It was a sultry, sunny afternoon. Some noisy kids were playing on the roofed terrace in the neighborhood. Everything looked bright and there was sun in everything. The colored clothes that were drying on the rope looked like beautiful colored fairies dancing to the tune of the wind, they were warm and everything smelt of the sun. The Earth smelt of the Sun. You will know what I am talking about, if you have been in a sunny afternoon in a village mud house. The description of the smell itself will transport you to that afternoon, to experience the love making of the Earth and the Sun, which creates such wondrous, sensuous and warm Indian afternoons. It was such a bright afternoon, when Amravati was born in a small corner room of the village mud house. Sometime back, there had been groans and cries of the mother trying to push the baby out of her system. But now everything was still and silent. Even the leaves on the trees were not moving. The Sun seemed to be covered by the dust in the soundless wind. The afternoon grew patchy and a new born girl’s cry cast a dark shadow on the village.
A woman and two men standing at the door of the room rushed inside, to see what remained of Amravati’s mother. A young woman lay on a bloody bed, whose lower body was completely drenched in blood. An old woman held, a puny, little, blood and fluid, smeared baby in her outstretched arms, expecting someone to take notice of her. Amravati was crying incessantly, as if complaining angrily about something to someone. Suddenly the new borns cries were smothered by loud moans and wails of her father, who held on to Amravati’s mother’s body tightly. “Don’t go…don’t go”, he wailed. The afternoon was filled with sounds of sorrow and grief. The relatives and other village folks rushed in to console a distraught and broken husband. Amravati was now quite. She had bathed and was neatly put on a corner bed by the good old woman, who then sat besides her.
Image Courtesy: http://www.kshamabade.com/warli-painting