Thursday, August 28

The Belief



Far away, tucked in the sleepy downhill of one of the tallest mountains, existed a village named Lakora, peppered with dusky women and even duskier men. They spoke a language which was yet to metamorphose into strings of words written with a hearty soul. The hill peaks gave birth to sun every morning, well before six, showering the brightest rays on Mother Earth’s cheeks. The unrelenting cries that accompanied the same as birds fluttered their wings to distant places in search of food, settled into pleasantries at the warmth of the baby’s touch. 

This small space was intriguing in varied aspects. It was a mystery, the many dungeons hidden away in this murky of a place and the many secrets that had accumulated in those over the years.

‘ They brought illness to the family. They did. Those big blue marks!’, Buja stated explicitly. 

Lova listened to her grandmother, wide eyed as strands of jet black hair flung lower down onto her waist. She involuntarily caressed her pregnant abdomen, stretching her wrought, swollen legs on the steel cold cemented floor. The waft of spices being crushed at the nearest mill brought tears to her eyes. She suppressed a sneeze with the inside of her hand  as the old lady continued in her hoarse voice, diseased with abuse over the years,

‘ They kicked you a lot,Lova.They kicked you a lot. It never happened with the good ones. Terrible creatures they are - with blue sinful marks! But see, God exists. Never was devil of that sort delivered in this village after the aftermath that happened in Boa’s family.

‘ What happened to Boa’s family?’

‘ Not one member of her family survived the outrageous fire that broke out in their haystack years back the day that young girl gave birth to the ugliest little baby with the largest blue mark i have ever seen on its back, the last of that kind ever sighted in this village. Poor Boa and her husband. How happy were they before that dark cursed day!’

A soft groan slid through Lova's flushed lips. The tiredness of pregnancy was starting to take a toll on her delicate body, with each kick of her baby’s feet against her womb, every five minutes, sending a strange shiver down her spine. 

A torrent of deep burning thoughts rushed through Lova’s mind at the instant her grandmother shut her mouth up, a handful of betel nut leaves now engaging her tongue. Her village never had such a baby ever since? What were the odds of that happening? No one of that sort existed atleast in the near vicinity of the mountains. How strange! 

Lova shifted her place onto the armchair which gave her more space to relax while the baby moved inside with fervor. Her grandmother’s sordid words lingered in her thoughts as her heart started pacing to and fro in an arrhythmic pattern - 'sinful baby!'

A tiny droplet settled on her forehead startling her from her reverie. Huge black clouds raced towards her, wrapping her house in the heaviest of the blankets.

The next morning  Lova’s house woke up writhing in the wails of its occupants. Lova rested crying in her grandmother's arms as her distraught mother wiped away with trembling hands, the fresh blood stains on her daughter’s thighs.

' Why Lova, Why?' 

Lova muttered in between helpless sobs,

‘ The devil. It kicked me a lot, Ma. It kicked me a lot’

The fiery shade on Buja's face gave way to an implicit smile which dangled at the corners of her mouth. A blood stained death to a blood stained inception! Buja wondered at the tenacity of the belief that stained rooted over the years. She awed at how it stayed preserved amidst neololiberalism and modernity - safe in the manipulative hands of the midwifes or further yet, in the amateur quivering hands of the young hapless mothers. 

In Lakora, wasn't belief all that mattered ? 

Buja caressed Lova's restless locks as fresh strokes of pride blossomed on her cheeks. Her grand daughter had just saved them from a havoc. 

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