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Hope and relief are far away when misery falls in old age

Memories too disown to unpleasant deja vu's

By a fledging fiction writer

Facing horrific gory and agony at the ripe age 

Shalini Karpe couldn't believe that her life could be more miserable and horrific, at the age of 85, with a wrinkled face and lean body, slightly bent she peered across the devastating village with corpses and blood gory across the landscape. She still wondered why was she left alive, the murderers could have invested a bullet in her forehead and relieved her of these pangs of suffering and loneliness. She felt pity for the kindness of the Raghu, a local dacoit who thought that letting her live would be able to compensate for the kindness that she had bestowed on this young man, formerly a servile helper who worked in the kitchen of the local wealthy landlord in her neighboring areas.

She knelt down to see patches of blood and reminded her of her husband and an eighteen-year-old granddaughter who was alive just hours back and was playing with her. All the comforts and closeness of dear ones just vanished. She was all alone and the only thing she had was a story to tell. She was speechless, dazed, and confounded even to think about how she would begin. Her heart was beating fast with the sense of loneliness and uncertainty. Everyone was associated, who could believe her, did she stand any chance? she didn't want to be an approver as the court had no mercy on approvers, approvers were just a filler in the regular court duties. They didn't carry any value until they were backed and strongly sponsored by someone who had power and influence.

Where is the court? she didn't know its whereabouts? With this gory experience, she was not in a position to travel, or talk and wasn't keen to share the details. Her memory was weak, only she knew was ten to twelve people arrived, all familiar in their movements and gestures, but with a long cloth covering their faces, their uniforms also looked familiar as if brought from the local store and available on the other side of the border. The only thing them was the sophistication of the guns they were carrying and their expertise they were targeted at every villager to ensure that, once shot the victim was dead and no tell-tale signs. It was a blast of a sudden at 4.30 pm when most of the villager after their siesta and tea step out of their house for an evening walk or to make evening purchases heading for the marketplace.

In the tumultuous scenario, her mind screwed back to the retro scenario. She was beginning to visualize that she had the same experience in some foreign land at the same age when during the fag end of the war with the neighboring country. A war general towering above her and inquiring about her relations with the deceased to which she pointed out two bodies one which belonged to her husband and the other to her husband. The vultures were no better than the war general flying above with a deep appetite to ravage all the bodies that were waiting to be ravaged.

Experiencing Deja Vu, she had experienced a similar situation in her previous birth

As she shivered, the feeling of Dejavu faded out. She was very affirmed with her life and her belonging to this village. In this hamlet, everyone knew everyone, there was no unfamiliarity. The attacker too was someone who was within the hamlet, they had grouped, conspired, and avenged to liquidate this hamlet. She dug deeper, her memory was failing, she glanced at every house, and saw the blood splattered across, bodies with blood-stained clothes, and flies started gathering in every corpse, this surprised her till today so much of flies weren't seen, how come they just appeared out of nowhere and that too in hordes. She could also hear the faint caws of birds getting closer and closer from above, she turned her head above to get a detailed look at the sky above, birds were encircling the sky and coming closer down below, and could touch down anytime. The birds looked a little strange, some of them were headless, Oh! my God they looked like Vultures, was she imagining or her eyes were sprouting visions. She had to do something, she can't let flies, birds, or for that matter let one prey on her own people. She felt weak at the sight of these unholy happenings but being an old lady what did she do? She felt as if her mind stopped working and she was bundling aimlessly.

Minutes later in this deadly silence, she heard of tire screech coming and the engine of the motor coming to an abrupt halt, footsteps pounded the floor, unusual sounds, her weak ear drum managed to perceive the sounds, as it was an erring silence due to the sudden human loss because of the carnage, even a pin drop two meters away could be heard. She turned around slowly and looked towards the direction of the halted vehicle. It was a police car and there were three police cars lined up one behind the other on the side of the lane. All the police alighted from their car except for the drivers, who sat looking terribly sad at the gory scene. A dark, bulky, and carrying a bulging stomach in police uniform which looked sweaty walked towards her slowly with a cautious eye around the place, hoping a bullet may fly from any one of the windows at any moment. She stood steadily in response to his approach as she had nothing else to do.

"Did you see everything, right from the beginning" The man in the uniform as her. She nodded looking at him and could figure out his appearance, the policeman was of medium height, bulky, dark, with a round face, wearing the official cap and hairs only above the ear. His eyes were dark and big and looked expressive too as he spoke. She gathered her courage, and replied, "There were Ten people or twelve all of their faces covered with cloth, and each of them carrying a huge gun". The policeman was beginning to doubt her as the figure of attackers was not correct, he thought of proceeding further which could hamper the flow of his interrogation. He looked around to get a proper glimpse of the situation, later turned to the phalanx of policemen who were standing and watching the scene carefully, and signaled one of the policemen who looked taller and younger. Her younger 77-year-old brother along with his 8-year-old granddaughter stood nearby, later the granddaughter dropped to her knees and started crying seeing the dead body of her elder sister.

The tall policemen quickly walked with large strides and stood in front of him and queried " Arey Sawant, you know their local dialect, why don't you get the details of this from her,". Sawant agreed and turned to the old lady approvingly and asked in a softer tone " Is any of your family members massacred, please let us know, we would like to have their details". This softened the old lady, as she felt, there was a personal approach and touch assigned to her. She broke down a bit and despairingly said " My husband Jayant Karpe and my granddaughter Sulochana Karpe were killed by a bullet" and slowly pointed to two bodies lying on the verandah of the house just 5 meters away, the next house of the path she was standing by.

About the Author

"Rambling is the best form of writing; let your creative flow; the scene will create on its own and the story will flow as time flows," advises this young author who is enrolled in college. The fascinating aspect of this writer is how his ideas flow, even during his lectures, before they become explosive. He is happiest when he is bunking, sitting in the boisterous canteen, writing more forcefully, and voicing his thoughts against the cacophony.

We hope he has the greatest possible outcome and look forward to sharing more of his unreined work.

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