History: In Kerala, India, two girls, aged thirteen and nine, were found hanging inside their one-room home 52 days apart. Post-mortem examinations confirmed that the minors were subjected to sexual assault before their deaths. The judgment in the case acquitted the accused and kicked up a storm of protests in the state, with civil society organizations and opposition parties decrying the police investigation and political interference in the case.
A pinafore in the air— combed cotton skipping, hemmed into a hopscotch with the wind. On protest poles they pinch and clip your delicate shoulders, hang you there: you flutter like a lost flag. Not too young to watch lichen worm into the corners of your walls. Not too old to feel the bump of your body-maps break, smothered with bear-hugs. Crouching, you called out to achan—father—in the confused day- light, he looked back— the glint in his eye—a steel-stab. Weightless you fly now, gravity doesn't grapple with you, his dark, grimy grip. You are a memory, on a brittle bamboo-beam, a scorching sunray squinting into the roof that once cradled you with care, looping strands of coir into well-knotted noose. I watch you playing with wind and light, clipped on the clumsy cobwebs of our wafer-thin memory lines.