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This is a short fictional story of a wrongly accused woman who later gets vindicated by gods after her death.

She was the oldest woman in all of Konu village at the time, lonely Nandi lived alone in her old worn out thatched house which her late husband and her built together during the prime of their youthful love times. She aged with lots of pain and sorrow within her heart trying to carry on from the tragic loss of the love of her life who died a mysterious death that painted Nandi as a suspect of murdering her own husband.

In what only an invisible witness would testify against, the death of Ebuka took away the entire community’s love away from Nandi, who remained a poor widow, deserted by her neighbors for years till she grew old and weary alone. The entire village firmly believed in their god Boma, who dwelt in special palm trees that gave them daily food and they worshiped and praised him in thanks.

Nandi always longed for her vindication, as she felt she needed it. She planted a small palm tree in a flower pot which she had with her, hidden in her house and she took care of it with her own life. She watered it and trimmed it every day, while she offered prayers to Boma at it.

under the sheets

At the verge of her life, Nandi’s white hair could wear out, she collected it and wrapped it inside the flower pot as manure. At a moment when she was closer to her last breath, alone in her room she laid on her bed and placed the growing palm tree onto her chest. Heavily pressed, her nose began to bleed. She folded her trembling palms to collect the oozing blood and dropped every last droplet into the pot, that was the last time the plant’s pot got moist.

People that could sometimes walk passed Nandi’s thatched house a bit closer on their way to the river, no longer saw smoke rising from her kitchen enclosure. Later, her off key old voice in traditional hymns was no longer heard. But huge cracks on her walls were visible, still no one cared, she was a witch after all, right?

Her decaying body became manure to the tree, it grew bigger and healthier than all other trees in Konu, growing off of her old house. Still nobody was bothered, but fear to pluck from it was prominent as she died an outcast and suspicion loomed that Boma simply cursed her existence.

A year came when Konu was under the worst droughts ever seen, drying and shrinking down all agricultural plants and trees including all palm trees but one. One with the biggest trunk and the freshest, biggest fruits was that which grew off an old thatched house. Hunger and desperation led all people to that tree.
They all got enough fruit worth at least a week and merrily went to their homes, although having guilt within them as to what Boma would do since they plucked from a cursed tree. In a few moments suddenly, the whole village was getting consumed by an unusual dark wave coming from the tree’s direction, loud mourns were heard as every fruit that was broke open, contained nothing but white hair in it. “We must apologize, to both of them!” the chief priest ordered.

Of all people that mourned, a few remained silent forever, dead from choking on hairballs, Nandi’s greatest accusers. Loud apologetic mourning and sacred chanting were the rhythm of that dark day and three more days following it, children died. Till bright rays from that tree shone and drops of rain were finally felt.


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