[The rulers towards the end of Kaliyuga will become the thorns of the earth. They would be filled with avarice and swelling with pride and vanity and unable and unwilling to protect the people. Rulers would take pleasure in inflicting punishments only. They would attack and repeat their attacks upon the good and the honest and feel no pity for the poor. And at the very end of that age even when people will cry in grief, the rulers will rob these of their wealth and women.]
Ten more days have been passed. We have repaired almost the whole city center building except for the terrace.
“From today we will repair terrace and as soon as it will finish we will leave for home.” My father says me as I wake up.
“Go home?” I wonder.
“Yes, this city isn’t useful.” he says, “Leader of the Nirbhayas has said to leave the city unrepaired as all buildings have no underground tunnels.”
“Then why we repaired buildings.”
“They will use it to keep watch over their management work.” He answers, “Some troops of the Nirbhayas will live here so they can check the nearby abandoned cities to know if there is any city which can be turned into a human residence.”
He takes me away from others and when no one is earshot he says, “Jagapati doesn’t want to keep you here for long.” His voice merely a whisper, “he wants to send you home as soon as possible.”
“I see,” I say and we join the queue with other Sunyas to get food packet.
Ten minutes in the queue, then we get our food packets.
I go to old metal chairs with my packet.
“Are you at terrace work?” Kajal comes to me.
“Yeah,” I say, chomping content in my mouth. “Have a chair.”
“Thanks,” she sits on a chair next to me. “Warn me if there is any danger like that day.”
“I’ll.” I say, “Don’t worry; none has got a doubt on us.”
She nods, “how can you put your knife on his neck?”
“I don’t know.” I say, “Sometimes I feel strange strength.”
“Really?” she makes face, “no matter if you don’t want to say me.”
“Nothing like that,” my eyes scan surroundings, “sometimes I feel there are two me inside me.” I say after checking over no one is eavesdropping, “ sometimes I’m just a Sunya but sometimes there is other inside me, the other who is strong and powerful.”
“Does the one inside overpower you?” she asks.
“Sometimes but mostly I control him,” I say.
“Sometimes it happens with me but not like two in me.”
“I’m always what I’m but sometimes I have more courage than I should have.”
“I’ve seen.” I smile, “when you did artificial breathing among a crowd.”
“Yes,” she chuckles, “I think I’ve told you to forget it.”
“Yes, you’ve.” I chuckle, too. “I know you have a boyfriend waiting for you in the wall.”
“And you too have someone waiting for you in the wall,” she says, finishing her packet.
“I should go.” I say, shoving the last biscuit in my mouth, “By the way, are you in terrace work?”
“Whitewash.” She says and leaves the chair.
I go to my father and then we go to the terrace, almost with fifty other Sunyas.
The terrace is massive, almost triple of our farm, all covered with debris and broken tiles. Yes, now I know these policed slim stone pieces are called tiles.
My father divides the terrace into ten sections. We decide to work on each section one by one so we have enough space to mix concrete and stand easily while working. My father is best in making working strategies on the field.
Five more days have passed; we have repaired the five sections of the terrace, each section in each day.
Now, I also have learned how to pour concrete and how to level it and how to use boards to make sides.
Girls from our troop have been given whitewash work to the railings made of metal. While we are working on section six, some girls of Sunya are whitewashing. Surekha, the girl who fears to come beyond the wall and my father has convinced her there isn’t any danger beyond the wall is whitewashing the railing with other five girls.
After two hours, we are about to half finish the work in section seven then a Devata comes to the terrace. He isn’t in dress code. He is in a white robe of half sleeves, type of a nightgown of women. He’s young and his robe is revealing his odd body, webbed in green veins.
I feel, everyone is right, I don’t know they are Devata or not but they don't seem human. They are like something inhuman, something inanimate. His walk, talk, eyes and all characteristics are inhuman like a self-propelled machine.
All bow to him, I too.
Even Nirbhaya who are standing there to observe the work bow to him. I wonder why they are bowing to a skeleton.
I pretend to work while observing him. He goes near the girls. They also pretend to whitewash, never looking directly into his eyes.
“You, come here,” Devata says, pointing at Surekha.
“I…I…” Surekha stammers, unable to understand why he is calling her.
Other girls also stop their work as Surekha heads to the devata.
“Follow me,” he says.
“Why?” Surekha manages to speak. She seems me brave. It’s hard to question a devata, knowing that you will end up in a great trouble and now the girl whom my father has promised nothing wrong will happen with her is in great trouble.
I hope my people will help her, at least my father.
“Do what I say.” The Devata speaks again.
I see Surekha, the blood drained from her face, hands clenched in fists at her sides, walking with stiff, small steps up toward the Devata, passing by a pile of tiles, and I notice her legs are trembling. She is unable to walk but she is forcing herself.
Someone will help her – I hope again.
But all my hope is fade when the Devata catches her from neck and drags her across the terrace to another end where is still debris resting and the section isn’t cleaned for work.
Now all Sunyas are watching them. Nirbhayas are watching them, too.
Devata throws Surekha behind a pile of debris which we have gathered from the whole terrace in section ten.
“Surekha,” The strangled cry comes out of my throat, and my muscles begin to move again, “Surekha.” I step towards them but my father catches my hand and says, “Where are you going.”
“To help her,” I say, firmly.
“You can’t.” he says, “Now no one can help her.”
“We have promised her nothing will happen to her,” I mumble, knowing he is right. We can’t help her.
“I know but…”
“But we can’t.”
“But I will..”
“The Nirbhayas will kill you.”
“No matter whatever they do,” I say, trying to release my hand from his grip.
“And then who will decipher that strange language?” he says, releasing my hand, “you can’t risk future of our people just for a girl.”
I haven’t word to convince even a girl is important.
There’s some confusion in the troop of the Nirbhayas. I can hear the crowd murmuring. I look at them – I see the emotion on some of their faces - unhappily – some Nirbhaya seem me unhappy. Perhaps they think this is not fair.
And then I hear a voice, “What are you doing?” I hear the voice of a Nirbhaya, one of from the troop observing our work. he is standing near Jagapati.
My heart sinks but next moment I get to know he hasn’t addressed us. He is talking with the Devata.
“What are you doing with the girl?” he asks again.
The remaining of his the troop is looking him with wide eyes.
“You dare to question Me.” the Devata says and start to unbutton her robe.
“You can’t rape a worker.” The Nirbhaya says. His words make my knees water.
Devata is going to rape her. I don’t know what rape is exactly but the moment I saw him unbutton his robe I have understood he wants to have sex with Surekha against her wish.
Devata continues to unbutton his shirt.
“Button up your robe and leave her.” the Nirbhaya orders.
Devata doesn’t reply him but stops to unbutton his robe.
He looks at that Nirbhaya, he is young and handsome with strong physics.
“What’s your name?” the Devata ask, while his hand reaches his back.
“Manhar.” the Nirbhaya answers.
“Then be ready to die, Manahar.” Devata’s hand come back from his back, this time not empty but a small thing made of policed steel in his hand.
I don’t know what’s it but as soon as he raises his hand to Manahar – the Nirbhaya. Another Nirbhayas move aside, all are trembling to their toes.
So it’s a rumor that Nirbhaya never feels fear. I think.
Then I hear a loud noise, like that of thunder crashing in the sky and next moment Manahar’s head bursts like a watermelon. Blood sprays from it all around. He falls to the ground. DEAD.
Devata killed him.
But how? I think.
How he killed him without touching him or using any weapon?
He has no sword, no knife, not even a stick.
“He cursed him…” my people start to shout.
“Keep silence or the next will be one of you,” Devata screams, putting her polished steel thing by which he cursed Manahar at his back.
The remaining Nirbhaya stand as if they are made of stone. The same condition is of my people. The only difference between both groups was emotion.
The stone faces of Nirbhaya have anger while my people have only fear on their faces.
My face is pale. I am numb as Devata again start to unbutton his shirt.
I wonder why Surekha isn’t trying to escape. Why she isn’t fighting back.
Perhaps she knows there isn’t any escape.
And then it’s really fucking awful.
I shout to myself: fuck you Samrat! Fuck you coward Samrat! You should die. It’s better to die than see this.
He rapes Surekha in front of more than fifty of my people the remaining where inside the building. Not on the terrace.
The most awful thing is Surekha’s father is on the terrace. His face in fear and horror but he doesn’t do anything.
No one else.
Not even me.
I am numb. I’m Emotionless, watching one of my girls being raped. She is my neighbour. She is my friend and still, I am standing like a statue.
You are coward! You are coward! You are coward!
You are really a Sunya.
I know that moment why we are Sunya. We have no courage. We aren’t human at all.
We should labour for them and we should die while laboring or with starvation.
No matter how but we should die.
We all should die. I think.
You are brave, Surekha, you are brave. Braver than all the Sunyas. I say in my mind as I see her fighting back, trying to run away, hitting the Devata with both her hand, even in the pit of danger she is brave.
I glance at my people. They are completely zoned out as their brain shuts down of the pressure and fear.
Humiliation to my race.
Humiliation to my people.
Humiliation to myself.
And then Devata leaves her, ruining her life, without reason, without mercy, with only and only cruelty.
He puts on his robe and weaves his way through the numb crowd of my people. No one tries to harm him.
My people are Sunyas. No feeling of revenge is inside them.
I don’t know.
But I have.
I take an oath to take revenge on him and as soon as he left the terrace I run to her.
My people don’t try to stop me, not even the Nirbhaya troop standing there.
to be continue...