Friday, November 24, 2006

Angels don't deserve to die

Hi everyone! Well I haven’t been updating my blog regularly *sorry* and thats coz I’m too wrapped up in “study land.” For those of you who are really bored to tears, can read this story I wrote. It is the shoddier than the first version which “accidentally” got erased by my mum. Here’s the story…..

Angels Don’t Deserve To Die

I walked the scorched and arid lands of Rajasthan, the dry and burning hot air swept across my face as if I was captured between flames. I could taste the sand in my mouth. My crew and I followed our guide through the streets. We were working on an assignment, a pretty important one. It made us fly nine-thousand miles from Chicago. I was a journalist and this was my first real job and I was determined to do a good presentation. What I didn’t know that was my fate was going to be changed in just a few minutes.

Our guide, Saumdev was showing us a very popular temple in their village when we heard a deafening hue and cry. Without waiting for our guide we hurried to the spot eagerly, hoping to get some information for our assignment. What my eyes witnessed next my brain didn’t register for a long time. We were standing in front of the house in which this horrible incident was taking place. All the villagers paved way for us, keeping in mind that we were foreigners.

The women of the house were all huddled in a corner, behind a pillar. Even though their veils covered their faces, their eyes spoke for them. I saw a lot of fear and sorrow but I saw a streak of anger that really stood out. It was obvious that they were fuming with anger, but they didn’t have a say in this male dominated society. The man, most probably the eldest son of the house had seized a baby girl and was holding her over a well. The baby girl was crying and shrieking at the top her lungs, her helpless mother stood away from the other women and looked on, to see her husband carry on with this ruthless deed.

I couldn’t believe it, how could such a big crowd just stand there and not take any action. I was the only one in the crew who could understand Hindi. The man was yelling at his wife for bringing such shame to the family and not producing an heir to their family. His father ordered him to throw the child in the well. Before I knew it I was running towards the well. I stopped the man from committing such a heinous crime. The air was silent; I could hear the hot wind gushing around us. Everyone looked at me, with shock. A few minutes later I was in the family’s house begging and pleading with them, to let the girl live. Her mother was asked to leave the room, Making a brave attempt she left the girl in my hands and walked away. I stared into those innocent and beautiful eyes, they asked me whether it was right to kill her just because she was a girl?

Her father said to me that I could save the girl if I took her with me because he wasn’t going to let a shame like her live in the family. I looked at my fellow colleagues; I knew I had to make this decision on my own. I had nothing to do with the child yet, I had bonded with her. She spoke through her eyes. I knew I would be able to support her and myself. Without thinking for another second I agreed. I knew this was the best decision of my life that I had taken. And I proved to be correct.

Twenty-Three years later……

“Pari we’re getting late, Hurry up!” I looked at my daughter now twenty-three years old. Her actual name was Meera, a name her biological mother chose. I called her Pari after all she was my angel. She had grown up to be an intelligent and bright young lady. At such a young age she had published her book.

We were on our way to India to encourage the promotion of her book. It covered all the aspects of female infanticide, Pari almost being a victim of this cruel tradition was on of the few who lived to tell her story. After a while we were on an airplane, talking about our forthcoming journey. This was Pari’s first trip to India and naturally she was very eager and excited. As we continued our discussion she said that she wanted to go to Rajasthan and visit the house she was born in, I told her that it would just inflict more pain. She protested and was determined, I knew I couldn’t say no as I would regret it for the rest of my life.

Soon we were in Mumbai and we were enthralled with the feedback Pari got for her book. Her book-signings made astounding progress. My heart swelled with pride every time I saw her smiling face but at the back of mind I was worried about her reaction when we went to Rajasthan.

Four days later, we were standing in front of the village where Pari was born. After walking for about twenty silent minutes, we were on the grounds of that house that once was Pari’s. My eyes wandered around for a while, adjusting to this familiar place till I saw the same water well which once was going to decide Pari’s fate. The wind was blowing at my face, like it had done twenty-three years ago. Pari walked further on, she undid the bolts on the iron gate and entered the mansion. I followed quietly. She held my hand as we took unstable and small steps towards the door. We stood in front of the door, for a moment it seemed like time was at a stand still; we could only hear the wind. Before we could knock a young boy in his early teens opened the door. I asked him if Ram Thakur lived there, he looked down and said to me that his father passed away and I could talk to his mother. I looked at Pari, putting a stone on my heart I told her that her father had passed away and the young lad was her brother.

I sat with Pari on the front porch of the house, when I saw a woman draped in navy blue. Widows in Rajasthan were meant to dress like that to mourn over their dead husbands all their life. She waked down the stairs, I could see from her face that the not only the colour from her clothes but the colour from her life had been drained and forgotten. She looked into my eyes and she instantly recognized me, her gaze shifted to our daughter all she managed to say was Meera and then she embraced Pari like she never wanted to let go. My eyes brimmed with tears when I thought about how much she must have missed Pari, every minute of the day. I told her that Pari had become a successful author , she smiled at me and said to me she knew her daughter didn’t deserve to die.

As we sat there talking, we knew none of us wanted this day to end. Pari’s mother told us that she had dreamed and hoped for this day to come when she could hug her daughter and tell her that she was proud of her for being a free woman. I then understood that Pari must have kept the same thought in mind while she had made this courageous and bold decision to come to Rajasthan. Without her knowing it she had brought back the entire colour in her mother’s life in just a few moments and I was proud of her, after all she was my angel.

More later!
PS- I know this isn’t the best but I just felt the unnecessary urge to update my blog. :P

6 comments:

Menaka said...

hi rayna...man the way you've written this story...its amazing...the plot is very heart warming yet sadening....female infanticide- i feel- is the most evil of all social evils in india. Why can;t people in india get past
all of these futile customs..and making it seem like we females are "not worthy of living"...anyway i luved your style of writing...its very gripping...i read through the whole thing

w8tin for more...

Nishant said...

You showed me this one before, and I told you, I love it. Nothing else to say.

Rayna said...

mini - thnx! love the support...
nishant- u were one of the very few people who read the story!

nikita said...

hey man very touching !!! you are one heck of a potential and creative writer rayna !! and guess what you have just inspired me and i am going to make blog too !! i mean jojo mini and i are making a blog ..

Rayna said...

hey nikita...will be looking forward to ur blog! add the whole harry potter thingie in it..lol

Anonymous said...

Hey i heard about the first prize! Cognratulations!! For the whole of UAE! Rayna that's BIG!
you have big potential. Keep it up! The story is very well written. The journalist reminds me of Betty Mahmoody.