I am the ultimate editorial observer when it comes to the challenges of on-the-ground feminists in India, and in the most fiery days of my impressionable youth I would have taken a violent stance against such indifferent pacifism - making sure to loudly proclaim that observation was not equal to experience or to existence. But these are not my impressionable years and the depth of this issue is far beyond the comprehension of the naive mind my skull encased in those younger years.
So, how does a married white man - ticking along in his mid-40's - come to regard the plight of Indian women; the domestic violence
and the rapes
that they are enduring in their country and the challenges that their society presents with regard to these realities?
One could argue that it was the cold perseverance of the sexual and violent actions against Indian women - as abstractly far away as those actions were - that inspired outrage and disgust. This would be partly true; I do have a heart, and it does beat grimly, a thud-thud in a black vacuum of general complacency and apathy.
No. I am not a collection of elaborate image-to-verbiage puppet strings, drawn taut by events from some other side of the planet.
Instead, I have had narratives shared with me. One, in particular, remains: a mother brought over to America by a fortunate brother. And it is the daughter that the mother bore. A sudden American. What would have happened otherwise?
What would have been had the mother never crossed the Pacific? Paths that would not have been crafted or crossed. Thoughts that would not have found embodiment. Smiles not cast. Laughs not rebound; threads in the vest of good friendship never stitched.
Bound not to be rebound.
How many similar daughters have not been given this version of the sun's cast? How many great ideas lost? Ideations cast at watering holes? How many countenances alight in the governance of brilliant minds snuffed out? How many grunts given?
Lust cast like a dirty shawl. Promises as common as the dead ends they are delivered in.
I think about them. The daughters, I mean
India. The dusty culture that bore chess. The thinking nature and the cerebral resonance of chess. The knights. The damned rooks. The maneuvers.
I think about them.