Roshan didn’t know what to do so he kept sitting beside the wall, the screams had stopped abruptly, there is silence……he collected his courage and peeked from beside the wall….the monster was standing still…looked like he was shivering a little, the belt was still held firmly in his hand, his face covered with sweat and a distorted expression which was definitely fear.  He was looking down at something. Roshan followed his gaze down and saw a lifeless body lying in thick red fluid which was flowing towards him. This has happened for the first time, something was just not right.  It was the same rain, same night, same broken alcohol bottle, same underprivileged neighborhood and no electricity. The episodes had become the system of the dwelling, but this time something was different….the awkward stillness of the body. The monster moved out of the house in haste, forgetting little scared roshan behind.

He came out slowly from his hiding, went near the body that he fondly used to call amma. Amma laid there still….she didn’t hug him back. Roshan lay by her side and wrapped one of her lifeless arm around him. A silent night outside passed slowly as he slept on the cold floor.

Few days passed and roshan had a new mother, she was beautiful he thought. Much younger than amma. The monster looked happy and the episodes ceased to occur. Eventually roshan had new siblings, little girl and a boy, still toddlers…..with time he started calling the woman …amma.

The episodes resumed after one night when the monster again came back drunk. There was hitting, slapping, kicking, screaming, shouting……and finally the monster would be too tired to move and slept. The toddlers were scared but roshan had adjusted. He knew how to become so silent like the minimal furniture in the hut. And then move out on the road. He has adjusted to the only system he has ever known.

Years have passed and Roshan found himself a job as a labourer with a small contractor. The monster had died long ago as his liver failed him. Roshan got married and managed himself another shack of a house.  But one day he lost at gambling, came back drunk,  he was angry and didn’t know what to do so he hit shanti……one slap followed by many blows. She lay there in pain, weeping. Roshan moved back, he had flashes of a lifeless amma on the floor in blood…but he couldn’t help it…..he doesn’t know how to console. He followed the only system he had ever known.