Friday, June 6, 2014

The Virgin - Two wars. Bloods of a different kind.

June lost hope on Delhi heat. July was en-route. 

Abbu had to leave for duty tonight but first he would drop me to the train station where-upon his cousin, Ali would chaperon me.

Ali lived in a small town of Jammu, from where my late mother-Ammi hailed as well. I had been there several times, in Abbu’s stories. Today would be the first personal audience. But before that “Abbu one last time,” I implore.

“Your Ammi lived in a town called Akhnoor. In September 1965 the Pakistani army launched Operation Grand Slam to devour it. Ammi was going to see her aunt in a bus when some heavily armed men swooped. Her bus was hit by a hail of bullets, snapping a wheel off, forcing all to run pensively, seeking refuge inside an abandoned home. Ammi locked herself in a room and ducked in darkness, as the gunmen began their rampage. Suddenly, the door splintered open as those kaafirs shot the lock apart and burst in, plucking frightened Ammi, clamping handcuffs on her.”

“And then you tore in and broke the backs of those kaafirs like my hero.” I clapped feverishly.

Abbu dropped me to the station. He left with a promise to do as uncle says. I did.

I extended my frisky fingers out of the train’s window, hoping to scoop snow off the scalp of the distant Himalayas.

“Pass it,” Ali gestured towards the water bottle dancing on a hook by the window. Our compartment was empty. The Delhi-Jammu Tawi route was a busy link for tourists travelling to Srinagar. This was not the year for tourism though, as it was for war. Kargil War had cast its murky shadow. Winds were carrying blood back home.  

I passed the bottle and with that Ali pulled me close to him. An awkward proximity, I apprehend now.

“My back hurts. Press it, will you?” He was pounding it with clenched fists.

I agreed, but for seven minutes; my age.

Ali pulled his cashmere sweater and kurta over his head and said “Come on and I shall give you a magic marshmallow.”

He explained that the more I suck it, the bigger it will grow. It will be juicy he added.

I placed my hands against the train’s moving wall, climbed on him and began working his back with my feet, pressing the flesh in then relieving the pressure, like Abbu would knead dough. Ali moaned, or was it the train as its wheels strum music against the track?

My feet visited his buttocks. I felt his flesh throbbing under me. I lost my balance. He made me lose it. He grabbed my nascent breasts.

It wasn't the first time I had pressed his back, but never before, were we alone together.

There are some wars that aren't spoken of in history books and parental rhetoric. There are wars we are caught in the middle of… unaware.

Ali became my war. In this battle, I lost my virginity… my dignity. The winds carried blood back home that night.


  1. really well written Suji, sensitive and difficult topic yet beautifully tackled really should be writing a lot more! plsssss

  2. Really well written. A topic not much spoken about but damn rampant. And as you say; one is caught unaware.