I used to sit on the 21st floor. Now I am retired

Monday, March 06, 2006

His friend made the headlines

Recovered from discarded old diaries found in a trunk, for Blank Noise blog-a-thon.

Wednesday, July 10, 2003

What do you say when your best friend becomes
a newspaper headline on a morning?


Now, that he looked back, he saw her standing outside the house with slit wrists. “I screwed up again”, she said.

His first reaction was shock. He couldn't open the latch. A further spurt of blood from her wrists shook him out though.

His mind was racing around slasher movies and Discovery channel medical programs. The cuts were more wide than deep and blood was gasping out of her right one. He held her hand close to the wrist, trying desperately to stop the flow. Somehow, they managed to reach the fridge. Ice. After ten minutes of ice and pressure, the blood stopped.

Questions would come later. He had to cry first. They cried together.


Today, he would rather that she would come to him with slashed wrists. He was 2000 miles away. And she had turned into a newspaper headline.

'____ girl raped in a moving car'.
In the morning, he had read through the pages on the website without a break. As always, once he had finished with the sports and the comics, he had but 2 minutes to look at news about his city. Crimes against women was, but, a regular feature. On an average, five every day. On good days, maybe two. Not that he didn't care. He would do something, if only he could have. But what could he?

Then at 4, the call came. "____ has been raped again." "Again?". "Yes. In the middle of the day".

His mind wasn't racing through anything at the moment. In fact, it had managed to cocoon itself completely within the narrow confines of the phone booth. He had to something. He wished he could hold her hand close to her wrist. Or something.

Once back in his room, he checked indiatimes. Which had NSUI and ABVP protesting at the 'failure of the system'. Police had made an assurance that the culprits will be found. There was an entire opinion piece on tinted glasses on car windows. He also found that she was in the hospital and cooperating with the investigation.

This wasn't the first time. She was undergoing counselling for the previous time. He had met the counsellor once. She had asked him to.

"Think of a dustbin. We keep on filling it with garbage through the day. Whenever it stinks, we close it with a lid. Then we open it and fill in some more. We keep the lid on. However, the garbage will keep on stinking. We are trying to get the garbage out now. We have to throw it out. It will stink, and it will be uncomfortable. But unless we throw it out, the dustbin will remain clogged. Ultimately, the lid will not be able to keep the stink in"

Whatever was the problem with these counsellors, he had thought. Now all he could do was stare at the dustbin at his feet. "How many times will she have to clean it?"

Then, he cried.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rape is ne of the most gruesome of crimes. My deepest sympathies with this girl.
I am curious to know though as to how it happened to her twice? Was it the nature of her job? The place she stayed? Who she hung out with?

Monday, March 06, 2006 8:24:00 PM

Anonymous sapphire said...

Please dont tell me its true ...
God pls let it be fiction

Monday, March 06, 2006 9:50:00 PM

Blogger Deepti said...

Fact or fiction? Its too terrible.. I pray its not fact.

Monday, March 06, 2006 10:20:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Anonymous: I wish there could be a mathematical function which will tell us why rape would happened twice to a woman. As far as I know, every woman is under threat of being picked up by a car in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore etc. etc. At the margin, it's nothing do with nature of her jon, place she stayed or who she hung out with.

Sapphire, Deepti: I wish that it's not true either. It surely can be, can't it?

Monday, March 06, 2006 10:41:00 PM

Anonymous sapphire said...

sadly yes VERY possible
anonymous: she is a woman. reason enough i guess.
but ya are males safe?

Monday, March 06, 2006 10:47:00 PM

Blogger blah_blah_blogger said...

Any consolation would be but too small in front of the enormity of something as gruesome...but it happens and keeps on happening and we are rendered mere spectators.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 3:23:00 AM

Blogger karmic_jay said...

Gruesome and chilling..Is it that unsafe for women in certain parts of India? Sorry if I sound ignorant about the current situation.
I was hoping what I was reading is mere fiction..
My 2 cents @ my blog

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 4:26:00 AM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

These certain parts of India are it's main cities and even in villages

I don't know whether it is more unsafe in India than other places on an average (although there will be statistics on that), but on the margin where we live, it is chilling.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 6:53:00 AM

Blogger neha vish said...

Shit. This one had me almost sobbing. I suppose I have given up rationalizing abuse and rape anyway.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 1:53:00 PM

Blogger silbil said...

the only consolation is there are men like you (and many others i am hoping) who at least notice, think and cry and recognise that women are not the only victims of patrairachy and that alieniation that patrairachy leads to causes loneliness and helplessness in men too...
it was a scary post and my heart is heavy...
but thanks for the post

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 9:12:00 PM

Blogger swar said...

when i am late from work and the autowallah or cabbie drops me home safe and sound, it is always a big relief that i haven't been raped or molested. when i read about victims, my heart just sinks - thinking, imagining...

Tuesday, March 07, 2006 10:18:00 PM

Blogger dhoomketu said...

Neha: I was always unable to rationalise

Silbil: Most of the men I have met feel strongly, but are helpless too... But I wonder whether's that self-selection

Bem: In Delhi winters, I used to feel this relief too when I used to huddle back from my tutions at night.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006 2:20:00 AM


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