A voice of a woman addressing the immoral men in the world. The world says she is 'just' a woman but she says to the world:" I am a 'Woman' not a toy".
To Immoral Men
Sumathi cried on her mom's shoulder “what I will do mom, what can I do, I can only take my life “. Her mother in a sharp voice “Don’t say such things, think about your children”. She left home, her eyes were red and puffy, she stood at the bus stop, she has to board a bus; she remembered her last visit to her mother’s house with Ravi in car and with her daughter, the neighbors used to gaze at them, there was jealousy in their eyes, they were such a matching couple.
She asked Ravi whether he can drop her at her mother’s house, he got a phone call, he went out and spoke; came back and said, ‘’I am busy, go by yourself“.
She thought, “It must be her, Manju who came to ruin her life”, but her inner voice questioned her “Is it Manju or Your cancer that ruined your life”. After she had cervical cancer, everything changed, her husband who loved her, looked at her with disgust, she was like a wiped up tissue paper. He had a new woman now, she who works with him; she is everything to him now. Sumathi knows that Manju does not desire to marry him, but she desires his money. Her jewels one by one vanished while Manju’s neck was covered with necklaces stubbed with diamonds.
She tried to kill herself twice but, her children stopped her. She had two lovely children, ten years old boy, Ganesh, and Susmitha who was thirteen years old, they both said: “we hate dad, we don’t like him, mama, we love you, only you, please mama, stop crying”. She promised to them that she will never leave them, she wanted to live for them, and they were her world now. Ravi pays the school fees, buys whatever they ask for but he does not love them like before, he never spends time with them, children knew that their father has changed. If he had cancer, she would have never left him, such was her love. For Sumathi her children needed their father, she has a daughter, she has to marry her. She boarded a bus while her husband took Manju in their expensive car.
It was very late but Kamala did not come for household work, Mrs. Suresh called her but she did not pick up. She came after three days, her face was pale, her smile was dead, her eyes reddish went inside into her swollen face. Mrs. Suresh asked her what was wrong, Kamala burst out crying “what will I do, what must not happen has happened, how will I say it out, it is such a shame”. Mrs. Suresh asked her to tell what had happened, Kamala spoke.
It was Sunday, she woke up a bit late and prepared to go to the market to buy vegetable, she asked her ten-year-old son to take care of his small sister. But he left her alone and went to play; when she came her daughter was rolled like a piece of dirty cloth on the corner of her house. She was breathing heavily, she touched her forehead it was hot. She noticed scratches on her hands, legs, she removed her dress; there were bruises everywhere. She rushed her to the hospital, she wept bitterly at her daughter's fate. A bud was plucked from a plant, it was squeezed before it could bloom and before it can become a flower it was crushed. She was seven years old, she cannot speak, she is an angel without a voice, she cannot make noise when such a thing happened to her, she cannot say who did this to her. But she will grow, she will grow to show the world that has misused her disability of being dumb that she is able but differently able. She will speak through her actions, she will point out to the world its crime.
Leela was returning from college, she was happy that her project work was a great success. Her Teachers praised her, they said: “You have a bright future, Leela, your parents are blessed to have you as a child”. Leela was an ideal student when girls of her age were in love; she was in love with studies. She never diverted from her path, she was bold, confident and radical. Her career was the only thing in her mind, tomorrow was a big day for her, she is going to attend her campus interview, her project is going to be accepted and it’s a great success, she is going to be appointed in a huge multinational company as a genetic engineer.
She walked towards the bus stop, she was suspicious; she felt that she was being followed. Before she could turn a boy with blue jeans and black tea-shirt crossed her, he threw some kind of liquid on her face and ran. She cried in agony, holding her face with her hands, it burned, it burned than her passion, the pain was more than the pain she bore so long to be successful in life. She was rushed to the hospital, while she was treated, she thought about Rajesh, a boy who followed her for one year, she rejected his request, but he followed, he was present where ever she went, she clearly spoke about her goals, her career, her family but he refused to listen. She insulted him in the end, told him to get lost.
'This was his true love, love that killed his own lover, love that destroyed his own lover’s happiness and dreams', he sat at the wine shop drinking and saying his love was a failure. Leela sat there on the hospital bed with her horribly disfigured face; she hated the world that was unjust to her, but she showed the world that she will not stay at home and that she will not hide her face. She came from the hospital, despite people staring at her face, despite people looking at her with disgust, she carried on with her life. She was one of the models who posed for Acid Attack Survivors Calendar.
Joseph and Merlyn are crying before the grave of their daughter, it is her first death anniversary. Merlyn gave birth to Sara after five years of marriage; she was their only daughter, their happiness, their purpose for living. Sara was born after years of prayer and fasting by the couple. Sara has the cutest smile; she makes everyone in her class smile. She is liked by all her classmates, teachers, and family members. Once she gave her pocket money that she saved a penny by penny to buy a dress for a poor girl near her house.
On Monday Sara prepared to go to school, she waved her hand to her mother, that was the last time Merlyn seen her. Sara did not return from school, Meryl called her husband, he came home rushing. They called her friends, teachers, relatives, “Is Sara there?”, “Did You see her?”
There reply, “No” worried them. Joseph in his car searched street after street, nook and corner of the entire Noida. He could not find a trace of their daughter. They filed a complaint in the local police station. After years, they got the news that their daughter is dead. She was sexually harassed and killed; her body was thrown into an open gutter. Only her bones remained. Not only her bones, bones of many children sexually harassed were thrown in the gutter. Parents were given the bones that remained of their children. Merlyn wept bitterly for her daughter who was a prey to beasts. So long she thought Sara was alive, somewhere very far from her but now her daughter’s bones were there before her, buried.
She cannot digest the fact that her daughter was there in the gutter which she crossed unnoticed, she cannot bear the fact that the dirt water of her sink, the water that she flushed in the toilet was let into the same gutter where her daughter’s body was thrown. She used to give her daughter a bath with toy soap, which was Sara’s favorite. For birthday parties, she used to dress her daughter a strawberry printed frock which was Sara’s favorite.
Her daughter’s body was in a filthy gutter, she thought how her daughter withstands the smell, how did she withstand the pain. Joseph and Merlyn were before the grave of their daughter crying, they will cry no more because they are going to the place where their daughter went, wiping his tears Joseph took a bottle of TIK-20 from his pant pocket, He planned to have it first and then he will pass it to his wife who grieved day and night but before he could pour it into his mouth, Merlyn stopped him, the bottle fell down, the fluid was spilt on the ground. She kept her right hand on her belly and said, "I'm pregnant, Joseph I thought I will say to you after ..., Sara is going to have a rebirth, She is in my stomach". They both were glad that Sara was going to be born again.
Ms. Swetha woke up in the middle the night, she thought about it again, it stole her sleep, she wished if she did not do it, she tried hard but she cannot erase it from her memory, it made her feel awful, it made her hate herself. It dawned she prepared to go to the office, her eyes had dark circles, she was tired but she went because she had a feeling, that she is going to achieve something great that day.
She entered her cabin and again her memories started tormenting her. It was the same room where her CEO kept his hand on her right shoulder and his hands grazed her neck. He said in his bossy tone “You need promotion Swetha, I will give you but you have to give me what I want, hope you understand what I said”. It was the same table where she laid naked feeling disgusted when her CEO touched her with his wrinkled fingers.
Now she is the same room, but she is the CEO she has got what she wanted but she has lost… lost her happiness, lost her peace of mind. There she sat looking at the file, there were two promotion papers she has to sigh, the two candidates she chooses were Reeta and Emily two young vibrant, talented women. She was happy for them, happy that she gave a hand to women to achieve their dreams, she was happy that they no need to lose what she lost to get a promotion. She wished them all the very best in their career.
Raka was watching the news, there was a gang rape in Delhi, a five years old child was abused; a college girl was acid attacked, children abused and bodies thrown in the gutter. She cannot hear more, every day, she heard such news, the next day they vanished. What happens to the accused? No one knows. She can see the girls protest “Don’t tell me what to wear, tell them not to rape”. She took her bag and walked fast to catch the bus, a boy wearing a checked shirt came beside he dashed her, she could feel the severe pain in her chest. She returned home, took a knife, she wanted to cut the boy who dashed her. But what can she do? The world looks at her and says: She is ‘just’ a woman. She knew she cannot cut all the immoral men in the world. She took a pen that is mightier than a sword, she wrote story after story, stories that she saw in her own eyes, stories she heard, one by one, and dedicates it to immoral men in the world. She looked at the world and said: “I am a ‘Woman’ not a toy”.