THE BOY WHO DECIDED TO DIE
CHAPTER - 1
A ‘spiritual cleansing for Christ’ campaign led by a religious 20 member teams had reached Zobawk, a small little village in Mizoram. The man responsible for this campaign was a rather, scrawny lookin, recovered drug addict named Faka, aged about 30 years old and who, after fathering 3 children from 3 different women in different villages and arrested several times for theft, burglary, drug trafficking and domestic violence in the last 10 years, had suddenly found God and now spent his life going all over Mizoram spreading the gospel of Christ. In addition to holding week-long ‘spiritual cleansing camping’ at different churches, the man had also done several TV appearances, newspapers and magazines interviews and had, in the process, acquired hundreds of faithful women admirers and followers. Recently, he had started to perform what is known as, “Spiritual Healing Touch” in which his followers felt a strong shock and started crying in repentance each time he shook hands with the person. It was said that the man possessed a spiritual power from God to see the darkest, deepest secret sin of anyone he shook hands with. And, that somehow, he also had the power to transfer the message of forgiveness and cleansing from God himself. Because of this new acquired reputation, people from far and wide, came to see the man for forgiveness of their deepest sins and, for most people, out of curiosity to see if their neighbors would cry aloud when shaking hands with the self-proclaimed preacher.
For residents of Zobawk which had a population of less than 2000, hosting this God-man and his team was a dream come true. Not only did it bring the small village which had never been known for anything, suddenly into the limelight of the media and the Mizo people, the event meant that the village would get the chance to host all kinds of people who followed the campaigns. For the older generations, the event meant getting the chance to meet their friends and relatives from another far-flung villages, who would be coming on the free-transport buses provided by the churches. And, for the youths, it was much more exciting as it meant meeting potential lovers outside of the villages, experiencing new make-up and hairstyles, flirting around and, if they were lucky, getting the chance to feature on the TV and becoming a model/actors, etc.
The excitement in the village was palpable. Everyone had been preparing for the last several weeks since the news broke out about the campaigns. Women folks had gone to Lunglei town’s clothes markets to buy the latest, stylish clothes, shoes and handbags. Men folks had cut their hair and nails, cleaning their dirt-grimed, farming tools and hiding them away in the attic. Youngsters were given baths, houses and utensils were scrubbed clean, with everyone talking excitedly in alleys, roadsides and village markets. It was almost as if Christmas was coming in April instead.
It was no different at Kima’s house. His parents had just completed their jhum cultivation of rice, which meant that they were left with atleast a few weeks of rest until it was time to weed out the grasses. This meant his mother had time to take the 5 children for haircuts and sweet-treats at the local market.