I have to be discreet when I write this. But I am not sure about the string of events happening around me. Am I going mad? But if I put myself in a third person’s view, I don’t think I have done anything unnatural. But why did I do so? I am not known for charity. I never cared for anybody in my life except my career. But why am I doing all these things? Why should I take the girl along with me? Shit, I am even thinking of adopting her. What would Malini say? She is stressed out already and we have a conscious decision that we will never have children in our lives. People say I need my children when I am old. But I am also a child of my parents. And see, I live in New York and they are in the Naxal and mosquito-infested Hazaribagh. Shit, they don’t even know I am in India right now. If I feel like, I might drop by to say hello to them, if I don’t, I might just spend fifteen days in Mumbai or Delhi and leave. Anyway I am returning on 30th.
What did they gain raising me? Am I a good son? Hell, no. Why should I expect a different treatment from my son that I didn’t do myself?
I better go and listen to this little girl. Heck, I should tell her not to call me papa. I am not her papa. I will never be. No, I am not going to adopt her. I always travel light. I might just drop him somewhere in the port area and leave.
April 18, 9.30 am
It was crazy, crazy last night. While walking through the jungle we actually fell just in front of a pack of elephants! Wild elephants! And let me tell you they were not at all in a good mood. I was almost shitting on my pants. Thank God, for whatever reason they just fled the scene. Wild elephants are cranky and very moody, I have heard. I never could imagine I would enjoy an African safari in my own country. It was much more fun than my last year's Kenya visit to see the masssive migration of the wilderbeast! But my little darling was cool. She surely doesn't fear anything in life. This five-year old is driving me crazy.
Actually, she is. Every now and then she is calling me ‘papa’. I don’t know why, it almost feels like she is mocking me. I am deep in a jungle now. I don’t remember how I came here. Only that I hired a car from Port Blair to Rangat. About 170 kilometers by road. In between you have to cross a backwater on ferry. I don’t remember what happened to the driver. I vaguely remember we, Tuli and I, started with the driver but … as far as I remember I was driving the car with Tuli sitting beside me humming her strange, almost inaudible, song. The girl is pretty. She has her own way o doing things. Feels like she is an adult in a child’s body. I love her. She is cute with her baby Bengali accent. Sorry, I forgot to mention here. She is a Bengali.
After the 1971 Hindu-Muslim riots in Bangladesh, many refugees were dumped in this island by the government. They were given lands and ample good wishes. Nothing else. She must be one from those colonies in the interior of Andaman and Nicobar islands. But whenever I ask her where is she from she just looks at me and say ‘papa’. I don’t know what happens to me after that. I cannot proceed to my next question. Is it paternal love? If so, being a father is surely creepy. Poor Amit, he just had a baby. Thank god his child still cannot call him papa.
Time to go where she takes me now. I don’t know, but it’s fun so far. I have a feeling that we must now leave the car behind and go trekking. There is no road but one faint resemblance of a trail heading towards the dark jungle. Ancient track? Or is it used by Jarowas? If so, trouble.
April 18, 10.30 pm
Shit, I remember now. Oh God, what did you make me do. Why did I do it?
Tuli was insisting that we should take the right turn which my driver refused as those are Jarowa areas. These aborginal naked people carry bows and poisonous arrows with them and shoot at people who stray into their area. He didn’t want to go. But Tuli WANTED. I first requested, and then raised my voice. But that stubborn guy was reversing the car refusing to go further. And that’s when I snapped.
I came down from the car and took a medium sized stone and …
Tuli helped me in disposing the body deep in the jungle. I was still pissed off with him. I wanted to squeeze his blood out.
But time was less and the tourist taxis keep coming through this road. It’s quite strange how easy it is to kill a man. It’s so damn easy. When you think of killing somebody, you think twice, thrice. You are afraid. But once you execute the killing, it’s so easy man. It’s sort of fun!
Strange, I was struggling to lift the body. But she was carrying him like she is carrying a doll. She didn’t even wink. All along she was looking at me. She knows the jungle for sure. For she found a place where nobody, not even vultures can get the body.
I had this feeling of committing a crime creeping in my mind when we were returning to the car. But then Tuli called me ‘papa’ … I found her to be the cutest girl in the world. I am surely going to adopt her. To hell with others.
I must go now, Tuli calling me. Is she crying? Oh my God!
to be continued