Category Archives: Week 16

Week 16: Animal’s People

You may choose to answer one of the following prompts:

Once Ma’s eyes were bright blue, now they’re milky with coming cataracts, but when she speaks of Sanjo such a look comes into them, you’d expect their milky clouds to part and light come streaming through. Ma brings out a small black book, it’s the one written by Sanjo that tells about the end of the world, she holds it up close to her nose. “Jusques à quad, Maître saint et vrai, tarderas-tuà faire justice? à tirer vengeance de notre sang?”

Eyes, in case you don’t understand Ma’s language, this is Sanjo talking to him, he’s saying fuck’s sake how much longer will you make us wait for justice? And if you still don’t know who he is, well it’s god. Sanjo reckons that the world is full of wickedness and is going to be wiped out, this will happen in various appalling ways and is called the Apokalis.

Sanjo’s dream has a strange effect on Ma, it makes her afraid and joyful at the same time. Says she, “Don’t you see, my poor little Animal, the Apokalis has already begun? It started on that night in Khaufpur” (63).

Ma Franci interprets what happened “that night” as the beginning of the Apokalis. Indeed, she refuses to return to her home country return of France, despite being repeatedly persuaded to do so, because she firmly believes that the Apokalis started in Khaufpur and “it’s coming back again” (143). Explain Ma Franci’s view of “that night” as the Apokalis and what she believes will happen when it comes again.

***

Hail, Saint Zafar. What a fucking hero. Champon of the good and true, he’d even spare our enemy. No way do I buy it. Eyes, I’ve said I admire the Kampani but thinking of what those people have done, how they hideously took my parents’ lives and left me in this world alone, I’m filled with such hatred, I think my skin would burst. Wicked are they beyond all limits, didn’t I see the proof myself last night in the gardens of Jehannum? An animal isn’t subject to the laws of men, I will slit their eyeballs, I will rip out their tongues with red hot pliers, I will shit in their mouths. Blood’s shaking my heart, I’m giddy with rage. Then it’s just as quickly gone, leaving me limp, body’s like a goatskin filled with grief.

Nisha is speaking. “Zafar my love, when grief and pain turn into anger, when rage is as useless as our tears, when those in power become blind, deaf and dumb in our presence and the world’s forgotten us, what then should we do? You tell us to put away anger, choke back our bitterness, and be patient, in the hope that justice will one day win? We have already been waiting twenty years. And when the government that is supposed to protect us manipulates the law against us, of what use then is the law? Must we still obey it, while our opponents twist it to whatever they please? It’s no longer anger, Zafar, but despair that whispers, if the law is useless, does it matter if we go outside it? What else is left?”

After this there is a long silence. No one is saying anything. No one can speak. At last comes Zafar’s voice, sounding weary.

“Nothing is left.”

“And then?”

“What else? We fight. We carry on. We don’t give up” (283-4).

In the passage above, both Nisha and Animal express their doubts about Zafar’s fight for justice for the people of Khaufpur. What drives Zafar’s pursuit of justice? Why does he persist in his demand for justice despite its seeming futility?