I Kept Silent
I Kept Silent
While washing hands on the washbasin, Aparna asked Sunita, "Is there any more patient in the OPD?"
Nurse answered from outside, "No Madam"
Aparna took a deep breath in a relaxed manner, mopped her hands with the towel, took her car key from the purse and left hurriedly.
After coming out she realized that the purse was left in her chamber itself. When she came to pick up the key she saw Sunita talking over phone to someone weeping, “Please hear me. There were more patients today and so I got delayed. But I shall come in ten minutes”.
Sunita left the phone seeing Aparna and wiping her tears rushed to bring the purse.
Sunita had come to Aparna for a job a week back. She was a slim, thin brunette but a beautiful girl. She was around the age of 23-24 years, with deep vermilion applied between the parting of hairs and a small red dot on her forehead. She was a qualified nurse but not with much experience “Doctor, I need this job very badly please.”
Aparna looked at her face carefully and found a strange helplessness and panic in her sunken eyes. Aparna could not say no.
“Should I go now madam?”
“Yes, you may go” said Aparna and inserted the key to the car door. Sunita's crying was still ringing in her ears.
The next morning Sunita came a little late. The crowd of patients was so big that Aparna could not raise her head. Suddenly the staff nurse came running into Aparna's chamber and said "Madam, hurry up, Sunita has fallen unconscious."
Aparna got up from her seat and ran with a stethoscope in hand. Before her reaching the staff had made Sunita sleep on the bed. Aparna immediately started the emergency treatment. Sunita's body was hot like a fire. In her unconsciousness she was uttering, ”I have killed him. I have finished him”
Aparna gave an injection to her and instructed the staff, ”Things are under control. You may go on to your respective jobs”.
There was no visible injury on Sunita’s body. So Aparna could not make out anything. Till such time Sunita comes to her senses it was difficult to find out the fact. But it was clear that someone had beaten her mercilessly.
“Madam, there is a huge crowd of patients, are you coming?”.
“Yes, let us go” giving some instructions to the Duty Doctor, Aparna left the place.
After a few hours, the Duty Doctor came and informed Aparna that Sunita had come to her senses.
“OK, you proceed, I shall follow. Keep ready all files of the case carefully, it may perhaps be a medico-legal case”.
Sunita started crying loudly seeing Aparna. ”Madam, I have killed him. Please save me madam“
Sunita started telling the details slowly. Her mother was a sex worker. She was born in Kashmiri market of Delhi. Her mother was visited by many men. It is not known from out of them who was her father. She liked her mother in colorful saris, shining jewels and with red lipstick. But mother did not allow her to be anyway near."
One day it so happened madam that without the knowledge of mother I wore a red sari like her and sat at the balcony well dressed. My age was around 10 years then. As soon as my mother saw me, she became mad and went on crying and beating me. I pleaded to my mother not to beat me but it had no effect on her. ”You silly girl, you will only learn all this if you stay here”.
After some days my mother sent me to her friend who was good. She loved all children. She used to have a bag on her shoulder always which contained a lot of story books for children, small toys and plaything, and some toffees. She was so good that she gave them to us. She taught us for two hours in the evening. She was known as “A sister with a bag”.
Taking a deep breath Sunita lost herself in an unknown world.
Caressing her head Aparna asked Sunita, “Well where did the sister with a bag take you? Sunita wanted to get up but groaned with pain. Aparna signaled the staff nurse to give her support to make her sit.
“Ok proceed now.”
Sister brought me home, got me admitted in the nearby school. She stayed alone. She used to work in her office during day time and taught us in the evening. As I told you, I enjoyed her company and with her help progressed in my studies. In the beginning I always remembered about my mother. She came to see me every week. But as I grew older, I started hating my mother’s profession. I was ashamed that she was my mother. Mother could understand my feelings perhaps as she curtailed her visits slowly. I too got busy with my life.
After completing my 12th, I got admission in a nursing college. I met Ajay there. He was running a canteen there. From him I could know that his parents died when he was six years old. He was brought up by his uncle and aunt. This canteen was started only by his uncle. Often Ajay used to get emotional thinking about his parents. Slowly and slowly I developed a liking for him and told everything about me clearly. Thus we came closer and closer and the day when my course ended he came with the proposal of marriage. There was no reason for rejection. We got married in the court. Taking leave from the house of the sister I moved towards the cherished golden dream of my newly started life.
When I reached Ajay’s house I felt something strange. He was living in a dingy house on a narrow street with hardly 5 ft width which had hardly seen the sunlight. At the second floor there was a room of 12 ft x 10 feet, with a tiny kitchen and bathroom. At one time I even thought of asking him as to whether he was not earning enough from canteen to have a nice house to live. Then I felt as he was alone probably he would not have given sufficient thought to it. I thought that after getting a job for myself when the income would go up, we may have a better house.
I started managing the house slowly and steadily. After completing my household work I used to go in search of job. A month had passed and Ajay had not given any money for my expenses till now. I managed with the little money which sister had given during marriage.
”When you knew that his canteen was running well why did you not ask him?”Aparna asked.
I felt that he might feel bad if I ask questions too early after our marriage...I do not know why I felt every time that he had done me a great favor by marrying me. Or else who would have married me – a daughter of a prostitute not knowing who her father was.
Aparna could see that Sunita had a tired look.
”OK, take some rest now.We shall continue later.” told Aparna.
Just when she was about to leave Sunita held her hand and said, ”No madam, we may or may not get time to talk later or not “
Aparna could not say anything and sat once again.
“OK , proceed, I am hearing.”
The time passed. All my money got exhausted. I did not get a job. As I was a fresher no one liked to employ me. I could feel that Ajay’s habit was changing. Whenever I asked for money, he shouted. Whenever I asked something he did not reply. Still I remained silent thinking that he must have some tension on his job.
One day I came to know that he had no canteen. But he only worked in a canteen.
“Oh, who told you ?”Aparna asked curiously.
“From the owner of the canteen who came in search of Ajay to our house because he had not gone for job for several days”.
That night when Ajay came to the house I asked him, mustering courage, “Do you have any problem in the canteen?”
He got flared up hearing my question. He started shrieking and shouting “How dare you ask me this question? I took pity and married you. Or else who would marry a daughter of a prostitute?”
I thought of telling that I had not lied like him but kept quiet.
From that day onward the story got repeated daily. I came to know that Ajay had the habit for drugs. Only then I came to know where his money went.
“Then what did you do after knowing it?”
What to do? Where to go? There was none to help me. Sister had also gone to America on a project. I had not enquired about my mother for a long time. So I remained silent knowing everything.
Only the little ornaments which mother had sent through the sister were left with me.
“But you could have managed with your earning. You could have run away” Aparna told in anger.
“I thought about it many times but there was no one to help me. After all he was my husband. So I kept silent without making much of fuss. I sustained on the income of my mother whom I considered as characterless. But how long this money would last?It will not not take much time to get depleted. When I didn’t give the money, I was being beaten. Where from to give the money? When I went in search of my despicable mother I came to know that she was no more. I wept whole day that day. The tears of my remorse have not stopped till this day”. Saying this Sunita’s throat got choked and she stopped.
Aparna gave a glass of water to her and asked, “Well, what happened yesterday?”
Madam yesterday night it had reached the climax. You must have heard me weeping. It was Ajay’s phone. He scolded me badly for being late. You were in front of me so I kept quiet.
“When I reached home, I found a stocky man, aged around 40- 45, sitting on a chair spreading his legs. There were two glasses and a bottle of liquor on the table. I was startled. When I looked at Ajay, he signaled me to go inside the kitchen”.
When I entered, he asked me to get ready. I looked at him astonished and asked as to where were we going?” He told that wherever I had come from. I could still not understand and looked at him confused. He told me that the stocky man was my first customer. He had offered Rs 5000/-. Just imagine if we get two or three customers like him, how happily we may be able to spend our life. You have the blood for this profession.
I did not tell anything. I kept silent and brought a knife from the kitchen. Seeing me with a knife the stocky man understood everything and fled off at great speed. No sooner he went off Ajay beat me, kicked me and made me unconscious. I remained silent.
“Height of it. You remained still silent. Are you mad?”
Yes madam, I remained silent. He got tired beating me and fell on the floor unconscious. I took out the knife which had fallen on the floor and stabbed his body several times. For all the injuries I was subjected too, I took revenge today.
Sunita started shouting like a mad woman, ”I have killed him…remained silent but I killed him. Even after killing I remained silent”.
Aparna consoled her with an embrace. And instructed the staff nurse to give an injection. Aparna sat there till Sunita was induced to sleep by the effect of the injection.
“Alas had you not remained silent, Sunita”.
Aparna thought for a while in her chamber and dialed 100 from her mobile.
This is English translation of story मैं चुप रही.... written by Sonal Bhatia (https://storymirror.com/read/story/hindi/hza44re3/main-cup-rhii/detail)