I Love You

She: “I love you so much. I love the way you sing to me when I am not able to sleep. I love how you touch me with your strong and rigid hands, yet always careful not to harm me. I don’t know from where do you get that softness in your hands- though you are such a tough guy !!”

He says nothing.

She: “I love how you always eat only after I had eaten. How you are so particular about my diet- it should be healthy and nutritious !! To be frank, I sometimes don’t like when you don’t allow me to eat my favorite burger and french fries. ”

With some effort, He chuckles a bit.

She (also smiling) : “I love how you come to me after returning from work and keep hugging and kissing me. I really adore the way you talk to me; how you relate the events of your day to me and keep doing the same every day even if I fall asleep in between.”

He is a little sad now.

She: “Also, I know how important I am for you when you introduce me to every friend of yours in such a charming way. I can see the clear delight in your eyes when you are with me. I know you love me the most in the world.”

His eyes have a hint of moisture now.

She: “But since the time you came back from the hospital that day, you are behaving completely different. You no longer hug me, kiss me, touch me, even talk to me much. You seem to be ignoring me. I am increasingly getting the feeling that you are not comfortable by my presence in your life. You have started hating me.”

He: “No, I don’t hate you sweetie. It’s just that you have become my weakness now.”

She: “But you used to always say that I am your strength !! How can you change so much ?? Have I done something wrong?? Please tell me, I am ready to do anything to get your love back.”

He (controlling his fumbling voice): “There is nothing which you can do now. I have made my decision. We have to part ways. My life has no space for you now.”

She is unable to speak. She is crying uncontrollably.

He (maintaining the firmness in his voice despite the tears coming out of his eyes): ” Whatever decision I have taken is for the good of both of us. You are too innocent to understand the intricacies of this world. This world is a cruel place. This society is full of people who will make life hell for us and especially for you, if we are together. There will also be a constant burden on me to ensure your well-being. There will always be a sense of insecurity and fear in my mind of losing you. So, its better that I loose you now.”

She: “But I can’t live without you. I will miss you so much. For me, you are everything.”

He couldn’t control his tears anymore and started crying.

She: “Please give me a chance. I promise I will never be a cause of burden and tension for you. Also, I will learn how to handle this world on my own. You don’t have to worry about anything. Infact, I will try to be your strength again. But I can do all this only if you are on my side. Without you I am nothing.”

He is still indecisive and says nothing.

She: “I think there is no point in forcing you to change your decision now. But I want you to know that I Love you very much and I will never forget you. Thanks for all the lovely moments you have given me to remember you by. I feel lucky that I can be a part of your life. You are a very good man. May God bless you with whatever you wish to have. Bye.”

He  woke up sweating. This dream had shaken him from head to toe. He felt a sudden rage of anger and contempt rising inside his body. He thought,”What on earth was I gonna do? It was so wrong. I am a horrible person.” But then he realized he still had time. He looked at his wife sleeping next to him and how he had a fight with her over not going to the hospital tomorrow. Then his eyes shifted to the lump on her stomach. Immediately, he made a call to the hospital and cancelled the appointment with the doctor which they had for aborting the baby. Afterwards, he kissed the lump, being cautious not to disturb his wife from her sleep and whispered, ” I will always be with you now.” Inside her mother’s womb, She smiled.

*******************************************************************

Twenty-years later

She: “I qualified for the Indian Air Force pilot exam !! I will be flying a combat fighter plane soon. Yayy.. I am so excited. And guess what, I already requested them that I can take you to give a special ride over your favorite Himalayan ranges.”

He (extremely delighted) : ” I am so proud of you, beta. You are the best child anyone can ever have.”

She (hugging him): ” And you are the best father in the world. I love you.”

For the fighter in you…

Me: “Yes, He was wearing a white half-shirt with checks and dark-blue denim jeans.”

Lawyer: “Are you sure that you remember this exactly?”

Me (controlling my rising frustration): “Yes, I am 100% sure and my statements will not change by you repeating the question again and again or framing it in a different way.”

Lawyer (with a shrewd smile on his face): “So, Mam can you please repeat your account of the events that followed? Please describe the fine details as well for the court to understand properly.”

He emphasized the word “details”. I looked at his dirty face with betel-stained teeth peeking from his mouth and eyes filled with slyness daring me to speak the truth. He knew that the truth if spoken out in public will not be good for the image of an Indian woman and defy the social norms laid down for women which require us to be shy and tolerate everything; to obey the so called men in our lives like a cow. Sadly, the lawyer didn’t know the material my heart was made of; it was pure steel which remains free from rust and vague attempts to weaken the strength of its resolve. I took a deep breath and recalled the incident which had haunted me for the past 15 years. The society had played its part well by ensuring that it occupied a centre-stage in my mind. It helped me in revisiting each and every detail of the incident. I didn’t want opposition to give an edge by finding even a slightest change in my narrative and hence prove that I am just a slut accusing a respectable man of horrible deeds. So, for the hundredth time in my life I spoke the events of that night as they simultaneously unfolded before my eyes.

Me: “As I said I had gone to bed early after a tiring day at work. My roomie was out of town to attend a conference. I was woken from my sleep by the sound of falling keys on the floor which was followed by cautious turning of the door-knob. By the time I could made sense of what is happening, it was too late. The security guard of my apartment had already entered my bed-room with the spare key he possessed and threatened to cut me with the big knife which he had planted on my neck. He tied my hands and mouth and tore all my clothes. His drunken eyes sparkled with lust as he moved the cold steel of the knife against my bare body. With a monstrous laugh, he removed his jeans and began his adventures on my body. To start with, he made several marks with the knife on my thighs and chest; thoroughly enjoying the sight of my face twitch with pain. I could feel the tears roll down my hot cheeks; the tears of pleading, helplessness and pain which later turned into tears of anger and contempt. He came inside me multiple times and with varying intensity and postures. When he was exhausted, he would pull my hair and kick me with his dirty shoes. I saw the hands of the clock move from 10:20pm to 11:45pm while he feasted on my body and soul. Eventually, he got bored and stared directly in my eyes. I watched him with burning rage and defiance which challenged his male-ego. For a moment, he seemed afraid but soon started laughing uncontrollably. Then he somehow managed to lift his drunken body on his limbs, put on his clothes and move out of my flat before imparting a heavy blow on my face and spatting on my body. I couldn’t believe this has happened to me. My body was covered in blood and I was in extreme pain. I somehow mustered courage to go to the nearest police station and report the incident.”

The defence lawyer was searching for tears in my eyes after this rendition, but when he couldn’t locate any hint of moisture around my eyes, he became a bit disappointed and irritated. He cleared his throat and said, “Sorry to interrupt you Prof. Manju Singh, I just wanted to clear a few points before you proceed further. Are these the under-garments which you were wearing on the day of the crime?”

He picked up my bra and panty with a stick and hoisted it like a flag for the whole world to see. People in the court started smirking and women covered their eyes with shame. Some of the men couldn’t suppress their laughter and it came out loud to reach my ears. Unaffected by the commotion in the courtroom, I replied, “Yes, these were the under-garments which I was wearing the day I was raped”.

My firm response shocked the defence lawyer and the crowd. It was clear that he had not expected me to be so bold and shameless. Anyways, seeing his mental tactic of humiliating me getting failed, he said, “You told us that my client had torn your clothes including your under-garments, but the only fingerprints found on them were yours. This suggests that you took them off yourself with full consent of yours. Am I right?”

I wanted to grab the throat of the lawyer and strangle him to death. Controlling my rising adrenaline and rapid heartbeat, I decided to play rather cool. I smiled and answered firmly, “You were not listening to my statements properly. I never said he tore them by hand, he used his knife to tear them off, and you can clearly see the signs of cuts made by a sharp object on the fabric. Now if you allow me, I want to complete my narrative without any interruption.” The lawyer went speechless and sat down after passing a couple of mental curses to me.

Me: “I went to the nearest police station located in INA and registered an FIR. I need to mention here that the police were very understanding and co-operative. They immediately rushed me to Safdarjung hospital to get my physical examination done. But destiny was not done with me yet. It was in the hospital that I got raped the second time in one day. The main doctor with a group of six students gathered around me. My vagina became a specimen for him to teach his students the art of performing the two-finger test (This test is done by forensic doctors to check the laxity of the vagina of the rape victims to determine the past intercourse history of the victim. It is extremely painful and unnecessary and was used by the defence lawyer to do a character assassination of rape victim in the court thereby influencing the punishment given to the culprit. It has been banned now by the Supreme Court of India. For more details see this).This was followed by each of the students taking turns on my vagina to see if they have perfected the test or not. I couldn’t tolerate the extreme pain and became unconscious. I was discharged from the hospital the next day and returned back to my home. Since then I have been coming to the court repeatedly for the past 15 years to seek justice. The culprit was arrested immediately and was then released on bail. He got married and now is living happily with his family. I have also moved on with my life and done well both professionally and personally. People advised me to give up fighting the case. But each day when I go to bed, my thoughts remain convoluted with the images of that unfortunate night and I can’t live with the thought that the beast who did this to me is enjoying a sound sleep. This is what keeps me driving and I will remain to fight until I seek justice.”

****************************************************************************************

It was a pleasant morning. The dew drops on the tree leaves sparked like pearls when the sun rays hit them at weird angles, somehow forming a sight that did wonders to the eye. Squirrels roamed freely; occasionally picking up a fight with the birds on the ground and then quickly running to hide within the bark of the tree. I thought about the innocent yet deceptive beauty of mother nature. It remains totally unaffected by our thoughts, our pains, our happiness, our desires. For her the death of a mighty elephant is equal to the death of a tiny bacteria because all of them are born out of it and later merge into it. People have spent ages to find the true meaning of life. The more you think about it, the more you get confused. In my opinion, the true meaning of life is that it has no meaning at all. My philosophical train of thoughts was halted by the sound coming out of my idiot box. “In a historic judgement, the Supreme Court of India has awarded life imprisonment to the culprit accused in the case concerning the rape of 45 year old Manju Singh, a Professor of Political Science at JNU. She was raped while she was sleeping in her Green Park based flat fifteen years ago. Let us ask her about her feelings and experiences while dealing with this long case”. With this the camera shifted towards my face.

Me: “To be honest, when I heard about rape incidents happening to other women, I dismissed them as mere news articles. I was never able to empathize with the victim and understand the graveness of the crime. But when it happened to me I could feel the pain and anger rising within me. For the first few months after the incident, it seemed that every single leaf on the trees, every brick in the building and every pair of eye in the world had been witness to the act that happened to me. I lay naked before the world to see and make fun of. I couldn’t face the students whom I taught. There were murmurs through the class-rooms I went in, the hallways I passed, the elevators I stepped in. I just wanted to hide myself from the world and used to cry horribly. I wish I would die soon and put an end to the shameful and embarrassing life which lay ahead of me. But then I thought that what is the charm in living if one choses the easy way out at each stage? Besides, I can’t let that monster roam freely and destroy someone else’s life. I am suffering without any fault of mine. I haven’t done anything wrong. Clearly, it should be the other way round. He will have to pay for this. Then one fine day I woke up and decided to shed my veil of shame and accept all the challenges that life decided to throw on my face. I witnessed that as my attitude towards myself changed, the people around me also started respecting me as a human and got inspired by me. I fought for a cause and I am very happy that I have achieved it, though with some delay. I urge every girl, every boy, every woman and every man who has suffered sexually to come forward and speak openly. Rape is not the end of life. Don’t think less of yourself if you are raped. Just go ahead and knock the world until it comes down at your feet; for you owe this for the fighter in you.”

 

P.S. This story is a fictional account of the true events described in Satyamev Jayate (Click here to watch the full episode). Rape is a serious crime. By the time you read this story, a minimum of three girls have been raped worldwide. Lets join hands in putting an end to this grave crime and build a better world where women are respected.

Afsar Bitiya…

Savitha was sitting on her sofa, sipping a cup of tea she prepared a few minutes before. She was feeling a bit exhausted. It was a tiring day at office, as were the other days. “It’s not easy being an IAS officer; especially being a woman you have to face criticism, male ego and intolerance and there always is a bunch of higher authorities who will doubt your abilities”. But she had no one to blame as she had chosen this path herself in her mission to bring about economic, social and educational reforms in the community from where she belonged. Her husband, also an IAS officer shared the same line of thought and fully supported her and that was one of the reasons why she fell in love with him. Blushing a little remembering her college days when she was doing B.Sc. in Political Science from Delhi University and when she met her prince charming, she sipped again from the cup. “Tea is a little bitter”, she thought; just the way her father liked. He would always insist on a cup of tea made from the hands of her mother. He would never drink the tea made by anyone else; not even her; except the day which she distinctly remembered.

It was a warm Sunday morning in the month of May. Birds were chirping in the sky looking for food. It was a difficult task for them to fly in the afternoon when sun would be emanating fire from its mouth. So they rushed from their nests in search of twigs that could last the whole day. Lajjo, their cow was enjoying her morning fodder laid down in her mane. Savitha was solving the Integral Calculus problem which Masterji had given the previous day as homework. Unlike her other friends, she loved studying. She always stood first in her class and her teachers were very fond of her and always spoke highly of her. Even the principal of the school was impressed by her intellect, discipline and respect for teachers. He would give Savitha’s example to every child in the school. She had just entered Class 10th and she knew it was time to work even harder as this was the year of Board Exams. Her father had just returned from the fields when a neighbor called him out. Savitha’s father owned a small land in which he grew some wheat and vegetables which was enough for the survival of the family. Her father had to work really hard to earn living for their large family comprising of her mother and two younger sisters apart from her and an elder brother. Her brother had turned out to be a complete jerk. He was thrown out of the school due to his consistent bad performance and involvement in indisciplinary acts. Neither was he a helping hand for his father in the fields. To add to the grievances of the family, this year was turning out to be a lot worse than the previous years on account of less rainfall and rising cost of fertilizers.

After a long chat with the neighbor, her father entered home with a big smile on his face. He called out her mother in a high pitched voice. Although her father had not called Savitha, she peeked through the slits of the door into the room in which her Bapuji was talking to her Ma. After hearing to their conversation, Savitha felt like throwing up. She could not believe her ears. Her dreams began to fade in front of her tearful eyes. Her father had just fixed her marriage. The boy was six years elder than her and worked as a clerk in the District Municipal Corporation. Since he had a government job, the members of the boy’s family were demanding a heavy amount of dowry, 5 lakhs to be precise along with valuables for all the relatives of the groom’s family and a motorbike. Though this demand was quite difficult to meet, her parents were quite happy that their girl is being married at a proper age to a Sarkaari Babu.

Savitha entered her room and looked into her notebook which displayed an unfinished problem. “One day I will become an IAS officer and buy a house for Ma, Bapuji”, she remembered herself saying to her school Principle to which he had replied “Sure my dear, you are capable of achieving anything and you will make everyone proud”. A drop of tear fell on the notebook dissolving the paper and making the contents on it blur. She felt helpless and cheated. I can’t go against my parents; after all my aim in life is to make them happy. From the beginning, Savitha had always obeyed her parents; she could never break their heart. But won’t this marriage cost too much? How will her father manage to get a heavy loan from the village Baniya(moneylender) and even if he somehow managed, would he ever be able to repay it? Perhaps they had to mortgage their house. “Oh no, this is wrong. I have to stop this”, a sudden urge stemmed within her. She sprang up in confidence and went to the room where her parents were discussing about their assets and how to make other arrangements.

“Ma, Bapuji, I don’t want to get married now. I want to study more and become an IAS officer”, she declared defiantly. For a moment her parents were taken aback. Her father strained his brow and settled uncomfortably on the charpai. Realizing the graveness of the situation, her mother came up to her and said smiling, “Every girl says that Bitiya. One day every girl has to get married; the husband’s home is her real home. If you don’t get married at a proper age, villagers will start spreading bad rumors about you and our family”. “Am I a liability for you? You want to send me away from you”, she asked crying. This time her father was quick to answer. “Pagli, why do you think like that? Is it possible for us not to love you? Marriage is an essential norm and everyone has to go through it. We have got such a good match for you. You will live like a queen there”. Savitha’s tearful eyes met her father’s and she said in a persuasive tone,” I want to take care of both of you .I love you so much. I want to give you every happiness in the world. Is getting me married the only responsibility and moment of pride for you? Is it so hard for you to let me live my own life and fulfill my dreams; to allow me the same sense of freedom and responsibility towards the household as bhaiya is provided with? He is not even willing to take them up. Is it good to force him to do so? I am confident I will keep you happier than he ever can. If I perform well in the Board Exams, they will provide me scholarship. I am good at studies, I will manage to study on my own. I don’t need any resources to be spent on my education. I just need your complete support and trust. I want to marry a boy who doesn’t ask for any money, who loves me for the person who I am and who is as educated as I am. He should be able to take care and respect you the same way as I do. I don’t care about what other people think about me. But your opinion is very important for me. In the end I will do as you say, I will never go against you and make you feel ashamed in the society because of me. Please Bapuji, please Ma, I will never disappoint you.” Saying this, Savitha knelt down and put her head in her father’s lap.

After a long silence, she felt a gentle hand rush through her hair. Her father raised her face and kissed her head. “I am sorry Savitha, I was wrong. You made me realize my mistake. Do whatever you want to. Live your life. Prove yourself in your eyes and the rest of the community who believes that girls are just a liability.” For the first time Savitha had seen her father crying. She wiped his tears and looked towards her Ma. She smiled and said, “I am sure you will make us proud. We are with you, dear”. She ran and hugged her mother. She thanked God for giving her the best parents in the world who are so understanding and liberal. “Bitiya, zara chai to pila apne hath ki.Ab tu samajdaar ho gayi hai. Kal ko afsar ban jaayegi to time nahi hoga na”, she heard her father say from behind.

Savitha was disrupted from her thoughts by the sound of running footsteps approaching her. “Mama I came first in the Quiz Competition”, a young girl cried. The child rushed upto Savitha and showed her trophy to her Mummy. Savitha took her happily in her arms. A feeling of completeness and contentment filled her soul. Today every person in her village said “Beti ho to Afsar Bitiya jaisi”.

The journey for justice

“You shouldn’t be here at this hour of night”, said a coarse, middle aged male voice with a touch of naughtiness. Normally this situation would have aroused fear in the mind of Aditi, but today was different. She could not afford to sway her mind elsewhere. Tonight she was a woman with a mission. True to her name she had to “release from sin”. She had finally gotten here after years of struggle.

Pained by her complete ignorance, the man sitting on the bench of the platform got up, brushed his cigarette with his chappal and started chewing tobacco. Aditi lifted her right hand to the level of her eyes and a Sonata watch revealed the time as 11:30 pm. “You know madam you shouldn’t be revealing a costly watch like that at the middle of the night on a deserted platform either”, said the man. Till now Aditi had been ignoring the man but this went too far. “And who are you to give me such advice?”,she said; her voice not too rude but loud and determined enough to drive home a point.

The man just sneered and looked away. From a distance came the sound of an approaching train. Aditi had a feeling of excitement and nervousness simultaneously.She knew that she would never return to this place; leaving behind the thousand happy and sad memories which had summed up to form her life. The train halted with a loud thud. Aditi dragged her suitcase on the platform and entered the AC-3 compartment. As she was about to slide the gate of the coach, she remembered that she didn’t have a ticket and it didn’t matter in which coach she entered.

For a moment she felt like running back. She wanted to forgive whatever was done. All those feelings of denial she had been having for the past several years came flooding back to her. Added to that was the fear of unknown. She was leaving behind the only people she had really known in her life. She felt like going back. Her mind screamed her to return. “No”, she tried saying that in her head. It actually came out loud..loud enough to wake up the ticket collector.

“Yes, Madam? What do you want?”

“Can I please have a ticket to New Delhi station? It is very urgent; I didn’t have the time to take a ticket”. The ticket collector thought “ There is nothing which I can take as bribery as the coach is almost empty”. Besides he was not in a mood to argue with a girl in the midst of his sleep. So,after eyeing her from top to bottom he gave her the ticket.
Aditi thanked him and went to her side upper berth. She tried to sleep; sleep which has evaded her since a long time. She could not remember the last time when she had slept peacefully, without any pain physically or mentally. And with it came the horrifying images once again; the images which shook the bottom of her soul; which had changed her very existence; which were the reason for her being on this train. She tried blanking her mind and said to herself. “Whatever you are doing is right. This should not happen to anyone else; any other daughter” .The last word made her feel anguished. Am I a good daughter? Well to be one, one should have a good father which I never had. She instructed herself “Enough! I have got to have some sleep. Tomorrow’s gonna be a long, long day”

She started counting down from 100. This was the same technique that had let her sleep all these years. She had now grown used to telling herself bed time stories, singing herself songs and tucking herself in. And as always she drifted off to sleep.
Her deep sleep was interrupted by some commotion outside. True to the nature of the people in this state somebody was shouting. She was still in trance as she sat up and tried to figure out where and what she was doing. The train was currently at a station. “It shouldn’t be far from New Delhi. I wonder which station is this”, she thought to herself. She got up and with faltering steps went towards the door.

Quite a few people were gathered on the platform watching with amusement as two people went bricks and bats on each other. She tried to listen. The row was between a passenger and a hawker. The passenger said he had paid for three plates of “Aloo-Puri” but received only two while the hawker said he had already given him three.“What silly people!” Aditi thought to herself and looked around the platform to catch hold of the name of the station. Suddenly in a flash she was alert. The yellow board on the platform had Mathura Junction imprinted on it.

“Aditi, come close to me. Don’t run in the temple courtyard, otherwise you will be lost”. But Aditi paid no heed to her mother’s voice. This was the first time she had been allowed to come to a different city on her summer holidays. She was 10 years old, but in this long period she never had the freedom to play with her friends outside her house. All her friends had to come to her house to play which they didn’t seem to enjoy at all. There were always restrictions imposed by Aditi’s father on their movements. They couldn’t play Hide-n Seek, they can’t have Long Race. Even in school, there were always two bodyguards for her security. All her friends were afraid of the bodyguards as they looked dangerous; long, thick moustache with a revolver tied to their trouser belts, chewing paan or puffing beedi; without showing the slightest sign of any human emotion. Once Aditi had complained,” Papa, why do I need so much security? Why do other girls of my age are allowed to roam freely but not me”. To this her father had shouted,” You are the daughter of an MP. Do you know how many enemies I have?? What if they kidnap you and use you as a bait against me? Do you know what all bad things they can do to you? I don’t want them any chance to explore my weakness. You have to do as I say or else stop going to school”.Aditi had cried the whole night. Her mother tried to console her but nothing could ease the pain in her heart. Why do Papa not understand me, he thinks me as his weakness & Mummy also doesn’t say anything to Papa. She always tries to make me understand instead.

Aditi was enjoying the marble engravings depicting different forms of Ma Durga. In one of the depictions she was distributing wealth and prosperity in the form of Lakshmi and in other she was killing a huge demon as Kali. Ma Durga helps us to fight all evils present in the world and also within us;her mother had taught her. She was keenly grazing the temple walls when a familiar voice beckoned her ears. “Aditi beta, meri pyari Gudiya, what are you doing here? Come with me. I will take you to the idol factory at the backyard of the temple and show you how these beautiful works are created.” Aditi became very excited,held her Chacha’s(Paternal Uncle) hand and started going to the backyard. Thankfully there were no security guards to follow her .Since Uncle was there, her father had not felt the need to send so much security. Her Uncle like her father was a minister in the government.

The backyard seemed to be a highly secluded area; there was no one present there; no clue of any factory; no sound of any tools. “Where is the factory,Chahchaji?” Her Uncle grinned in an unusual manner which Aditi had not seen before. He held her tightly and started to put his hands beneath her frock. After that he unzipped his trouser and looked at her with eyes that conveyed mischievousness and danger. The event that followed was very new to Aditi. She experienced extreme pain and tried to shout only to find her Uncle’s hand on her mouth. This lasted for a few minutes.After satisfying himself, the beast rose from her body. He touched Aditi’s cheek .”Meri Gudiya, take this chocolate and promise me not to tell this to anyone. You are a good girl na. You will follow your Uncle’s instruction”.The temple bells rang at deafeaning levels;but the Goddess was not happy.

ATT00007.

The train started leaving the platform. Aditi wiped out her tears.12 years had passed after that day but her wounds were still intact. The physical wounds did take a long time to heal as her Uncle kept visiting her with more chocolates. But the mental wounds had left their imprint forever. Aditi shuddered remembering the touch of the ugly, rigid, tight hands on her body. An instant feeling of horror, hatred and anger filled her soul. But even more pronounced was the complete denial she faced from her mother when she finally told her about her exploitation by her Uncle. Her mother as always told her to maintain silence and not tell anything to her father.

The sexual abuse had ended as Aditi went to Delhi to complete her graduation;but the face of the devil haunted her wherever she went. She could not concentrate on her studies; every man seemed to her as a wolf of lust who will bite her with its  teeth & scratch her body with its claws until its hunger is satisfied. She felt highly insecure interacting with people; it was as if the whole world had been spectators to what had been done to her and now they all were mocking her. “You don’t have any right to study, be independent, live freely”, the voices whispered in her ears when she slept at night.

Aditi’s mobile vibrated taking her out from the train of thoughts. It was the Editor of the news channel which she had contacted before.She knew that this has to be huge, the police is too corrupt to handle this. Media is the only way which can ensure action ” Hello Aditi, this is Vaishali speaking from India Today.I just called to know if you had reached New Delhi station. There will be a vehicle outside the station that will take you directly to your hotel. You can come to our studio from there.I am messaging you the details of the driver and the vehicle.” Aditi just replied with a thanks. She was still not sure if this is the right thing to do. Speculating her confusion came a voice from the other side,” Look Aditi, its completely upto you whether you wanna go with this story or not. There is no pressure from us. But I feel someone has to step forward to make a difference.” Aditi hung up the phone and started drinking the tea which she had purchased a long time before but forgot to drink.

Aditi was now in her hotel suite. She looked through the window and in came the images from yesterday flashing before her eyes. Aditi was standing besides a huge couch in a well-furnished living room. The other occupants of the room included a 55 year old man wearing a kurta-paijama seated on the couch and a woman of about the same age seated besides him.She had tears in her eyes and seemed to be feeling guilty for hiding something which should have been brought in light long before. After few minutes of awkward silence, the man said. “Beta,I can understand what you have gone through. Whatever was done to you should have never happened, you suffered a lot because of all this.But please think about it with a cool head. Nothing done now can undone the things happened in the past. Moreover,its family;its wise if the matter remains with the walls of the house.” Aditi could not believe her ears.It was as if the floor beneath her foot was suddenly removed and she fell into a pit thousands of meter deep. Tears started rolling automatically;the girl was betrayed by the very person who was supposed to support her ,protect her.Her father had just put a blindfold to her feelings,her pain,her deep agony.Aditi felt weak ;expectantly she looked at her mother only to see the same face as hers. ” I can’t let this happen to me.I am a strong women.I can’t allow myself to be dictated like this ; to loose my very existence.I will fight for it. I will have my justice whether you support me or not”.Her voice was shaky but filled with a sense of resolve.With this Aditi left the room and the house forever.

“Let me now welcome on stage the Honourable Home Minister of India”,said the Vice-Chancellor of Indira Gandhi School of Arts for Women. The beast sprang up from the chair and went to the podium with a plastic smile on his face.” First of all,I want to wish every women present here a very Happy Women’s Day. I firmly believe that a strong woman can only lead to a strong nation. Women should be given every possible support by the administration and the society .I, myself is a devotee of Ma Durga and treat every woman with the same respect and love as my mother. I strongly criticize all forms of exploitations done to woman and the government is taking ample measures to ensure security to women. We have deployed special police forces at critical junctures of all major cities after the recent rape cases which will ensure the complete safety of  woman outside their homes.” Aditi gave a satirical laugh and switched off  the TV.” And who will protect them within the house?? No girl or woman can be safe in this country until there are devils of lust like you roaming freely.How can a girl feel safe if the people meant to protect her start exploiting her.How dare you call yourself a well-wisher of woman when you had not even left your 10 year old niece untouched by your sins. You think that since you are a huge minister,no one can stop you. I will stop you Chachaji.”

With firm determination, Aditi stepped out from her room to the news channel studio. Ma Durga had stepped forward to assassin the devil.