WITCH OF BAROT
BY PRADIPTA DUTTA
Beyond all the lies and brokenness,
And the masks that surrounded me,
I went into the Forest.
I wanted to give myself away to Her.
Consumed by animals, thunder or cold – I wanted to offer myself.
Maybe She’d rape me, or slaughter me…
I didn’t know.
I was warned not to walk into the Forest that day.
It was bad weather and high altitude.
I wasn’t experienced enough, they said.
Humans forbade bad weather. And Death, especially.
But I, I was Pink Rain.
What did I have to lose?
I was a Mother to a thousand pilgrims who passed by me every day, and I gave them hope, warmth and nourishment.
Like, Mother Nature…
I lay down under trees.
The earth was wet.
My tears started to flow – heaps, and heaps of tears, tears I had for so long kept hidden inside, everything that I kept contained – they were tears, and tears are unfaithful waters.
They don’t come when they must, and when they mustn’t, they leave your eyes, salinity encrusted upon your skin – the salinity of past wrongs, broken promises, of people who breathe upon your face their hollowness, when they should’ve embraced you, instead – of death and destruction, outraging of modesty, and disastrous consequences of unforeseen character.
There was this ache – and this ache – it always stayed with me – through my girlhood, through my womanhood, through successes, failures, men, patients – it was an ache that never left me.
It was faithful, all-encompassing and it gifted me with the craftsmanship of keeping the world enthralled with my power – asking me for nothing at all – only that I stay with it.
And I did.
I wasn’t scared of the darkness and the emptiness – I’d made it my home. It did not subjugate me. I enhanced it.
The Devil loved me as much as God.
I was entrusted with such power – because I emerged from hell – and I came across all erstwhile viciousness of mankind, with a Face that didn’t show – shock or disbelief.
What do you say to a four-year old or a fourteen-year old if she sees you in a way, the way that’s basically you – the Real you, uninhibited – and vehemently defined?
Nature was not to be feared by I therefore, because, I was I.
I was Nature.
And Humans made use of us.
It suited them, but we, what did we care? We’d evolve and we’d be there, like that.
“Mother.” I whispered.
The skies looked hazy, I was covered in rain.
“Mother.” I must have said it seventeen times.
Because seventeen made eight – and eight was always a symbol of my Root.
I was completely wet by then.
I have always loved the Rain.
As a child I’d stand in the rain for hours – but never the first Rain.
First rains have acid in them. Like first loves and first marriages – or first cousins.
Lots of acid.
The second Rain, I bathed in. Raising my arms, standing on puddles of murk that always collected on the grass of the garden.
I made paper boats and put my face under the water, after having held sufficient amount of breath. It always felt good to watch sunken paper boats under water – that dark brown slush, with tiny snakes and worms floating alongside my Boat – like sharks in a dark blue ocean.
I was a trippy child.
People feared me.
I was a soul-slut.
See, it is easy to trade bodies – and men especially – I know very well – how to get a man for his body – but I never did. Because, I was worse.
I didn’t see it important – at all. It was always something beneath their bodies – it was not those sculpted muscles – so fugace!
It was always the spectacles of a man, the mole near the ears, the cracked eyebrow, the freckles on the nose – the thickness of lips, or the beard that was never perfectly maintained.
That and the way he smoked his cigarette, I loved to see my existence in the smoke that bellowed from their mouths – and these were, highly, professional men – and they were so beautiful.
I never touched them. I did not have to. It was always the one underneath. I always looked at their souls and well, it was always about that.
So that evening when a motherfucker called me a gold-digging slut – I smiled wildly.
I saw the gold in a man’s soul and I always tried to polish it with my Witchcraft.
And why not?
Why not blow his mind, suck his sorrow, kiss his scars and heal his mind?
But then bodies.
They are lustful, very.
I was not witnessed for my Goddessness – I was always held hostage by their wayward mannerisms and their god forbidden expectations.
See, I was Mother Nature.
And I am abused by my own very children – for they are motherfuckers now, aren’t they?
So we endure all this pain and we let them act according to their wisdom and deal with them the same way.
You see, there was nothing we feared – for even fears were our children.
I was the Witch of Barot, lying on the lap of my eternal Godmother.
And then, Mother came.
“Keep!” She echoed.
These are translations – our language cannot be deciphered by the common coding of Human tongues.
I did as she asked me to.
It was the toenail of my left foot – and I buried it under the Earth.
A loud sound emerged from behind the bush – it was the sound of a wild animal.
And then, Hali emerged.
Hali was a bodyless face.
I was his Wife on Pluto.
“You should not be here.” He said.
“Hali, go away.”
“I cannot, Pink Rain. What are you doing here?”
“Hali, you still have not waded out to your Alaskan refuge.”
“Ofcourse not. Leaving you here would be insane. You are such a bitch. I cannot believe you have forgotten what you came here for.”
“Hali. Do not insult me.” I said, quietly.
He was causing more tears and tears are not what I needed. Any more salinity inside Earth could greatly occlude my End.
“You cannot End. Your work is unfinished.” He said.
“You son of a bitch!” I spat on his face.
“It’s raining. And I already tasted your spit when you kissed me on Pluto. It does not offend me. Besides, our Mother is the same. Imagine what it could do to your witchcraft – if you called your Mother a bitch.”
Hollow guttural sounds emerged from my womb – I began crying.
“Hali. It is enough. I do not need this condescending behavior.”
His face changed.
“I do not have arms, my love. I cannot embrace you. I was made body less – so as not to make you weak.”
I laughed between all my tears.
“Kiss me then. I haven’t kissed in ages.”
“I will not touch you, Pink Rain.”
He sounded sad.
“What do you want from me?” I asked.
I was falling into a pit of inescapable misery. Every passing day was worse than the one that went – and these things were my children. They’d be consumed by my womb and consume my womb thereafter – cycles of life and death.
Hali floated and landed on my stomach.
“I’d like you to go back to civilization. And finish your work.”
Son of a Bitch.
I hated him.
“Hali. I feel drained, it’s cold murder. I cannot carry on – look. It is not a crime to die here, inside our MOTHER’S womb. You understand? Her energies will only multiply if she begins sucking my forces.”
Hali floated away from my stomach, and landed close to my Right Ear.
He now whispered, only.
“She will take you. She will not refuse you. But your work is unfinished. You will return again and it will be quite difficult, more than this, to start afresh, again. The rules stay the same – they do not change, even for a Goddess such as you.”
Hali was a Kingpin’s Son. He was extremely wealthy but one who had abandoned all his riches and become a Monk instead.
I adored him on all the other places where I had met him previously.
Right now, of course I had become bereft of all such feelings.
“Go back, Pink Rain. Humanity needs you, at least till they need you.”
He landed a kiss on my cheek, but his lips did not graze my skin.
Behind those bushes.
“Swallow!” Mother Nature, screamed.
Again, I say that these words are only translations and cannot be deciphered by Human Tongues.
“I cannot swallow, Mother. Forgive me.”
Mother Nature became quiet. She was not offended, it was just that she had known my mood swings – and she had known me for who I was, and well, she mostly put up with everything I did.
I was one among her most favored children.
“I must finish my task. Forgive me, Mother.” I said.
With a jolt, I lifted the toenail of my left foot from under the Earth.
The Rain stopped.
The Sun started to shine again.
I began reducing the Sun rays that fell on my face by virtue of Tyndall effect.
It was selective-reduction combined with allocation.
Later, I would use those rays to gain Energy again. I did not have to fear the Sun, he was one of my very many ardent admirers.
He always became greatly pleased when I used him in some way – every single time that I did it – and this he did, altruistically.
Having completed, the process, I stared lazily at the black silhouette of tree-tops.
Hali had left. He’d be somewhere out there.
I felt like a thousand weights had been tied to my body and kept low on Earth – I barely had any energy left to get back up again. These processes always consumed my vitality.
I had to rest.
I closed my eyes and fell deep inside a cold and gratifying slumber.
All and Sundry,
You will meet death and destruction.
The end draws in,
You are plagued with a slumber that none of you imagines is true.
They have fed you with concoctions and potions of unawareness and you stay soaked in the drudgery of your lives – castrated and violent at the same time.
You know not who, who has castrated you – with this cocktail – and it is not important to decipher.
My words will go unheeded – know this and know that none of you will be shaken for more than a day.
I, the Witch of Barot, I take no responsibility for your further actions but I will continue to slay your monsters every day – that, only some of you, and few of you, will rise to my occasion and pay heed to me – is also a given.
I have been ostracized by my Root brethren because I have arrived here to enlighten you all – they think you are not capable enough to understand these warnings and it is quite true.
I, however, work with the impossible and turn them into possible – and I will work with you.
My work is unfinished.
You are unfinished.
I will finish you the way we must finish.
I will not make promises. I will do them.
I, Pink Rain.
Pray, I do not End before the Work is finished.
Otherwise, you all are doomed.
I am the last hope – the last straw.
In the face of this vehemence and poverty, I will rise to my perpetual.
I will come, again and again.
I, Pink Rain.
I, Witch of Barot.