Two Faces Of The Society
Two Faces Of The Society
Siya was just like any other 14 year old girl. Always bubbly, chattery and happy. Very boisterous and outgoing. But then something happened and she became quiet and an introvert girl. She almost put herself into a cage. People noticed it, but disposed the thought off as a passing phase. But what had happened?
It was on that ill-fated day of April, when the call came. It was their factory manager, Mr. Das. He asked for her father. When her father picked up the call Mr. Das said, ”Sir, there has been a huge fire in our factory, please come as soon as possible.” Her father immediately got ready and rushed to the factory. All the spices had got burnt. Her father was a dealer in spices. The year long hard work of his workers and others had turned into ashes. There had been a short circuit in the factory. He was in a shock. He did not know what to do. Her father filed for insurance refund. The police arrived at home for an inquiry as the insurance amount was huge. They would come home and talk rudely to her father. Sometimes they would also accused him of wrong doings. Once the inspector passed bad comments on her mother. That was it. Her father could not take it anymore and so he threw him out of the house. In revenge the Inspector reported that it could have been due to her father's carelessness that the short circuit happened. He did not get a single dime from the insurance company.
Her father was a man of principles. He had to pay all his workers and employees. So he sold off all her mother's jewellery. He somehow managed to pay their salaries. But now what ?. It would take an entire year to collect the raw spices, dry them and so on. There was a lot of manual work involved. And the news about the fire had spread like wild fire in the society and community. Everyone looked at them with sympathetic eyes. Everybody knew that their financial condition was not good now.
In school also Siya’s friends had started making fun of her. Those friends whom once Siya considered as her besties had started avoiding her or ignoring her presence. Siya was highly distressed. She could not concentrate on her studies. Her teachers were very understanding and supportive towards her. They tried counselling her; her school librarian would suggest different kinds of books to her but she had stopped reading. She would only pick up the book and it would remain in her bag until the next library class. At home, Siya’s parents were equally busy trying out different ways to meet up with the daily expenses and her school fees. Her mother had started taking tuitions at home. Her father had to take up a job as a manager in one of her classmate's father’s office. Everyone was busy and nobody had the time to speak to her. Siya had developed an inferiority complex her teachers in school assumed. She stopped eating lunch with the few friends who tried to stay with her. Everyone thought things would become normal and it might be due to the drastic change in her lifestyle that had changed Siya so much.
Rohan lived across the road to Siya’s home. He was a few years elder to her. His father had a spices shop. It was only Rohan who went on trying to stay with her constantly. He would go to school with her and join her while returning back. Siya would not let him come near her. She get mad at him. This went on until the whole year ended. Everybody around would advise her to be good to Rohan. He was only trying to be protective towards her.
Her Father decided to take a loan to set up the entire factory again instead of selling it for peanuts. With the help of a few friends and relatives things gradually improved. Soon things started settling down. But there was no change in Siya’s attitude. Within 2 years life was back to normal. Her father’s factory had also started and all his employees and workers also returned. They liked working with her father as he had helped him during their bad days. They had all agreed to work at half the payment and salary.
One day Siya's mother noticed her being rude to Rohan. She decided to scold her for her behaviour. But when she took Rohan's name, Siya ran to her room and banged the door behind her. Lately, she used to shut her room door often. Her mother followed her and heard Siya sobbing. When she opened the room she was shocked to see her swollen eyes. She held her tightly and pulled her daughter close to her. She wiped her tears and asked her what had happened. Siya was not ready to say a word. Her mother had to coax her and finally, Siya opened up.
She began narrating, “Mom I know how our factory got burnt. Rohan and me, we had gone there in his car the day before. His friends were also with us. I wanted to show dad that I had won the dance competition in school, but I could not get a cab. So Rohan offered to drop me to the factory. I agreed. But when we reached there dad was not around. The factory was shut. I did not know that Ramu chacha’s daughter was getting married. And so the factory was shut for half the day. Since nobody was around I returned before Rohan would leave. But I could only see his car. I started looking around for his friends and him. I found them fidgeting with the main circuit box. I was furious and asked them what were they doing there. They pulled me into the backside of the factory and…..” She began sobbing loudly. She continued, “ I wanted to tell you both, but I did not know how to tell you about it. When I was about to tell you Das uncle’s call came. Rohan would call me every single day and threaten me to tell everyone about what had happened at the factory if I told the police about what he had done to me. He followed me to school and when I returned home; and his friends would keep an eye on me in school.” She held her mother even more tightly now and said, “ When I heard the inspectors' comments, I got even more scared. And I thought it was best not to tell anyone about it.” She sobbed uncontrollably now in her mother’s arms. She said, “ I thought if I told anyone about it and if the truth came out in front of anyone the society and the community would look down upon us and we would be thrown out or left alone, just like my friends did into my school. They threw me out of the group. They stopped inviting me for group studies or parties” Her mother explained to her, “Nothing like that will happen, and nothing else mattered except her well-being. Also what Rohan and his friends have done is a crime and they should be punished. She should set an example for the society, if she reports this crime and everybody will be proud of her. As for those friends who did not stand by you in your dark days are not your real friends. You will find all kinds of people in the society and the community, those who stand by you and those who oppose you. You should always do what is the right thing. No matter what! Did you notice, how your father’s well wishers are standing by him today? It is because he has always done what is right. ”
Her mother called her father up and told him to come home immediately. When he got home she told him what had happened.
The new Commissioner of Police was a good friend of her father’s friend. They decided to report the crime immediately. The old inspector was transferred with the help of the Commissioner and a new lady inspector was appointed in his place. She came over to take Siya's statement personally and Rohan and his friends were arrested.
But why did Rohan do all this was a mystery. He revealed in the court, that he felt very hurt and insulted when Siya’s father had refused to supply spices to his father without a proper bill. His ego was hurt and wanted to take revenge. He had not planned to rape Siya, but unfortunately she had seen them fidgeting with the wires. He raped her only to shut her mouth.
The case was put on fast track and soon the criminals were punished.
Siya was now applauded for her courage and was supported in the society. Although there were a few who did not support her for her bold step. But now it did not matter to her. She soon came back to normal with the help of therapy. She made new and better friends now. She also became more sensible now.
Moral: Do the right thing. Do not shy away from the fear of being left alone.