Uneasy Lies the Head (IF)

The open window admits dusty sunlight, the early noise of auto rickshaws and voices, hawkers banging their ladles against their tins, the barking of street dogs. You’ve lived here long enough to hear the undertones, how Delhi in the morning churns between the medieval and the modern, urban newness and rustic tradition, civil unrest around middle-class and lower caste, the rights of women and gender equality.

Your name is RADHIKA MITRA, an Indian woman who lives and works in Delhi as the editor-in-chief of The World Daily, a newspaper that is one of the few forms of local news media that espouses women’s rights. You turn off your phone alarm before it rings. Your husband, sound sleeper that he is, is dead to the world. You know you won’t disturb him but you get up quietly anyway. It’s time to face the day. In light of the recent string of local rapes—and the pertinent reportage and testimony lying on your desk awaiting your review and final approval—you doubt it will be a good one.

Go to work.
Check on your mother.

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