‘Doe eyes’, you call her. But, have you really looked into it, ever listened to what it tries to tell you? Have you seen one that is caught in light at night? You are not the jungle type, you say? Oh, don’t worry. Just look around. Who said jungle is in the wild? But then, do we even know what wild is any more?
See that crowd? Push your way in, and look around. Do you see those frightened eyes? Yes, that is what I was asking you about. She is still a baby. What do you call a baby doe? A princess? Yes, that would be apt. For, princesses rarely come out of fairy tales these days. But then, let us not digress. Can you see how she squirms, as if caught in a trap? Why doesn’t she fight, you ask? Well, she still doesn’t know what is it that she has to fight against, or whom. She did not ask for the fight, heck, she doesn’t even want to fight. Was just going about her way, when a pair of horns stopped her . She doesn’t know yet… why stags have horns and why they try to poke her.
Wait, are you jumping out? Can’t stand the crowd, you say? Neither can she. She doesn’t have a choice, though. For she is not a stag. And she doesn’t have horns.
It’s getting dark out there. The eyes start getting wider, the horns are getting closer. Why doesn’t she fight, you ask again. You see, she was taught not to. Would grow horns, she was told. Back then, she was a princess, and princesses were supposed to have crowns of diamonds, not horns. Hardly her fault, you know.
You’ve seen some of them fight, you say? You are right, my friend. Horns rammed inside, some of them do, really.
Now tell me, do you know what they were fighting for and against? No? I will tell you. Or better still, ask one of her. Even better, ask a few. One will say, against fatigue. Another, against prejudice. Yet another, expectations. And the other, against the pain that is killing her, from dawn to dusk. The reasons are aplenty. But, there is one that binds them, almost all of them. The fight is ‘for’ something, there they are one. For their princesses, princes too. That they may not have to fight, some day. That they are not shorn off their tiaras and crowns. That their staff is used to guide, not rule.
Yes, they fight, with their tooth and sharp nails. For, they do not have horns, you see.
What about those horns that battle alongside the eyes, you ask? Oh, them? Poor things. They end up being called hornless. In spite of the strongest ones you might have seen, ever.
The princesses, and what of their doe eyes, wouldn’t you want to know? I will tell you, irrespective. Some of them burned with a fire strong enough to singe the tips of a few horns. Then got charred in the process. A few of them folded the lids in, never to open again. And the mass, you cannot miss them, even if you don’t see, look or whatever. Those are the ones that you find all around, resigned, helpless. Even the brightest light fails to light them up. For, they grew up, and got to know. Only in fairy tales, princesses turn into queens, you see.
What of her kin, the horned ones, you now ask? Aren’t they supposed to protect her? The brothers – the real and the rakhi ones?
Neither does she ask, nor expect them to , anymore.
For, she knows by now.
That they are busy….building statues
(p.s – title courtesy my favorite film maker, the inimitable Padmarajan)