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Sheetal Dubey

Drama Tragedy Inspirational


4.9  

Sheetal Dubey

Drama Tragedy Inspirational


What If She Had Drawn That...?

What If She Had Drawn That...?

9 mins 2.7K 9 mins 2.7K

You know that feeling when you know this is it for you. 

𝐷𝑜 𝑜𝑟 𝑑𝑖𝑒.

Well, I was having the same feeling that day. 

𝐼𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑐ℎ𝑎𝑛𝑔𝑒𝑑 𝑓𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑒.

Being a failure for so long in my life that I wanted to do this one right. Desperately. Not for me but for the people who had believed in me.

To make them proud of me, for once, and to shut the others who always had seen me as an overweight, eighteen years old teenager, and a laughing stock for some.

Rubbing my sweating hands on my jeans-clad thighs, I paced the changing room of our college once more.

𝐷𝑜𝑛'𝑡 𝑏𝑒 𝑛𝑒𝑟𝑣𝑜𝑢𝑠. 𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠! 𝐽𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑘𝑒𝑒𝑝 𝑠𝑚𝑖𝑙𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑐𝑜𝑛𝑓𝑖𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑡. 

I keep repeating those words to myself. 

"Next is you, Sagarika." Opening the door of the changing room, Vaishali entered, with a water bottle in her hand. "Are you ready?"

Shaking my head, no, I snatched the bottle from her hands, mumbling a sorry, I drank half of the water in a rush.

"Easy, easy. Or you are going to take a loo break." Her concern was there in her voice.

"I'm okay. I'm okay." I said, more likely myself than her. Placing the bottle on the dressing table, I turned and hugged her, taking her by surprise. "Thank you for everything you did for me, Vaishali. Thank you so much for always being there for me and still doing so."

Hugging me back, she rubbed my back comfortably and said, "I'm always going to support you. Now stop being Meera Kumari or you are going to spread your kajal. And you should know how difficult it's to put that on you because clearly, you can't even sit straight for a minute to let me do that for you."

Smiling at her true words, I let her go and took a deep breath.

"Singing performance is ending in minutes and then you are the next, the last performance of this function. Be ready. Okay," she said with a comforting smile on her face as she reached the door. I nodded my head.

 𝐼 𝑎𝑚 𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑑𝑦. 𝐼 ℎ𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑡𝑜. 

"And stop saying thank you all the time. Best friends don't do that." She scolded me. I just gave her my cheeky smile that said I-can't-help-it. And in all honesty that was the least, I could do to show her how grateful I'm to have her in my life.

Not wanting to sit there anymore. I came out of the changing room. It felt like the walls were closing on me. Suffocating me. My nerves were hyper-aware of everything around me. 

I walked through the corridor that connected to the backstage door of the hall, where performances were going on, passing by the students -still in their costumes- looking happy and relieved. Laughing at someone's messed up performance, sharing their feelings of being on the stage for the first time and some were even crying for not giving their best or on their messed up performance.

As I passed by them, some looked at me, some ignored me and some gave me the same expression that I knew very well. That now I was familiar with.

Receiving them for so long.

"Here you are!" Ankit's voice came from the backstage door as he emerged from there.

"And what are you doing here? Only cultural teams and participants are allowed to be here." I asked, raising an eyebrow but knowing the answer already. 

"I don't care about that." He scoffed, "I came here to tell you that, you can't mess this up or our friendship is over. Finish. Got it?"

It was his way to say, All the best. You got this.

"Now I have to give my two hundred percent. After all, it's a matter of our friendship now." I joked.

"Good. Keep that in mind and now let's go. Don't waste your time." We make our way through the crowd of other participants, Ankit by my side.

Talking and making jokes. I knew what he was doing. He was trying to relax me. He knew how nervous I was about this. After all, he was there with me in all of my rehearsals, alongside my Maa and Vaishali.

Vaishali was the head of the cultural team and it was her idea for me to take part in this year of the annual day.

My very first stage performance. Presenting a piece of my writing for the very first time.

"Oh man, I wanted to sit in the last row. Now how am I going to cheer for you?" Ankit said with disappointment. And by the cheer he meant shouting and whistling because being a notorious student of our class, he had to do that.

"Where are you sitting then?"

"Third row of the left side, from the front, with Aunty. Can't leave her alone, can I? After all, I'm her favourite beta." He said, giving me his most famous smirk to make me jealous that my mom loves him more than me.

We entered the backstage, where head students and teachers were conducting all the performances and maintaining the stage coordination.

I turned to tell him that he should go before he gets scolded by someone but before I could say that, he hugged me. Taking me by surprise.

"I know you are nervous and want to run away from this but you don't have to. It's okay if you messed up on the stage but you are not going to give up before trying. Okay." He held me a little tighter and I hugged him back, my eyes sting from unshed tears.

Letting him go, I looked at him but his eyes were already on my face. Taking his hands in mine I said, "I'm not going to give up. Not this time. I have you all, I can't let Maa, Vaishali, and you down."

"That's better." Squeezing my hands he let go as Vaishali called my name from behind.

𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑑𝑜 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑆𝑎𝑔𝑎𝑟𝑖𝑘𝑎.

As I stand in the middle of the stage, with a microphone in front of me, my eyes scan the students, parents, teachers, and respected guests sitting in the auditorium. I could feel my nervousness increasing and getting the best of me but it was not time to get nervous.

Maa and Ankit were sitting where he told me earlier. Maa wearing my favourite saree. I smiled at that.

As the lights dimmed and a spotlight came on me, I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and started unveiling my heart and soul. 


"What if she had drawn that line?

That day, 

Sitting on her bathroom floor,

With a new shining edge in her hand,

Still trying to make her decision,

How to draw the line on her pale wrist?

Vertical or horizontal?


What if she had drawn that line?

It would have been the end of her suffering,

Suffering for so long.

It would have been the end of the voices,

Voices, babbling for so long.


What if she had drawn that line?

Having enough of the people and their laughing faces,

Just because she can't fit in this society with her overflowing body,

Shady and pimple-striking face.


What if she had drawn that line?

Having enough of the questions,

Asking about her size in the corridor or the side of the road,

Because she can't be wearing a normal one.


What if she had drawn that line?


It would have been the end of the misery of sitting at the last bench in the corner, Alone,

And

Getting hit by their constant words because they can't hurt her giant body any other way.


What if she had drawn that line?

There would be no more staring,

Like it's not her body but a museum piece.

Looking till her body burnt in the worst way you can think.


What if she had drawn that line?

It will be freedom from the starving game,

That she is playing months after months,

Till she reaches the end.


What if she had drawn that line?

Ending all her sufferings, pain, misery, and games with the one draw of line.


Horizontal is easy and vertical is tough.

With a shining edge in her hand, she thought.

Taking measures of her wrist with her trembling hand.

The wetness on her cheeks was bothering her no more.

Waiting for the courage just to come,

Now it's a matter of time,

Till that comes.


With foggy brain and blurry eyes,

She couldn't decide the length of that line.


In the back of her mind, a voice reminds her,

"What about Maa? Are you leaving her alone?"


The struggle and selfless love of her mother as she raised her alone,

Her mind is numb and eyes are clouded,

Making it hard for her to remember all of that she had gotten.


It was a matter of time,

Till she ends all of her misery.

Only if it was that easy.


With the blink of an eye,

It took a different way.


The shining edge was on the bathroom floor,

And she was engulfed by a warm core.


The sting on her cheek wasn't that painful,

But horrified, the teary face of her mother in front of her eyes was like a punch in her guts.


As she held her daughter and cried and cried,

Breaking the inner turmoils,

One by one.


It was the realization that came late,

But it was still the dawn and not the sunset.


What if she had drawn that line?

It would have been the end of her misery,

Or the start of a new one?


What if she has shady skin?

Does skin define the purity of one's soul?

Then let it be shady because it's better than the darkness of your soul.


What if she is overweight?

Then why don't you like underweight children on the street?

Treating them like dirt that will get on your skin.


What if she doesn't fit in this society?

A society where a human discriminates against their fellow beings,

A society where the life of a girl is decided before she is born,

A society where we fear the goddess but terrify a woman till she dies,

A society with colours but a life of the widow colourless,

A society where a woman questions the dignity of another woman,

A society where you can't choose to live, can't choose to love,

Oh, the list goes on and on...

Then let's not fit her in this society.


What if she had drawn that line?

But she didn't,

She couldn't,

Because it was a sign by the mighty divine.


It's time to live not to die,

It's okay to fail,

But don't give up without giving it a try.


What if she had drawn that line?

She will be missing out on the life that has so much to show.

The life that's her,

Not yours to decide.


Let's live,

If it's hard to live for ourselves,

Then for someone worth living for.


What if she had drawn that line?

She will be ending a life

That might others yearn for.


After all, life isn't a game,

With many chances."


As I said the last line, my eyes scanned the hall that was so quiet that only my breathing could be heard. 

 𝑌𝑜𝑢 𝑠𝑐𝑟𝑒𝑤𝑒𝑑 𝑢𝑝!

The spotlight was still on me even after I finished. It felt like I was the only one breathing in that hall, full of people. I started to panic because this was not the reaction I was expecting.

As I thought I messed up, a whistling sound echoes through the silence of the hall.

"Woohoo! You rock, Sagarika!" someone shouted, clapping and whistling. I knew who it was. Ankit.

His voice was a spell breaker. The lights turned on and the spotlight was removed from me and everyone started to clap. I could see Ankit and Maa, both of them clapping the hardest. Ankit with a big smile on his face and my Maa was smiling through her tears. But what happened next was unexpected.

The front row - where special guests were sitting- started to rise from their seats. One by one the whole hall was standing up.

𝐹𝑜𝑟 𝑚𝑒.

It was surreal.

Taking a bow, I turned around to leave the stage. Still couldn't believe what happened.

𝑇ℎ𝑒𝑦 𝑔𝑎𝑣𝑒 𝑚𝑒 𝑎 𝑠𝑡𝑎𝑛𝑑𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑜𝑣𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛!

Brushing the tear from my left cheek that was making its way to my chin, as I made my way through the same people, who were now praising me for my performance. Giving them polite smiles and saying thank you's, I reached the changing room, thinking about one thing.

What if I had drawn that line?


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