Sunday, December 30, 2007

Unbreakable

She lay in ruins. The Angel. The valley wore a desolate look as the wearied sun longed to disappear over the horizon. The bleak landscape resounded with her incessant sobbing. The demons had long been gone. Her hapless outcries had been vehemently suppressed by their demonic exploits. A crime so heinous that left her shattered. Her modesty knifed at mercilessly. Her soul hid itself in a coccoon of ignominy. The Angel lay still in a pool of blood, wide awake, tears meandering down her cheeks only to fade away. She had been left for dead. But something in her was still breathing. Hope. It overpowered her shock. Her fear. Redemption on her mind. Fight back she would. The Angel waited.

The silence was defeaning. Amidst the clamor prevalent in the crowded hospital ward, there was an unusual calm seeping in. Those eyes said it all. Imrana knew this. She held the girl's hand.

Three arduous years had transpired since that shocking incident. Imrana knew how she had dealt with the pain. The Nizam-e-Qaza was a law in its own right. A Parallel judiciary system run by fanatical Muslim clerics. Men without an iota of compassion and pity. Their heartless way of meting out 'justice' could not be questioned. Their irrational judgments, were an end in itself. Those who opposed were victimized ruthlessly. Such an oppression of the masses had been prevalent for many years. Women, in particular. Relegated to the confines of the four corners of a room, enshrouded in a veil, women were treated in the most bestial ways possible. They were born humans but only to grow up devoid of their rights. The freedom to express themselves and the right to education had long been snatched away from them. Wretched men, kicked them around whenever they could and whenever they needed to. Women, after all, were considered weak and a needless burden on society. What could they possibly do? Who would dare raise her voice and question the ways of men? But Imrana did. She spoke for the rights of her sisters, of what was rightfully theirs. She dared to speak about the essence of education for all women, something quite unheard of in the past. She made women in her neighborhood shed the vile purdah, urged them to work and taught them to become independent. The courageous woman that Imrana was. Men around were offended by Imrana's daredevilry. It wasn't long before she was being threatened of dire consequences. Other women were forcefully dragged out of classes and beaten mercilessly. Imrana's husband wasn't much of a man and he fled away, fearing for his life. But she didn't care. She never took a step back and braved her way forward. It wasn't long before the Nizam-e-Qaza did what they had to do. She was dragged around the whole village, clothes stripped off and labeled a witch. With false allegations being heaped on her, her character was questioned. Nobody around did anything, for those who did try to protect her were singled out and mistreated. And not long after, she was dragged into the woods and raped. Again and again. Her cries for help throttled in hell-fire. The multitude was a mute spectator to such a vicious crime. 'Justice' served. Or was it? Imrana was helpless.

But now she wasn't. A fearless woman who now stood by her ideals, much more firmly. She was heading a NGO which had been on the forefront in helping women and reinstating their presence in the society, time and again. Her guts, determination and valor had stood the test of time. Braving a chauvinistic world of men, she did everything in her capacity to give back women the respect they were entitled to.

In an assuring tone, Imrana spoke.


"You are not weak. And you shall not give up. I'm with you. Believe in God, for he is with us too."

Tears gave way to a broken smile. An endearing sight as such, the Angel bent forward to embrace the girl.

12 comments:

d SINNER!!! said...

Defeat has its own taste...it gives way to courage at the most unexpected time...

The issue you have highlighted is indeed grave and leave Muslim women...what happened at New Year eve in Mumbai(a repeat of last year) and happens in many areas, even goes unreported...

However...what makes me more concerned is how people never take any action but watch the events from a distance...

Have we all become cowards?

ShAkE Inc. said...

Yes, people have resorted to cowardice. Crimes as such have occurred right in front of their eyes and nothing was ever done. Lamentable. Morever, a Muslim woman's plight has been highlighted here in particular since they have have faced the brunt of such horrifying acts time and again.
A slap on the face of humanity.

Sur said...

A hard hitting post! Felt great to know that you feel so strongly for this issue. Like the way you have treated the story, I strongly believe there is something inside everyone that remains untouched even when one goes through the most dreadful of circumstances, no one can rape your soul.

Saurabh said...

Very well written!
Its great when women show such strong character(as in the article :-) ) and equally disgraceful when men get involved in such mindless acts.Such men lack respect for women, for the person in them.

ShAkE Inc. said...

Thanks Sur...and very well said indeed. The last line in ur comment drives the point home.

Aditi aka Jiggs said...

heyaa
indeed a touching post,
opprassion on women is prevalent in every society be it rural or urban.
the incident which happened in mumbai also exposes the divide btw the elite n meneal gps present in the society who r acting out .

ShAkE Inc. said...

Thanks Aditi :-)

ShAkE Inc. said...

Hey Saurabh...thanks a ton! ur remarks have always served as a driving force for my creative engine ;-)

King Paul VII said...

Neat! Well, times have changed. I was having a conversation with a friend about the Gujarat riots, and he said, to my shock and disbelief, that they deserved it. 'DESERVED IT'? 'Tell me', he justifies, 'how else can you keep muslims in check?'. I couldnt believe my ears. Being in Ahmedabad during the time, I knew exactly what had happened during those 3 days, and the horror of it all. So did he. If this is how an educated Indian hindu feels about it, can we blame the uneducated ones, who have been taught to only follow blindly and not think for oneself?

ShAkE Inc. said...

King Paul VII,
Your majesty...I humbly agree :-)

Anupama Kondayya said...

I had once read - the Human Spirit is stronger than anything that happens to it. Your story amply illustrates the same. To me this story is about the triumph of human spirit, about how we can overcome the basest of intentions and walk on to fulfill our calling. Amazing post!

ShAkE Inc. said...

So true...Thanks for the comment, Anu :-)