It was Saturday evening and I was standing in the veranda of my office with a glass of buttermilk in my hand. I was thinking about the work that has to be completed and also if our head would have some mercy on all the interns and grant us a holiday, so that we could chill a bit in the hot summer weather. I had just finished my glass of buttermilk when I saw a woman in her late seventies, dressed up in Rajasthani traditional and bleeding badly rushing towards the office. She came up to me and said, “uh uh-huh, uh ha ha”, I was more or less shocked, confused and breathless. A wounded woman, bleeding, not able to converse and I thought maybe she was speaking in Rajasthani which was the regional language of that place.
One thing was clear she needed help. I asked her to sit down in the office and took out a water bottle, some biscuits out of my bag and handed them to her. I rushed to the other room in the office and called up all those who could understand Rajasthani, but all was in vein because the woman was crying continuously. It was as if she just wanted to divulge it all out in one go.In her eyes, I could just see in some depths, she was torn, she was alive but she was dead.
The next step we all interns were sure about was that we need to take the lady to the hospital as she was bleeding badly. Another astonishing thing which took place was that no hospital wanted to admit her and also it was by force that she was admitted into one of the hospitals.
We wanted to know who did this to her and how could someone be so inhuman.Then our head came and explained us everything. My head told me that she has been declared a witch by all the villagers and since she has been assumed to be one, she was beaten by all the villagers with iron rods. Not only this she was made to walk around in the village all naked. I had tears in my eyes and I asked my head, “Is she really a witch?. She doesn’t seem to be one, she was so nice when she was talking. My head replied,’ Obviously, she is not a witch. This is a trick to take up all her estate that she owns because she has no successor.”
After all the research I found that such cases were as normal as they should not be. People in Rajasthan declare a woman to be a witch and this a trick to take up all her land that she has. They are declared a witch by announcing that because of them, some bad things are happening in the village and people believe all this and try to kill the woman. In the meantime, the lady had recovered when it came to the external wounds, though her internal wounds were still there.
She came to the office and hugged me tightly, I hugged her back. In her language she thanked me and blessed me. I cannot forget that hug, it spoke a lot. I cannot forget that hug ever in my life. And, now though I have completed my internship but that moment is unforgettable and I can’t get that image of she hugging me out of my head.