Sunday, November 25, 2012

Seasonal Surprise!

The master brushed her long black hair wrapping her in its darkness.  The moon disappeared behind the cloud taking away all light.

The first drop was on her nose, warm and refreshing followed by a downpour.  She listened to the rain and its rhythm as if it was the sound of a flute.  Its music rose high into the sky and flew back to her as a Frisbee.

Her hair stood flat dripping water from its ends as her coat shuddered under the wetness, gleaming in the rain.  She let out a neigh and snorted, “Ooh La! La!  The monsoons are here!”

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Samata - Final

Months later with police report filed for the stabbing and the assault, cremation and rituals for the departed performed, Samata collected her tears, rounded up her children and head out to the city.   A friend had given her the contact for a social worker and Samata was determined to take the landlord’s son to court.
A short, petite woman with a straight spine and face as round as the moon, the social worker received the family graciously.  She listened to their narrative of the incident that led to murder done openly in front of witnesses.  But the accused were held in jail overnight and then released after a phone call from the landlord.  She listened to the numerous injustices as large scale as assaults and cheating them of their hard work and of prejudices seemingly minute as a separately designated water source.   Samata stressed that theirs was not an isolated event, or unique case in just her village.  Coming from a tribal village did not make her less human and her educated children deserved as much if not more respect than the landlords and overseers.
Her final plea to the social worker was that even though her husband was no more, she refused to shed anymore tears or mope over her loss.  She was illiterate and had put up with the discrimination, in fact was treated worse than even the beasts in the villager’s cowshed, but her children were literate, earned decent incomes, lived well, and read extensively.  It’s time that people like the landlord and his son learned that people from her caste were not helpless, literate or not, and refused to be continued to be victimized.
Staying true to her name, Samata called for equanimity, equability and equality where with composure and poise all humans are treated equally and the world is in balance.  She demanded justice.

The End

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Samata - Part Three

Time stood still as Samata’s husband began his fall to the ground, as if in slow motion.  His son ran to catch him before the crash, cradling his father’s head.  He removed his shirt and pressed it against the wound, watching the once white dirt-ridden fabric turn red instantly.  He looked up to see eyes peering down from the crowd, not an ounce of regret or compassion for the fallen man in them.  His one arm extended towards the standing men asking for help, but no one moved.

Carefully sliding his arms underneath his old man’s body, he scooped his frail body and carried him as if a sleeping baby.  His legs moved swiftly towards the police station a whole mile away, limping from bruises from the fight, tripping over puddles on the muddy path.  Fierce rays of the sun stung on his neck and bare back as rivulets of sweats dribbled down his spine.
At the police station, men in their khaki uniform and a worn down baton stood casually, chatting and shouting out orders for tea.  As they saw a young man carrying a body approach them through the wheat fields, all chatter stopped instantly.  Out of breath and barely able to hang on to his wounded father, the young man tried to explain the incident.  He was directed indoors to a seating area to wait for the head constable as the rest of the policemen stepped aside to avoid his shadow.

The clock on the wall ticked away crawling forward as a centipede, inch by inch, minute by minute.  The old man’s clothes were soaked with blood as his breathing became more laborious.  He murmured in his subconscious, delirious state calling out to his wife, Samata, his daughters, his sons, his parents, his grandparents moving further back to his forefathers.  He called for justice, for equality, for equanimity, for samata before taking his last breath.

To be continued.....

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Samata - Part Two

The ground below Samata’s feet gave way as her 16 year old daughter fell into her arms.  The two crashed down together collecting droplets of each other’s tears while her daughter recounted the incident between heaves and sobs.  It was the landlord’s son and two others; the Sun behind her burned her body as they peeled off her sari; names reserved for her caste rang in her ears repeatedly, obscenely.

Samata’s husband was the first to come home and their son not long after.  Finding the women in their state and after a brief narration of the events, both men exploded in unison.  They grabbed long sticks and barged out, crossing the perimeter of their boundary by stepping into an area revered to be pure.  After polluting the village of the higher caste with merely their presence, father and son continued deeper towards a tea stall.  The three accused men sat on rickety wooden chairs celebrating their exploits with cheap homemade liquor.  Their glasses were full but three empty bottles sat discarded at the edge of the table.

Samata’s husband confronted the landlord’s son, stick in hand and fire in his eyes only to be reprimanded for contaminating the tea stall and the village by his presence.  His son came to stand by his father offering an equally fiery glare.  The largest of the three men stood up unsteadily and jabbed Samata’s son in the face, bruising his jaw.  His father brought his stick down on the monster, drawing blood from his forehead.  Soon the rickety chairs went flying crashing on sunburned backs.  Sticks met shoulders and knuckles made contact with eyes and ears.  In midst of the commotion no one saw the shiny metal the landlord’s son extricated from his pocket.  The jab was hard and deep just under Samata’s husband’s ribs.

To be continued….