Amidst Love And Hate
Amidst Love And Hate
All my life, I hated people. But when they freed my soul from her body, I realized how much people care.
My mother died of kidney failure after her kidney was stealthily removed by a doctor during minor surgery. And if that wasn’t enough, I had more to see. When I recall that new year, all I see is smoldering fire engulfing every bit of me like a hungry kitten with a saucer of milk, choking clouds of noxious smoke, and my screams hitting deaf ears. Living in a multicultural society, I never imagined I would ever get to experience a day like that. Not even in my most dreadful of nightmares. Men in khaki stood like mannequins, first watching me get ripped off by men and then watching them set me on fire. As the fire flared, my mind played a hundred clips, of people joining each other in celebration, people chit-chatting with each other, sharing food, smiles, hugs, and tears.
Just then I was cut by my sister howling in pain, as they forcefully pulled her bundle of joy out while her eyes scorched under the acid splashed on her. The liquid quickly ate through her skin and facial tissue. Helpless, I watched her take her last breath beside her lifeless fetus.
My father managed to save me somehow; trading his life in the process. I escaped death yet experienced it every day. After 4 medical procedures, the doctors said I needed about 7 more to repair the damage, including recreating my ears, which the fire melted off. These were aimed only at restoring functionality and preventing infection; the question of cosmetic procedures remained a far-off uncertainty. My husband, my sister, her unborn, my father, my entire world was snatched away from me in a day. How was I supposed to see the good in people when my faith in humanity was shattered within a few hours?
Every time I got discharged from the hospital, small arms awaited to hug me. “Ammi.” All of my pain would fade away as that word brushed my crippled ears. His first words worked like ice on my burns. I guess I was let to live for a few more months just to hear them, eventually succumbing to my injuries.
“How is a one-year-old supposed to survive in this nasty world? How will they let him breathe when they weren’t human enough to leave an unborn?” The TV screen flashed news of a series of bombings. Hundreds of innocent bodies paid for the sins of a few miscreants. “Should I take my child along?” A number of thoughts flooded my mind, a mind that was soon to give up. But then I see him smile at me, little eyes oblivious of what was happening. And I left him to his destiny.
“But how could my soul rest in peace with my little one growing up in such an environment?” I needed to be there for him, to protect him, to make sure nobody harms him. I took over the body of a turbaned young woman. She, herself was an orphan and adopted a few orphaned children including my own. I saw my child sleep in the dark. He would never sleep without the lights turned on dark as a baby. Darkness made him restless. It made him afraid But over there I saw him lie next to the other kids, peacefully.
As months passed, neighbors noticed changes in the woman’s behavior. With no one to call her own, they called up a priest to throw me out of her body. The priest clutched me with the verses, asking me who I was and why did I possess her? I stood silent watching my child recite verses of the Holy book in the other room, standing for his Friday prayer.
I always believed that experience is the best teacher. But that day I realized, we, ourselves are our best teachers. A lot of havoc happens in the world because our actions revolve around our share of experiences. It takes a single anecdote to change our perception of the world. It takes a lifetime to understand things from a new perspective.
My kid got a new mother, several siblings, and a home where I no more have to worry about him. Relieved, I left her body. My new world was waiting for me. But I chose to stay here. Motherhood often tends to defy logic. Being a mother is tough. I still roam around my orphan kid to take care of him.
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