"Life is the price we pay for running away from death "
































































Yet another morning, jostling for foothold in the crowded bus-stop, amidst the tumultuous roars of furious engines and din of restless horns, I stood, waiting eagerly- an eagerness devoid of hope or enthusiasm- for my usual sweaty ride to the office. I stood there every morning, like clockwork, wondering if my spirit dragged my body or vice versa. I knew I wouldn't find the answer, but just to save my face for myself, my mind would divest itself in "activity" as if to divert me, from myself. The activity, call it perversion or frustration, was, as usual, picking the ladies passing by the road, and ogling at them- staring there where, probably somewhere in their deepest darkest corners, they like to be stared.

Today, there was the most merciful traffic jam, which offered me enough time to patiently exercise my 'observation' skills, and not having to zip through like a breathless premature ejaculation. I sifted through the crowd and there she was, my target, waiting on her moped, draped in a cotton sari that so very gracefully girded her fleshy midriff. Oh! what a sight of the voluptuous Indian woman, I smacked my lips as my eyes stole its way up, towards the pallu that was so jovially pulled back, as if the luscious bosom were a mantelpiece on exhibition. 

My mind joined the act: blocked everything out and tuned all senses towards this glorious exhibit that boasted of such a shapely peak. Watching the peak, made something else peak in me. Oh! how much I would love time to freeze now. I could feel blood rushing to various pointed corners of my body. I had just begun wafting to this visual music when a little hand came from behind to block my sight. 

It was the small boy, riding pillion behind his mother. He had noticed this stranger, me, staring in a wrong way and had hugged his mother from behind in an attempt to block my view. When I turned to look at him, I noticed he was staring back at me too. I was not sure if he was angry, probably he was too young for anger, or too helpless. I tried to look away, but the only place I could look, was down!

As I travelled to work that day, I consciously avoided any more 'activities' in the bus. As the day passed, I drifted back to many of my childhood days, where strange men would stare in strange ways at my mother, as she travelled with me to school. I had wished so much to not have my mother seen that way, but I was so scared of those men. I recalled those helpless moments in the bus, when men would try to elbow my mother in the wrong places and I wasn't even tall enough to come in their way.

That night I prayed. I prayed that God doesn't make that child, who had shielded his mother that morning, to grow up to be depressed like me. I prayed that God wouldn't let the world go on as usual, and end up creating a maniac out of that boy too!

Two millennia ago, a man who claimed to be God's son bled at the cross, as atonement for the sins of all men. Today, all the women of the world bleed, once every month, maybe as an extended crucifixion for the sins that men continue to commit, day and night.