Hope in the Times of Violence

She, whose name nobody knew, belonged to a small tribal community from the north-eastern part of the country. She had lost her entire family to the gunshots fired by the terrorists a few days ago, and was now made to live with a big group of strangers in a small tent in a make-shift refugee camp on the outskirts of a nearby town.

On some nights, when the heartrending cries of pain, fear and shock coming from some of the tents tore apart the eerie silence, one woman, looking somewhere far ahead and nowhere in particular, unable to shed a single tear or utter a single cry of pain, wandered outside her tent, aimlessly.

Her breasts were swollen with the Nature’s nectar, but the cruel hands that fired the AK-47 had taken away her day-old-newborn son who had yet to taste his mother’s milk.

Maybe her wandering tonight will take her to that tent in the other corner of the compound where the week-old-newborn girl, whose name nobody knows, living with a big group of strangers, is crying for her mother’s milk.

This piece first published on December 26, 2014 was dedicated to the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Assam in which about 80 people including women and children were killed and thousands displaced from their homes.

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