Saturday, April 20, 2013

2000 Indian Rupees

That there is evil in this world is clear from what he did to her.

I've struggled with words on this one. Even my outrage is numb. So I've mostly read and listened.

The most sordid of all the ugly details is about the hush money.

What's 2000 Indian Rupees? A couple of pizza lunches? Or a night out with friends in Mumbai?

I paid more for a round trip on Heathrow Express to Paddington last week. My room service for dinner cost almost as much.

I've seen an Indian lady pay 75,000 Indian Rupees, in cash, for shoes at a high-end Delhi mall.

Then it hits me. 2000 Indian Rupees is the price for leftover lives.

The policeman who offered this sum to the parents of that beautiful little girl didn't conjure it from thin air. He has no doubt offered the same to countless others to hush up their rage.

She's only a poor little girl, he must've reasoned. She will soon forget. For her parents, this is a month's worth of income.

T S Eliot wrote of lives measured in coffee spoons. Leftover lives in India are not measured at all.

What did he see in a five year old? It's inconceivable that it was lust. 

The instruments of brutalization suggest, instead, an impotent rage. He couldn't stand her innocence. So he violated her and tortured her and left her to die.

Then, predictably, he ran back home.

She, miraculously, refused to be treated as a leftover life. All I can feel is awe towards her.

She is a tough girl and will survive this.

But can we say the same for the unequal, uncaring, and unconscionable world she will grow up in?

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