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Stigma

Stigma

7 mins 364 7 mins 364

               As soon as Nisha entered the home, she found her father waiting for her. He was upset over something. He said to her, “Nisha, come here.” She looked at him with a question in her eyes and went to him and asked, “What’s a matter, father?”


               Her father, Premlal, came to the point and asked, “Where were you?”

She replied with a little hesitation, “I was in college.”

“No, you were not in college. You are telling a lie,” his father shouted with anger. He paused for one or two moments and spoke with anger in his eyes, “I telephoned to your college. They told you are absent today from college.”


               She got shocked hearing this. Her lie was caught by father. She hung her hard down. He said to her, Listen to me Nisha, now you have grown into a young girl. Be responsible and don’t take such a step in your life which would bring dishonour and shame to our family.” She was listening to him silently. Her face was pale with fear.

His father said, “Manish told me that you are getting along with a boy named Ajay. As per Manish’s opinion, Ajay is not a good man. I want you to keep from that Ajay.”

She raised her head and spoke softly, “Yes father.”

He spoke gently to her, “Go and do your work.”


               When she entered her room, she found her mother was waiting there for her. She was going mad with anger. Her face expression was sufficient for Nisha to know what to come next. Her mother gave her no chance for any explanation from her. She slapped her and cried with anger, “So you have come home after earning fame. She grabbed Nisha’s hair and again slapped her. Hearing the loud voices of her mother, father came to rescue Nisha. He was not in favour of raising hand on the young daughter.

               Nisha wept all night in her room. She was unhappy. She had no complaint with her brother Manish. He had done what a brother should do in this situation.              

               Nisha was a college-going girl from a middle-class family. She was in love with a boy named Ajay who was her classmate. Her Family had a strong belief in their religious and caste traditions and didn’t like to deviate from their tradition and culture. As per their culture, Love, romance and friendship between a boy and a girl are sins.


               Manish felt very sorry for her sister. Next day he said to her, “Sorry sister. Mother should have not raised her hand on you. Look, sister, Ajay is not a suitable boy for you. She is from another caste. Please keep yourself from him.” 

               Manish was the elder brother of Nisha. He is a well educated young man but had a fanatic point of views. He didn’t like her sister’s falling in love with a boy of another caste.

               She felt guilty of giving trouble to her parents. But she was helpless before her love. As par her opinion nothing was wrong with Ajay. He was a brilliant student having a bright future. He belonged to a reputed family. The only and only one problem was caste. He is of a different caste. Her traditional family was not ready to accept him because of his caste. She doesn’t believe in the caste system.


               She remained in dilemma for several days. At last, she heard the voice of the heart. One evening she met Ajay and told him all that happened to her. Ajay was well familiar with the ways of society. He knew very well that their love was nothing but sin in the eyes of society. But he was listening to his heart. They kept on their meetings.


               One day Manish caught them red-handed and there came chaos in the home. Her mother started weeping and cursing Nisha. Premlal raised his hand on Nisha and debarred her from going out of the home. It was decided that Nisha should be married off as soon as before.

               All of sudden Manish’s cast pride awoke and one day, he along with his some friends attacked Ajay and beat him severely. After this incident, Ajay’s parents managed him to send him to another city for further studies. 


               And soon Premlal found out a boy from the same caste to marry Nisha. Nisha knew that boy and she didn’t like him. She refused to marry him.

When Premlal heard that Nisha refuse to marry, she slapped her and shouted with anger, “marry him or leave my house and go wherever you want to go. I don’t want to see your face in my house anymore.”

               Nisha didn’t know where Ajay is. She had no contact with him. She had to marry that boy. All her dreams had been shattered. Her husband was a simple man and he always tried to keep her happy. As a good wife, she didn’t give him any chance to complain. But she couldn’t forget Ajay.

               Then a twist came in her life. One day, her husband died in a car accident. She was now alone and sad. She returned home and began to live with her parents.


               Time was passing. Premlal had been retired from service and was living on a pension. Manish was busy with his family and job. He had no time for his sister. His wife didn’t like Nisha. Nisha was a financial burden for her. Soon she began to express her anger against Nisha. To solve this problem, Nisha found a job for her. Life was hard for her.

               And there came an unexpected turn in Nisha’s life. That day, she was busy with her work in the office. Someone came to her and called out her name.


               Hearing a familiar voice, she raised her head and found Ajay standing before her. She was surprised by seeing her. A smile came to her face deliberately. She was smiling after months. He told her that he had been sent to supervise a project undertaken by his company and he had to stay in the city for a considerably long time.

               She felt nothing was changed between them. He was still unmarried. He had no complained about what happened in the past. It brought a ray of hope in the darkness of her life. After some meetings, they decided to marry.


               Her parents gave their assent to marriage after some hesitation. But her brother Manish was not ready for it. Cast pride once again made him blind to the happiness of her sister. But this time Ajay and Nisha both determined and they got married despite strong opposition from Manish.

               Not only Manish but all the caste was unhappy on this inter-caste marriage. Soon the family of Premlal was expelled and boycotted. The same happened to Ajay’s family. Due to increasing pressure from society, Nisha and Ajay had to leave the city. Ajay managed to get transferred to another city. They were not safe even in the new city. Being left in the lurch by all their relatives, they had to struggle hard to settle in the new city. 


               Here Manish was getting mad with anger and cast pride. Some caste fanatic people were inciting him to take a wrong step.

               One day when Nisha and Ajay were enjoying the holiday in their home, Manish along with two other associates visited them. Nisha was happy to meet her brother after a long period of time. She got busy with hospitality. Ajay was with Manish in the drawing-room and she was preparing food for her brother. All of sudden she heard the painful cries of Ajay. She rushed to the drawing-room and there she found Manish and his Associates Stabbing Ajay. Blood was gushing out of his body. She began to cry out for help. Seeing her Manish grabbed at her and began to stab her. Hearing the noises neighbours rushed to the spot and nabbed Manish. Ajay and Nisha were declared dead in the hospital. 


               Police arrested Manish in charge of murder. Hearing the news of the murder of his daughter by his own son, Premlal got shocked and got a heart attack and died. Manish was sentenced to life imprisonment. One more family like thousands of other families fall victim to the evil of caste pride and honour killing.



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