The night isn’t coated with the usual silence and the occasional howling of the distant stray!The rain is pelting hard against my closed windows,an attempt to reach me ,an attempt protect me from the burns of that liquid fire.I give a wry smile.
I’m in a thatched home,an NGO that took me in after my encounter with the most painful experience in my life.After my family bid a forever goodbye.
This place consisted of women from all walks of life, from all ages and with varied financial conditions.I come from a family of one mother and six other siblings and filling up our empty stomachs once a day was a huge task.
Being third oldest in the line, I never had a chance to study further than the fourth grade and soon I found myself running about two day jobs in hand, my childhood wasn’t a very pleasant one either, the scars on my palms that I attained were from scrubbing the resistant stains from the grills and stoves from a hotel nearby and also my legs trembles till now from the heavy work of distributing the flowers to various rich houses in the colony, many miles covered only on foot.But then the smiles on the faces of my family was worth all my tiring life-style.
“Ganga!! Get back to sleep.it will continue to rain all night” Ashima, my close acquaintance rendered me her advice!
Yes I really had no friends, not that they weren’t reliable but I wasn’t sure that I’d make a good one for them,my train of thoughts resumed their journey.
“Gangaa, you are quite beautiful!You should go for a advertising audition next street” it was from my employer for whom I worked as a sales girl in the textile department by the time I was 17.
At that age,a slight compliment had made me look for work under the cosmetics department in the shop three lanes across textile industry.This job paid me better and I had access to few cosmetics that I loved,ranges of lipsticks, shades of foundations, the glitter above my eyelids and the blushes on my cheek.It was easy to sell the products for the customers,my boss always used to say that I had a way with the customers.
Among my admirers was this cashier guy who had become obsessed over me,for the first few days I thought I knew that I could handle the problem but then the following started, helping profusely para-mounted and this wasn’t normal.Stalking was going beyond acceptance.
A few times when I confronted, he never said a word but never ended either, I wasn’t a type of girl who feared for the slightest danger but then as time passed on, his everyday proposals that usually made a scene at my workplace was the reason that he was removed from work.
Then he became
a maniac, a beast let loose,he started to abuse me for being such an arrogant Indian girl, abused for my ways of talking with the customers,then jealousy had it’s wands on him due to which one of my male co-worker got hauled for just helping me out with the boxes.
My dreams weren’t pleasant, fearing he would hurt my family , fearing that he could hurt my friends, I stopped eating, sleep was at the far end, work-place was no longer safe and one fine evening at the bus-stop, he came around on a motor-cycle of a friend of his,screamed my name and plunged at me like a devil from hell.
He had a bottle in hands,a stirring liquid inside it sent churns in my stomach
“Gangaa, do you know what I have in my hands, it’s called acid, this beautiful face with which you are so proud of, you rejected my love!now you will never love yourself anymore “ his obsession had turned into vengeance.
“noooo” and that was the last word I spoke that day and the only word I speak to this day after a nightmare.
This NGO had housed me for six long years, my face had completely burnt,I hated it, no amount of make-up could cover this ugliness,the devil had won but a storm had brewed in my heart!
Was it my fault ?
Can a single “NO” do this to people?
Ashima stirred up again, half of her body was burnt, a victim of dowry harassment, she was is a worser place than I was in, but I always used to see her smile from under her burns, she is strong and the culprits who brought us to this stage that we had to leave our families and our lives, kids, siblings have to spend a life in isolation.
“Do you believe in goodness?” Ashima tapped me like a mother.
For the first time in years I smiled and looked at her warm face, she was beautiful .
She was the one who had been fighting for her justice and custody of her wo kids but the laywers had mislead her into ruins but still she was fighting, I had given that up years ago but right now, seeing her courage,I grinned wider and held her closer to me.
The pelting grew louder on my windows, I slowly opened them up, the rain-drops hugged me , pacified me, soothed me!The lightning brightened my vision and like a lamp in the darkest hour I found hope.I would fight for justice ,mine and the others.I looked at Ashima, it was time that I accept her friend request, it was time to feel home!
My family was waiting here!
I have always wanted to write on this specific topic, I have scribbled poems,haiku’s and content but then the fiction was the best way to put it, seriously, this is an issue that needs lots of attention.
Readers, could you please voice your opinion with this #WeFight on your blog and link it back to my blog space.