Radhika was having a tough few months. She had to take up the charge of a sensitive investigation as her first case after promotion. Her earlier success stories and being a young officer made her the right candidate for the case. She expected difficulties in catching criminals. But what she did not expect was a tough time from victims. The tough one she faced was from Vijaya, an educated woman. Vijaya was not ashamed to be sitting in the police station. She was angry and restless. She wants to go back to doing what she did for the last ten years, prostitution.
Many years ago
Sita came running home from school. She showed her father the accolades she received at school. Winning accoladed was never new to Sita or her father. However, today is special. Sita's father promised a bike if she came first. As promised, father brought her a green Scooty, before her college started. It was very common for Sita to see many heads turning towards her wherever she walked, such a beauty she was. However, today the attention grabber was the Scooty. Being a small village a girl coming on a Scooty to college was not common.
Sita walked into her class and recognised many of her friends from school. She scanned the room to find many of the Romeos who pursued her all the time. Her eyes froze when she saw Raghu. He was one of the kids from the next school who Sita liked. But, Raghu never felt like giving any of his attention to Sita, till today. What Sita did not realize was her eyes were locked with Raghu's for more than a few seconds. She was in trance looking into Raghu's eyes and forgot where she was. The other Romeos of class noticed and started to whistle and make noises in the class. From that day onwards the whistles got louder as they passed each other. Before long the teen romance blossomed between Raghu and Sita.
Other kids hated coming to college and loved their holidays. For Sita and Raghu, it was the opposite. They were first in college and last to leave. They found every possible way to stay back at college. Whatever amount of time they spent together, it was not enough. They wanted some alone time for themselves. One day Raghu made a plan for them to leave college early and go to the park in the next town. Sita was scared, but she wanted to spend a little alone time with Raghu.
They left college after lunch and reached the park. They sat on a vacant bench together. Raghu was nervous to sit next to Sita, his heart was beating very fast. He gathered some confidence and for the first time, Raghu slowly and carefully touched Sita's hand. Sita's heart skipped a beat. They did not let go of their hands all the time they were there. They did not realize the time running away in their sweet nothings. They started to return home, halfway to home the sky turned dark. From nowhere came a car and stopped in front of their Scooty. Sita had to hit the break hard. Raghu fell on one side and Sita on the other.
Five boys stepped out of the car. Before Sita could realize what was happening two of the boys tied her down and loaded in the car back seat and drove away. She was taken to a shrubby dark area. All five of them raped her and left there unconscious. When she regained consciousness it was the morning. Her Scooty was still there. She searched for Raghu but did not find him. She reached home and did not tell anyone about the untoward incident. She lied to her parents that she was at her friend's house. She wanted to forget what happened. If she took the courage to place a complaint her and her family reputation will be hurt. But the bite marks and cuts on her body are not letting her forget anything. She hasn't had a good night’s sleep, the images just came back to haunt her in the sleep. She could not take it anymore ran out of home and lied on the railway tracks.
Radhika wanted to convince Vijaya to leave prostitution and pursue a good job. She walked to where Vijaya was sitting and started to talk. Vijaya, you are about thirty years of age, you have a good education, unlike others. I can get you help and get you a decent job. Why do you want to continue this work? In time you can find a man who can protect you, get married, and have a normal life. Your history should not stop you. Vijaya was dead silent. Radhika understood she was not able to get through to her. She tried to keep her calm and continue to persuade her. Radhika tried everything in the book. She tried to find Vijaya's family to bring them here and take their help. No information about any Vijaya was found. Many hours of trying to convince did not work. Another male officer seeing Radhika's effort came to her to talk. These women are bad madam they like the easy money and need to have multiple men, this slut. Radhika stopped the officer from speaking any further.
Vijaya got angry of the way she was judged. What do you know about me? How can you judge me? The last five times you caught me you let me go after taking ten thousand rupees and sleeping with me. You are the one to judge. I am not the slut, you are. You have a family and three daughters and come to our area for women, you are the slut. Do you know why we take up this work? He pointed to a woman in her fifties and started telling her story. Her mother was dying of cancer. A rich man promised treatment if she is ready to sleep with him. She agreed to this. Her mother is saved. Do you know what her family does, throw her out? She goes to the rich man again for the help and ends up here. See this girl, pointing to a twenty-year-old, her father sold her for a year of liquor when she was fourteen. If she goes back he will sell her for another year of liquor.
Radhika thought now she can make Vijaya tell her story and find a way to convince her. She asked Vijaya, please tell what happened with you. Vijaya continued talking with the residual anger. What happened to me, you want to know what happened to me. Please listen, madam, I was named Sita. I was an innocent little girl in the town. I was first in school and won every accolade. I just had a teenage crush on a guy and one unfortunate day went out with him. Some idiots rape me when we were coming back home. They did not kill me in the process. There were many a day I kept thinking they should have killed me. My crush is nowhere to be seen.
I still was trying to find a way out of this mishap. After all, I am the victim, not the culprit. , I was trying to rehabilitate myself. But no, that cannot be. The idiots filmed me and put my rape video all across the internet. Every one of the town with a phone has seen my video. Every eye I pass by was imaging me naked. It was not enough for them that they have seen me being raped. The worst part of it is none thought of complaining to the police. That day, I could not live at home any more I left to die, went and lied on a railway track. Death and the railway department had different ideas, I was found by a few men who wanted to protect me and sold me. After that, I lived in this world for the last 14 years.
Vijaya continued. Madam, in my job, people will come to me ask my permission and then sleep with me. In the previous world, every man tried to make me naked without my permission. The guys coming here know exactly who we are. They don't try to sell love and other crap for a few hours of fun. If I don't feel like doing my work, I take rest. None will force me to have sex with them. It is not an exaggeration if I tell many normal women do not have that liberty with their husbands. These officers are demeaning me so much, what they don't know is I completed my M.Sc in mathematics with the money I made being a slut. Go ahead shout your lungs out that I am a slut. But you can never convince me to come back into your so-called "Normal" world. Radhika hid her tears and went back to her room. Radhika does not want to give up yet. She called the NGO who specialize in the rehabilitation of women who are dragged into prostitution. The representative was a man who had no legs. He came to see Vijaya, seeing her he realized who it was. He dropped his walking sticks and fell on her logs and started crying, I am sorry Sita.
Before Sita could understand what was happening Sita was taken into the room where the NGO team was working. She still did not understand who is this man or how does he know her. He came in and started to talk to Sita. Sita, do you still not recognise me? I am Raghu. I can understand why you cannot recognise me. That day the boys after putting you in the car hit me with rods and hockey sticks. They continued to hit me until I passed out. They thought I died and thrown me into the bushes. The thorns and sharp sticks stuck everywhere. Some lorry drivers found me a day later. By the time, my face was eaten by some bugs. I had to undergo some skin replacement to look like this. Sita was sorry but was not ready to accept anything Raghu has to say to change her.
Raghu asked her to accompany him to a place. They both left in Raghu's car. Raghu stopped near a building. Raghu asked Sita's help to get down and get his walking sticks. They both walked together into a room. Raghu started to speak to a classroom full of students. Hello students, this woman is your new mathematics teacher, her name is Vijaya. All the students together said, good morning teacher. Raghu asked Vijaya to continue the class and tried to leave. Vijaya did not realize what was happening. Raghu was on the way to his car. Vijaya ran to him and said I cannot take this class, you don't know anything. Raghu replied to Vijaya Radhika madam told me everything. Don't worry about anything this is a blind school, the students are not going to judge you. Raghu left in his car and Vijaya went back to the room to start her class. That day, in the darkness of her students' eyes she found her real self. She is not her body or not her beauty anymore.
P.S: Sita asked Raghu, why you introduced me as Vijaya. You changed the name for a reason, so I wanted you to be known as Vijaya. She wanted to say to Raghu I could be Vijaya for the world but I will remain Sita for you. But she is not sure yet. Exactly after 14 years of exile, Raghu and Sita started a whole new life. Hoping Sita accepts Raghu eventually.