• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 07


She is an anthology of old Indian tales, the kind of tales they agree with.

She can’t utter words though. With big round eyes, she is allowed to be looked at; she can’t see though. With a battered soul quivering inside of her, she’s as still as a dusty painting hung on a wall in some indifferent room of a fort in Jaipur. She has holes carved out on her forehead to hang a board which says ‘Taken’; like those in front of public monuments, government heritage sites and ancient exotic buildings, ‘Do not harm! National Heritage. Please do not take pictures.’

Her hair did not fall off suddenly. It was cut because her husband died of fever. Her ears have holes but are bare, so is her nose. Her clothes are pale like her husband’s corpse. She has a black thread stuck to her throat to pull her voice in if it tries to spill out of her eyes.

Her eyes still speak of apathy and agony while she laments over the dreams that died. A white cloth wraps her like bare walls without a roof. Her walls are bare just like her eyes. She cannot write a word.

Stick a road-map of culture on her forehead, the kind of culture they approve of. She can scratch it every time it itches, but she’ll have holes carved right there; shallow and empty, just like her almond eyes.