Was It A Sin?
Was It A Sin?6 mins 10.8K 6 mins 10.8K
Was it a sin?
She shut the door and went back to sit by the window. The room was paradoxical. Dark and yet so lively. Cold and yet so warm. Silent and yet so noisy. Wind blew through her unkempt hair and messed them up a little more.
Heena didn't believe shutting herself up for a while made her lonely. Loneliness is overrated.
Noone is ever lonely. For a matter of fact, she said, if you feel lonely its because you've had people with you who have made you feel otherwise.
Shutting the doors, physically and mentally, gave her a reason to open them again.
A little drop of rain fell over her flushed cheek. It was drizzling. It was a beautiful night in the month of July.
She sat there looking out at the full moon that shone so bright. What a beauty, oh yes it was!
The thought hit her like thunder.
It was a similar night a few years ago. It's not easy to forget is it?
There's no remedy for memory.
The memory had not faded. It still gave her goosebumps.
Was it a sin?
She had barely turned 20 when her parents got her married to one of her father's dear friend's son Nikhil. Arranged marriages are a common practice where she belonged.
Heena and Nikhil went to the same school in Patna city, Bihar.
They had spoken a few times in school but that did not qualify as friendship.
She hadn't seen him for 4 years after school ended and her parents chose cooking classes and sewing machines over college.
It was common to not voice your opinion being born to an orthodox lower-middle class Indian family in that part of the country.
Heena's mother revolted once. She wanted Heena to study further. That argument had ended in a swollen cheek and tears.
The first time she saw her father hit that fragile woman was when Heena was five years old. She had cried herself to sleep for months. She was afraid. Was she safe? Was that her father?
Was every father like that? Did every man hit women? Rage had grown inside her over the years but courage failed.
Courage to voice her opinion. To take a stand.
She had grown to believe men and women were never born to be treated as equals.
Leaving her home to be a part of another family had made her nervous. Nikhil was a decent man. His mother had passed away when he was a child. He lived with his father and a comparatively younger woman who was his second wife.
One morning Heena woke up to her usual 6 am alarm. She was in the kitchen making tea when she realised she had skipped her menstruation cycle that month.
She decided to visit the doctor that evening to find out she was pregnant.
A day most women long for had not gotten remotely close to making her happy.
And why would she be?
Breaking the news to her family eventually led to guests, gifts and celebrations.
Heena's parents were overjoyed and immediately came over to see her.
Both the families sat in a room after the guests for the day had left and spoke about their excitement.
They all spoke about what her child would be named. She never heard a girl's name.
Heena felt like giving birth to a girl child was unnatural.
Like it was obvious she had a baby boy inside her womb. Their desire to have a son was due to the fact that according to the Indian customs it is traditionally the son who takes care of the parents once they grow old. Also, it is the son that lights the funeral pyre of the parents. But does that mean a girl is only a liability?
Helpless as she felt, she knew only time would tell. Nikhil was a good man but did he believe the same?
That night she spoke her heart out to Nikhil about her fears.
"Don't worry Heena. We will be blessed with a baby boy." he said.
She knew she could do nothing about her situation anymore.
It was time. Her term had been completed and the family doctor said she would have to get admitted anytime for the delivery.
She wanted to get over with it as soon as possible.
A day later she was admitted and the next day what she feared had taken place.
She delivered a baby girl!
The families stood outside waiting to hold the baby but her father in law refused to see the little baby's face.
Nikhil seemed fine. Heena's mother was delighted but her father was unhappy.
It had been 4 months since the day and her father in law still had not held the baby in his arms. He had started treating Heena disrespectfully. He would curse Heena's father everytime they came across.
Heena did not know what she could do to improve the situation. That is when she realised her husband was spineless. He just watched as she was treated badly.
There were times when she felt like escaping away from this injustice.
She wanted to know her rights but she was tied down.
They would not even pay for the little baby's needs. Her mother in law never bothered to get involved in spite of being a mother to a daughter. Had she done something so wrong?
Heena could not tolerate this anymore and she went back to stay at her parents home.
She ignored the dissing society who only made up rumours. She did not bother about the prejudiced judgements.
The only thing that mattered to her was her baby's life.
To her disappointment, her father was no better than her in-laws.
He cursed Heena and her mother everyday about how Heena had let them down.
Letting them down? Because she had given birth to a girl?
Heena was not going to give up!
She decided to take up a job and support her daughter.
After a few rejections, she got a job in one of the nearby stores as a sales woman.
The same day, she picked up a few sweets on her way back home.
Hoping that things would change she visited a temple and prayed.
When she reached home, she saw that the door was slightly ajar.
She called out to her mother but there was no reply. She entered the home and there was nobody there.
Where was her baby? She screamed and cried out her mother's name a few times.
Still no reply.
She went ahead to enter the other room where she saw her 10 month old baby lying in a pool of blood on the floor. She picked her up.
The baby did not move. Her father came in from the kitchen.
He held a knife in his hand.
Drunk, he announced "I can finally rest in peace"
Heena would not stay shut this time.
Not this time.
Her mother came inside from the main door and saw what had happened and screamed.
In a fit of justified rage, Heena ran towards her father and pushed him on the floor.
In a state of drunkenness he could not control his movements.
She took the knife from him and stabbed him in the chest.
And again, and again.
Until he stopped moving.
She had killed her father!
Was in a sin?
She had no regrets.