Wednesday, October 17

Waking up in a better tomorrow- Story of every girl!

She has to get up and leave bed, even before the sun does. The alarm at the side table which keeps buzzing with the ever so enchanting melody, doesn’t understand what it is to sleep, doesn’t understand what it is to wake someone up abruptly. She sets it on snooze to sleep for another half hour, but alarms unlike her mother, buzz back exactly in five minutes. She has to be up and ready, though not for herself, her office is not for another 4 hours, but for her brother. He goes to school. She tries waking him telling him, ‘Rajat you’ll get late for school. Get up.’ ‘Riya, five more minutes’, he says. She ignores him for some time; but unlike the alarm, five minutes for her are not exactly five minutes. Rajat knows this. He sleeps peacefully, undisturbed by the melody.

She starts doing the household chores; her parents are out of town to return in a week. The bell rings and it’s the newspaper guy, he has been doing this since two-three days, apparently right after the girl's parents left. He smiles wickedly when he sees her collecting the paper.

Bhaiya, how many times have I told you not to ring the bell?’

‘What do I do, if you lose the paper, you’ll blame me, I have to ring the bell.’

‘We won’t blame you. You just don’t ring the bell!’

Ab bajana toh padega, kaam he hamara, aur aapke mother father bhi ghar par nahi he tab, bajana toh padega, hum hi dhyan nahi rakhenge toh kaun rakhega,’ he grins showing his full set of teeth and unfulfilled intent. She wants to slap him on the face, but she doesn’t. It’s just a comment anyways. She shuts the door reading the paper. The headlines read... 

She wakes Rajat up who before rushing to the washroom shouts, ‘I told you to wake me up, now I’ll be late, can’t you understand one simple thing Juhi?’

She is at a loss for words. She engages herself in the same household chores. Rajat comes out of the washroom, and after getting ready, leaves for his school without eating the breakfast as some sign of protest, ‘I wonder how you’re going to manage after you get married!’ he remarks before rushing out of the door. Why does it always come to marriage? Is he not going to marry? Why couldn’t he wake me up today? Why does it never happen the other way round? Oh wait, he’ll marry a girl, why does he have to care. Unopposed rules of the society.
The bell ring wakes her up from the slumber of thoughts; the milkman watches her as he pours the milk in the container, he spills some of it on the floor while doing it. She tells him to leave it as it is, when he says ‘let me make it up to it, otherwise you’d think I am cheating’ the wild grin clear on his face. ‘No just leave it, I have enough milk.’ Before she shuts the door, she overhears him, ‘I can see that.

She gets ready for her office after preparing lunch for Rajat and Tiffin for herself. It’s going to be tough day, like every other day. Leave at 9, reach at 9. She reaches her office at 10 and everyone-from the watchmen to her colleagues, gawks her with lust filled eyes. Without any shame they stare, she catches them, they smile yet they stare. She doubts if her salwar is revealing too much. She hurries to the washroom to check. She is relieved that the looks were not ‘I see something there’ looks. She should have gotten used to them till now. ‘Silly me’, she acts.

‘Miss Pooja, are you free in the break? I know this very nice coffee place. You’ll join me?’ her mentor asks her, making it sound like a question. But she knows what it is. He solely controls her marks, and he might just deduct them. It’s just a coffee anyways.

In the break, she tries ignoring the proposition by pointing out to her Tiffin box; but he ignores it with a cheerful smile. He is an expert, must have had too many girls like her to sharpen his wits. She hides her Tiffin box deep in her bag below every little useless thing like make up and papers and assignments of others. He sits close to her and puts his arm around her back; she smiles awkwardly waiting for this to end. His friends give him looks, appreciating a nice catch. He gives his friends looks, appreciating their nice catch. The girls smile looking at each other. They just smile.  

Break gets over. Ruchit comes and asks her if she would go to a movie with him. He is just a friend. He has told her he likes her, but that doesn’t matter. He laughs and tells her, ‘Anjaliit’s just a movie, not a date. It’s just that you like this movie and I haven’t watched it as well. We won’t sit together if you want.’ She likes the honesty but she can’t go out with him. She has no reason why…but she refuses.

She leaves office for her classes. As she walks on the pavement, a group of young boys sitting at a Chaai Shop, whistle at her. They must be in 11-12, yet so shameless. They catch her off guard and she reacts in the usual way, ‘Ghar me maa behan nahi he kya?’ One of the kids faking heartbreak cries foully, ‘Maa-Behan toh he, Biwi nahi he, tum banogi?’ Her whole body shivers with fear. What is this generation going to become? Who will teach these young boys to respect woman? Isn’t our country on the brink of a gigantic moral catastrophe?

She will bunk classes today. She wants to be alone. Her phone vibrates and the message reads, ‘where are you? I am soooo bored.’ A smile takes over her sullen face, finally there’s someone who cares about her. She updates him with all that happened today. He is extra sweet today; she wonders why’s he not angry, why’s he not telling her go date her mentor, why’s he not fighting. Maybe she is just over-thinking, he seems to be in a good mood today and after all he loves her. They talk for some time, and he asks her if she could bunk classes today, she tells him she already has.

‘Great!!! Where are you right now, I will pick you up. Let’s go somewhere. I loveee you, Sapna!’

In half hour, he is there in his car. They go to the City Centre mall; he buys her her favorite handbag. They eat at her favorite Chinese restaurant. She feels so light. All her worries fade even if for some time. He asks her what she’d want to do now. She says ‘anything you want’. They sit in his car and he kisses her on her lips. She doesn’t enjoy it. She ignores the unannounced kiss. ‘He loves me and it’s his right’ she thinks. They reach the place where he lives. She gives him a surprised look and asks him pointing to herself with mock despair, ‘Dude, you forgot to drop this at her place!’ He smiles and offers her to come upstairs. She adjusts her dress, meeting his parents, big deal for her. They reach his flat. The door is locked. Wait. Why is the door locked? He unlocks it and suggests her to get in.

She enters speculating what is going on when he grabs her from behind and starts kissing her like crazy. ‘Sahil, what are you doing?’ ‘There’s no one in my home, Aarti!’ he says while groping her front. ‘Sahil, you should have told me this.’ But he doesn’t listen; he keeps on touching her body everywhere. It all happens so fast, she has no time to comprehend. Her brain freezes. He turns her around and plants his lips on hers. She shuts her eyes. She pushes him aside. He is surprised. ‘What are you doing?’ Her eyes are watery and can break loose any time. He doesn’t see it; he pulls her closer and unknots her salwar. He pulls it off in one go and there she stands, half naked in front of someone who feels like a stranger to her now. She feels ashamed. She tries to hide herself in herself. He touches her where no one ever has, violating her privacy, scarring her soul. It’s probably a nightmare and she is going to wake up anytime. But she doesn’t wake up and he doesn’t stop; his hands measuring every part of her young unripe body, touching it, disgracing it.

Open it…Take it…Everyone does it…You know how much I love you… it’s no big deal…

But when he finally touches her there…she reacts. She forces him aside and a slap lands right on his face. She cries, ‘stop it’, with tears streaming down her eyes, ‘stop it I say’.

Unashamed, he tries again, but she is determined, she stops him. He requests her, he begs but to no avail. His big fat male ego kicks in. He slaps her this time, “Get out of my house; I have many bitches waiting for me.”

Shocked and shaken, she stares at the face of ‘the love of my life’, ‘my first love’, ‘my cutie future husband.’ Tears evaporate with all the feelings and blankness sinks in. All her future plans which took so much of her thoughts come crashing down to nothingness. She is going to judge every man based on this experience. Will she ever be able to love someone with all sincerity? One wonders. She breaks yet she gets strong. The lady in her has died, or will in some days with some more incidents like this where her trust is broken so carelessly.  

 She wears her salwar with messed up hair and smudged kajal all over her face, she leaves his house. He pleads going down on his knees, he asks her to stay, ‘Sorry, Priyanka, it got out of my hands, sorry, you were being rude. Don’t leave, please.’ But she has no reason to stay, she leaves.

She walks till her home, a good 40 minutes from his house, throbbing people out of her way, walking like a drunk and shouting on the street like a drunk, ‘they use you, and they throw you’, scaring people away from her. She smiles, she feels happy for some moments when they all shrug her, being ignored feels nice. She laughs wildly. And weeps silently.

She reaches her home which is finally less broken than she herself is. It’s so dark; she feels the negative energy all around her circling her, laughing, with voices in her head telling her how independent she really is, how desperate she is for love and affection. She sits on the sofa and takes out her Tiffin box. She smiles coyly and philosophizes to her Tiffin box, ‘you know Tiffin you’re just like me. My aspirations and goals are hidden deep below all the useless other things some of which are not even mine like you. You know, it would have been so much better had my parents killed me before I was born. I know they say female infanticide is a crime. But living here is worse. At least, I wouldn’t have to see this male dominated hypocritical ‘equal for all’ sad society, where I am the reason for my rape, where I am told to wear proper clothes, where I am being molested by a mob and taken a video of, where people make filth-filled comments and get applauded, where I have no respect and rights. I know Tiffin I am over reacting, but this is my last resort. I know you are not getting my points clearly, you are a Tiffin anyways, dumb Tiffin. Let me give you a practical example. How would you feel if I take bite by bite, everything that you hold in you-your reason for existence, and eat it just like the society does to us, taking everything part by part that we hold and KILL it? Society surely wants to slay my ambitions and dreams but you know what that’ll never happen because I am a woman and I am bloody strong.’  

She checks her phone, and sets the alarm before the-sun-rises time and sleeps hoping to wake up in a better tomorrow.

And the headlines read...

Student gang-raped; Trinamool student leader ‘involved’ 
Panchayat bans love marriage, bars women below 40 from shopping
Khap panchayat bars girls from wearing jeans
Drunkards molest girl as public watches and police dithers

and numerous other incidents reported daily in the papers and the ‘small’ Eve teasing incidents that are never stated and recorded. I am deeply sorry if I hurt anyone’s sentiments, because I don’t intend to. Do share the post and your love. Thank you.