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August 18, 2007

Damaged goods.

The dogs thought it was a game... as the feathers flew all over the house. On the carpet, on the cot, on top of the almirah, in the kitchen... there were feathers and cotton balls chasing each other all around.

The wind howled on the terrace, slamming the doors shut and then yanking them open with a force more savage than when raping a woman. The dogs barked happily, their tails wagging and they watched Mamma take the Party Cushions out of the cupboard. The home cushions and pillows were already a shredded mess.

Mamma had a shining object in her hand, which the older of the two dogs had often taken in his mouth. Mamma had always scolded him saying, "Leave that, you will cut your mouth with it." It was called a knife... it was big and had a black handle and serrated edges, which Mamma knew how to work.

Mamma slashed another cushion. There was a weird noise she was making that the dogs found funny..it sounded like another dog whining... Mamma whined and slashed at the cushions, then the pillows, then Mamma went after the mattresses. Gouge. Slash. Strip. Rip. Tear.

Once all that could be torn, ripped, shred was torn, ripped, shred... Mamma howled, lashing at the walls with the knife. After five attempts at slashing the wall - it was no cushion - the knife split. As it broke with force, the knife blade sliced Mamma's forearm and blood spurted out. It first spurt out and then it started flowing down Mamma's hand, on to her shorts and down her legs. Mamma stood looking at the broken knife - now covered with her blood with bits of feather and cotton quickly latching on to it - and the blood leaking on to the floor.

The dogs stopped wagging their tails. They could sense some change in Mamma. And they could smell the blood. Mamma kicked at the broken knife angrily and went into the kitchen. The dogs followed but did not enter the kitchen. Mamma did not like that. Mamma was standing inside the kitchen, looking around wildly. Then she started pulling down everything from the shelves.

First the masala bottles... yellow, red, mixed brown, pepper, salt, garam masala....then the sauces...one by one, Mamma took things out and smashed them. Then she found the rolling pin. She tested it by swirling it over her head. Then Mamma laughed a crazy laugh. "Oh yes," she said and started hitting around with the rolling pin. First, the oven door, then a dent on the fridge, then the window panes in the kitchen, then the expensive crockery that had been prettily set two days back.

The dogs started barking, they did not like the sound of things breaking and the shards flying everywhere. The little one entered the kitchen, wagging her tail and yapping at Mamma's ankles. Mamma had broken everything that she could and looked around wildly... she saw the pup at her ankles. Mamma got very angry. The dogs were not allowed in the kitchen. "GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN" she roared and kicked the pup. Mamma's foot landed on the puppy's soft muzzle, there was a sickening crack as the pup first flew three feet off the ground, landed some distance and forcefully slammed against the wall. The pup lay still.

The big dog ran with his tail tucked as Mamma turned and fixed a glare on him. "Come here," she said... the big dog ran out onto the terrace. Mamma looked around the kitchen wildly... and then she saw it. Her Cartier knife, Mamma loved it. It was her meat slicing knife, and it could cut through bone and sinew with two deft moves. Mamma picked it up and caressed it. She placed the cool blade of the knife against her cheek and started laughing. Then Mamma took out her tongue and slowly ran the knife edge on it, very gently. She held on to the kitchen slab - it was granite - as a thin line of blood appeared on her tongue. It stung. Mamma tasted her own blood. And laughed.

"Come here, " she screamed calling out to the big dog, who was now on the terrace. Mamma went out with the knife on the terrace. The big dog was cowering... Mamma was looking at him strangely. Mamma did not go to the big dog but sat on her haunches instead. She hid the knife behind her back and crooned to the dog, "Come here baby, it's just you and me. Like always. Come here. It's for our good." The dog, out of habit and training... and perhaps love? ... started inching towards Mamma. Slowly, his tail wagging tentatively, unsure of what to expect. Except for the fact that the human who fed him daily, patted him, held him and gave him tasty chew-bones was calling him. The big dog had always known when Mamma was upset. Today she was upset...but there was something else too.

The big dog stood before Mamma, his head down, eyes looking up at her, apologising for whatever it was that he had or not, done. Mamma extended her left hand for the dog to smell and be comfortable. As he licked her left hand, with the blood still dripping, she brought the knife from behind here and even as the dog realised that something had changed...Mamma held the big dog's head and in quick move....she slit his throat. But the dog moved...and she missed the jugular. It started thrashing, beginning to howl, but it came out in gurgles.

Mamma started crying, "Sorry baby, sorry...but this has to happen, who will look after you after I am gone? And i love you..everything that i love will go...there is nothing. Sorry baby, dont move, it wont hurt, it wont..." She held the squirming dog under her knee and holding it's head down, howling into her tears and her blood, Mamma took the knife and again and this time, deliberately she sawed his neck.

He twitched and then he did not twitch anymore. As Mamma turned -- now she was moaning, it was a low, monotonous drone, the little pup was coming around. She was not dead yet. There was an ugly bruise where the pup had hit against the wall and it was rising under it's soft brown fur. The pup looked up dazed and tried to stand up, groggily. Then it saw Mamma standing on the doorway. Mamma's eyes looked mad, her mouth was open and there was a strange noise coming from it. The knife was in her hand, the older dog's blood dripping from it.

"Chhoto..." said Mamma and took a step towards the pup. The pup could smell that the big dog was dead, it started whimpering. It could not move as it saw Mamma walk towards it. The pup cowered and started whining, it was painful, Mamma's earlier kick had broken some ribs. Mamma reached the pup and stood looking down at it. The pup was trying to slide away. It knew there was something terribly wrong with Mamma.

Mamma stood looking at the pup and then she crouched next to it. She kept the knife down and started stroking the pup's head. She crooned to it, "My chhoto baby, the little one... both of you, what they took from me. I cannot keep you... I cannot keep anyone you see. I am damaged goods baby. No one wants damaged goods. You will go too...cant leave you for others to hurt, can I? Please understand my little one, Mamma is damaged goods....just damaged goods..." She picked the pup, cuddled it some more and then suddenly, she held it and wrung its neck.

Then Mamma took the pup's body and laid it next to the big dog's. She covered them with her bedsheet. Then she sprinkled all the ghee on their bodies and set them on fire. Then she started climbing towards the rooftop...up, up and up she climbed. Till she was there on the top and could see the distant horizon. She hated heights. She had always known she would go like that. She looked at the horizon again...and in the distant somewhere, heard her phone ringing.

"No point" she told herself. And jumped.

5 comments:

Maxine said...

A virtual murder and a suicide.Disturbing thoughts.Hopefully remain as thoughts itself and file it in some remote village library.
Takecare gal, there is more to life.

Anonymous said...

-
kya baat hai...

schizoidz the new statement! ;-)

clit.chatting said...

Schizoid

1. Psychology. of or pertaining to a personality disorder marked by dissociation, passivity, withdrawal, inability to form warm social relationships, and indifference to praise or criticism.
2. Informal. of or pertaining to schizophrenia or to multiple personality.
–noun
3. a schizoid person.

burf said...

take care

captian said...

it sounds exactly like my dream.....2 nights ago......
mama todo bueno pra tu