…two teenage girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in a village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh…
from hemp ropes on slender necks, the embroidery glinting on a kameez, let susurrations visit the unrooted. Was the younger almost asleep, tunelessly humming, when the older hissed, Come, I need to go now, water-can in hand towards malignant fields? The villagers squat on dusty haunches, think of moonglint on unfastened buckles, khaki pants, the thrust of earth rising. There is anger, and lewd spectacle, in the gaze of old men.
Sing, sing the myths of Mother Earth unzippered as refuge. Oh, Mithya — Lies! — look, babies unshoveled into the earth only blossom into meat, swinging from the sky.
Dipika Mukherjee is a writer and sociolinguist. She made her debut as a novelist with the publication of Thunder Demons (2011), long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize. She lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern University.