The silence of the cold winter night was punctuated by her incessant sobs. She lay at my feet, at my mercy, like a lamb at the butcher's shop. I looked at her, she must have been twelve or thirteen, and her face was covered with blood oozing from the corner of her mouth. "Mujhe Chhod do Sahib"(leave me Sahib) she pleaded. Her innocent eyes stared into the depths of my conscience. My finger on the trigger hesitated. What was I doing? She was an innocent young girl, neither did I know who she was nor had she done me any harm. I lowered the gun and she started sobbing loudly. The distant chant of "Jai Bajrang Bali" and "Jai Shri Ram" was slowly growing louder. The Eastern sky was had a strange twilight from the burning huts.I looked at her and for a moment felt pity for her and for a fleeting moment was ashamed of myself but it was only for a moment. Suddenly images of my room-mates being butchered in cold blood, my girl friend being raped before my own eyes, my hostel being burnt flashed past my eyes. There we were at MG Road watching the procession when someone threw stones at it and all hell broke loose. In fifteen minutes from a model of religious harmony, Tumkur became a cauldron of hate. The girl looked at me and pleaded "Mujhe jaane do saab"(let me go).My eyes met her and we both knew immediately what the outcome of this encounter would be. She stopped crying for the very first time, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and squeezed the trigger, once,twice, thrice. She fell down silently but she wasn’t the only one I had murdered that day, I had murdered the last living trace of humanity left in me.Tumkur burnt in a furnace of hate and so did I.