Sankirthi threw her books in air after her 7th semester final exam coming out of the exam hall. One more semester and finally job, “wow” she shouted ignoring all the stares. Freedom, financial independence where you can buy what you want, was just few months away. With her secured job in Bangalore’s reputed company all she had to do is dream. When she saw some police walking towards her in their khaki uniform she just wondered what took them so long. Was she surprise to see them? Hell no she was expecting them from quite some time. She had ignited the fire and she was all set to watch everyone mercilessly burnt.
With questions bombarding from at least 2 police officers she had tough time answering them. After ten minutes she was there sitting in jayanagr 4th block police station. Jam packed police station made her wonder whether everyday it will be the same or today is special day.
One question after another without a pause was thrown at her direction. If she was a terrorist and questions were bullet she would have blown to pieces by now, she smiled dryly. When she couldn’t take it anymore she started to glare from one police to other. She loved the game she started; damn she was enjoying every bit of it. She was about to correct the police who was saying something about Leeroy when the door opened and her mother and father walked in. Her mother’s eyes were swollen and dark circles were making their presence known and her father looked thinner and old. She felt sorry for them but she masked her emotions. Thanks to her mother for teaching the lesson since childhood
“Where is Leeroy?“ question was demanding her attention. Sankirthi looked down at her baited nails and said “He is in US” Her answer took her mother by surprise. “Leeroy is not the guy? Oh my Rama! …” saying she collapsed on the nearby chair. “Bingo mom” she said to herself, you didnt know what your daughter was cooking when you were busy praying in temple. She looked at her mother and said “you see, Leeroy is not in India, what made you think that I was with him?, he is so not my type”, saying she added more fuel to the fire. Her mother burst into fresh tears and covered her eyes with her sari pallu.
Sankirthi was making note of her answer as she may have to repeat same answers at least million times before this matters fades away with time, she sighed with exhaustion.
“Where is the guy you were with?”, she looked at the police who was asking the question and said “I don’t know, we were staying in lodge near my College in Kormangala. He wanted to go to Bombay but I was not ready at the moment”. She coughed and police offered her a glass of water. After thanking the police officer she drank some water. Slowly she looked at her father and said “I don’t know, haven’t seen him since yesterday. As I had my last exams today I didn’t worry about it”. When she said her voice shook a bit thinking it has to, she waited the time bomb to blast.
“Where you first met him?” questioned the same police officer.
“In a hospital, last year my friend was admitted, I visited him couple of times. That time I bumped into this guy”
She started answering all their questions with her simple love story of one year in which she met the guy in hospital and fell in love. One day he proposed her and she said yes, before she knew she was his girlfriend, was madly in love with him. They often met in cafe’ spending as much as time together. When he expressed his interest in marrying her she didn’t take a minute to say yes even though he was a Muslim. As she was from a Brahmin family and he from Muslim they had decided to elope and get married.
Her mother was crying loudly by then listening to her story. The jaws tightening around her father’s cheek was the proof of his anger, she knew it’s not going to be easy.
“So you had physical relation with him?” this question caught her off guard. She said to herself “Come on!, I was madly in love, stayed in hotel with him what you expect??”. She looked down embarrassed to answer to that question in front of her parents. Her father spat “answer, you should have felt embarrassed when you planned to run away with your boyfriend “. Slowly she nodded her head saying yes, her mother pushed her chair and walked out not able to listen any more. Her father followed her mother and what it looks like after 10 glorious minutes he came back. May be he didn’t wanted to miss out the great deeds of his daughter.
After two more hours of drilling and interrogation police let her go with her parents. Before they let her go they took her sign god knows for what. Her name in police record, was she proud about her achievement or not, at particular moment she couldn’t say
As soon as they stepped out the police station her father yelled “sit in the car”. When she walked towards their old omni her mother was waiting for them in back seat. No one spoke until they reached home
As her father unlocked the door to their apartment after what it looked like 1 hour, Sankirthi wondered what is going to happen next. Before she could walk to her room and lock herself in her room, her father called her. Standing face to face he said “you didn’t even think about us, you didn’t even consider our reputation…”. He let the sentence hung in air for breath and started slapping her across her face without stopping.
When her father was tired slapping her across face he searched for anything to hit her with. When he couldn’t get anything he took out his belt and started lashing at her. Before Sankirthi could understand she was there screaming with pain. Sankirthi was begging her father to stop while her mother stood there watching her without uttering a word. How Sankirthi wanted Leeroy to come and rescue her like always. After few minutes of torments she collapsed on ground unconscious.
Sankirthi opened her eyes when the cold water hit her face she saw her father glaring at her not with concern but still with anger. With red blood shot eyes, muffled hair he looked like a monster to her. He dragged to her room by her hair and said “How I wish you were not born, I wish you were dead instead of your brother, you eloped with Muslim guy. You didn’t think about us,…… “. He stopped to catch his breath. He forced her to see him and continued “After enjoying with him for a week you are back. You slept with him, this is what we taught you? You were way too friendly with that gulf boy, I didn’t utter a word not because I trusted you but because I trusted that guy. I have seen the respect for you in his eyes. May be he sees his sister in you which he never had……I wouldn’t be surprised if he stopped talking to you after hearing your great deed…” he closed the door of her room with big nosie.
Sankirthi’s whole body was on pain, few places the skin was torn and could see clotted blood. With great difficulty she touched her hand to her forehead where the leather belt had a left a mark. She ignored her still watering eyes and tried to sleep on her back. When her body screamed out with pain slowly she turned and laid there on her stomach on the floor. She tried to look out of her window but when thick darkness blocked her view she wondered when sun had disappeared leaving her in darkness. She coughed and longed for a glass of cold water. She searched for her water bottle, when she found them empty lying on floor she remembered it was two weeks back she had filled them. She tried to sit up when the quest for thirst became more but when she felt the raw pain running through her body with her every effort, she gave up. She was tired and hoped soon sleep or death take her over. With sleep not showing mercy and mind recalling her father’s hatred filled words how she wished she was dead. Two weeks back she was all happy excited planning to teach her mom a lesson and today there she is lying on floor praying the moment to pass quickly.
After counting her pocket money, packing her clothes and books she had to wait for one whole week. As Leeroy was leaving for US she didn’t wanted to create any trouble for him. Leeroy’s nonstop talk about US was made it clear he is looking forward to his visit. So she decided to act on her plan as soon as Leeroy reaches the land of dollar. It was Thursday, 4th day after Leeroy’s departure, early morning when her mother was doing pooja in temple Sankirthi was busy hiding her bag in Leeroy’s parked car,while her father still slept on with thick blanket on.
It was around 8, after her breakfast; same old bread jam, she had left the house informing about group study. She had left a two page note in her room about eloping with her boy friend whom she love dearly. She had underlined the sentenced where she mentioned Leeroy is not the guy. Once she reached ground floor he had taken her bag from its hiding place. After waving at watchman she had caught a rickshaw and told him to take her to 3 star hotel. With her pocket money she realized she could afford this place at least for one week; thanks to her uncle and father for the regular pocket money. With big 6 inch TV at the center and soft double bed in right front of tv she had jumped on it with joy. With dressing mirror at one side and writing table at the other she thought it is going to be perfect place for her to study. With a long lazy chair front of the glass wall she pulled the curtain back to see the glorious view of colorful garden. With a male statue holding a pitcher the water was flowing through it non stop while the swans swam in it without any worries. How she envied them. As she wanted to capture the view she clicked the pic in her phone and switched off it never to on it again. She knew it if she tries to call anyone, police can trace the call incase her parents decide to lodge a complaint. She opened her bag and took out her books setting them on the table. Before she start off to study she had to do one more last thing. She had to get this guy named, she tried to recall but when she realized she still don’t know his name she gave up, and make sure the receptionist, watchman sees him incase if they would be interrogated. The guy, who was same age of Sankirthi was her friends friend who was studying in Bombay, had come down for a visit. After Sankirthi’s emotional blackmail followed by “escape without trace plan” finally he had agreed. “Are sure you want to do this?” he had asked several times. Sankirthi had told him to relax. She was in garden when he came with big bouquet. When she had seen him she had hugged him, to make sure people around them believe that they are madly in love. After holding hand in hand and occasionally kissing on his cheek she had escorted him to her room. In the evening they had gone for a walk holding hand in hand smiling at each other. After waving to the guy Sankirthi had walked back to her room hoping to start her study. The guy was leaving Bangalore that evening so it was impossible to trace the guy unless she reveals his identity. Proud on herself for her kick ass plan she had lost herself in her booms once she had opened them.
It was on her final exam police had caught her. She knew it if she made a move before her final exam it will be easy to trace her because college will be obvious place and her final exam will be screwed. That’s why she had decided to act out her plan during last exam which had gap of two weeks. Everything had worked out according to her plan except the lashing part and cursing. She never imagined her dad will act like an animal In pit of anger. She moaned with pain and finally sleep cast its spell to give her temporary relief.
All the trouble she went through is to teach a lesson to her heartless mom. She had lost her mother to hatred when she was a kid but that day she lost her dad too.