senile venom into me! Sunk deep in the lake of liquid pain, gasping for breath, gasping for life, I know not when he let go of me. I only remember the snarling breaths dying on me in the shadow of stone gods.
And they came… like droves of beasts in heat. Fangs of lust and hate bit deeper and deeper into my desecrated divinity.
And I saw a uniform, cast pell-mell near my body, already crushed, broken and violated. (I’m sorry, I was too weak and broken to spring up and salute the man of the uniform. Unforgivable, I know. But how could I help it?) He descended on me like a hyena of fetid horror. They say it was not lust at all, but sterling fervour, offering a tender girl as human sacrifice to a nationalistic god. At once a servant of the secular state and a high priest of communal orgy.
Can lust be complete without crime?
Stones… prehistoric weapons in the hands of men with hearts harden than flint. They crushed my head… It wasn’t enough for them that I was bleeding to death and would have died any way. That my bones were crushed and my soul dead a thousand times over. No, nothing consummates lust like murder.
When they’ve take my all, why shouldn’t they have my body too? So, I left it to them as a parting gift that they may cook and feed the raging Beast…
Now, my God…Pardon me, I’ve something to tell you, if you please.
It is not my rape… no, not even my murder that I resent. It is that I was bruised on your account and you looked the other way…
I had believed that you were just and you cared. That you would not abandon the poor and the weak to the wolves for mere amusement, just because they have power and I am weak and vulnerable.
When I lay helpless… beaks, claws and fangs digging deeper and deeper into me… when I swooned in pain and unutterable outrage… You looked on like a Sphinx…
Were you afraid of superior gods? Or, intimidated by their numbers, because heaven too is a democracy where justice is a matter of merely who is in?
Yes, you failed me. You were, let’s say, busy with weightier things, like Prime Ministers are.
But won’t you, at least, ask these beasts? From where they got, or who gave them, spears of flesh and death dealing dicks?
I would still all of these with a smiling soul hovering over a furnace of suffering, if only mine were to be the last.
I have no hope, old chap.
Look down from where you are! Don’t you see the dust of politics over the corpse? And speeches worse than rapes polluting the waters of tomorrow?
Well, you are helpless, did I hear you say? I tell you what. Let us, you and I, open a reception counter in heaven, where baby girls like me raped and murdered by the privileged sons of mightier gods may find ready welcome into the safer forests of your heaven.
Only one request. Do give me my sheep back. I loved them more than you can ever know.
And one thing more. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for them. For this at least I am beholden to you: that was the victim, not the victimiser. The raped, not the rapist. The murdered and not the murderer. It must be, good God, hard being anyone of them!