Monday, 22 July 2013

The Righteous Act

                       The Righteous Act

She was born to the cruellest part of the world that she knew of. In the muddy lanes of Lal Bazaar, officially named as Kamathipur, Mumbai lived Laxmi Gaudbole. She was a mere eight years old but knew things that the sixteen year olds were still discovering. She never wrote her true address in her school diary. She used to get down on the previous stoppage and walk to her home. She knew, the day the world finds where her “home” is, she will no longer be the innocent angel; she will turn to a potential prostitute!! She always begged her father to get out of the place but hardly got an answer. Laxmi’s father was a followed person in the locality. Her father was counted among the rich of the community and that was what made him stay there, thought Laxmi. She missed having the mother she never saw and she hated her father. Soon, both the things were about to change.

“This is my last and only option. Please, arrange a customer for me who can pay me 15000. Please, I beg you. If I do not bail my husband till tomorrow, they’ll torture him to death. Please. I do not have anything to sell but my body. I beg you. Please.” Having said this much, the lady broke down. She was wailing at the top of her voice which woke up Laxmi. She grumbled the few abuses she had picked up from her father and peeped into the drawing room. The drowsy eyes of Laxmi saw a woman kneeling before her father. She was disgusted to say the least. Business as usual, she thought and went back to bed. Soon her father barged into the room, he quickly checked if Laxmi was asleep and then carefully opened the old, rusty Godrej almirah. He took out few of her mother’s jewelry and wrapped it in a white handkerchief. He left the room as quietly as possible, giving an impression of a man who is stealing from his own home. Seeing her mother’s last remains being stolen by her own father, Laxmi was seething in anger from within. Her father had scaled new depths in her mind. She quietly sneaked out of his bed and followed her father to the drawing room. What she saw next, threw her life upside down.

“Take this. Sell this. It’ll fetch you more than you need. Bail your husband and never come back to this hell. Now go.” This was not business as usual!! Her father generally bought high-end customers to the prostitutes he “managed”. He would keep the commission and that was his living as far as Laxmi knew. But this woman was not a prostitute. She would have become one had her father not stopped her. Laxmi saw the woman leave with tears of joy and a little later, she saw her father crying. He kept his wallet near his lips and was crying profusely. Laxmi was too baffled to have any kind of response. She was too astonished to have reacted to the most righteous action by the filthiest man she knew. Her father slumped into the couch dropping his wallet on the floor. Laxmi went near, picked up the wallet and found out why her father was holding it so tight. There was a photograph of the most beautiful person she had seen. It had to be her mother, the mother she never saw.

The world had its own weird ways of unmasking the best in a man. The man she hated with all her might, the man she hated to live with, the man she thought was a monster in a human’s skin, the man she had decided never to look back to once she went out of the place, the man who was nothing but devil; that man had just stopped an innocent woman from selling her sanctity to some rich, cruddy, unsatisfied, sex-starved demon.

She saw her father who was now sleeping like a baby, kissed him on his cheeks and whispered “I love you, baba.” He could not hear it, but it didn’t matter. Her world had just changed forever.

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