It seems someone has convinced my little girl that she was fathered by an Incubus. To worsen the matter, she can elicit only vague replies from me because I am not sure. Foolishly, I told her that there are incubuses in my own ancestry too ( that I know for sure) and it does not matter at all. But since then, she keeps a rosary tucked in the pocket of her gray checkered skirt, keeps on making the sign of cross now and then and hugs me tightly in the night whenever some distant bird hoots. She often wakes up panting and screaming with her breath shallow yet heavy and tells me about her nightmares where she saw sorcerers raising chalices to my death. It was pretty bad last night when her eyes rolled up nd I could see only whites of her eyes for fraction of a second. I almost died in that one moment.
An Incubus, ha, most girls meet them prowling here and there. I have had my share and I am not scared.
But my girl, my little girl, I want to see her dancing in her muslin dress by her favourite bamboo fence. I don’t know why she is so abnormal, why she is so dusty and limpy sometimes. I am in no position to give her more shocks. I cant tell her that we had found her right there, in the bushes by the fence, wrapped in straw and attacked by fleas. Frankly I don’t know whose daughter is she. Right now, she is my daughter and I am only a nurse cum teacher in this orphanage.
These little babes are poets you see, natural poets, these sweet eight, nine and ten years olds. They speak as if they receive messages from some other world, leaving the listener agape and mystified. I had asked them to write or say something about the sunset , lets see what they have to say ;
It looks like a nice paper crumpled up but has a prayer written on it., says Ishan.
Excellent my dear, excellent, I exclaim,‘ incantations buried in furrows, I muse.
It is all soaked up and shaking., informs Shiva.
Did you observe it in a lake? I laugh.
Its both a sacrament and prophecy, says ira,,‘I had read this somewhere,, she smiles gingerly.
Its golden eagles nest,, says veenu.
Wow!!!! but in my heart I feel it has been discoloured of late.
I look at my own girl, she is blankly staring at the wall holding a small pencil in her little bony hands.
And you baby, what you have to say,, I try to distract her.
It is hot,,,she moans.
Try some poetry dear like it is drunk or something,,,okay tell me what does it look like?
What does it look like?,,, she gasps as if I had asked her to identify some criminal.
Yes dear, okay tell me what is its colour?
Yes, darling... I encourage her.
It is red like his flaring eyes,, she stutters,,and purple like my bruises.
Suddenly I realize what has happened… I hold her tight in my arms and we both cry.