I wrote the first three parts of this poem in June, when I hadn’t experienced the severity of pain that accompanies the death of loved one. That was also when I had drawn the illustration that accompanies it. Now, struggling to cope with my own loss, trying to understand the vast emptiness that accompanies death; I find it almost impossible to fathom the pain of a father whose daughter was brutally raped, murdered, and then hung from a tree. That dreadful sight would never leave him – not ever, not until he breathes his last. His pain would be far greater than the one that I struggle to numb now.
Some of you must’ve read about the rapes that had left India crushed. The one that forced me to write this poem is the notorious Badaun Gang Rape case. It happened in June this year, when fire rains from the cerulean skies and not a speck of white can been seen anywhere; and when every villager in India looks up to find the first traces of those kind dark clouds. In one of the cases, when the father tried to lodge a complaint that his daughter had gone missing, the officer “mocked him, ripped up his complaint and told him to come back in the morning.” Later someone (a policeman, according to some,) came to the father and told him that his daughter and her cousin were hanging from a tree.
After Nirbhaya’s Gang Rape and Murder in Delhi, this incident shook the nation to its core, and yet, these incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. We have evils working cross-purpose. female feticide vs. gang-rapes. Which is a bigger evil? There’s a vicious cycle that connects them – these evils, they feed each other.
I added the fourth part this morning. The empty pockets that death creates in our hearts is something that you cannot project upon yourself. I couldn’t have written the fourth part in June, but now I know that her father’s eyes will stop searching the summer-skies only when he will die.
These words poured out of me, as I typed almost mechanically, trying to read my own words through a hazy curtain of tears.
I hope against hope, I cross my fingers and wish him peace…and yet I know…I saw the father’s eyes when the media hounded him down and talked to him – that image is sealed in his eyes – it will stay there forever, until he dies.