The room was filled with a dim light, red in colour. It seemed a little hazy while watching in front of the computer screen, although he did not have to strain his eyes even a little bit. The camera was right in front, fixed perfectly to give the viewer a first-row view of what was to come about. Arun did not recall his mother being able to handle the camera so well. She used to be a naturist, and a photographer, before she became his father’s wife. Since then she had never touched the camera, not until now – and for good measure.
Such a nice surprise. He liked the theatre-like feel to it. He absolutely loved it.
The video showed her face, clearly, painted in blood, dripping down to the lower part of her breasts – now a little dried, while she was fixing the camera on the wooden chest. The body of his father was clearly visible, showing multiple openings for which blood oozed out, with almost a hundred strike-marks. His shirt had given way to expose his well-haired chest, almost every inch showing marks of the knife, now lying used near the body. She walked slowly to the kitchen, slowly calculating how much time she exactly had left.
She had it neatly arranged, the butcher knife, black plastic bags, tissue paper to wipe her hands clean, and a bottle of water for her when she got tired in the middle. Facing the camera, she sat on her knees, and used the butcher knife to separate every part of the body, starting with the limbs, moving next to his manhood, of which he was so proud. The head was the most difficult. It took her a little time. She had to smoke a cigarette while the head was half-cut. And when she was done, she picked it all up, and neatly packed the pieces in the plastic bags.
Turning around, she blew a kiss to the audience. “The show is over, go home honey”, were the last words which played before the camera was shut off.
Arun played with the disk drive in his hand, looking again at the message from mom.
“It cannot be lost. It won’t be. I will not let it happen.”
He dialed someone on the phone.
The other voice picked up and said – “I know why you have called. I received a strange mail from your mother before she was arrested. She had told me you would call.”
He told her all about the video. She wanted to see it herself before she could do anything. Without saying anything, she gasped for breath, closing her eyes and remembering all that she herself had to go through. Luckily for her, her husband had moved abroad after a year of marriage and her family had helped her get a divorce.
Not everyone could.
She had met Arun’s mother for the first time while their husbands had forced them to…., she did not want to think further. “I am with you. I will make sure this is done”, she said wiping her tears.
The video was out the next day. Before it could get banned, or the people who released it could be found, it had spread everywhere. It made headlines, struck up debates whilst the most sensational case was to be decided by the courts.
People were outraged, the horror was everywhere. The world was discussing it. Stories were published everywhere by god-men, or their devotees, expressing shock and spate for the violence perpetrated in society through this case. The world debated the reasons for this barbarity. Some wanted to know the reason for this, while others lectured on over the inhumanity of murder not being the solution. Someone somewhere had just gagged laughing on this.
Mother was sitting on the ground, looking from the insides of her solitary prison cell, in the days before her execution was to finally take place. She was looking at the stars, wondering if today it was bigger than the other days. She knew what was happening. She had seen the TV. Her interview was playing on the screen.
“What do you regret the most today, now when your hanging has been announced?”
“I should have not quit using the camera. This could have happened earlier”, she said with a genuine smile.
A genuine smile, at last. Finally.