Sakhi's Laghukatha


Posted on: September 22, 2009

fiction_stamp2First day at Leelapur, an interior hamlet in Utter Pradesh, was like a rude shock for Kahan. Till now he had read about hunger and destitute in books, but never was he in such close quarters with either. He was to serve as an intern in this village for three months. He was allotted a room besides the so-called dispensary. The room was almost the size of his bathroom at home. There was a wrought iron bed in the corner and the mattress did not look too inviting. Now he wasn’t even sure of safe drinking water either.

“Sir, would you like to rest today and start seeing patients tomorrow?” Dukhiya, the attendant, asked half expecting Kahan to run away from this place as soon as possible.

Kahan looked around and did not find any incentive to stay back in the room.

“Come, we will see how many patients are there!” replied Kahan.

“Only a couple of them as there is no doctor for about six months now. The nurse is managing with whatever he has.”

Kahan nodded somberly. He was too overwhelmed by his surrounding to say anything else. As they started towards dispensary, Dukhiya started filling him in about the village and its people. But his conversance did not prepare Kahan for what he was to see in the coming three months.

“Tell me something, why is your name “Dukhiya?” asked Kahan to feel a bit lighter.

“I am told that when I was a baby I used to cry a lot and always had a frown on my face, hence the name.” answered Dukhiya with a grin. Kahan noticed missing incisors. Dukhiya was a slight man with a slouch. His face was weather beaten and lined deeply. Later during his stay he observed that most of the adults in this village looked prematurely aged and had deeply lined faces at very young age.

He was reminded of “colour streaked” hair of young ladies of his city when he saw “flag sign” of malnutrition in the kids here. For one it was fashion, for other it was an aftermath of privation! Day after day Kahan saw and felt despair. Basic amenities were luxury here.  He felt helpless when he could not give injection to many of the children because there was no muscle mass to poke needle into. He was a theist but looking around now, his faith in God was quivering.


“Sir, sir….” shouted Dukhiya knocking at Kahan’s door. Kahan got up from his slumber with a start. He heard dread in Dukhiya’s voice.

“What could it be at this hour!” wondered Kahan looking at his watch. It showed 2 am.

“What is it? Why do you look so alarmed?” asked Kahan while still trying to get oriented to his wakeful state.

“Come sir, come fast, Bijuri is bleeding profusely.”

This was not the first emergency since he came to this village two and half months back, but he had never seen Dukhiya dismayed before. They almost ran to the consulting room. He saw a thin young woman sitting on the floor with her head bowed and her chaperone was crying and cursing profusely. He assumed that they were a mother-daughter duo. As it turned out, the daughter, Bijuri, was a widow since she was sixteen and presently she was brought here as she had miscarried. That explained the cursing. Bijuri did not look up nor did she say anything. It was difficult to tell from her demeanour what was she feeling and it was equally difficult to gauge her age, but she looked to be in her twenties.. With the treatment done he was requested to keep the matter to himself. He reassured them as he sent the duo home.

Feeling numb, Kahan dragged himself to his room and tried to sleep.

He dreamt of a young girl wearing floral pink and yellow frock running around in the field with a balloon in her hand, her unruly hair bouncing with each gallop. He hears her laughter. She runs into a boy and they both hold hands and play some more. The boy is called away leaving behind the girl alone. A small tear trickles down her chubby cheek. She looks around to play with somebody but found herself alone. Suddenly the little girl is whisked away by a lot of skinny and ravenous people. The girl starts wailing and the whole universe is filled with her cry. Kahan wants to snatch her away from the mob but his hands can’t reach her. He sees her being dragged away. Then he sees her again at his clinic, with her head bowed and bleeding. He sees the blood all over the floor. He wipes and wipes but the blood won’t go away. She sits there in the pool of blood looking at Kahan. Kahan frantically tries to stop the bleeding. Bleeding stops. She smiles at him, a rueful smile and walks away. Kahan runs behind her, to find her, to protect her, to tell her that life is much more than what she has found it to be. He runs and runs through the narrow lanes and fields to catch her, frantically looking for her. She slips away. Then he sees her again, on the other end of the field standing under a sandalwood tree. He could smell the perfume. He breathes deeply to fill his being with the aroma. He gingerly takes the steps towards the girl. He reaches the sandalwood tree and looks around for her. His head collides with something hanging from the tree. There he finds her finally, hanging by the twine, a small smile playing on her lips. But this is not the same girl who had come to his clinic. This is the girl with the balloons in her hands…the nine year old girl! Suddenly the mob appears and starts pelting the girl’s dead body with stones.

Kahan wakes up drenched in his own sweat!


59 Responses to "Dream"

Oh dear.. !!


actually dont know what to say… too many emotions wrenched up.. in this…


If you are speechless, then i take it as a complement! 😉


But very nicely put.. 🙂
It’s always the girl that bears the blame.
Not only in villages and small towns, but it happens here too. (In my own family, there are different rules for my brother and me.)

Some things are sometimes socially unacceptable but done out of emotions and innocence. No one understands this, and the person is always looked down upon by the society. It’s only when we put ourselves in that place do we understand the situation and the circumstances that led to the action.

The young girl did it out of love for the boy without giving it much thought, which is quite understandable at her age. I can’t believe her own mother doesn’t understand her.

Nice story as always, and the dream that you narrated was so much like a real dream!!! As if it was your own…

You rock! 😉


Humans are deteriorating!! Civilisation is just a facade … Grrrr…


What is interesting in such cases (even in this story) that the elderly lady of the house is the chief tormentor, even if she’s the mother of the victim yet she doesn’t shirk away from visiting ghastly reprimands on her own blood. Thats when one feels like saying “WTF, she’s a woman & can’t or doesn’t want to understand another woman”. Its those situations when it dawns on the mind that one can’t have a gender bias in deciding who’s the tormentor, man & woman are really equals there!! 😡


Sad but a hard reality of rural India!!!

Aaj hi news hai na, a lady was gangraped & burnt!!! She is dead now!!


The way you write.. your writing makes me feel every emotion that you described..


this sounds so real-something which happens right next to us and leaves us feeling just as helpless…


In fact “this” does happen next to us… only thing is, we do not realise it!! So many of our women (and sometimes men too!) are sacrificed at the altar of “customs”, “rituals” or “honour”!!


awesome narration !! and this has something to do with your real life experiences as a doctor, na ? I somehow feel it !


Real life experience is just till i narrate the rural scenario… other things are work of fiction. But can’t really say that it was not inspired by some news picked up from here or there.


I think Vimmuuu, you should stop going to various blogs and enquire if the stories are real or not… makes us think twice before hitting that publish button. The inspirations are from real life, but stories are stories 🙂

This story was realistic, and there was an emotional touch in it. But in the towns and rural areas that I visit, people are much happier than us city dwellers 😛

Destination Infinity


Yes in most cases you are right DI that people from small towns and villages are happy compared to city dwellers, but when it comes to basic amenities or medical facilities the status of interiors of India is pathetic. Really pathetic! 😦


Dukh bheri kahani 😦


Yeah, dukhi kahani!


So intense! You are very gifted!



😦 😦 😦

and angry too, why do we think of our society, which actually given nothing but the pain and for wht v shld bother for it???

irony is that, in spite of knowing the fact, knowingly-unknowingly v all do that


Extremely moving, and so rooted in the reality of rural India. Simply blown away by the sincerity in your writing.


Thanks Dreamer… hope to see you here more often 🙂 🙂



He felt helpless when he could not give injection to many of the children because there was no muscle mass to poke needle into.


And we have the “holy cows” who are directly responsible for this situation trying to fool everyone by travelling in “cattle class” 😡 Who the hell are they trying to fool? Shameless rats! 👿 I wonder if they travel in “cattle class” when they go to Switzerland to periodically update those secret bank accounts 🙄

He was reminded of “colour streaked” hair of young ladies of his city when he saw “flag sign” of malnutrition in the kids here. For one it was fashion, for other it was an aftermath of privation!

Stunned and speechless! 😐

Suddenly the mob appears and started pelting the girl’s dead body with stones.

Stone Age savages! 😡 They are a shame upon civilisation!

I don’t really know what to conclude. This post is so full of emotions. On the one hand, you’ve made me feel extremely sad and angry on reading the level of deprivation, that I want the “holy cows” responsible for the situation to be slaughtered 😡 On the other, on reading the savage, beastly behaviour of the mob, I’m not sure if they themselves are responsible for the sorry situation with their pathetic beliefs and behaviour 😐

That is the sign of a brilliant writer! Keep it up! 🙂


He was theist but looking around now, his faith in God was quivering.

Of what use are tens of millions of “Gods” and “Goddesses” or even one all-powerful “God”, when they cannot even ensure basic human dignity on the planet 😕 Are the “Gods” and “Goddesses” or the one all-powerful “God” merely a sham to fool the people and keep them in eternal misery 😕


Awww… Raj, I am so glad that you liked the story. Thanks for reading it so much in detail and still liking it 😉 😀

Thanks again buddy! 🙂

Discussion on our politicians, their effect on our society, the beliefs and ritual and customs of our society and GOD,the almighty; can go on and on and this space will not be enough for it!! SIGH… but my own faith in God quivered long time back. SIGH!


How do we conclude that ‘ensuring basic dignity’ is the duty of God? If humans want it, they can get it themselves… its just that some humans don’t want it (for others of course), but they will get it back along with interest – that God ensures.

Destination Infinity


Then what is the duty of “God”??? 😕 To sit back and enjoy the praises being sung in honour of “Him” without doing anything to show that “He” cares or even exists 😕 There is a term for such a thing. It’s called vanity.

The imaginary entity ensuring that the ones responsible get it back along with interest? That sounds like a fairytale 🙄


“You can take a horse to the river. But you cannot make it drink the water” – If the horse is adamant that it does not need the water, and the water is bad, you (imagining yourself like a God for the horse) cannot force feed it or put a tube and send the water directly in to the stomach, though you know that there is a long journey ahead.

Like that, God doesn’t have to spoon-feed humans to ensure that there is basic dignity all around. God can only give natural resources and a brain that is required to make good/proper use of it, which is already given to us. How we utilize it, depends on us, more than God.

We sing praises of God not because God has asked us or God might feel good about it – we sing because we feel good praising him or we might get some thing in return (like money, peace of mind, control etc).

Yeah, the getting back part was exaggerated, I agree and I hope that it is false. The possibility of that being true and the consequent thoughts have a much bigger significance, and I sincerely hope that is not the case.

Destination Infinity


“God” doesn’t have to spoon-feed anyone! If “He” is so powerful as the believers claim, then why is “He” so oblivious to the atrocities taking place on his creations by his fellow creations? Is it because “He” exists only in the imagination of one of his creations?

Take a fellow who has a dog. If his dog tries to fight another dog as he takes it for a walk, he pulls his dog away. Doesn’t “God” even have the power of the dog owner, despite the fact that “He” is supposed to have “created” everything while the dog owner did not even create his dog, but merely adopted (or bought) it? 😕

Or does the imaginary entity (called “God” by the believers) sit back and enjoy the savage, beastly behaviour of the human creatures “He” is supposed to have “created” out of thin air? 😕 What a brilliant “creator” of “intelligent creations” the imaginary entity must then be! 🙄


That’s exactly the difference between God and Humans.

The humans think that they are ‘protecting’ the dog and keep it inside a cage (called house) and at the maximum only take it for walk once in a day that too in chains!

God might allow the dogs (in unchained condition) to fight with each other but very soon makes the dog understand that if it goes and fights with every other dog, it would get badly bitten! The only reason why a dog might not understand/know this is because of the chain put the human which never allows the domesticated dogs to interact with other dogs and learn.

Destination Infinity


So mothers who love their children should allow little kids on their own, allowing them to play on the road, so that when they get hit by vehicles, that would hasten the way in which they “learn”, correct??? 🙄


I too agree DI that God is not who is responsible for what happens to us. But deep down there is this faith in most of us that EVIL is punished and GOOD is rewarded by HIM. But when you see around its not exactly what we find.

“Yeah, the getting back part was exaggerated, I agree and I hope that it is false. The possibility of that being true and the consequent thoughts have a much bigger significance, and I sincerely hope that is not the case.”

It seems to be exaggerated but in the interiors of UP, Bihar, even Punjab and Haryana… honour killing is very very common. Much common than we would like to know… Sadly!! 😦 😦


We can’t generalize evil and good like 1’s and 0’s of the binary language. There is goodness in evil and evil in goodness, and everyone has a mix of both the qualities. Evil doesn’t have to be necessarily punished and the goodness doesn’t have to be necessarily rewarded by some sort of central authority of the universe! And it is not viable to have a track of each and every action committed by people to either reward them or punish them (If it is, I really admire the architect of all this). I guess it works more like the scientific laws. “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. So, in that sense there could be some general laws governing our actions that cause an equal and opposite reaction. After all, we are needed to take responsibility for all our actions (we need to face the consequences right?). Pure speculation, this.

It is quite sad to note the intent behind honour killing – that, a life could be less valuable than principles or rules is beyond comprehension. And it is not possible to comprehend why youngsters commit silly acts even after knowing that the consequences might be grave – So, the value of life is disregarded by both elders and youngsters (of course, it may not apply to the 10 year old in your story, who is too young to even understand).

Destination Infinity


There is goodness in evil and evil in goodness

If you meant people, then it’s okay. But if you meant actions, then I’m stunned, to say the least!

What sort of “goodness” do you see in the filthy act of “honour killing” or a filthy, savage, beastly mob of barbarians stoning the body of a little dead girl? 😕


I meant people, but it can apply to actions as well. What is the intention behind honour killing? Are they trying to make unlimited money like the politicians and wreck the whole system of democratic governance? Are they trying to pollute the whole earth in the name of science and capitalism and dump toxic waste/ expired ammunitions in to under developed countries and kill many kids/people there?

The only reason why a mother would kill her own child (daughter) is to avoid the daughter from facing all the perils of male dominated society (in rural areas) – not because she doesn’t love her kid or doesn’t want a girl child. That is the goodness in her. The act with which she chooses to display the goodness is the badness. You can call it cowardice, you can call it ignorance, you can call it inhuman. But you and me have never been in the place of a mother giving birth to a girl child and never experienced the trauma that the mother might have experienced to come to such a gruesome conclusion in spite of having all the love and intelligence of a normal human being. It is similar with honour killing.

Of course, I am not justifying either of them – it is wrong by Law and it is wrong by any moral and ethical standards but there is definitely some goodness in evil and some evil in goodness.

Destination Infinity


There is a HUGE difference between “female foeticide”/”female infanticide” on the one hand and “honour killings” on the other! There is simply no comparison between the two at all!

Female foeticide/infanticide in itself is a sign that a society exists at the level of semi-civilised savagery. The mother may not be totally responsible, but the savage, primitive, barbaric, semi-civilised nature of the society is to be held responsible!

The word “honour” killing on the other hand, must be the invention of a pea-brained scoundrel. What the hell is so “honorable” about a planned, cold-blooded, calculated act of savage murder of a person who did no harm to anyone? 😡

Societies that shamelessly practise “honour killings” and justify those dastardly acts on the basis of “religion” or “culture”openly declare their savage, uncouth, mediaeval mindsets to the world. The sub-human creatures who commit “honour killings” deserve to be kept in a caged zoo, not live freely in society. The very fact that there are still plenty of societies that practise such filthy, savage, sub-human acts shows that there is a HUGE ethical and civilisation gap between the civilised world and that of the semi-civilised primitive savages.

Why compare different crimes to say that one is a “lesser crime” than an other? Can a filthy rapist say there is “goodness” in his evil act because he is not one of those sons of dirty bitches who have commited the filthy act of gangrape???


Sad, but not far from the truth.


yes, not very far! 😦


@ Sakhi

too complicated to understand especially when the reader happens to be an idiot like me…


Sakhi, although I know it is a story, yet is a true that it is not unheard of in the villages of India all the time. Well written!


Hey sorry for the late comment…I thought I had commented, came to check the reply 😛 Now forgot what I wanted to tell 😛

I liked the story 🙂 Something different 😉


No probs 🙂 🙂 happens, happens! 🙂



I did not read this post but since the last 15 min I am playing with that mouse!!!! 😉

Really really cool… 😀



😆 😆

Just for your info though, that one is not a mouse but its a hamster 😛 😛

keep visiting 🙂


I almost felt it was real!!


close shave with reality!


very scary dream !!

one of the most detailed description of a dream.
brilliantly done 🙂


😦 sad story.
honor killings r atleast 100 times common than what r reported


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Sakhi's Laghukatha by Sakhi (aka Dr. Dhara Shah) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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