Not only today, but especially today we remember those who did not return. Our hearts are heavy and our souls are torn. We miss all of you. We miss your wisdom and your follies. Without your presence, we know, we will never be complete. You will always remain the missing piece. Your absence hurts anew day after day. Your names, who are so familiar to us and still so far away are our never healing scars. We will say your names aloud and teach them our children, who will teach their children and their children will know as we do. As for so many families, it is true for mine: not all names are known of those who were murdered, but none of you will be forgotten. We pray for you, we sing for you, we read the words you read all these years before us. We are inconsolable. There are not enough words to describe the silence you have left behind.The world is a sadder place without you.Our words feel like betrayal but not only today we think of you and cherish all of you in our memories and deep, deep in our hearts and minds.
Again and again my heart bleeds. When will the government finally step in? When will policemen, who are fathers and husbands as well stop looking away? When will India cherish is daughter’s lives? Why can behavior that ripped a body into pieces still be described as ‚ladki cheddna'( eve- teasing )? Why do we treat our Dalit sisters worse than our cats and dogs? Why do we call cold-hearted violence and murder a tragedy? Where are the men defending their sisters, mothers, aunts and fiancés, girlfriends and wives rights to move around without boundaries? Shouldn’t this be the ultimate attack on a men’s honour? My heart bleeds for so many years now. Often I feel defeated and sometimes I wonder if it will ever stop?
A couple of years ago I was made caretaker of a quite big garden. I am not too talented a gardener. G*d knows I am well known in plant circles that I able to kill the strongest roses juts by walking by. The trees and hedges in the garden however are not too impressed by not existing talent. From April on the garden is in full bloom. Read On you might say, what’s the problem. Isn’t it fantastic to be surrounded by apples trees, quince trees, to greet the strawberries hello and wave the blackberries good-bye? Before I took over the task of becoming a caretaker for a garden I would have easily agreed. But since the first yearI face a problem you can see above. There are never just a handful of cherries, a kilo of apples, a bowl of raspberries or three quinces. There is loads of everything. Summer after summer I spend hours harvesting. I climb on the old wooden ladder and pick cherries, reach for apples, get ripped to pieces in raspberry and blackberry bushes and the strawberries just laugh at me when I think I got them all. The quinces are the worst. There are millions of them and the pears are catching up quickly. So I spend more hours to make strawberry tarts and strawberry jam, I produce bottles of raspberry syrup and make more blackberry conserve. I cook apples and pears for compote and how often I googled ‚quinces-new ideas‘ I can’t tell. I send packages of jams and marmalades to my sister. I beg friends to come over to pick fruits for themselves: they are all very happy with grabbing just a bowl full or leave with two quinces in their hands. The scent they say and I smile bitterly. The children visiting me are not too impressed by raspberry syrup or strawberry filled pancakes. They want Coke or ice-cream and I sigh deeply. F. the former companion of happy days asks for raspberry preserve with rhum and despises quince preserve without vanilla from Madagascar. F. I say that’s laying it in bit thick, isn’t it. But F. is not too impressed. I still fight a solemn fight against preserves I made in 2014. It is spring the trees are blossoming, strawberries bathe in the sunshine, the raspberry bushes are thick as Hulk’s arm. The garden laughs at my desperate attempts and I have no idea how to handle another year of fruits and fruits and more fruits.