Do you see her blank eyes, which know but cannot speak because her mind is restricted?
Her name is Anuja.
She is orange-pink in a world of grey shades.
She is twenty-one.
She used to be beautiful once, saliva dribbling down her lower lip.
Her mother had been alive, and although she never saw eye to eye with her father, she would get her hair braided by her dear mother.
When the mother passed away, her hair was shaven, because nobody else would tend to her thick locks tangled like genetic bindings of life.
The father soon suffered paralysis and their home was taken away.
They call her mentally restricted and her mental age is seven, because she cannot tell you the date of her last period.
I feel like a pimp, writing her down, because writing her down, is selling a part of her pain, the pain which is very much mine – God robbed her sanity, some man robbed mine.
The world stripped us naked, and we alternated between the two ends of prostitution, where one is aware, and other mutely unaware.
When the pain was mine, I was a living prostitute, because words flowed out of my pen.
When the pain was hers, I was her pimp, because she flowed out of my words, like a sacred river which knows no boundary.
I discovered her one thick June evening, when the atmosphere was heavy with summer and sweat.
The lights were dingy and they had placed her on the floor.
When she refused to climb up on the wheelchair, one of the two men who had brought her, slapped her back, and she showed no emotion.
She was so heavy that they found it difficult to pick her, and I requested the hospital help to assist them.
I did not like the men who touched her, I did not like her either.
I did not want to look at her.
But I had to go through each part of her, and the screen showed me what you wish it never did.
This is my scream – so shattering, that the windowpanes of my home are always broken.
I have never known what it is to be pregnant with a child.
At my age, many women know it.
The mulberry of conception slips in between the layers of a woman’s uterus, and soon, they mutually form placenta to communicate the needs they have of each other.
This dependency a child shares with her or his mother, is what defines him for the rest of his life, in womb, and outside of it.
I don’t know what a heavy uterus feels like, by that standard, I am very much like men.
When filled willfully women adore conception as blessing.
When the filling is by rape, we wish the mother a chance so she may terminate her pregnancy.
But who will decide that for a mentally challenged girl who was seeded by a man, without her consent, because she was incapable of giving or denying it?
Who is he?
What have they named him?
What did his mother eat during her pregnancy to birth such a monstrous specimen capable of raping a helpless girl?
What was it?
What did he want out of her?
And what about her?
Did she even know, what was happening, when it took place?
What if she felt pleasure when it happened?
What if she mistook it for love?
He could be some relative, he could be some neighbor, he could be some caretaker.
When your mind is seven years old, and someone you trust takes you, you don’t understand what it is that he is exactly doing.
You don’t, but deep down, you know something is not right.
But one day, you do, and you begin to protect yourself – you avoid silent places, you avoid darkness, you avoid men.
You bury the secret of your past like a seed and it soon grows out of you – because these secrets of outrage can never be kept.
Seeds are dormant, but only for so long.
A day arrives, when you are completely capable of understanding what happened in your past – and with that awareness, you experience, denial, doubt, shock, hatred, anger, helplessness, in that order.
You can’t hide that pain forever. It shows. Sometimes, as a deep dark form of hatred, a need for vengeance and disorder, and other times, as a child in your womb.
Wounds never heal, they are always raw, you just learn to conceal them efficiently.
I walk with mine wide open, gaping enough for flies of humanity’s brothel to fester their maggots in.
But what about her?
What about a girl who is incapable of hating her rapist and being angry at him?
I was suddenly slapped by the hatred I hold for mothers who want to abort their children, who drink poison when they are pregnant, who slash their wrists because their abusive husbands made them pregnant, I hate them because I have always been unwanted, as long as I can remember.
But now, we offer abortion as an option to women who do not want children. I know, because I would have wanted that option, had I been in Anuja’s place.
I meet these women everyday – and I pray their children are never born; the lives of unwanted children are not difficult, they are miserable.
First we look for love everywhere, and then we learn to live with hatred, stoic, putrid, but ever so real, more real than anything else in this world.
But Anuja, she is protective of her fetus – and she cares nothing of how it came to be.
She is capable of bringing a child into this world, because like all human beings who suffer culminating pain and misery at the hands of others, she too, is blessed with the fierce capacity to accumulate their bounding experiences and make something beautiful out of them, unbounded by correction of method and logic.
What was the consequence of something so a dreadful crime, is Anuja’s meaning for life, because she is incapable of understanding rape.
The society does not get to decide her right to conceive a child, because they did not come to save her when she was getting raped.
People who sell our pain, have no right to speak about righteousness, and their whiny need to fill their intellectual spree – and the general sense of ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. If you did not come to save us while we were being outraged, your candles of peace are just another media gimmick, you want to market and make a splendorous show out of.
When I stare at the sky, while I drive back home, I forget the world.
I think of Anuja.
I knew she would be a loving mother, and fiercely protective, when I saw her shed silent tears, while the probe was rotated in callous hurry, and insensitively curious sighs uttered at her general condition.
I knew I did not belong with the ones who sighed, but with Anuja.
I know, because I cannot get her face out of mind.
I know, because her eyes were mine, several years behind.
Wounds do not heal, you eventually learn to conceal them, efficiently – and I walk with mine, gaping, and I walk, contemplating what death will be, an eternal end to the strife that life is, the one that can be granted by life; or by self, as suicide.
Life rapes you, and you watch mutely, as the clouds pass you by.
Girls like us, have our lights broken.