Veera used to stay in paradise—of course, that was only until she was shoved into a bijou beige room to live for three quarters of a year.
Three quarters of a year. That’s all she had to give up and she could go live with her family. It was tempting, and Veera was nothing if not determined. So she thought she would suck it up and manage that miniscule part of her gargantuan life. With thoughts such as these, she entered her finite prison.
The ‘room’ itself was for namesake only, as it was nothing more than an over glamorized closet. It was desolate, holding nothing of significance, and yet, somehow it had managed to become autarkic.Pale beige paint encrusted all the walls and here and there where the suns light would merge with the walls, spots of fuchsia pink would dance. And on the northern wall, encased in white spruce, was an oversized glass window-much like Gulliver in Lilliput.
Veera’s first days spent in that funereal atmosphere were simply put, dreadful. She would stick to the floor-pressed against the beige walls- her arms hugging her knees, like a puling infant as she tried handling her claustrophobia. But the room was small, and with every tear it became smaller, smaller, smaller.
At nighttime when her tear ducts had dried up she would arise from her sobbing statue like stance and walk around her room. But there was no space, and five steps thus; she was back to where her walk had commenced.
It had been two weeks by the time she realized tears never stopped fears. Then up she went to peer through the husky window, and she saw the afternoon sun influence the blue sky orange. Long-legged coconut trees vacillated with the wind as white horses foamed in the moana beneath. There was beatitude within her eyeballs as light rays produced that image on her retina and she smiled- for the first time since she had been put in there. Veera felt it all to be so familiar, as though it was her home.
Since then, she would gaze through her looking glass everyday, and it wasn’t the sea she would see. Sometimes she would see a tan skinned man with achevron beneath his nose staring right at her or perhaps straight through her and at others a queer big bellied woman—or was it an elephant? But that didn’t matter anymore; all she cared about then was her mystical glass window.
Tally marks were etched everywhere, enhancing the walls much like a tattoo does on human skin—so terribly. Veera was jaded, and yet whispers of 119, 120, 121… disrupted the silence of the room. “so 134 days.” She mumbled to no one in particular. “ We must be somewhere in July or August. About four and a half months are done. I’m half way done.”
She was enervated for she had nowhere to move, her prison-like sentence only halfway done. However, that relieved her- it was a time that was done. She just had to manage a few months more and her travail, her endurance wouldn’t have gone in vain.
Veera was mid-thought, attempting to find meaning behind her struggles, when it happened.
A huge object rammed into a wall and the enclosure shivered like an infant in the snow. Then once more- this time from the other end- something else shattered the walls and instantaneously, the window broke.
Fresh air entered the room and for a second Veerasoftened, believing the worst to be over. She was far from the truth. Sibilating like a green snake protecting her eggs, a brume penetrated the foul closet and Veera heaved in search for oxygen but all she inhaled was poisonous digoxin.
Her body was languid, and she lay prostrate against the floor, waiting patiently for what she knew was inevitable. Death. Death however would always take an unreasonable time, and it was she who had to suffer. Veera’s senses were numb and her body unresponsive. Sleep would come and go in flashes, and with every stir from her unconscious state her head would feel like a boulder, gruntled at the opportunity to devastate her body.
Finally, she used her vehemence to prop her arm forward, planted her palm on the beige wall and as her brown eyes shut forever, she whispered, “goodbye.”
Everything began with darkness. Pitch black nothingness. A void. Flashes of color danced their way in, the phosphenes intensifying the arid black until a pair of eyes opened and liquid white light emanated its way everywhere. Veera’s heart was thumping rapidly, as though it was way too big for her heaving chest. Soon her eyes acclimatized and she finally saw what stood ahead. White puffs of clouds had amassed, guiding her forward, plunging her into the chaos. Winged Cherub’s flew in the air like falcons while Virtues perpetuated the natural world. Ever so oft a host of angels would enter marching, their duty being others protection. And Veera would trudge on past them all.
It had been an uneventful walk, and Veera was getting rather bored when she saw a monolith in the distance, threatening as it towered over the low-lying hills surrounding it. Four seraphs flew around it; their serpentine looks clearly visible in the light emanating from within the citadel. She had reached.
“Veera, I did sense your presence.” God said as he stared into heaven’s oblivion through his window.Then turning around, he floated his way to her. “I must apologize.”
“Your chosen parents… aborted you. Your father didn’t want a girl. Now I’d be happy to send you to a better household this time, just say when.”
But words never left Veera’s tongue. She couldn’t fathom how her parents, the ones who were meant to protect her from all harm were the cause of it.
“Send me back to them.” She whimpered.
“You wont survive.”
“I will but only if you go with a twin brother this time.” God asserted faintly, and Veera was whisked away into the room, this time accompanied by her brother.
Mohini’s mouth gasped for air but with her tracheaclosing in she received none. She was eight and three quarter months pregnant and the twins in her womb were kicking furiously, eager to get out. Amniotic fluid blanketed the floor beneath her feet and her body was starting to waver. But her mind wasn’t with her.
Memories flashed, whizzing through her mind like racecars on a track. Her first pregnancy. A daughter. Forcefully aborted by her husband. Soon, twins. And one was a girl.
Mohini’s ambulance had reached the hospital by then, its blaring sirens deafening her.
Her husband plotting on killing their daughter after her birth. She was wrathful, and she had threatened her husband to leave him not only childless but also wifeless should he hurt her daughter. Their daughter.
Mohini’s stretcher was being wheeled into the delivery room and her breathless screams shrouded everything.
Her husband accepting a daughter. Him, hugging her.Laughter. A chance, for a happy family.
And through the pain and suffering and shrieks came gentle cries. Their son had been born. Three minutes later, more cries entered the world. They were not of joy or sorrow but of survival.
The daughter has come.
Every human being in every stage of life, has a fundamental and unalienable right to life which serves as a foundation for all other human rights in a just society. The right to life has been granted neither by state nor men but it is their duty to protect it. According to article 3 of the Universal declaration of human rights, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.”
Veera is the face of future generations to come, and they have rights. They have the right to life, the right to freedom from discrimination and freedom from torture. But they are unborn, and it is our duty to defend their rights.
Veera’s life in the ‘room’ was a metaphor comparing it to her life in the womb. The window was a literal presence for the influence a parent’s actions have on their foetus. Everything she saw through it- the beach besides her home, her father, and her pregnant mother in the mirror all shaped up her lifestyle. Going through that ‘room’ was painful but being born after made it all worth it.
As Pope Pius the 12th said,
“every human being, even the child in the womb, has the right to life directly from God and not from his parents, not from any society or human authority. Therefore, there is no man, no society, no human authority, no science, no “indication” at all whether it be medical, eugenic, social, economic, or moral that may offer or give a valid judicial title for a direct deliberate disposal of an innocent human life.”