Posted June 21, 2008on:
I don’t know why but that day I was missing Shuchi a lot. It was almost three years since I last saw her or talked to her.I went back three and half years back in my thoughts when I had received a call from my sister. She wanted me to find a suitable job for Shuchi as she had already completed her post graduation. I was more than happy to help my beloved niece. She was the “Jaan” of our family. Very intelligent, helpful, polite and always smiling. She was the apple of everyone’s eye. Shuchi was warm heartedly welcomed in our home. Within a short period she got a good job in a prestigious company. (Everybody thinks that I helped her, but she never needed any help. She was bright enough to get through on her own.)
Time passed and she got settled in her new job. Because of her good nature she became favourite with her colleagues, too! Her mother was now after me to find a suitable boy for Shuchi. When I told her this, she shyly mentioned about Ishwar.
Somehow, Ishwar gave not-so-good vibes!
Against our wishes, she got married to Ishwar (not one trait of his was anywhere near to his name!). She was so happy about the marriage that we all kept our doubts aside but still kept our fingers crossed. Suddenly after one month of the marriage, she called one day and told me that I should not keep any contact with her! She said this and “thuk” the line went dead. She never tried to contact us and I couldn’t as her number was no longer available. I got her news from my sister time to time. I tried to get her contact number or address from my sister but mysteriously she always denied stating that was what shuchi wanted. My sister was also worried but never told anything (I am not sure whether she knew anything herself!).
This was three years back. I never knew what happened to Shuchi or why she never kept contact, nothing!
That night I couldn’t sleep properly. Shuchi occupied my thoughts for no apparent reason.
At 6 in the morning the bell rang. I was sure it was Shuchi (don’t ask why, I myself don’t know!). I almost ran to open the door. As I opened the door, I got rooted. I was shocked to see Shuchi. I couldn’t recognize her. Her once beautiful face was scarred; she was so thin that even toothpick would look healthy! I asked her to come inside, almost as an after thought. She limped inside!
“I am not going to that hell again!” she said without any emotion.
I wanted to kill that bastard who did what I saw to my beloved child.
There were so many questions in my mind. What actually happened? Why did she keep up to this brutality for so long? When did all these start? Why she never informed any of these to us? Why she never ran away before?
But looking at her, I did not have heart to ask her anything. I slowly inched towards her and gave a hug. She started crying. Slowly initially, and then copiously, relentlessly! I let her cry…
She needed medical attention immediately for her physical as well as psychological trauma.
As weeks passed she started showing some colour on her face.
Today I am very happy. Shuchi gave her first smile today! Ah, that lovely smile!
I wanted to know many things which are still unanswered, but I am in no hurry.
P.S. Have not told Shuchi that I and her mother have filed a case against her husband. He is in police custody and the case is in the court. The court has agreed to call Shuchi as a witness only when her condition stabilizes.