April 08, 2012

Time To Change - Tap the 'Humane' In Us?

She sat there sweating profusely, her temper matching the heat outside. Would this too turn out to be a failed attempt? The pressure from the officials had been mounting. New mouths to feed arrived at a steady pace every month, eating into her share of the allocated funds. Being the head of the orphanage was not a lucrative business any more. She was tired of pandering to the egos of higher ups and soliciting new clients for her husband's floundering real estate business at the same time. The dingy room saw less and less of her as days passed by.

 Rama Shankar* pushed his way through the wooden saloon doors, he didn't bother to knock. 
 If she hadn't been preoccupied, would have noticed the smug look that permeated his features these days. "The Pandeys called, Madamji."
"Again? Bringing her...Munni back?" Desperation reducing her voice to a hoarse croak.
"Who tells this poor man anything?" His voice always reminded her of grease scrapped from a steel plate.
 Must want to wash their hands off her. These religious, middle class ones are all the same, just empty talk. "What did you tell them?"
 "The usual, busy with inspection work." He seemed pleased with his lies. His eyes had a hazy quality to them. Had he been...? "How many times have I told you to stay off bhang during working hours?
"Do you want to lose this job too?"
With watering eyes, he quickly prostrated before her, "Have mercy on me, family man, my kids will starve to death." adding, "These kids are like my children, they need me."

He managed to convince her every time; she needed him to cover up her absence. She was about to give him another last warning when the noise outside distracted her. There was a flurry of running feet followed by steadier ones. Snippets of conversation in loud and soft voices could be heard. The rushing feet stopped at her door. Utter silence. The door swung wildly as burly policemen swooped into her space. 
 Two scared looking attendants along with a dozen children of different ages waited just outside the threshold. The Pandeys and a few other parents stood next to an important looking official. The collector and here? 
Munni? Why does she have a glum face?  Looking at the cowering ten year old who stood between her adoptive parents, a familiar sense of something amiss hit her. Something had happened, she was the one scared now. Putting on a brave face, hiding the tremor in her tone and turning to Baldev Singh, the inspector she recognised, "What is the meaning of this, Baldevji?"

Baldev turned to the collector who gave him an impatient nod.  He looked at her sadly. She was a decent woman and yet it had to be done. "Arrest warrants for you and this man here." pointing to the peon who was staring at Munni with a dazed look. 
"Arrest Warrant?" she repeated, bewildered.
"For the rape of Munni and four other minor girls adopted from the orphanage. There are also charges by some of the attendants," looking towards the door, "of being molested." 
"There must some mistake, surely, I would be aware of such happenings." 

"If you had been around and had bothered to notice the obvious signs." Pandeyji spoke for the first time. "We found blood stains on our daughter's clothes. She would't eat properly, woke up screaming every night, woudn't even let my brother hug her.
"One of my neighbours who is a child specialist felt that she had undergone recent trauma. A physical examination by an expert left us with no doubt. My daughter found the courage to tell us everything that happened to her here. So did the other girls." affectionately patting his daughter on her head. "Can we go home, daddy?" Munni asked softly.
"Come on, Baldev, take them into custody. We have to move the remaining children to a safer place, we haven't all day." The collector shook hands with the team and the parents before walking towards the other children.

* This is a work of fiction though it's based on ground reality. Names used are purely coincidental and bear no resemblance to those living or dead.

Children are our future, more so girls - the nurturers of such future...If protectors turn monsters, where do they go? Please love, protect and cherish them.

This post is written for the contest Stayfree-Time To Change on IndiBlogger


Harish said...

Hm.. Cruel and terrible reality.

M Pax said...

Rek, you have such an interesting way of telling a story. Fabulous job. You won't be getting rejections forever. Keep writing. :)

Cherie Reich said...

The poor girls!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Be sure to stop by tomorrow - I have a surprise for you!

Arti said...

What a wonderfully knitted tale! Poignant and heart tugging, loved the message given through the story.

All the best, Rekha :)

Ciara said...

I left a comment but it gave me an error message, so I'll try again. If two show up later, I'm sorry. I love a well told tale with a great message. Great job!

Jack Edwards Poetry said...

A really well written story. A great read.

All the best,

Betty Alark said...

Really like your blog design! It's very angelic!

I often ponder if the crulties that are sometimes displayed by humans isn't - humane; what humans display in action and deeds is who and how an individual is within themselves at the time the action is evoked.

Barbaric acts and the like have been around since the beginning of time - yet they were displayed by humans and were considered, humanity during those times.

Granted humans evolve in attitude, action, spirtuality, etc. I simply think that what ever comes forth from humans is indeed their humanity; and a display of our humaness.

Being humane can evolve and does; it simply evolves to another level-and thats the beauty of it; becoming humane on a higer level verses the lower level!


Anonymous said...

Cool story. Reality sometimes ins't fair, but its still reality.

cleemckenzie said...

Blogspot can be a pouty creature when you don't follow its preferred rules. Glad you didn't. Your blog is beautiful and your story compelling. Thank you for it.

Alex sent me over to say hello. So pleased that he did.

Theres just life said...

Very well written story. Came from Alex's blog, I am so glad I did. You have a new follower in me.

Pamela Jo

Melissa Bradley said...

This piece is extraordinary. You have an incredible gift for bringing your characters to gritty, visceral, real life.

Thank you so very much for stopping by my blog the other day. I appreciated your comment very much.

Tomz said...

This is fiction. But truly the incidents have life. These have striking resemblance with what are happenings around us nowadays..

been away from blogging for some while..sorry for that

Pat Tillett said...

Well written and very realistic. Not cheery, but sometimes life isn't cheery.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Incredibly tragic yet beautifully written. Thanks for your courage to bring stories like this - whether called "fiction" or not - to light.

Thanks also, Rek, for your very thoughtful comment on my blog.

Love and friendship,

Rahul Bhatia said...

Lovely narration! Best of luck for the contest!

Ciara said...

Oh my, the prose were so perfect I'm disturbed.

Sammy said...

Nicely written
Well done yaar..all the best.cheers :)
Also Check out mine.Give your comment on it.
Are Hijra's(TransGender) not a Human being.?

Post a Comment

Glad you made it this far...would love to hear your take on the words scribbled. A comment every now and then keeps the blues away. :D

Since, crazy Mr. Blogspot won't let me reply to the comments here (is upset with the water ladies ever since they refused to verify visitors)...will do the next best thing, drop in to your blog to say my Vanakkam/Namaste/Salaam/Hello.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...