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Sheeba Vinay

Drama Tragedy


4.8  

Sheeba Vinay

Drama Tragedy


A Walk Towards Freedom

A Walk Towards Freedom

6 mins 363 6 mins 363

Present-day. Beaten, bruised, and bleeding, she lay on the wet grass along the roadside. Her body ached, every inch of it. The picture of what had happened a few hours before flashed through her memories only to give sudden shiver through the spine.

Where is Velu?

Her eyes searched for him; her body still and motionless.

Slowly darkness swept in both around the bushes and her swollen eye.

A raindrop fell from the sky on to her cheek, it burned!

*********************************************************************************


The year 1971,

Along with her twin brother Velu, she stood at the fee counter of the Law college. The excitement was at the peak. It was their dream to attend Law college, to read the constitution and to serve their beloved people who are victims of suppression!

Etha Jyadhi? (what is your caste In Malayalam) The man in the counter wearing sandalwood paste on his forehead inquired?


E****a- Velu replied, as he would sense his sister is too busy admiring the college campus.

Free ahh, a reservation? The man in the counter frowned.

Chetta, we passed the PUC with the first class. Velu smiled thanking God that his sister didn’t hear that derogatory question. She would have fumed with anger.


Within a week, the sibling got a fair idea that college days are not going to be an easy walk. The fight of the majority over minority prevailed in the campus like fire in the hay. The sibling was under the radar for no reason, particularly her. The boys in the class dislike her for being a “girl” with a strong mind and self-assertive character.

The level of bullying sometimes crossed the line,

What are you, the toddy tapper doing here in law college? They would taunt Velu.

There is a lot of fire in you, we would love to help you…the boys looked at her, eyes filled with hatred and lust.


The twins seldom understood what the hatred was for. Is it the caste that mattered them or the fear that their servant would one day stand equal?

Or the idea of sharing bench and knowledge with the lower caste despised them the most?

However, the siblings were no faint-hearted. They worked hard to come this way long. The siblings in their growing years had watched their parents live in suppression and fear.


However, once the girl was assaulted in the washroom by two of her classmates. For a moment she was shaken. She cried all day without telling anyone about the incident, took leave form college faking health. At last, she confessed to her mother. To her surprise, there were no cries and blame game. Instead, she received a piece of advice along with a story of a brave woman who fought for her rights.


History says Nageli was a fearless woman who lived with her husband in Cherlatha, Kerala. The society that barred women of lower caste to cover their breasts until they pay “breast tax”. Nageli, a woman of extreme self-respect, however, decided to fight back. One fine day, when they came to tax her breast, she calmly walked inside her hut and came back with a plantain leaf that had her breast severed by her own hands. She fell down and ultimately died leaving the tax collectors and the people horrified!


The gruesome incident, however, led to a major revolution that forced the King to abandon the idea altogether. No more tax on the breast. Nageli became a legend.


                    Our dream and freedom come with a price, mixed with hatred and humiliation. It is up to you to fight it out or succumb to the situation as all of us have done so far. The freedom we have achieved so far is a bunch of unsung sacrifices by our ancestors. I won’t stop you, dear!


Few more days of perseverance to end the patriarchal rules and hovering humiliation. The twin knew what they are fighting against and for. They worked harder; their self-assertive and persistence spread among the villagers like fire. The slaved mind felt a gist of relief while they who ruled sensed threat!


The toddy tappers children will stand equal to ours, maybe more…

Severe mental and emotional torture were hurled on their way. The family suffered financially too. But the twins picked up the sticks and stone thrown at them and made a shield out of it. They fought back hard silently.

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Present-day

Students and teachers wondered why the twins didn’t show up to the lecture today, it was unusual that they missed an important lecture, one month before their final exams.

Little did they realized; the siblings are held hostage in an isolated place few meters kilometres away from the college. They were abducted and beaten. Their screen could pierce the forest, yet unheard to the outer world. Velu lay motionless and frozen. There were five of them, she recognized each one of them. Hence, she quivered more.


They tore her clothes and thrashed her when she resisted till she fell unconscious.

By the time she was back to her senses, it was dark. Half-naked body drenched in rain and blood; it took few minutes for her to contemplate the situation. However, she got up on her feet, her body trembling like a leaf. She took a step and walked slowly towards her home; half-hour walk from the place felt like an eternity! She walked as if she was unaware of her nakedness, and the bruises that shouted out loud about the torment the body went through.


Houses in the village have lit the “Sadhya Deepam “. Through the fade, light people held their breath to what they saw. The sight of Half-naked body walking past their house-made the villagers gasp with horror. Her mother almost fainted at the sight of her daughter.

At the hospital, there were hues and cries raising form the people who gathered. Doctors struggle to convey the details of the torture the girl went through to the despaired parent.

The third day she woke up to find out Velu was no more. She didn’t cry!

Fir was registered, then taken back in no time.


The reasons were quite obvious, pressure from relatives and “well-wishers” of the society. The consoling sounded more like a threat!

The girl was silent throughout the process, her anger was concealed. No one could fathom what was brewing inside her.

All the assumptions and theories took a backseat when the girl attended her final exams just 29 days from the incident. The police department was “kind enough” to escort her to and fro to the exam center.

*******************************************************************************


Two years later,

Along with the hustle-bustle of the court, she walked hurriedly towards the trail room. Her first case...

In the courtroom, she stood face to face with the five, without an ounce of fear in her eyes. She was more ferocious than ever.

She filed the FIR. She is now arguing her side, she is her lawyer.

One more year passed, and the court sentenced the culprits with 10 years of rigor imprisonment for abduction and rape on her.


And life imprisonment for the abduction and murder of her brother Velu.

She walked out of the court, victoriously. This is for Velu, she thought.

Thereafter, her life was completely dedicated to preaching and practicing the “Right to education and livelihood”.

Today, at the age of 68, she is content with her life. no regrets or lames. the only anguish that prevailed is Velu.


Many accolades and felicitations of high honor and grade came to her from the government for her social work, for the development of the minorities called “Women”

However, the villagers passed her story to generations to come, the villagers still remembered “ the Girl who walked bare chest into her freedom”

Her name is…Does it matter?



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