Where is she ? I asked her mother, who was a domestic help to me. She, silently with tears in her eyes showed me the doors of a closed room. I opened the door and saw her sitting in a corner hiding her face, crying silently, her eyes were swollen ,she was in pain, lifeless. She wanted to be in dark and resisted the light coming from the just opened door. She was not afraid of the dark but the light, she was afraid to face the world, afraid of the scars of on her body, afraid of the moment of the past that took her life , her innocence from her. She wanted to be alone in this darkness. I called her by name, she was frightened and then hugged me tightly and started crying, it was not my fault didi, he did wrong with me, I am in so much pain, I am not now pure didi, I have become “gandi”. I can’t bear the pain didi. I had no words to console her , to take her away from this darkness. I just took her in my arms and tried to help her to let out the pain, anger what is inside her.
I still remember the days, when my maid used to bring her everyday while she was working, she was just 4 years old, I used to play with her, love her while her mother was away doing her work. Time flies at a lightening speed, she was now 14-year-old and was studying in a nearby government school, our attachment has now grown to be stronger bond, she loved me more than her mother, I used to teach her after school, we were like friends, she was such a beautiful doll. But then I never knew that such a fate was written for her.
After police formalities, I took permission from her mother and brought her to my place. She was tired, weak and heart-broken. I could see the dried tears on her face, her eyes were swollen, she was afraid to be alone, I asked her to close her eyes and try to sleep. She slept like a frightened child shivering from cold,curled around her body.
I covered her from blanket and came out in the balcony, it was dark, I am always scared of the dark, I wanted to switch on the light, but didn’t. I wanted to be in and with darkness for sometime. I wanted to understand how she must be feeling, to be in dark, it was the first time when I saw somebody finding solace in the darkness. It was a state when you just don’t want to see anything and just cry. I was in a blank state, feeling helpless to help her. I just could not think of anything to do, to bring back the lovely child within her, who is sinking in the darkness of the patriarchal society, who is wounded by the cruelties of a beast who gave her unbearable pain for all her lifetime, just for satisfying his lust, to satisfy his ego. The question was not about how that beast will be punished, but how I can bring back the light in her life again.
I saw the sky, starlit sky, a full moon sky, it was moon light spread on the path, but it was dark inside. My heart was crying, shouting, asking questions why, how can anybody do this to such a small child, rather to anybody.
I wished for a shooting star to wish for my girl. I wanted to wish to see that beautiful smile and innocence again on her face. I wanted to wish her fly again, to run after butterflies , to get drenched in the rains, I wanted to wish to bring her back from the hands of ” Yamraj” disguised as a brutal society.
I was looking in the sky, searching for a star to fall from the sky to fulfill my wish, then a dark cloud hid the moon behind him and increased the degree of darkness, but then a cool breeze came and took away with him dark cloud. It was again a full moon night.
I gathered up my courage and decided to be the cool breeze in her life, to bring back the full moon in her life, so that she can walk with pride towards her destiny, even when it dark outside, even when there is no light, I would spark a light inside her which will keep her away from the darkness. She will never be hiding her face again in darkness and she will never seek darkness to find solace. I didn’t knew how , but I knew I will.
I was determined, I closed my eyes, tears were dropping down silently, it was dark, but not scary as I could see, the light from within, yes I can see, This is not the end. We have still have miles to go, I felt as if we are in the middle of the dark tunnel and a beautiful way, a beautiful journey is just outside this darkness.