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Swamy Ayyappa - Part 3

Swamy Ayyappa - Part 3

12 mins 13.7K 12 mins 13.7K

A mighty blow hit on Subha’s right cheek and it came from the thick beard fellow, she vomited the blood. Her black sari stained with it. A muffled scream came out through her mouth. She wasn’t able to scream properly because her mouth was paining like hell now. She had fallen on the wooden floor of the bus with a heavy thud like the stump of a big tree had fallen now. She was crawling on the floor by dragging her feet and arms, backwards. The thick bearded fellow slowly followed her. His friends had paved way for him as they were sidelined.

“You son of…. leave my friend. I will call the police now,” Gayatri said in a top of her voice. Her cheeks were trembling, as she grabbed her one plus mobile phone from her small handbag. The sand pasted fellow had seen her with anguish and snatched the mobile phone forcefully, as his fingers were too strong for her to fight with him. She had lost the battle and lost the phone to him. He threw it out through the window. She cried, slapping her forehead with her both hands. But she wasn’t going to let them hurt her friend again. She stood up from her seat, but the sand pasted fellow pushed her back. Her head was hit against the window.

“You little girls can’t change the rules followed by the temple for so many years,” the thick beard fellow boomed as snapped his fingers in front of writhing Subha.

“Change is inevitable. In this world everything is getting changed,” Subha said as wiped her blood dribbling mouth with the back of her hand, “Centuries ago we tied the letters in the legs of birds to communicate with others. But now even a small kid can operate phone to talk with her dad who is living in ten thousand miles away……….Long back we used wood sticks to cook, but we are using natural gas…….Years back we didn’t even know what is English medicine, but now we had forgotten about Ayurveda and accepted the new change. More than that, decades back there was a child marriage in everywhere, but now………..” she gasped as her chest was heaving up and down, “Have you guys sat down and protested for these changes. No, right? Then why are you doing now. If you think the history is important, just know one thing. The history is created by humans, if you agree to allow women to enter inside the shrine today that would become a history in the next decade. More than that, our young generation would praise all of you for bringing such an important change in the society. God never said the women shouldn’t come to meet Him in the eye. It is male dominated society had created such a baseless law centuries ago. If you’re a pure devotee of God Ayyappa you would never try to intimidate this welcoming change in the society. If you respect women, you would have embraced them with a smile in your face. Worship comes not from aversion, but through love. Are we doing it?”

The thick beard fellow pressed his foot harder on her toes, and he crushed her soft baby toe with his heavy feet as it was chipped and bled. Subha felt like her soul was snapped into two, but she didn’t cry. She shut her eyelids just to withstand the pain with heavy heart.

“If you are a journalist, keep writing some filthy stuff in papers, but don’t offer us advice, you dirty girl. We know what is right and wrong,” he said.

Subha didn’t know what to say anymore, no, she wasn’t going to talk with them. She shut her eyes tightly to lessen the pain. But she was shocked when his hand came to strip off her sari.

“Please don’t do that,” Gayatri bawled, she tried to help her friend but the rotund fellow had stopped her. She grabbed the steel pole attached near to the seat and cried, hit her face a few times on the pole as blood splattered on her forehead.

“You bloody scoundrel, remove your hand from me,” Subha said, she had clasped her sari tightly on her shoulder. But the thick beard fellow pulled it fiercely as the safety pin broken and the sari was in his hand now. Subha closed her black blouse with her both hands, trying to hide her chest.

“If you keep talking like this, we can do anything to aggravate the issue. We will do anything to keep our history alive,” the thick beard fellow said. Do you think a fellow who worship God with heart and soul could do this to a woman? God wanted these fellows to worship Him? Never. Equality is what triumph finally. There was no race, color, gender and money should be allowed to play with God.

He pulled her sari further, this time she rolled down, her face now kissing the wooden floor with blood over her mouth, again he pulled her sari, she rolled down with a plume of pain wreaked her spine, she was lying on her back now. The whole black sari was in his hands now.

He smelled it like a wild animal, “It’s dirty. It’s dirty my girl. You can’t wear such dress in this age. Wait for until fifty years. Then it would become fit for you. Now it smells dirty,” he said, as threw the sari through the door way. Yes, Subha was lying down close to the bus door way.

“No, please leave her alive, don’t hurt her,” Gayatri beseeched. This time she had fought hard the sandal pasted guy to come out of her seat and stood behind the thick beard fellow. She clenched his collar and shook it. He turned to look at her with vengeance in his heart and grabbed her hand as the brown glass bangles were broken and tiny pieces pricked her white skin and blood seeped out.

“If you keep talking like this, I have to do again to you what I have done to your friend,” he said as grabbed the edge of her sari.

The driver said while driving, “Man, you shouldn’t behave crudely, stop harming them,” he said as slowed down the bus.

The thick beard fellow eyed at his minion, who was sitting back to the driver. The minion had a penknife in his hand. He swished it and put it on the back of his spine.

“Don’t stop the bus. If you talk once again, the knife would see the blood,” he thundered.

The driver clenched his teeth and didn’t say anything.

“No brother, please leave us. We won’t fight with you again, please leave us,” Gayatri said. Thick saliva dribbled from the right corner of her mouth as folded her hands before him.

He sniggered and looked at her comically, “I appreciate the audacity of your girls. But not in such matters. If you keep wagging your tails again, I will cut off your throat like slicing the coconuts,” he warned, as his index finger shook in front of her.

But Subha wasn’t discouraged yet. She spewed on his face. “We will step into the shrine and receive the Lord Ayyappa’s blessings. Do anything you want,” she said in a strong voice. Her both hands were still covering her chest.

“You………..” the other fellows had charged forward and stomped on her stomach. She groaned in devouring pain. She felt like her innards were ripped off now. Her head threw up and down to douse the pain in vain.

Gayatri screamed, “You bast….. stop this nonsense.”

Now one booted leg came high and knocked on her face, the wet sand punched on it, the imprint of the boot was laid on the left side of her cheek. Before she relieved, a mighty blow came on right side neck. She felt dizzy now. The world was spinning before her eyes. She was blacked out.

“Throw these girls away,” the thick beard fellow commanded to them.

The minions sprang up like flies.

“No……….” Subha screamed. But nobody was there to save them. Even the bus driver had shut his mouth. The lately boarded couple felt like getting down now. They were feeling the heat of intensive fight. They never thought the fight would end up in blood spilling and loom into aggravated situation.

The minions kicked Subha and tossed her out of the bus, followed by Gayatri who didn’t even know what was happening now.

The next morning, Subha and Gayatri both were mulling with the locals to get inside the shrine. Yes, they both were alive. Last night they both were fortunately tossed inside the bushes. But there were scratches all over their body. Subha’s stomach had seen glass splinters and few cuts and bruises. But Gayatri was in a bad shape, because her back was knocked on the jagged small stone, which pierced into her body on the left side, just close to her lungs. But she was fine. Subha had limpidly walked down and got the water from the nearest store and sprinkled on her friend, who opened her eyes weakly. She asked her if we should go back to our home. But Gayatri said no. Whatever the evil forces may befall on us, we aren’t going back to our home until we have seen the Swamy Ayyappa. She replied with her clenched teeth.

Now, huge crowd was thronging just below the shrine, the news channels were tented here as they took live video coverage about the lingering issue. No woman had willed to enter into the shrine despite the verdict. People were shouting slogans ‘No entry for women into the shrine’ as they pumped their fisted hands up in the air. Even some of the parents had brought their children to volunteer against the verdict. Do you think a minor child knew what is really going there? The shrine priests were protesting from inside the temple, not willing to allow anyone inside until their stubborn resolution welcomed by the court and the government. They didn’t want to see the change, and they didn’t even want to see the women’s shadow behind them.

“We won’t let the government thrust their heads into this matter, let them revoke the order. Otherwise the agitation will boil down heavily,” one man who hadn’t wore shirt but only folded veshti said. He was talking with a journalist, who of course was a man. Yea, it was getting telecasted lively.

Suddenly there was clamor and the journalist had turned his head to know what was happening. Now a big camera was looking at the women who were fighting with the locals to enter inside. Guess who were they? Yes, Subha and Gayatri slowly walking towards the shrine despite the policemen had asked them to stay on. The police were frightened that the locals might turn rampant and avenge their anger by throwing stones at them. The women didn’t heed to their suggestion. But the bustling people had blocked them by barricading in front of them, as they interlinked their hands and shouted slogans again, “We won’t allow women to enter inside.”

The journalist was running down now, followed by the camera man. More journalists had joined here, as if they were attacking in ambush. People were snapping pictures on seeing these two women who struggled through their paths to come here. Even the bruises hadn’t left from their bodies yet. The blood was turned black now, but it was there everywhere in their bodies. Nose, mouth, shoulders, stomachs, legs. Even the short sleeve of Sudha was tore at her upper arm. Amidst this wreaking situation, Gayatri wasn’t cowering, but she stood up throwing a brave face.

“Where are you going?” the journalist, who had small paunch asked. The black mic was close to Sudha’s mouth.

“We are going to worship the Lord Ayyappa, He is calling us to come,” she said. Her words coming in whispers, but can be heard.

“People won’t allow you,” he said.

She smiled, “You are going to see what’s gonna happen.”

The other journalist, who was a burly fellow with clean shaven face asked Gayatri, “What happened to you?” he was looking at her bruises around her neck and arms.

“We were thrashed by the rogues while we were travelling in the bus on the way here,” she said, her voice was thick and unfaltering.

“Who?” he asked.

“We don’t know. They didn’t like we are coming here to visit the Lord Ayyappa,” she said. The two were walking up, as the cameraman chasing after them. Even the journalists found it was difficult to interview them, amidst such uproar. People shouted briskly now, their voices rose to the sky like bombs were getting exploded here. ‘Go away. You stupid girls,’ a man who had grey beard said. He picked up a stone from the ground and hurtled it on them. It fell in between the eyebrows of Subha with a thud impact as her head wheeled backwards, and her body whooped and grieved. No, I am not going away from here until I worshipped the God, she muttered furiously. Her fingers clenched tightly.

As people who were seen this brave acts of these two women in the television, they first sympathized with them, later decided to support these girls. Surprisingly most of them were belonged to the same State; women who were inspired by these two girls were ready to join them now. The college girls, school girls, corporate girls, all were ready to share the pain of those girls. They had immediately shared the messages through whats app and facebook and came like flocks in their vehicles and stood behind Sudha and Gayatri. The police were overwhelmed, they actually wanted to see this women’s struggle to gain momentum like a raging fire. They wanted to cheer up both the girls for creating a storm here, but they were reluctant to do now. Even the chief minister had appreciated the brave girls for their unquenchable thirst to get their rights and wholeheartedly welcomed them to the shrine. The five women became fifty…..and they become five hundred……and they become five thousand. Now, there were fifty thousand women standing to raise their voices for Subha and Gayatri, who had suffered so much of interminable pain to achieve their right to freedom. Of course, visiting a temple is a form of freedom, isn’t?

The people who were raising slogans were stupefied and bewildered now, and a whooping knot of fear descended through their spines on seeing them. Their eyes were swelled and couldn’t believe the enormous women’s force in act. They had understood the real women’s power now. Subha and Gayatri were thankful to the girls who were courageously offered their hands at the right time for this fierce struggle. The virtual but handy barricade created by the oppressed locals was slowly released, not able to withstand the women’s rousing gravity. They stepped back with thumping fear.

Subha and Gayatri were inching closer to the shrine as protected by the police force, along with the mass of women following them like an army. The priests who were seen the lakhs of women’s heads peeped in, they thought the Durga had taken one more form to eliminate the evil force from the land. They swallowed a thick lump down their throats and hushed their voices and looked at them with cowering eyes. They knew they had lost the battle. They had lost the battle to the women’s relentless force, which was daring and fieriest.

Finally, the door of the temple waved at them. Subha and Gayatri along with lakhs of women met the eyes of the Swamy Ayyappa, who beamed at them affectionately. His eyes were shining like lightening. He poured overwhelming love on their souls. He liked them for coming inside to worship Him. He was astounded by their courage and audacity to bring freedom to all women in the country. He blessed them immensely.

***


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