Angulimaal

I cant remember my name. Name, which my mother gave me, as a gift of her love. A name, which my father gifted me so that the world can recognize me with that name. Now everybody call me Angulimaal. But I know, my near and dear one didn’t call me with this name ever.
I am a bandit, a decoit. I rob and kill people. After killing them, I cut a finger of the corpse and have made a rosary of those fingers. In local dialect, this is called “anguli ki mala”. I wear this mala, and due to this rosary they call me Angulimaal. This is the name my ears are listening for last many years, so much so that I have forgotten my real name. I don’t even wish to remember that real name. How will I feel if I ever remember that my mother calls me “Bhola” or “Kishan”? How will I bear the pain that my mother’s Bhola has become Angulimaal? How will my father live after knowing that his Kishan is known as Angulimal? No. I don’t want to remember. I don’t want to remember my real name.
I don’t like robbing people. I don’t like killing people. They are just like me. They are travelers. Some of them are going to meet their loving relatives on that side of the jungle. They are innocent people. Yesterday I killed a person who was going on pilgrimage. He was accompanied by his 8 years old son. When I was killing the child, there was such a pity in the child’s eyes. I cant forget those eyes. I don’t want to kill anyone. But I have to.
I have to support a family. There is my wife and three children. I have no money to support them. I need money. My youngest child is ill. I have to arrange nutritious food for him. Sometime I take him to the doctor and need to pay him for medicines. Last month I worshipped for his life in the temple and I have promised to the goddess that I will give a feast if my son regains health. I have to keep the promise. My eldest daughter is already fourteen. I have to arrange money for marriage expenses. I want her to marry in a rich household, so that she can lead a happy life. I need money. It is my duty to support my family. If I will not get money, how will they live? Who will marry my daughter? How will my son be well and happy? My family will starve.
I am robust and healthy. I can live anywhere. I can survive in a jungle. I can do any small work and live. But children? Wife? I have to take care of them. I have to fulfill their requirements. Even if I have to rob people or kill people, I will do it. I will not allow any deficiency in their lives. I am a father, I am a husband.
I know killing people is a sin. The worst sin. I know I have to burn in hell’s fire for long to propitiate. I am ready to roast myself in that fire. I will propitiate all my sins. I count my sins. I count daily how much sin I have committed. That is why I have made this rosary. By counting the fingers in the rosary, I am able to know how much sin I have committed. I don’t like this finger’s rosary. It is there only to remind me of my sins.
“Well”, the saint said, “you are committing these sins for your family. Will they share these sins with you.”
“Off course, yes. On the altar of marital fire, my wife gave me sacred promise that she will share everything with me”, I replied.
“Why don’t you go and ask her once”, said the saint.
I ran towards my home. I knew there are persons, who love me. I knew, they are there to do anything for me. What is sharing, my wife will take all the sin on herself. But I will not give her all. I will only share. Even when we have to live in hell, we will be together. We will be roasted together in hell’s fire.
“Why should I share your sins honey”, replied my wife. “I didn’t tell you to rob people and kill people. That is your business. It is your duty to bring money to home. How you do it, it is your business.”
My Business! I was shattered. I ran towards the saint and fell on the feet of the saint. “My family will share only the fruits of my sins. They will not share the sins.” I sobbed, “show me the way, what should I do.”
“You know the way Balmiki. You know the truth.” The saint said.
“Balmiki, Who?”, I asked.
“You”. He was smiling. I also smiled.
I have smiled after a very long time.

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One Response to “Angulimaal”

  1. Rajesh Kumar Says:

    Marriage has always been a slavery of men. Whenever some men has understood it, they have become balmikis- culture was enriched through Ramyana and Ram Rajya is established.
    http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/forum/message_display.asp?group_id=1748&offset=1

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