Hello Mr. Rapist,
Hey, how are you? I hope you find this letter and the offspring borne out of it in the pink of health. In case you did not recognise me, it’s me Mansi- the girl you raped and broke integrity of. The life you receive with this letter is your blood and your wrong. Don’t crumple this letter yet, though. I want to write to you that my future has ended. My life has ended. But here I am, alive in the words of this letter.
That Saturday evening has ever since been the moment I dread the most. I was on my way back from the physics class, when on the desolate land through which I pass, you held my hand and did not let go for a longer time than I had anticipated. You broke my soul that day. I headed towards home, rubbing from my body the very essence of you with the hands that travelled across my body and the water that my eyes shed. You did not even bothered I yearn to guess. Did you, though?
I reached home, soaked in tears. My mother asked me what happened. I could not tell her. I kept your bad touch to myself and asphyxiated myself with the memory of your closeness. Until one day, she came to know that I carried with myself your essence- your child. She slapped me. Hard. But, not as hard and harsh as your stroke on my sty. I told her everything. Everything. Every moment and every tear of mine was now exposed to her. She took me to the doctor. Tried to abort the fetus, and made me take those pills. I was kept at home. Nobody would have welcomed a raped girl. My studies expended. I never saw school again. I don’t know, the slums were the way they had been since forever. They don’t change.
You broke my soul, mother broke my heart and father.. he was ready to break my bones when he came to know that the pills didn’t work. None of my parents rushed to the police. None of them tried to console me. None of them tried to teach and reconstruct my broken road to a safer future.
I knew who you were, where you lived. I told mother and father about it. But, what good was it? None. I decided to end my life, hence. I had no other option available.
My friends showed up and saw a grown up belly to only ask what had happened to me. They knew, though. I felt embarrassed. My transient little world had become the cause of eternal grief to me and my family. Would ever face guilt as such? I hope so.
The slum-people began back-biting. I was the new talk of the town for the ladies to talk and gossip about. Every time a damsel would pass our porch, father would leer at me hard and scorching, as though threatening me to death. Would you ever experience those looks? I hope so.
Nonetheless, I faced that, broken and dead on the inside breathing a life outside. I phased out form those little and fun play games that girls my tender age of 15 played. But, worry not. I managed. I accepted the fact that I had to change because you had changed my life. I owed you every bad second that befell me.
The other day, you must remember- I was taken to the hospital. I was shrieking and screaming. I hope that you’d remembered those shrieks and screams from somewhere you had been before- that Saturday evening. Well, now you can never forget them- my moan on your touch on my every sty, shall be for life your lullaby. I saw you. I hated you. I loathed you. Would you ever forget those shrieks and screams? I hope not.
I whelped. It was your blood. If now you are looking at him- well he is the one who I am talking about. But, he is not to blame. I am. I had become a criminal. In my heart I was a criminal who had endured pain and yet haven’t gained any good out of it. Criminals are not like that, are they? You know it well. Would you ever be called a criminal like I had been? I hope so.
I will be dying tomorrow. Search the newspapers for it, they will find a dead body before a raped body. I cannot let my parents be burdened by your sin anymore. For your sin, I have the devil to pay.
So Mr. Rapist- Mr. Raj Bakshi, here I bid my adieu to you and this world. The little life that is breathing in your hands is a fragment of me as well, so it is my humble request to let it live and not smother him like you did to me.
Dev’s eyes flooded. With tears floating on his waterline, he caught a glance at Raj.
“Dad, who was my mother?” he asked Raj.
Raj hefted his eyes to witness his little Dev holding a letter, crumpled and yellow with time (14 years).
“Where… where did you find this letter?” he asked.
Dev stormed out of the house without answering, leaving tear stains on the tiled floor. Raj was worried. Anger seized his heart and mind. A rage was flaming inside and tears were dampening it. He rushed out of the house. He ran and ran until he ran into a pack of policemen with Dev finding ambush behind one of the cops.
“Dev, you scared the devil out of me. I was afraid I might lose you forever.” Raj cried. He leaned forward to hug his son, but was held back in the handcuffs.
“Hey, what!?” he shouted.
“We shall now have a discussion with you in the police station. Come on. Let’s go!” the cop exclaimed keeping in voice his tough protocol.
They dragged Raj along the ground and threw him in the van. Wiping his tears, Dev climbed on his bicycle and wiped a tear and another flowing out of his eyes. He thought how unfortunate he was to have a rapist to be his father and a silent victim to be his mother. He decided to not let any of this overpower his determination. He rode the speed of a cheetah and halted before a porch to ring the bell beside the door.
“Hello. I am sorry, I teased you yesterday. I should not have done that. I plead guilty.” He apologised to Amy, his classmate, whom he had called names the previous day.
“It’s okay. I have forgotten that already. It is not rare. And you are not the only one.” Amy said disapprovingly hanging her head low.
“What? Usually you get teased like that? That’s unprincipled. Why don’t you raise your voice against this unjust practice.”
“Who would care?” She forcefully pulled her head up.
“I will. Everyone will”
He told her everything. Not a tad was not disclosed.
“You girls are stupid! Why can’t you stand up for yourself? Is this how we would lead towards a common future; a safer future?”
“Trust me, Dev we are safe in our abodes.”
“Trust me, Amy you are not. I had the danger disguised as my own father.”
“What do you expect? Democracy prevails everywhere, but the walls amidst which a girl yells and shrieks. Where are our voices going to be heard?”
“Here. You don’t need to shout. You have to be bold and strong. You have to send these disguised devils to jail and make for yourself a safer future. Economies will develop, lands will expand and leaders will come and go, but women shall always be women- the most powerful creatures on earth. It is only about realising your strengths and making them your voice. Amy, you and I, men and women, both belong to a common future. We both deserve a safe future for ourselves. Those city women are set as benchmarks to be reached, but no one realises that there still prevails a scenario of honour killing, child marriage and female feticide in the rural areas. It is only you who can do this. Please help me to not let another Mansi lose her life because of another Raj.”
Over the next few months, Dev and Amy visited many hospitals and orphanages to support those who have lost their loved ones due to similar reasons, putting them into dark holes of the time ahead.
Of the present circumstance, Dev has nothing to say at all. Last Sunday, he visited his father, clutching those iron bars.
“I’m sorry. I stole from you your mother and from her her life.” Raj cried.
“Dad people like you behind the bars and their self-realisation are the primary building blocks for our road to a safer future.” Dev forced these words out of his mouth and abandoned Raj to spend his life in solace, in the prison.