SWARA – Raped
I am lying down in the middle of nowhere. Actually, Not in the middle of nowhere. I am in the woods that surrounded National Highway 6 or NH6 that passes through Surat, Sambalpur and Kolkata. But these facts don’t make any sense to me anymore. Nothing makes any sense to me anymore. For today, I was destroyed. Today, My entire life crumbled. Today, A woman lost. And with her, Humanity was lost.
You know, it’s really weird how life works. One minute, you’re perfectly alright, and the next… Well, the next you’re lying down in the middle of NH6.
So, I think by now, I’ve aroused your curiosity. Do you want to know who I am? Do you want to know my story?
Who am I?
An ordinary person who thought she was safe. An ordinary person who was oblivious to the harsh realities of the world.
I am Swara Bose, And today I was raped.
Such a simple word, isn’t it?
Five letters. Past tense.
Tell it enough times and the word begins to sound sweet, even. It doesn’t look or sound sinister.
Yet this word has the power to destroy lives. This word has the power to destroy everything.
Sometimes I really wonder if there’s a God. If God was there, Why would he have allowed this to happen? If God was there, Why would he allow men to be considered superior to women? If God was there, Why would statistics show that four women in India are raped every hour?
Is it just to create this world, fill it with life and then let them destroy each other? Is God that heartless? But how can I question something that may or may not be true? Why blame God when there is someone else to blame for my condition today?
Was it my fault?
Should I not have taken the car out so late at night?
Should I always wear sarees or salwar kameez? Have I no right to wear what I want?
Jeans and a top, Perhaps a dress or two?
Who can give me these answers?
Those wretches took away my dignity, my respect but society will blame me.
They’ll say, She shouldn’t have gone out so late at night. That’s asking for trouble. When she has a husband at home, What work does she have outside?
Is that all I am to be?
A wife for my husband, A daughter to my family, A mother to my children?
And now, A statistic in a file hidden in an office somewhere.
Who am I?
Am I no one else?
Does my identity matter less than my social reputation? Or does my character become blemished because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time?
I’m sorry for my incoherent thoughts, but everything is passing by me in a blur.
I just saw a light pass by. Perhaps a car or a bike went by. Did they not see my car parked at the edge of the road? Didn’t they care?
Maybe it was good that they didn’t. Who knows if they too decided to take me as I were a pig prime for slaughtering. After all that’s what those men did to me, right?
Not with a stab or a bullet wound. That would have been merciful. Instead, they left me here, suffering between pain, humiliation, anger, desperation and agony.
I’ll die a slow death everyday instead.
A million stab wounds, not enough to make me die but enough to bleed. A derogatory comment on my character, A disguster look everywhere, Shunning me in temples, Ignoring my parents, Pitying me and my family – Is that to be my life now?
While they… The men who raped me, the strangers who even if I could identify, I could not possibly find, they escape without any punishment. Why should I bear the punishment when someone else did the crime? I fought them, I begged them, I threatened them, I never stopped fighting. I did not accept what was being done to me. Yet, I am being punished? I will go home to see my parents horrified gazes? I will see my brother’s furious expression. I will see some acquaintances’ shame that they know me.
Should I just accept this crime?
Should I forget about it?
Should I go home and pretend nothing happened except for a minor accident?
It would make my life less complicated.
It is the easy way out.
But then, A glimpse of her comes into my mind. This shadowy wisp of a girl who is lying in the same state as me. Her eyes look at me accusingly.
The men who raped you are raping me now. If only you had spoken up, If only you had shown tha courage.
I sigh and move my hand, every part of body aching.
I am NOT weak.
Something terrible happened to me and it was traumatic.
It is still traumatic.
But I will not accept the easy way out.
The men raping me, It wasn’t my fault. The men overpowering me, It isn’t my fault. Going out during night time isn’t my fault. Wearing jeans and a top is my choice. It cannot be held against me.
But not being able to speak up for myself and allowing fear of society to shut me up, that will be my fault.
Allowing some other girl to suffer the same fate as me because I did not speak up, I will lose the shred of dignity that I possess. I will not allow my conscience to lose today.
I stand, brushing the dirt off my torn clothes, wiping a tear savagely from my face.
I can shed tears later. First, I will shed my humiliation. I refuse to let those men go away unscathed. I can’t find them, No problem. One day, I will. They will suffer my wrath.
The God that we pray to. If he created us, part of Him resides in us. It is my turn to bring out my inner God and make sure that justice is served.
I refuse to become a statistic.
I am Swara Bose.
I am a raped woman.
I am not an object of pity. I cannot be objectified. I belong to no one except me.
I am a Goddess.
I will mete out justice.
Just random thoughts that I converted into a story. It doesn’t make sense and it is not chronological or whatever. But it is heart felt and I thought I should share it with you all.