Isha khan’s Weblog


Short story: “DEYA”
July 10, 2008, 6:01 am
Filed under: SubContinent
“DEYA”

By   Prem RaJ

premlaliguras@hotmail.com 
 

“Deya, O, Deya, come, come here!” was the command reigning the house, mostly delivered by her mother, Jeya.And Deya would go running towards the source like wren budge in the nestling.
And in return her mother used to say, “I did not call you, mad girl”.
“Well Ma, I thought you might have called me”. Deya argued.
“No, No, you talk a lot better leave me now, let me cook something before your father returns home”, her mother said, harshly.
As she had taken hardly few steps to reach back to the place where her friends Ganga & Paro were waiting to play with the dolls they brought from their house, again the same command ruffled in her ears, “Deya, O, Deya, come here”, sounded her mother.
Deya went rushing to obey the command to the hearth where her mother was blowing wind with her mouth to ignite the front portion of the woods, not to let these comatose, so when she looked up and had inhaled fiercely there came the ash particles thus covering her face which made Jeya to cough and Deya to laugh.
“Why are you laughing at me?” said her mother in broken words due to the continued coughing.
“No, Ma, how can I laugh at my sweet mother, actually I was happy to see your face turning into moon with application of ash powder”, said Deya.
“O, you, naughty girl, go away, do not eat my brain as now I do not remember why I called you”, said Jeya.
Deya came back to her friends to chalk out a programme for wedding ceremony of their dolls, which were to commence soon after the eve of “Holy” and to which there were only two weeks left.
Her mind would always wander with the feelings of ecstasy in the starry night, while lying close to her mother on the cot in the small little court yard. She would always ask the questions like, “Ma why can’t I fly like birds”? “Well, if you could fly like the birds, what will you do?” mother asked back, instead of replying to Deya.
“Ma, I shall go on to the moon to grow laliguras and its’ fragrance would come back to the Earth, with each ray of moonlight”, said Deya, inquisitively.
Her mother laughed, “O, Deya! You wanna grow laliguras on the moon”, and again she went laughing and her laughter broke silence of the night like a pebble thrown in to a still water.
“Well, darling each one has been assigned a specific job to perform in this world and look at the birds these cannot think like you and are not blessed with the feelings of love, respect and affections for others and more over, you children are the real laliguras of Nepal who have to grow well on this land”, replied Jeya.
“Then why a human being kills a human being?” “Why the people of India are gripped with the feelings of heathen and exophagy and why they attack the poor nations to burn peace and rob the land” “O, Ma! Is it the world meant for and you call it the love, the respect and affections for others?” said Deya, with full of hatredness.
To her utter astonishment, Jeya was answerless to her queries except telling her to sleep, after giving her few kisses on her forehead.
What fine days of childhood were those when Deya was the symbol of light and a source of love & solace for each one in the house!
The time passed quickly and now Deya had become a young lady with an exquisite beauty, gorgeous gait & radiant style.
Deya took admission in the discipline of Mass Communication in the “Tribhuvan University”, which was located just four miles away from her house. She also had become the president of the women wing of the “Human Rights Committee” of the university. Deya was always haunted by the feelings of shock & despair on seeing the young children of Nepal joining the Maoists rebellious groups.
“My dear children you still had to grow and become the future of my beloved country but tell me who wore you the gun around your neck”, she asked with loathsome feelings. The children quivering with fear could not speak a word.
Their eyes were flooded with questions and their chest bones were the answers to each of them. Deya was adamant to get the answers from the horses’ mouth because she wanted to reach up to the root cause, which every time was creating a thorn in her mind.
She opened the mouth of the young soldier and found a half cut tongue in the chamber.
She wept bitterly & hugged the boy of seven years, whose rifle clung to his shoulders thus touching the ground.
“Well, I shall give you the money which can earn you good fortune more than the one you get from those rascals”, said Deya.
“O.K. Madam”!, volunteered one out of the ten, from the ill fed squad, who had come out of the queue to help out Deya to remove her worry. He said, “our parents are paid handsomely by the uncles who smuggle us in the mid of a night to their country with flamboyant promises of better future. There we are detained for lengthy periods in army barracks where we are motivated on becoming soldiers of Maoist Organization. We are given training on the Army Firing Ranges. We are kept underfed for the purpose of remaining weak to work & lay mines smoothly due to light weight.

 

The children who gained weight were blown up in the mine fields or have lost their limbs. We all are very conscious of the weight because that is our survival, so the bones of our chest are witness to the hunger we labour. We are trained to blow the bridges and detonate bombs in the civil sectors to create panic and fear. We are made to walk for many hours and are kicked by the soldiers and hit with their guns, during the march. If someone tries to run away from this rustic life, he is repeatedly subjected to brutal beatings, additional violence, restraints and sensory deprivation.

 

Even some of us die in the process. We are given training on propaganda as well & are not allowed to disclose our location of training or the names of the trainers. We are repeatedly asked to say, we have been trained by the “Tamil Tigers.” If someone tries to leak out the secret he is met with the fate like Ram whose tongue, you noticed has been cut. After successful training we are sent to Army Brigades of Maoist Organization. With us were many more from other countries as well, like Burma, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, Srilanka, Tibet and Kashmir”, after saying this much Deepak went silent.
Deya felt strangulated in this silence, so almost she yelled but stillness prevailed.
“Who commits the crime of churning children in to cannon fodder? Let me know”, Deya asked, angrily.
“India, the damn India”, someone spoke in the middle of the queue.
“Oh, my Lord! We have become the victim of the hypocrisy of the foe in the garb of friendship”.
She went rushing to the spot where the sacred ash of her mother was cremated a year back.
Deya knelt down before the ash casket while bowing, she said, “Ma, you were absolutely right in claiming, that laliguras are not grown on the moon, children are the real laliguras of our country who have to grow well on this land & their fragrance of love, peace and affection has to conquer the world.
“O, Lord, give me strength to remove the gun and hang the satchel around the shoulder of my young lot”.
The sun had set in the west but a “DEYA” was lit up to beat the darkness.
 

Posted by Isha Khan, who can be reached at bdmailer@gmail.com

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