This has happened before, this will happen again
What does that fire remember? The screams of satis
dragged to their husband’s pyres and brides burnt alive;
the wails of caste-crossed lovers put to death,
the tongue-chopped shrieking of raped women.
This has happened before, this will happen again.
—From Meena Kandaswamy’s poem
Trigger Warning: Description of Violence, Rape
I remember the red and beige sandals with butterflies printed on them. A big butterfly in flight and smaller ones trailing it. An imitation pearl stuck on each strap. A canvas almost. It could be a red sky dotted with innocent ambitions of the butterflies. I have since then looked for the meaning of red sky. It’s said a red sky in the morning is a warning of stormy weather. She was fatally raped on one such morning. Among all that remains of her is that pair of plastic sandals. Unworn. Her brother had bought it for her for...