Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Har Den

Tragedy


4.5  

Har Den

Tragedy


Slippers

Slippers

4 mins 213 4 mins 213

I ran all the way home from the ground. The older boys had beaten me up good but I still had the strength to run as far as I could from them. 
I knew my mother would be the next one to thrash me for getting beaten up, which was ironical, if you know what I mean. But I had no choice. I couldn't tell her the real reason the boys picked on me.

Three years ago, we were a happy middle class family consisting of my father, mother, elder sister and me. We lived in the city. However, my father went bankrupt and committed suicide. The bank came and seized all our properties, leaving us penniless on the road. My mother worked as a maid in different houses and I had to drop out of school and started working as a labourer at a construction site. My sister tried to get a job based on her qualifications but couldn't get one. Yet, we managed somehow to make our ends meet. One day, police came to the slum we lived in and forced everyone to vacate it, leaving us homeless again.

We decided to go back to my mother's native place. My grandfather used to work for the landlord before he passed away. My mother decided to take that position and work for the landlord. The landlord accepted and my mother started working in his field. Meanwhile, my sister opened a tailor shop and stitched dresses for all. I started working in a government school, teaching rhymes to all the small kids. We bought a small house with the money we gathered. Our life appeared to have been restored back to normal.

However, there was one thing which we were never supposed to do - Wear slippers. My mother belonged to a low caste family and so did we. Hence, we would face severe punishment if we wore slippers in that village. One day, my sister got a big order from our landlady. She had to deliver a large amount of newly stitched clothes to our landlord's house that day. But, she could barely walk due to the blisters in her feet. She decided to buy slippers and wear it without anyone noticing and throw it a street before reaching the landlord's house. However, the landlord's sons saw her wearing slippers. They tied her hands and legs and threw her into the pond. One of my student saw this and told me. I immediately rushed to the pond and saved her. But then, the landlord's sons surrounded us and started beating me black and blue. 

I ran all the way home from the ground. The older boys had beaten me up good but I still had the strength to run as far as I could from them. 
I knew my mother would be the next one to thrash me for getting beaten up, which was ironical, if you know what I mean. But I had no choice. I couldn't tell her the real reason the boys picked on me. However, I mustered the courage and told this to my mother. Angrily, she took a stick and beat the landlord's sons in front of the entire village. The landlord's son informed this to their father. The landlord immediately called for a Panchayat in the village.

We were summoned to the Panchayat. The head of the panchayat pronounced all the three of us guilty and punished us. My sister was told not to wear any clothes that cover her breasts for the next twenty eight days. If she wanted to cover her breasts, we had to pay breast tax for each day which would be assessed in proportion to the size of her breast. I was made to shave my head, my face was smeared with black paint and I was made to sit naked on a donkey wearing only a necklace made of rotten mangoes and wasn't allowed to eat, drink or sleep for three days. My mother was made to walk in the streets barefoot with her dress torn, her hands holding the slippers above her head. She had to to go every house and touch the feet of head of the family and apologize. The streets were filthy, and sharp with rough stones. Jeering crowds lined up to stare, and minstrels, banging basins and pans, accompanied the procession, adding to her humilation. After the punishment, my mother and my sister were allowed to go home. Both of them embarrassed by the punishment given to them,  saw me sitting on a donkey starving and silently cried and went home. 


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