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.