Piyush Srivastava, author
The Centipedes is a port-truth fiction, narrated by Ramayan Prasad, a journalist, in India. Ramayan is professionally an insecure journalist, who is instinctively honest personally and otherwise. The protagonist has been asked to do follow up stories of a crime of gang-rape and murder that takes place in New Delhi. The victim’s family lives there. They travel to their ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh to perform certain last rites of the brutalized and departed soul. There is massive protest going on across India and even United Nations is concerned about such a heinous crime on the busy main road of India’s national capital. The politicians quickly and cunningly star associating themselves with the victim’s parents so that they would claim before the voters in future that they had spoken against the crime. Ramayan Prasad also travels from New Delhi to Varanasi to cover the events. The parents of the victim, who are leading a poor life, are initially bribed by the ruling set of politicians to keep silence over poor law and order in New Delhi. Then parents metamorphose quickly into such opportunists who are more interested in benefits than ensuring that the country’s law makers come out with a mechanism that prevents the repetition of such crime in future. In the due course of meeting the parents, and other people before and after the incident, Ramayan Prasad realizes that whatever he is doing is futile as his writings are not going to change the world. At every stage, he gets frustrated to see lousy politicians and so-called intellectuals as they all are ultimately anti-woman and want status quo in Indian society. At every stage, the truth turns into supra-truth for Ramayan Prasad. At one stage, he starts loving the gang-raped and killed soul as she becomes only a pawn in the hands of her parents and boyfriend and politicians to make money.