The Making of the Bandit Queen
I was 11 when I tried to save my father’s land.
He didn’t care, the ungrateful bastard.
Married me off to a man thrice my age
In exchange for a cow.
Son of a b@#$%*.
Both of them.
I fought with him too
Then found my own.
Men. Dacoits, they called them.
But that which was not between my legs
Was what he with something between his wanted.
Vikram, my lover, saved me from Babu.
He taught me to use the other gun.
I dedicated every kill to Goddess Durga
For we were one of a kind.
Bad days came. Shree Ram used Babu as an excuse
To rape me, he and a dozen.
That’s how many it took to hold me down.
When I escaped, I was told
You have died
Many times over
Now die while living.
Why? I asked myself.
I lined up 22 of them.
The ones who raped me
So I made do
With what I had.
I too had a gun
Shot them dead. All.
Once I learnt what that meant,
I liked that more.
Sorry, Goddess Durga.
In jail, they took out my womb.
So there would be no more like me.
Caste screwed me,
Caste released me.
This gun looked different.
Shaped like a ballot box.
Gunned down by caste
Revenge for my revenge.
I fought with everyone.
Blood that boils is good for you.
Originally published on Flux Ezine.
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