Honour Thy Love
Your mother curses you, but you walk out of the house, leaving her expletives trailing. “It is not as if your father pulled the trigger,” she entreats you earlier when you tell her you are going to the press with the truth. Now, she calls you an ungrateful bitch who wants her two minutes of fame. You keep walking. You think about the night, many months ago, when you tiptoed out of the same house into the waiting arms of your lover.
They will not understand, the people who have blood on their hands. That love does not care about caste. That it strikes once, as swift as lightning, as sweet as a sin. Try as you may, you cannot ignore the tug in your heart, so inviting, so persistent, so powerful. He is relentless, love is relentless. You concede, hesitantly, hopefully, that you can convince your parents, your world. And that the worst they can do is ostracize you and you can live with it. How wrong you are, how wrong. Don’t you know they anoint honour with blood?
You dissolve into the city, trying to be nameless, faceless, casteless. You believe the multitude and magnanimity of the people there will hide you safely. Yet, you are found. You discover hatred is as stubborn as love, as relentless, a mirror image. He is dragged into a busy road, shot, and left to die in ebbs, a warning to anyone who assumes love conquers all. You are too shocked to protest as you are bundled and carried away to your village, where you see your father felicitated for restoring the honour.
No one has seen anything. At least that is what the police claim.
You cry for days? weeks? months? Time loses its worth and grief roosts where there was once hope. You relive it over and over. The gleaming gun, that rabid eyes, that helpless howl. Who led them to you? Was it the classmate you met one day at the bus stop? Was it the person who looked like your relative and kept staring at you in the temple?
And how you wish you said no to his love, for at least he would be alive today and you could have pined for him as another man’s wife. Now he is gone and you want to be gone too.
You are jolted back to the present when you feel him in your womb. A soul wanting to be born, wanting to be worth the fight. For him, for love.
“You cannot identify the attacker,” the heartless world sneers.
“You don’t have the weapon,” they ridicule.
But you know it is not who fired the shot but who paid for the bullets that matter and you keep fighting.
You know you owe him the truth. The truth that love is worth the fight. Love is worth the life that is taken away from you then. That is given back to you now.