A Debt Unpaid

My homeland is ruined. Man and nature alike robbed us of our land.

I sensed the tears that ran down my cheeks. I was infuriated by this mockery. The tears were of no use now. All they could do was wash the blood off my face as they rolled down.

I could hear the scuffing jackals in the distance. Something slithered over my feet. A good stare and it looked like my spine was leaving my body. All my tendons and ligaments laid waste without it to support them.

It was pitch dark, the only light were those of the stars in the sky which reminded me of burning pyre of my family and friends. Pyres that were lit for reasons unbeknownst to me. The fire had no warmth. It was cold, cold as death.

The foul smell of the putrefying flesh invited the rats and the vultures. The only purpose of vultures’ life was to tear apart the rotting, pus-filled flesh with their sharp beaks. They waited few days before they began. I almost thanked them for their courtesy. The battles of foolish men always left a feast for them.

The men will find me soon. At least that is what I hope. Or else I will be lost in the scorched and cracked landscape. In a few days, there will be no distinguishable difference between a dog’s cadaver and mine.

I hope they give me a proper burial. After all, I was a ruler.

Death gestured towards an open grave. I wasn’t afraid of it. I have been thinking of it for some time now. Thousands of us fought bravely and lay slain in the mud where once stood a great kingdom.

I was born in Vidharbha, a beautiful city in the west-central India. Our lands were as fertile as our mothers. Mother Nature was kind to us. Our religious beliefs were simple – Live and let live. Our women gave birth to great rulers who ruled their land with benevolence and kindness. They provided for everyone.

Our homes were simple and we built even simpler palaces. Our homes had lands especially carved for gardens, orchards, and vineyards. We loved our trees and plants and they loved us back. In Vidharbha everyone was equal in the eye of nature.

A sharp pain woke me from my dream. I saw an old vulture tearing my guts out. My blood was not sufficient to quench the thirst of my land. I saw a lonely star in the far corner with its fire burning low. The fire, an all-consuming, an all-destroying fire. My Vidharbha was destroyed. I can still feel the embers of my dying city. We lost all hopes. Our gardens were gone. Mother Nature left us. She couldn’t bear the heat.

We elders sat and discussed our future. It was during one of such introspective days that, strange looking men came to our city. They closely looked and observed everything, they made notes. They were the priests from the temple of Lord Kubera. Kubera, was the wealthiest man in all three realms. He was worshiped as a God. He had many temples across the Aryan land. Every temple had multiple priests. These men would walk the forests, cross the rivers in order to help the needy.

They offered to help us rebuild the city from the ashes but in order for their services, we need to pay the price. We agreed. With their help, we rebuilt the city.

It was noon now. The sun was on fire. The old and saggy vulture was gone. The heat was killing me. Not that I wasn’t dying already. My mind takes pleasure in vanity even now.

Vidharbha was built again. We ploughed and tilled our lands. We sowed the seeds. Then we waited. We waited for the rains. We waited a long time for them. We cut open the heart of the ground and dug deep. The mother earth’s bosom was also bereft of any respite for us.

There was no water. We prayed and we prayed hard. We prayed with all we had. All that we could muster. It was time to pay the price. The priests came back. We begged for more time. But time was something they didn’t have. They took our land, our cattle and forced us out of our homes.

A red ant found way up my ear canal and chewed upon the ear wax, the only savings I had.

Our city turned into dust. We had to pay the price. The elders met. The women and children were sent away. The men followed me to the forest. We needed to pay the price. We slit each other’s throat. Those who couldn’t do this hung themselves on trees.

I lie here with my brothers waiting for my debt to be paid. I think I saw a rain drop. It’s difficult to see with rats chewing on your eyeballs. Perhaps the mind is playing tricks. The skies betrayed us.

I just hope I got a proper burial…

 

These are not suicides. But murders!

“Bankruptcy and indebtedness” is the single largest underlying cause behind farmer suicides in India.

Advertisements

50 thoughts on “A Debt Unpaid

  1. This is the ultimate reality of the world! The blind usage of resources has resulted in the destruction of many lands in the world. Beautifully explained the destructive situation of the earth.

    Like

  2. Very well written and a quite dramatic and sad read. Your words made me keep reading and I could picture everything you described. Going to read some of your other posts.

    Like

  3. Wow. This was beautiful and so tragic that I wanted to cry. You are SO right on this. We are hurting ourselves as we hurt mother Earth. I love this so much I can’t even say– one of the more vivid pieces I have read on this in a while! I would love to have you guest blog. So beautiful. ~http://viabella-thebeautifullife.blogspot.com/

    Like

  4. This is so sad. When things happen beyond our control, the desperation can push us to do the unthinkable. Another great piece, Jeenu. Thank you for a great read today.

    Like

  5. This is an interesting story. I think a very sad story. I’m not sure I understood everything throughout it, but I can say it is very well written!

    Like

  6. This is an excellent piece of writing , it has so much feel . Its a sad situation where people are compelled to take such drastic steps.

    Like

  7. A very graphic, yet moving piece. Such a tragedy to know the terrible ordeal that farmers face in this scenario. It would be nice to think that something could be done about it.

    Like

    1. Thank you Nicole. And yes the central government and the state governments in India are trying to figure out solution for it. As of now many states have waived off the loan on such farmers.

      Like

    2. Thank you Nicole. And yes the central government and the state governments in India are trying to figure out solution for it. As of now many states have waived off the loan on such farmers.

      Like

  8. Powerful and well written piece. It’s an eyeopener and is definitely going to make you think about the kind of world that we live in. Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece of work. Keep it up!

    Like

  9. Very nicely put the tragic life of a farmer. Because of farmer we have food in our stomach and think their stomachs are empty. Who is to be blamed? We cannot blame nature but policies can be made to make their life insured and secured.

    Like

    1. Farmers in India, farmers in various states of India take loans for better produce, but lack of rain, provisions, seeds etc etc doesn’t yeild what they desired. No produce , no money. No way to repay the loan. Thousands of such farmers have committed suicide.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Wynne
      I tried contacting you through your website. I think the message was not sent.

      I really like the way you write your blog. I will like to nominate your blog for liebster award. Please let us know if interested!

      Regards,

      Jeenu Pillai

      Like

  10. What an interesting story, I loved it! very beautifully written and so tragic which made me emotional at same time, i started following your blog because your stories has so much feel and which make me image things.

    Like

  11. WOW!! Love the narrative and how you skip between the horror of his death and his beautiful memories of his home. What blew me away particularly was the connection you have established between this story set in a different era with the contemporary situation. Brilliant…

    Just one error I noticed. You might want to correct this sentence – “I almost felt thanked them for their courtesy.”

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s