She strokes her daughter’s hair, as her head lay on her lap. Gently following the curve of her hairline, her fingers caress her young, unblemished hair. As the train rocks her from side to side she gently sings their favourite song. “Mummy loves Divya, yes she does, Mummy loves Divya yes she does….” As her daughter sleeps her mind wanders to happier times. Memories so beautiful. Her daughter playing with her little brother, the dinner time banter, and that time her first tooth fell out and she was so worried she would spend her life toothless! Oh the hours of assurance she needed to calm down about her teeth! Blessed child. She smiles at the memory. Tears stream down her cheek. Silent tears, silent pain.
The train stops. More passengers cram into the grimy carriage. She wakes her daughter and wedges them both against the window, hoping the air will cool their sweaty faces. The journey is long. She wishes it was longer. Her daughter leans her head against the window her hair billowing as the air rushes past her. Her daughter dreams flights of fancy as she gazes listlessly out the window. Hopes and dreams of a little girl. Dancing. Twirling. Giddy laughter. She lets them go, one by one, she offers them to the wind. They are not hers to have.
Slowly the train comes to the end of its tracks. Its engine turns off. The journey has ended.
She lifts her daughter to her feet. She grabs her daughter’s little cloth bag filled with memory trinkets. The little stone she used to put under her brother’s head while he was sleeping just to annoy him, the pressed flower her mother gave her in celebration when she had her first menstrual bleeding last month, the hair band her best friend gave her when she said goodbye. She placed the bag over her daughter’s shoulder, grabbed her soft fragile hand, and lead her outside.
Gripping tightly to her daughter through the bustling crowd she leads her away. With each step her resolve weakens. Her feet become heavy. She can’t look at her daughter, she keeps her eyes ahead, trying to be strong, for her daughter’s sake, for her family’s sake. They walk together in silence. The world around them, the ringing bells, the cars, the shouting, the sounds of India merge into deafening silence as they walk helplessly to their fate. The fate of so many.
Her heart tears, her breath leaves her. They arrive.
Her eyes become vacant. The depth of her pain is death to her soul. She is no more.
She bends her knees to the ground and places her hands on her daughter’s shoulders. She chances a look into the eyes of her daughter. They weave their pain together in their last embrace. Beauty dies.
Without words, she tilts her head to the side, indicating to her daughter to enter through the metal door. She follows her in.
He shouts “bring her to me”.
The daughter steps toward the man, and turns back to look at her mother, pleading with her with brave silent tears. Her mother looks to the ground.
She tilts her head in sorrowful agreement. He thrusts the money into her hand and shoves her out the door.
She sinks to the ground, vomit rises as she tries to purge herself of her grief. She pounds her chest, she mourns.
John 13:35 NIV
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”