The serpentine way meandered its way into the thick sandalwood forest and seemed to be lost in the wilderness. The thick canopy hindered the view of the night sky. The silence had a spooky echo in it.
“We will reach the highway faster if we cross this dense forest. And then we can take a lift on any vehicle & reach the city. A new beginning, Prabha!”, Balakumar said.
Prabha kept quiet & nodded.
Slowly,they both walked into the darkness while the village behind them burned in the fire of communal hatred. The only thing that mattered at that moment was survival of the fittest.
One moment was as long as a century. They both continued to walk for a long time before deciding to rest under a tree, for a few minutes. Prabha kept her head on Bala’s shoulders & her weary eyes closed for a few minutes. Suddenly, she felt a strange sensation on her back. She woke up! Before she could do anything, the pallu of her saree was in someone’s hand. Someone huge! They had been attacked. She held her pallu tightly and crossed her hands over her bust. Bala sprung into action, but with one blow from the strong opponent, he fell on the ground in a crumpled heap.
The next moment, Prabha felt the heavy hand on her blouse, trying to tear it open!“Bala, Bala ….give me your axe, now !’’, called out Prabha in an earsplitting voice. Bala, unable to comprehend the situation did just as directed.
Prabha snatched it from Bala and gripped the handle of the axe tightly. With one heavy blow, she brought it down on the broad torso in front of her!
“Ahhhhh…….”, there was a scream and a splash of blood oozed out. Wrapped in a soiled dhoti, the gigantic person held on to his chest & writhed in pain on the ground. She then fiercely kicked him hard & landed on her knees right on his face making him immobile! Her beige-colored saree lay just next on the ground, tattered at many places. An off-white petticoat & a black blouse adorned Prabha’s curvaceous figure. Bala was still clueless about what was happening in front of his eyes.Reticent Prabha had not only turned into a tigress but had revealed a different facet altogether in front of Balakumar, who was used to seeing only her shy nature since they had met & had fallen in love.
Bala slowly took off his shirt & asked Prabha to wear it. Prabha silently obliged.
“I know you are shocked. I had lied that I am an orphan. I was scared to say the truth. I am EX- LTTE member but after three odd years, I had managed to flee. Some memebers helped me. I kept a very low profile and then slowly became a part of our village. But one thing does not change. I have truly loved you for the simple person that you are. I have seen enough complexity, Bala. I just want a simple life with you”, Prabha said.
Balakumar stood still, listening to each word, taking all the information overload & then slowly touched the scar at Prabha’s nape.“Bullet wound. I had survived a police attack”, Prabha said.
Tears in his eyes, Bala dragged Prabha towards him & embraced her with all his might!
“You are mine. You always will be”, He whispered in her ears.
With dawn, there was a new beginning of a love that needed no definition.
PS: The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)was a Tamil militant organization that was based in northeastern Sri Lanka. Its aim was to secure an independent state of Tamil Eelam in the north and east in response to the state policies of successive Sri Lankan governments that were widely considered to be discriminatory towards the minority Sri Lankan Tamils, as well as the oppressive actions—including anti-Tamil pogroms in 1956 and 1958—carried out by the majority Sinhalese. (Source – Wikipedia). Many members were either surrendering or fleeing this organization & trying their best to lead a normal, nameless & simple life. The above story is a work of fiction & is inspired by such real-life stories.