The Honour Killing

Posted: August 8, 2010 in death, India, life, Love, Thriller, Writing
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I rang the bell. There was no familiar sound of the excited Payal of her that I love so much- the happy song of welcome that I receive when I arrive home after a long hard day at work.

Maybe she’s busy praying. I waited for a few more minutes before knocking again.

Still there was no answer. I was getting worried. She never was late in answering the door for me- she used to say that this was the best part of the day for her- opening the door for me in the evening. That’s why I don’t take the key to the home when I go to office, so that she has to open the door for me…

I heard some noise inside and a little while later the door opened. It was my beloved brother-in-law- I used to lovingly call him Popat.

“Popat! What a pleasant surprise!” I said and proceeded to hug him.

“I’m sorry… but I have… killed her… and I will… have to… kill you too…” he said with moist eyes and a bent head.

What! She’s dead! Dead! This must be a joke! Popat? And he killed her? Never! He loved her so much! In fact he had saved us so many times from those honour-freaks from the village! He gave us heads up hours before they could reach us and we’d run away-to find a new home in a new city.

He’s the only person we trusted from our past- the only person we loved from our village. Popat- and he killed her?! There was no way this happened…

I ran past him- inside the prayer room and found her. Her body lay motionless in a pool of her red warm blood… In the room of God, she was embracing tightly a picture of mine- and that happy picture of mine was covered in her blood and somehow I was still smiling in that picture- it was ironical. It was too painful. My heart hurt- it was getting heavy and soon I could feel the poisonous pain being pumped throughout my body and I… and I didn’t know what to do- the pain was too much…

I did the only thing I did always- I hugged her. Tightly. My whole body was crying toxic tears and was soon covered with her blood.

I didn’t know how long I was hugging her, but it seemed like eternity- or maybe it was just a second.

“Would you like a hot cup of tea?” I heard Popat’s voice.

“Are you fucking with me? Asking me for refreshments after killing my wife!” I shouted. I was raging.My blood was boiling. I was going to kill him. I knew it. I could see the sickle not far away from the prayer room’s door.

“She made it- for all of us…”

I looked at him. Why is he doing this to me? He was not enjoying this… His eyes were so red- he must have been crying. And Popat never cries. It was all too painful… I didn’t know what to think anymore…

“Please! Let’s have a last cup of tea that we love so much, in her memory…”

I nodded- “I want to drink it here- while she’s in my lap…”

He went away slowly and brought two cups- those cups that she had chosen after three hours of shopping in the entire city. I never liked those cups. I never did- and they were making me cry. Oh for the love of God, why am I crying so profusely!

“I can’t.. drink it…” I said between sobs.

“Here… Drink it…” he shouted.

“No…” I managed to say.

“Drink it, you asshole, she made it for you….”

I wailed. I was a wreck… my heart was not pumping blood anymore- it was all tears- full of poison.

I took the cup. I was filling the saucer with my tears and tried to drink it. With great effort I managed a single sip- gulped it down- it was good- so good- it was as if I was… I was drinking from her hands for the first time… I was happy- so happy. She was still alive- in this cup of tea. I drank- in large sips. And finished the cup of tea much too quickly- I was going crazy. I looked at her eyes- I could still see her eyes smiling- still dreaming- we were going to have a kid. She was pregnant…

I tried to calm down… the cup of tea did its magic. The toxic tears had stopped and I could look at Popat without disgust.

“Did she suffer…” I finally broke the ice.

“I sliced her throat in a single motion…”

So what was that supposed to be- painless? God! Why did it matter? She was dead- nothing mattered anymore…

“I didn’t know you treasured HONOUR much more than her…” I said with contempt.

“I treasure my sisters, the rest of them all combined, more than her…”

“Then all these days… Why did you protect us?”

“You deserved your happiness… You were fools… And you were in love- you were really happy. Perhaps happier than anybody in the village- and I wanted it to last- as long as possible…”

Spoken like a true Popat- the Popat everybody knows and loves so much in the village- including us.

“So you decided that our time was up?”

“You knew from the beginning that it was not going to end well….”

“Ah we just dreamed that with you looking after our backs- we could be happy- away from those medieval bastards… I guess we were too naïve… You really can’t trust anybody these days, huh Bro?”

“Well you always dreamed too big… and are too naïve…”

“Apparently… We forgot we lived in a world where people value their ego more than their children’s lives… let alone their happiness…”

“Don’t start with that shit… You knew the risks and you took it nonetheless- coz you knew a few days lived in love was better than a lifetime of fake emotions and true misery… This is what you yourself told…”

“Fuck You…”

“You didn’t even care about her 3 sisters… How were they going to get married? Who’ll marry those girls- their sister ran away with you- who knows when will they run away? Leaving the people dependant on them in a limbo? Huh?”

“Perhaps you didn’t hear me clearly- I said, Fuck You!!!”

I ran towards the sickle. What was I thinking? How could I talk with this… this Murderer…. He killed her… and I was crying? All this time while the sickle was lying two feet away from me- and two seconds away from his bloody death he so richly deserved?

“You want to kill me?” he asked.

“Yes!”

“Go ahead and kill me… My job is done… The stain is removed… My family is ridden of her dishonour… Yet… I don’t want to live anymore… except for those 3 girls… I wanted to marry them into good families- not with some asshole’s… like you…”

I picked up the sickle. I looked at the sickle and him. This fucker didn’t deserve to live…

There were stains of her blood on the sickle.

I turned around to see her one more time. She was dead- she was holding my picture- and I was standing next to her murderer in the room of prayer.

Well my prayers had obviously fallen on deaf ears- but at least I’d get the satisfaction of killing this fucker…

I raised the sickle- he was looking straight into my eyes. I could see Popat. Popat- the guy I spent my childhood with. The guy who helped me through my rainy days- helped me with money- and helped me study and become a man who I am today. He helped me marry her. This is Popat and I was going to kill him…

What was wrong with me… am I an animal like them? A violent brainless callous animal like our society?

“Popat, do you have a girl friend?”

He looked surprised- “Noo…”

“So you haven’t even kissed a girl, huh?”

“What are you talking about…”

“You have always missed out on good things in life, Popat. Start at least now… Go live your life, you Popat… Go marry a good girl… Forget about those 3 girls… Your village… They probably won’t even provide you a cup of tea, like you gave me today, of their own free will- if it wasn’t for duty and honour… Those girls have no lives of theirs- they have to satisfy your chauvinistic ego all their lives… Now it’s you, tomorrow it’ll be their husband… they would probably do much better without your help… Without any of our help… They are the new generation of India… Go… get out of here… I’ll take care of things here…”

“But I have.. to.. I have to kill you…”

“Wait for tomorrow’s papers… You can see our happy pictures, I promise”

We looked at each other for a while. Did he believe me? Can I believe in him- will he not kill me now, this very moment? Or will he take my word for it?

He hugged me and was gently crying on my shoulders. He was a God-damned hypocrite and I loved this fool…

Now that I have calmed down a little, I don’t really blame Popat. Perhaps I always knew that we were never going to be free… We are a so-called free society- a so-called free country, but we have never really gained freedom from our superstitions… From our egos… From our pride… We are slaves to this age old Casteism… We are Indians. We love to contradict ourselves. Terrorists kill people to terrorise others, warn others from doing things which the terrorists believe is not right and Honour Killing is SOCIAL TERRORISM… However noble the reasons, Killing people cannot be justified in this day and age. Should we not fight against it? People love vote-banks more than what is right… and some people don’t even know what the fuck is right… We are humans. And like all humans we can never really be free… And that’s why I don’t blame Popat… Poor Popat. He has to live among these slaves as any another slave, unlike me…

****************************************************************************************

The next day Popat read a cover story about a young couple committing suicide. They had left a note telling the world- that they had realized their mistake and apologize immensely for dishonouring their village. They love their village more than each other or their lives- this they realize now when they were expecting a child… It’s good that their child won’t live a day to dishonour the village…

The article was soon drenched with tears… the toxic tears… in Popat’s village and in the rest of the country…

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Comments
  1. karthikjcecs says:

    Wow!! Fantastic writing. Too good.

  2. Rohan says:

    Good one!! Sadly its somwhat true also!!

  3. Suhas says:

    Briliant story !!!
    This is my favourite so far….

  4. Sriram M says:

    Thats freaking good..

  5. sweta says:

    Nice story…. You beautifully covered the problem of honour killing.

  6. Gyanban says:

    Well written , good story.

  7. Saahithyan says:

    I want to kill Popat …. !!

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