Friday, March 14, 2008

March FFC: Padma Narayanaswamy: Sacrificing Her Child

Sacrificing Her Child

by Padma Narayanaswamy

Sita has no other alternative but to kill her son. The child who has suckled her breast drinking the very blood of her life has to be put away. She looked the last time at him.

He has taken after her, and looked pretty handsome for his age. He was just a toddler and looked at her with a confidence that a child has for his mother that she will protect him from evil and bad things in this cruel world. The child 's look at her, is what it hurt the most.

Her child was born to her after visiting so many temples and after so many prayers. He was the apple of her eye. He used to follow her holding the end of her sari, whenever she visited the nearby forest to pluck the leaves of the medicine trees, which grew there and watch her grind and give to the sickly poor persons who visited her in search of any cure for their ailments. She used to tell the future of some of her clients.

How happy she was with her husband? It looked just as if it was yesterday when her husband Ram brought to his village. He was quite handsome and hard working. They owned a small plot of land, not much just about three acres. He used to grow vegetables and wheat on their land. He also planted some of the herbal trees for her.

After two summers of marriage people began to talk her as barren. She than went with her husband and performed many pujas (rites performed by the Hindus ) .One of the elders suggested to her to tie a cradle on the banyan tree and circumvent the tree every Friday. To her joy she conceived and her joy knew no bounds.

However destiny started playing in her life. Her healthy husband suddenly took ill. She gave him her medicines. Finding that he became more ill, she took him to hospitals. There they diagnosed him with TB.

She became aware that he was finally dying. One night she dreamt that her husband was dragged away from her by Yama (a black figure riding a buffalo). She has to do something to save her sindoor. (Vermillion applied by Indian women in the parting of their hair to show their married status)

Being a widow is the most tragic part for any Indian woman. Being a witch she found that she could stop her husband dying if she could sacrifice the blood of a child to Goddess Kali (Indian Goddess). She has to somehow retain her sindoor as she cannot treat the sick, as she would lose the respect of the villagers and they would not come to her if she is a widow.

She than decided that she had no option, but to sacrifice her child to please the Goddess. She grinded some sleeping herbs and gave it to the child. She took the sleeping child to the Kali Temple at night. While it lay she cut the head and fell into a swoon.

The next day the villagers found a torso of a child, the head some distances away and a woman’s body near the temple and handed it over to the police.

From the author: I am Padma Narayanaswamy an Indian Freelance writer and Journalist. I am Passionate in all genres of writing and I have written a lot of short stories, poems, plays and a film script . I am a middle age lady with two grown up sons. My husband is working in a Bank. I aim to be a successful writer with the help of forums like (FFC 2008) and CC and I am sure I will succeed.


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

That is quite a strong message, Padma. Thanks for letting us see more closely into the Hindu culture.

orion_mk3 said...

Very interesting tale, with a strong cultural imprint that isn't seen as often as one might think. Fine work.

One piece of advice: watch your tenses. I noticed a few places where you wandered from present to past and back again (though this is understandable, especially if English is not your first language).

A. Catherine Noon said...

Thank you for sharing your creativity, Padma. I enjoyed your story, it is interesting and vivid.

~Liz~ said...

Wow! Very compelling and thought provoking. The only suggestion that I have is to try to work your explanations and definitions of words into your story rather than just placing them in parentheses. As they are now, they pull you out of the action for a moment.

I truly enjoyed this. Thank you.

Gwen Mitchell said...

You had a very strong opening and message, but I agree that your tenses need to be cleared up. Also, try to avoid modifying adjectives that don't enhance the word they are helping, like: quite, somewhat, very.

Best of luck in your pursuits!