The Trampled Jasmine
The Trampled Jasmine
You XXXX, how many times should I warn you to get out of your business before 10 pm. I guess your XXXXXX brain full of shit didn't get what I have been saying.. screamed the furious local Hawaldaar at Renu
Saab don't abuse me with such vulgar words I have my own self-respect replied Renu fearlessly
How dare you to argue with me you xxxxx, your mother is a xxxx and sleeps with random guys for money and you demand self respect Shouted the angry Hawaldaar while kicking away the flower basket.
Renu had graciously stacked up the strings of jasmine flowers, she also kept a few roses, lily, and some other colorful decorative flowers inside the stack. She sells those flowers on the footpath near the railway station lane.
Renu remained mum, her eyes depicted her anger while her tears drained her helplessness. She started collecting the flowers in the basket while wiping off tears with the sleeves of her torn, muddled, and wrinkled frock.
Saab, she is a kid and doesn't know how to behave, I convey apology on her behalf please excuse and leave her alone said Jamuna tai running towards the Hawaldaar
Yey! Play this drama somewhere else and not at least here, She is thirteen old and this xxxx will take over her mother's business in a year or so. She understands everything and why do you apologize on her behalf? you better mind your own business warned the Hawaldaar
The furious Hawaldaar trampled the jasmine buds with his boots. Renu tried to pull out the flower tie and this led the buds to scatter all over the road.
Ramesh the pushcart vendor who sells seasonal fruits and who speaks too little with others was watching all the episodes. He was a well built mam and was feared by most of the people in that area but many believe he had the most tender heart. Ramesh moved towards the Hawaldaar
with great anger and stood right in front of him gazing angrily into his eyes and the Hawaldaar
moved away murmuring, for some reason Ramesh showered affection renu all the time.
Renu lives with her mother Radhika in the popular slum of Mumbai famous for Brothel centres. Radhika adopted Renu when she found her someone dumped Into bushes.
Renu was never felt that she was an adopted child of Radhika and both of them shared strong bonds much more than a biological mother daughter duo could have.
Radhika moved to Mumbai from Tamilnadu with a great dream to act in Bollywood movies but was pushed into prostitution by a pseudo
Movie director 10 years ago and from then she continues into this profession. Radhika wanted Renu to be away from the dark world she was living.
Radhika allways argues with Jamuna over the future of their kids where Jamauna has decided to push her daughter into her profession of prostitution but Radhika has different plans and she want Renu to study and settle well with a family. Jamuna argues that like a doctor's kid mostly become doctor so is a prostitute's daughter is ought to become one.
The next day renu told radhika of what happened to her last night and how the Hawaldar misbehaved with her. As soon as she heard what had happened she fiercely went to the station and warned the Hawaldar for doing so. The Hawaldar got infuriated for being admonished by Radhika and grew grudge against radhika and renu.
Days passed but the grudge of the Hawaldar never went down and was just waiting for the right time to retaliate. That night the monsoon heavy down pour didn't leave even an inch of any of the lanes of Mumbai dry and the clogged public drain made the passage flooded to the ankles. The flickering old street light and the growling street dogs were the reasons why people just avoided moving through that lane. Renu was at one end of the flooded passage she took this deserted lane to arrived home early, it was a shortcut route she allways took when she was in a hurry
Amidst the treacherous calm in the lane renu could hear someone humming old hindi songs. She could not see who it was but a gloomy picture of man was visible in the darkness covered in the smoke flown from a near by campfire lit up with the rubble. It was evident for renu to decide from the cracked voice that it was from a drunken man and she was sure that it was a well heard voice she frequently came across.
As they both started approaching closer to each other renu could figure out who the drunken man was. The humming of the songs went under hibernation when the man too saw renu. Renu took pace to rush out from the deserted lane, it started to drizzle she covered her tiny head with the inverted hollow empty flower basket she carried.
The brisk yet little foot steps of renu was in no match to those of the man's. She struggled to keep pace and he caught hold of her wrist and held renu tightly. The growling dogs started barking and the man warded off it by throwing the basket renu carried. He slapped her, punched into her face and threw her on to the road. The splash of the water when she hit the ground was echoded all over. Renu was frightened much that she wasn't able even to pull her voice to scream for help and all she could do is cry but even her tears got washed away due to the rain that began.
The drunken man untucked his shirt threw himself over the helpless girl. He looked like an untamed angel of death. Her cry was no more than helpless voices when the man raped her brutally. The flickering light went black as well and the little light the moon carried hidden in those thick clouds was the only source of illumination. Renu laid unconscious in a pool of blood and he stood up tucking his shirt into his pants as if he had won the battle ground He kicked unconscious renu into her stomach with his boots and said
" Now you and your bitch mother would know what it would be to mess up with a Hawaldaar
He then disappeared into the darkness humming the old bollywood songs ...
That night radhika and her neighbours searched the neighborhood but could not find Renu, the heavy down pour les them to take back their search operation presuming renu would have struck somewhere and radhika never blinked that night she lay sleepless the whole night waiting for Renu to come.
Early morning when ramesh was passing through the lane he saw people surrounding the poor girl he took a peep and was shocked to see renu lay unconscious. The night long downpour made fair skin shine yellowish with swollen face, silt from the drain covered her semi nude body and her hair lay scattered along with paper and rubble.
Ramesh took off the child in his arms and ran toward radhika's house and their was hue and cry all along the slum. People started cooking their own stories
" I think she was struck by the bolt last night"
" She would have fallen in the gutter accidentally"
"It looks like dogs attacked her last night just see her torn dress "
" Someone would have raped her, it looks like one"
A couple of hours.later when renu was medicated, radhika.was informed by the doctor that renu was compromised last.night and may be she was raped!
As soon as radhika heard this she broke down and fell over her knees only to be consoled by jamuna tai.
Frightened Renu wept in pain and spoke to radhika that the drunken Hawaldar raped her. After a couple of hours they decided to file a case and so visited the police station only to be abused and manhandled by the Hawaldar and his colleagues.
The helpless mother daughter duo wept the whole night and radhika decided to retaliate. She summoned jamuna tai and forced her to assure that she would not isolate renu if something happens to her. She decided ta teach the Hawaldar a lesson which he could not afford to forget all his life and set an example to the society. She somehow convinced ramesh to help her in executing her plan.
A couple of days later when it the monsoon night was akin to the one renu was raped, radhika and ramesh stood at that dark lane waiting for the drunken Hawaldaar to arrive. Soon the silence of the night broke out when they heard a cracked drunken voice humming old bollywood songs started nearing them.
When the Hawaldar saw radhika he paused, laughed and said
" Oh! Radhika it's you? I though it's your daughter again " said the laughing Hawaldaar
" You xxxxx, I will make you pay for your sins " screamed angry radhika like a furious godess kali
" it was your bloody daughter then and now it's your turn " replied Hawaldaar
As soon as he approached radhika, he was entangled with a piece of towel from behind by ramesh and radhika stabbed the Hawaldaar many times till her anger drained along with the blood of the dead Hawaldaar
.she chopped his head and toured the slum with his torso only to surrender herself at the police station.
Radhika was convicted along with Ramesh for the murder and was imprisoned for a term of seven years. Renu was. left orphan only Jamani Tai to care and help her when she needed
Years passed and Radhika was left free post her term in the jail and those seven years made her look aged with grey hair visible from a distance. She arrived at the slum and could not find Renu at home and she visited Jamuna Tai and found that Renu was out to work and will be back in a couple of hours.
Radhika was happy to hear that Renu now works and presumed that she was into the teaching profession as Renu always steamed about.
"Which school do Renu work at"?? Questioned Radhika
"How much does she earn"?
Radhika started pouring questions after question and Jamuna maintained an unknown silence.
Unable to hold the anxiety Radhika stood to visit the nearby school hoping to see Renu over there.
"Radhkaaa".......screamed Jamuna Tai
Don't you remember what I used to say to you earlier??
" Like a doctor's daughter is ought to become a doctor, so is a prostitute's daughter". Shouted Jamuna Tai
Silence prevailed ........