Since it is Sexual Molestation Awareness Week in colleges all around Boston and it is Ek Hasina Thi's second anniversary today, I decided to write down a dedication from Sharmila's POV. Keep in mind the fact that this based at the time when she had not consented to any marriage. (Writing on my phone so please disregard any editing errors). Dont forget to like, comment and criticize my work, I am open to creative discussion on my piece.
Dadi just announced that I am a disgrace to this family and that I have no choice to protect my integrity but to marry that vicious guy who did not think twice before trying to almost commit rape. Had his sister not intervened, I even shudder to think what the consequences could have been. Whats his name again? Oh Yes. Neelkanth Jha, brother of Gauri Jha. She is also such a nuisance sometimes, she is so childish but has so much of attitude that I absolutely detest. Let me not disregard the fact that all this would have not occurred had she just sat for her own exam. I genuinely wonder why the girl who saved me from him, I cannot recall her name, but why would she sit in Gauri's place for the exam in the first place? Oh, chuck that! I have more crucial things to ponder about, such as how I am going to get out of this mess that is not even wholly my fault..I admit I should not have done what I did at the party, but that guy tarnished my entire reputation in college and at home even before my actions.
The principal came to my house for God's sake and told my family blatant lies about my reputation. You know what I hate most about this orthodox male dominated society? The fact that whatever happens, the girl is at fault. Like I was born with a stamp on my head stating that I was going to be a liability to everybody, treated close to a nobody by my own grandmother who obviously favours Yug over me and then suddenly I am bringing shame to the house because someone sexually molested me? Not once did they consider my feelings as the victim, on the ground dreading for whats to come next while he crushed my dupatta under his feet. An apology later makes up for nothing. It is not acceptable behavior to resort to means like forcibly kissing a girl in public or harassing her and then trying to justify it by some stupid reasoning. I dont buy that bullshit. I am not a commodity to be used and thrown away by anybody and anyone.
And who is suffering the consequences? He must be probably sitting at home, smirking to himself as if he accomplished some feat while I am forced to do a shuddhikaran and consent to a marriage in order to make sure my family does not get dragged into some legal conflict. Do my rights not matter at all? Why should I be forced into accepting a relationship whose basis lies in nothing but a compromise? And now my engagement has been broken for no reason. I am surprised that my fiance did not call me up once to clarify about the incident and just sent that envelope with the ring inside. How narrow minded can the world even get? To be honest, I am not even surprised anymore but did not expect that of a guy who did not think twice before calling me up between lectures just because he missed me or sometimes had me skip lunch to Skype with him. All those hours of conversation and still lack of trust at the very moment he should have been fighting from my side? Pathetic.
I fail to notice that my mother is ramming the door from outside and Yug and the family have also come because they are concerned I might take some drastic step like attempt to suicide because I am being coerced into something I am completely against. I cant help it, I could not take it anymore. Had to give back and rant downstairs because otherwise my voice will get suppressed even more than it already is. I cannot stand this sadistic thinking that they have. I appreciate that Yug wanted to file a report on my sake and Pishi Maa also encouraged this notion, but why on earth announce that in front of Maa or Dadi? We could have done that secretly and made sure there was no noise about the case but my justice could be served. I was appalled when he told me that Neelkanth had anticipatory bail ready even when he supposedly went to submit himself for the jail term.
I am engulfed by my thoughts and suddenly see someone entering through the window. What the Heck! Who has the audacity to do such a dumb thing?, I thought. I could not make out who it was because I could only see a silhouette in the dark. Wait, it is already evening? I came here in about late afternoon..oh my god..they must have been worried sick to not hear any indication of my presence inside the room..I ought to inform them about my state. Let me go downstairs for dinner atleast. Cannot starve myself just because some people put their ego in front of ethics. Just when I was about to leave, a hand caught mine. I shrieked loudly and turned around to spot the last person I would have liked to meet..Neelkanth. My rage was beyond control now. I quickly picked up a pillow and started slamming it on him so that he lost control and fell down on the ground. I made sure to keep a safe distance from him. I had not gotten over the fear and shock of the sexual molestation, the room was locked, I dont trust him at all and it was nighttime. I tried to make my way towards the door but his meek voice stopped me. He seemed almost..guilty and scared.
"I am sorry. I know this is the wrong time, place and way to meet you but I needed to see you. You were not picking up my calls. I need one chance to give my justification."
"Well, you know what? I dont want any clarification from you. Get the heck out of here. I never want to see your vile face ever again in a lifetime. Oh sorry. Guess what? Your uncle brought a rishta from your side. And you know who it was for? Ofcourse you wouldn't *feigns surprise* ohh it was for me, the girl whose life you have perpetually destroyed. You wont remember it clearly but it was the most traumatic experience in my entire life and then I am given a chance to mercy by marrying my perpetrator. How amazing is that? You get a free pass to doing anything you want with me and I am punished for a lifetime. And marital rape is not even criminalized in our country. So you do not even have to take the efforts to get any more anticipatory bails..is it not a win-win situation? Gee! I am so excited to get the opportunity to get married to you *fakes happiness*"
"Look I know what happened was wrong but.."
"Oops..there is still a but in there? You just said you know its wrong. Then why on earth would you do such a shameful thing? Looking at you it does not seem like you are the forthcoming type or one to normally be expected of to commit such a heinous action. There is absolutely no way you can escape with some dumb excuse because I am not the kind to be easily provoked or convinced, unlike you, who I can clearly gage did this under pressure from someone else. Okay. I give you 5 minutes to speak. You are going to be brutally honest and you better give me a damn good reasoning and rationale behind your impulsive actions that could potentially have left me with no self respect at all or I will call in my brother who you have already seen will not spare you a second time. The girl who saved me and got me into this game in the first place, she is not here to protect you."
"All I want to say is that I am going to make sure that I do serve the jail term that I deserve for attempting to do such a horrific thing that is still costing you your reputation. You will not be compelled by society to get married to me. You will be able to live your life free of grudges against me. You will gain respect in the eyes of society for making me suffer my consequences, and getting your justice, and I will be able to gain better control on my life, and my behavior if I have to survive in the tough conditions that jail life entails of. I am guilty, I am really ashamed, I am genuinely apologetic for my mistakes and I can see no other way to get your forgiveness than to get my punishment. You are not ready to listen to my backstory, you are ruthlessly basing your judgements only on what you see and if this is what you want, this is what you shall get. You had asked me to leave right? I am going now and will not show my face to you ever again."
After his confession, I was shellshocked. I was speechless. My mouth was agape. I did not know what to accuse him of now, because he just gracefully accepted all of my allegations and was ready to submit himself to court even if it meant that he will lose his own social stature, as his family was also well-known and respected in society and he was putting all of that on the line just for my sake? While I cannot just dismiss the sexual molestation incident to nothingness, I felt like I was in a way obligated to give him the chance he was asking for. I cannot force my feelings of carefully masked hatred for him out of my system right now but it seemed like there could be a point where I accept it as part of a brutal past and leave it there.
"I cannot forgive and forget, but I will not let them sentence you to jail after the honest proposition you just made in front of me. But remember, this is the last chance that I am willing to give you. If you mess up in any way once again, I will not think even once before making sure you get the severest of sentences and your life turns to hell. I am not simply an average, submissive girl, I am an individual who has a heart that is giving you an opportunity to repent but also brains in her head and knows how to use it too."
"Thank You. It means a lot to me that despite everything, you are still considering taking a chance with me. I wont disappoint you. I promise I will never succumb to any such provocations and even dream of doing such a horrendous thing again. Now I should probably leave or your family might hear my voice and/or will wonder what you are doing inside the room for so long. Good Night. "
As he left back through the window, she looked at the time. It was almost 8.45 pm and her family usually ate dinner together at 9 pm. She unlatched the door to find her mother sleeping outside, probably tired after prodding the door for a long time. She smiled at the sleeping figure and woke her up. Her mother was glad to see her fine, and they went downstairs for dinner where she convinced everyone that she needed some time to think about such an important decision concerning her life, she wont decline but she will not blindly accept too.
After dinner when she went back to the room, she stood at the same window, and for some reason she felt at peace now. She felt as if somehow everything was going to work out right in time. He seemed like a genuinely nice person. It will be interesting to see what was there about his life that made him do something so unlikely of what she could gage from this interaction. Lets see what life has in store for me now. Hopefully, things will turn out for the better now that I have taken control of my own destiny.
Best Part Ever:
Niveen Sir who plays Neelkanth Jha from Kaala Teeka actually gave a positive feedback too. Best Validation Ever. Thank You once again for this. As they say, the truest validation is when the subject approves of the content. Genuinely feel supa dupa trupa blessed that I actually wrote this story for NeelMila.
Edited by RTme0w - 16 April 2016 at 9:45pm