Sleep, which is so dear to me, was never so ghastly an experience as it has become now. Her eyes keep on staring at me — stirring my conscience, my being. I dig my head deep into the pillow and try to look away but it further digs into my soul. Her eyes, which were supposed to be filled with joy of childhood, ask me uncomfortable questions — I am your daughter, I am your sister, I am a girl who would have grown into a harbinger of life, a woman! But why was I denied this simple aspect of life? Why was I chosen to be a medium to serve a political narrative of anger and brutality? I belong to your land, you owe me answers! Don’t look away from me for you are a mother. If you look away now, tomorrow your own children will look away too and girls like me will cease to exist.
I sit up in cold sweat on my bed and promise her questioning eyes that I will do my bit, will gather my faculties and stand up for you, my baby. And her eyes invest a ‘childlike’ trust in me. Yes, my child I owe it to you.
Her eyes again throw a painful query at me: how can perpetuators of sin who violated my fragile body be given refuge? I fail to understand after withstanding pain beyond belief, how can I be at fault?
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The savages had scant regard for the house of God — was it not an act of discretion and my tricolour was raised in support of those who tore its essence to pieces! I fail to understand the duplicity of your adult world. What have I done to incur your apathy? Can we have our childhood rather girlhood in peace? Even after taking away my chance with life, I am not being given a fair chance after death. I am looking for justice…is it too much to ask for?
And yes, please tell my countrymen I don’t want to be called a ‘daughter of India’ like Nirbhaya didi- I want all of us to be treated like one when we are alive!!!
Can you please help me with my answers as her eyes pierce my soul?
The author is a freelance journalist in Jammu and Kashmir. Views expressed in the article are personal.