Short Story of the Rape of India

India was an ordinary girl. Not any more. Sex is a benchmark that turns innocent girls into experienced women. Rape, its savage cousin from the wilderness believes in a more pragmatic approach. Do not submit yourself to protocol. Do not be carried away by fancy formalities such as flirting, proposing, loving and so on. You want fulfillment? Just do it!

Ex Wai happened to be full of lust. Instant gratification seemed a good idea. India was passing by, meek and beautiful. Ex Wai grabbed her, forced her down onto the rough, flinty road and Raped her mercilessly. He smothered her screams. Her tears and helplessness spurred him on.You are helpless. You are nothing.

People found India, stripped of clothing and bleeding by the roadside. Ambulance! Hospital! Press! Breaking news! My face is plastered on every TV screen throughout the country. It shines out like a beacon of despair from the front page of every humanity-starved newspaper. I can no longer walk around in public. Why bother with disguise.

Ex Wai was arrested. Ex Wai was paraded through courts and prisons. His face was covered with a mask while being brought to court. The police would not let the Republic touch him. His face was blurred when they broadcast the evening news on TV. To this day, no one knows who Ex Wai is. A few years later his sentence will be over. He will be a free man. A free man! Enjoying the breeze on his face, wading through the shallow stream of water that flows by India’s home. He waits to see if India will walk by again. Maybe her sister from another mother this time.

India had to pay a lot of money at the hospital. India had to pay a lot of money to keep the paparazzi quiet. They made a New Generation noir movie on India. They even had India’s look alike from Brazil do an item number in the movie. The movie received critical acclaim and was a hit at the box office. A book that chronicled the Top Ten Rapes of various Indias was released amidst much fanfare. A fatwa was declared on the writer of the book. Some people blogged about the Rape of India.

The End

Memory of a Rainy Day…

They thought it perverse of me to enjoy the rain and spend the entire journey looking out of the window. I couldn’t help staring out at the rain that day. It was furious, stormy and strangely alluring. 

Their anger was justified. Our speeding car was heading towards a funeral. Beloved Ammumma, my grandmother, had passed away and a long procession of cars were braving the storm, all the way from the hospital to our ancestral home. My parents were silent, my sister was lost in thought, the rest of my relatives were mourning. An aunt had fainted. Some of them were busy calling up the best florists in town and arranging for funeral wreaths to be delivered as soon as the procession arrived. And I sat there, watching the rain, humming even, earning contemptuous glares. Today, raindrops were tears from the sky, adding to the gloom pervading our souls.

My thoughts drift back and forth between a hundred and more days when the rain means something more than teardrops. A day at school when a friend opened his heart to a girl he liked; it resulted in heartbreak. Another day when a boy I knew waited at the neighborhood library for me, drenched, just to say hello. A rainy night at Coimbatore, when someone I knew had his first kiss. A sunset when I ran to the terrace and simply stood there in the rain. A cold breeze in Bangalore, pelting raindrops across my face, almost hurting me, while I sat out in the open, trying to sip coffee; obviously the rains won and I lost. A rare sunny shower, my mother held the pallu of her saree above my head and we ran, giggling like little children, to the shelter of a tree. A rain that spoiled my plans to roam about town with some friends in tow. A distant memory of lighting and thunder, Ammumma and I were sitting with our legs up on the couch, and talking about candy and cartoons and Onam and what I would bring for her when I visited her on my next vacation. I was old enough to promise her a video game. 

The rain died down completely. They were halfway immersed in singing the dirge when we arrived. They took Ammumma inside, washed her, dressed her in dazzling white and laid her gently in the coffin. Ammumma, you were an amazing woman. I miss you.

At the cemetery, Ammumma was laid to rest and everyone threw in a handful of frankincense, a parting gift for the departed. I think I was the last one to notice the smell of fresh soil. That fragrance that only comes with rain. The tears came swiftly then. But as the deluge of sorrow began to fall once again, I looked up into the sky and smiled.