From between the wisps of cirrus clouds, Megha looked down at the world. No one saw her; not the little children looking up hoping for rain, not the shopkeepers closing up for the day, and not indeed, the young woman she had been watching closely. The little goddess had grown a little, helping Indradeva, God of the Rains, with drizzles.
The young woman, Mytreyi, seemed agitated. Indeed, as Megha watched, an older man entered into the Mytreyi’s room. He had a glazed look in his eyes as he pushed her on to her bed and mounted her. Ignoring her protests, he unclothed her. Covering her mouth, he began to slap her breasts, just as Megha turned away so she didn’t have to see. When she turned back, Megha could see the marks on Mytreyi’s body as she lay in bed with her eyes screwed shut.
When he was done with her, the man pulled Mytreyi up and said something. She refused. Megha saw him slap her six times without flinching. When he stopped, Mytreyi put her clothes on and went away. Megha could see as she entered the kitchen and began to make tea. She returned when it was ready. After a sip, the man flinched, and threw the hot tea onto Mytreyi’s hand. Megha saw no remorse in his eyes when Mytreyi jumped back trying to shake off the scalding liquid.
After that, the man locked Mytreyi in the room and went away. It was then that she came to the window of their twelfth floor home and gazed at the clouds, at Megha. It had been the same almost every night for the past few months. The man could never be pleased. It only took the smallest wrong thing to evoke his wrath. And Mytreyi had never tried to go away.
Sensing movement behind her, Megha turned and saw him. She quickly stood up.
“Pranam, Yamadev,” she bowed, greeting the God of Death. But Yama did not smile as he himself sat next to the little goddess, and looked down at Mytreyi.
“She is one that got away from me,” he said.
When Megha looked confused, he sighed and continued.
“A prophecy had been made when Mytreyi was born. The young woman would die at the age of twenty-three. It almost came true. A year back, when she was crossing the road, a truck almost hit her. She was saved by that man, who pulled her out of the way. He had loved her. Her parents were grateful, as was she. When he proposed marriage, they did not think. Now she is twenty-four, and the prophecy will not come true.”
Looking at him, Megha got up and moved a little away.
“Pardon my insolence, Yamadev, but that prophecy did come true.”
Stunned, the Lord of Death couldn’t speak for a moment.
“But my child, it has not. It will not. Mytreyi is not dead.”
Megha bowed to him again, ready to move away from there.
“Yes, you are right, Yamadev. But she is not living either.”
And for that, Lord Yama had no answer.
(© 18th April 2015)