Sunday, 30 November 2014

The Night Queen

                        THE NIGHT QUEEN
             She starts hunting when her preys are in deep slumber……..
                                           BY Birister Sharma

There is no light….
There is no hope……
There is only darkness and darkness…..
It is a door of ditch, once anyone got trap in its jaws, fall in its deep darkness forever.
There is no rescue…..
There is no turning back…..

Rani is a simple and naive girl, living in her own beautiful and imaginary world. She is unknown to the external world. She is like a butterfly, hovering hither and thither. She is like a bird, flattering her wings to sour in the open sky.
However, one day, her beautiful world came to the abrupt halt; her own uncle, Raghu cajoled her to accompany with him to see her ailing elder sister. But Raghu betrayed her, and trapped her like a prey and hurled her in the midst of hungry human beast to quench the appetites of their lust.
Helpless and hapless Rani, tried to free herself from the shackles of that dark world, but in vain, she is all alone, nobody is there to rescue her, the more she tried to unknot herself, the more she is trapping herself into the deep ditch of darkness.

Poor Rani is mentally and physically tortured, humiliated, and treated as a beast of burden. Her mind, body and soul is killed. She is dragged into the dark world of prostitution. She is forced to transform into a sex symbol. She is renamed as ‘Dolly’ and tagged her  ‘the Night Queen.’
Can Rani free herself from that dark world and wear out her tagged ‘the Night Queen’?

What happen to her elder sister?

Can she ever find her? 

Can she take her avenge against Raghu?

The Night Queen,’ is a realistic story of dark world of prostitution, unseen crimes, humiliations, sins, evils, revenge.

Read the first five chapters from the novel

                        THE NIGHT QUEEN
             She starts hunting when her preys are in deep slumber……..


                                     Smile and Laughter

I was born in a small village in Dholpur. My father was a small farmer. Our family was very happy and prosperous. I had three elder sisters and one younger brother. I enjoyed all the happiest moment of my childhood days along with my elder sisters and along with my younger brother. Our father and mother loved us more than their lives.

Our life was full of fun, fairs and feasts.

I enjoyed every moment of my life with jest and thrilled. Father and mother brought us happiness and joys. They fulfilled our every desires and wishes. They nurtured us like we were their soft blooming flowers and upbringing us like we were their prince and princess.

Our life was on the bed of roses.
Our world was like heaven.
Everywhere only joy and happiness,
There were no worries and sorrows.

Amongst our sisters, there was not much age difference; it might be merely a year difference amongst us. We loved each other very much.

We loved music and dance.

We rehearsed continued for many days and many nights with the tape recorder and sometime with the songs played in radios before any competitions or any cultural events. There was no electricity in our village so we had to play the music and songs with the help of batteries.

In every festival of Holi, Desahera and Dipawali we took part in song and dance competitions in our village and in other villages. We had won many prizes. We danced group dance and solo dance. We sung folk songs and songs of Hindi movies. Mesmerized all the audience of our village and invited guests in our village programmes. People praised us and encouraged us to perform better and best.

“We invite your group for our cultural events this year. Please perform for us.”

The people of distant villages offered us cordially to take part in their cultural fairs and feast.

We enjoyed a lot while performing there. We got not only prizes but also money for our good performance.

We played games and sports in our village. In games and sports we always stood first. In kabaddi matches we played for our village. We had played many kabaddi matches in our village and in distant villages and won many trophies and medals for our village. We were pride of our village.

In every activity in our village we took part very seriously and actively.

Our names were on everybody’s mouth.

Radhima, Radha, Radhika and Rani

We were very naughty and mischievous, pulling everybody’s legs whenever we got opportunity, even though everybody in our village loves us very much.

Everyday we had new and new mischievous plans, masterminded by us. Sometime we had very scary and terrified experienced and sometime we had very exciting and thrilling experienced. We had our own expeditions and explorations.

There were many countless numbers of incidents and events happened with us.

But we never gave up our mischievous acts. We enjoyed a lot in our every mischievous act.

We were clever in our every mischievous act. We played our every role very cunningly and smartly. We never left any clue or hint after our mischievous acts.

No complains had reached in our home about our mischievous acts.

We never caught red handed accept in few minor occasions.

In one occasion we went to steal sugarcane from the village sugarcane field in the wee hour of morning.

We had already made a plan that we would wake up at three in the morning. And I got responsibility to awake them.

“Didi-didi get up, get up, it’s morning” I awaken my elder sisters, continuously.

But they were fast asleep.

“Radhima didi awake……Radha didi awake…..Radhika didi awake……”

“RRaani…please don’t disturb……get sleep… We’ve still time……”

They covered their heads with blankets and sleep again.

I remained awake for few minute, and then I too got sleep.

The cocks and hens were clacking to awake the human soul, and the awaking birds were chirping on the trees.

It was almost dawn.

Then from nowhere I got a sudden jerk.

I was in deep slumber. I was dreaming very sweet dreams.

“Rani-Rani-Rani awake…..awake…..” Radhima didi awaked me.

My dreams broke suddenly.

I woke up with sudden jerks as the earth was displaced from my legs.

“What happened? What happened? Why you awaked me?” I asked in sleepy tones.

“We have to go…” Radha didi replied.

“Where??” I had forgotten everything.

“Aree dumb we’ve to go……” Radhika didi said.

“Ohoo….” I said, getting my senses.

Then we ran to the sugarcane field.

It was chilly morning of December. The fogs were covered everywhere. We couldn’t see the roads properly. We were shivering in cold.

We were afraid to steal but we were determined, committed in our mission.

We cut the sugarcane as much as we could and relished the taste of juicy sugarcane. Even we tried to uproot the sugarcane sticks which were impossible task for us.

We gathered sugarcane as many as we could. Even we couldn’t carry all the sugarcanes along with us.

“Didi I can’t carry this much….please help me.” I said.

“Didi we’ve gathered so much how could we carry at home?” Radha asked.

“Father and mother will kill us if they know our stealing. We can’t carry at home.” Radhika said worrying.

Radhima didi thought very seriously. She didn’t get any idea.

“Why don’t we keep somewhere, hiding in some secret place so that nobody can find it?” I said.

“……And when we come back from our school then we would have……”

“Yeah-Yeah…. It is a best idea….” Radhima didi said.

Then we hid all the stealing sugarcane sticks in the bushes and planned that after school we would have our juicy sugarcane.

After school at noon we came back very happily to relish the sugarcane.

But we didn’t find.

We searched everywhere where we had kept our sugarcane sticks.

And what we saw that the village kids and the herds of cattle were having the juicy sugarcane happily.

We were very disappointed.

In another occasion, it was very hot summer noon when the people usually have their naps. We chose the perfect timing for our mission. We went to steal mangoes from the mango orchard of our village. The mango orchard was surrounded by walls in all sides. There was only one main gate where the gatekeeper kept his vigil eyes day and night. We went very cautiously, tiptoed, climbed over the wall of the orchard. We fell down with loud thuds, injured our legs and knees even we didn’t give up and we entered inside the mango orchard finally. Then we started plucking mangoes as many as we could. We were very delighted. Even we had tasted the juicy mangoes. The moment was very exciting and thrilling. But our sweet moment of relishing the taste of mangoes didn’t last long. When I was on the top most branch of the mango tree, plucking ripe mangoes, the six hungry dogs came there and started barking me violently. I was very terrified. My happiness and enjoyment subdued instantly. I thought if these six hungry dogs would get me then they would tear away my flesh, and if they bite me I must have sixteen injections in my stomach. When I scanned to find out my elder sisters; they were nowhere. They left me alone before the danger approach near. I was very angry with them. I was dangling with the branch of the mango tree, and before I could think any plan, the branch broke and I fell down very badly. I could see the whole universe in front of my eyes. Somehow I got up and ran for my life and before I could reach out from the danger zone, somebody held my hands tightly. When I looked up I saw my father stood in front of me.

Actually my father took permission from the watchman on that day to have some fresh mangoes from the orchard.

We were caught red handed.

But father didn’t tell about our stealing episode to mother, otherwise we would get hard trashes. Father just warned us not to steal anything from anywhere in near future.

From that day onwards we stopped stealing anything from anywhere. When I thought about the terrified scene at that very moment where in one side the six hungry dogs chasing me and on the other hand some unknown person caught me red handed.

Our mischievous acts were countless.

In every season we had our new games and new plans.

In summer season we bathed in our village ponds and lakes for long hour along with village girls, even we didn’t heed who was calling us and who was yelling us. We lost in our world of enjoyments and excitements, swimming and jumping, laughing and screaming were our games and sports. So we were always late while pouring water in our pots from the river water and at home we got hard trashes by mother. But we didn’t mind.

In rainy season we wetted under the showers of rain drops until we felt the flowing of mucus from our nostrils and we didn’t stop our playing until mother chased us with a big stick.

In autumn season when the dry breezes started blowing we didn’t hide ourselves inside the rooms but we came out to hang out in the village.

We were like the free blowing winds.
We were like the free flying birds.

When the season became sweet and awesome we made swing on the branches of trees and we enjoyed swinging and singing romantic songs of some of the super hit Hindi movies.  

In spring season our lives turned more and more colorful with the blooming of flowers; more and more beautiful with the sprouting of new leaves. The whole environment of our village looked green and colourful.

We sung and danced.

With the melodies of songs,
We swung our arms.
With the rhythms of steps,
We moved our feet.

We made garlands with the beautiful flowers and played a game of bride and groom, and arranged our marriages.

We felt new jest and enthusiasms in our lives.

Even in our home inside and outside our mischievous acts never stop.
We quarreled for little-little things. We chased like cats and dogs. We fought like cocks and bulls. We quarreled like enemies. We hugged like fast friends. We loved like lovers. Now friends. Now enemies. Fighting and arguments were our regular routines, without it life was impossible.

For a moment we were friends. For a moment we were enemies. Laughter and cries continued. No limits of pranks, teasing and taunting. Life was full of jokes; cursing and accusing were its integral parts.

Whenever father bought us anything the high dramas were begun……….

“This is for me……this not for you……I like this……..I like that…….” the tittles and tattles went on and on.

It was quite difficult to handle the matter sometimes. The problems were only sorted out when mother interfered between us.

Stop this! No more quarrels!” mother silenced us furiously.

“If anymore quarrel then right from today no more any stuff for you. Is it clear to you all?” We remained silent.

We stood silent and accepted whatever we got.

“What you have got, try to be happy, otherwise I will ask your father to take away all the stuffs.”

When mother harshly warned us then only our tittles and tattles subsided and we all entered in our rooms; bowing down our heads, like the defeated soldiers.

But sometimes our tittles and tattles began inside our rooms in silent mode continued for two to three days, it seemed there was never ending……………

“I’m eldest of you all……. you must follow me whatever I ask you to do, right?..............No-No we can’t follow you……Eldest doesn’t mean that you’re the queen of this house, ok? ……………” Our tittles and tattles were going on and on inside the four walls of our room.

“Then return me my frock……first you return me my skirt……return me my handkerchief……first you return me my slipper……return me my ribbon……first you return me my bangles……return me my earrings…..” 

The countless number of accuses and curses was on and on till we tired of our arguments and quarrels.

“You bitch……mind your language!.........You witch……mind your language!.........” and so on and so fort.

But we sisters loved each other very much. We couldn’t live without each others' company.

We slept together. We woke up together. We stayed together. We dined together. We played together. We enjoyed together. We did everything together.

Every day we had the same routines of laughter and cries.

I accompanied with my three elder sisters to the village school when I was in class three.

When I went along with my elder sisters Raju our younger brother also followed me. Raju was just like my tail every time he attached with me like a dog and its wagging tail. He was only three years old but his growth was so fast that he looked like a six years old kid.

“Didi-Didi, I’m coming with you……..I’m coming with you. Please wait for me! Please wait for me!” Raju called me every day whenever I got ready for my school.

While cajoling Raju I got too late for my school sometime and got harsh punishment in the class. And sometime I had to stay with Raju at home and played with him the whole day, even I couldn’t live without him. Whenever he was around with me I felt happy.

Then one day I decided to take him with me in my class.

In the classroom when the roll call was started and Raju’s name was not called, he was very upset.

“Didi why mastarji didn’t call my name?.......” Raju asked me in low toned.

“Chup-Chup……Don’t speak anything, masterji will punish you and me.” I silenced Raju.

He remained silence when I mention about punishment.

He was scared of punishment. I hid him under my bench so that nobody would find him.

I gave him one note book and a pencil to write.

“Write this…..Write that……write properly…..” I instructed him like his teacher.

Raju silently followed my instructions whatever I asked him to do.

There were hundred of students in the class so there was very less chances to find out anything.

Masterji was not aware of anything what was happening inside the classroom. He was either concentrated in his teaching or in deep slumber after scrabbling some sums on the blackboard.

“Complete this sums and bring it to me quickly” he instructed, yawning, and resumed in his deep slumber; snoring aloud as he was not sleep for many days and many months.

Masterji stroke his long cane on the table when the noises rose up and defeated the clamours of any crowded fish market.

Our time was going on very smoothly but one day masterji found Raju hiding under my bench.

“Who is this? Who is this hiding under the bench?” Masterji asked me very angrily.

I was very scared. I was unable to reply anything. I was shivering in scare.

“Yes, hey you boy come out….Come out.” Masterji yelled.

“Didi-Didi, I’m scared….I’m scared.” Raju was very scared. He held my frock very tight.

I was helpless. I knew masterji would give me very harsh punishment.

We were caught.

“O hoo….so he is your brother Rani, right?” masterji frowned as he felt proud that he had caught the most wanted criminal red handed.

“S-Sorry masterji….S-Sorry masterji…..” I apologized, stumbled.

“What sorry, haa?.....What sorry, haa? Get out-Get out…..Get out from my class” masterji shouted us very rudely.

And without speculation anything and any further delaying I took my bag and held Raju’s hand tight and we ran out from the classroom. The moment was very scary for Raju and me.

“Didi-Didi….masterji didn’t punish us nah?” Raju was happy and he was running faster than me.

“Yes, but not from the next day… stop coming with me, okay?” I said, feeling some relieved.

“Then when do I join in the school, didi?” Raju queried me, very sadly.

“You have to grow little more, okay?” I said and convinced him, and caring his ruffling hairs.

“But didi I’m grown up, naa.” Raju said.

“NO!” I retorted.

“Hmm……” He replied sadly.

We reached home in one single breathe hafting and puffing; dying for breathing. And from that day onwards Raju stopped following me to the school.

When the whole episode of Raju and me in the classroom was narrated to father and mother, they had a hearty laugh and we both became the center of laughing stock.

Father was very cool customer but mother was quite different from father. But they loved each other. They were made for each other. Our father and mother got married when they were just merely fourteen and thirteen years old.


                                              The Hardship

Our family was happy and prosperous.

We had no scarcity of anything in our home. Whatever we had, was enough for our livelihood. We never asked for anything from anybody. We always played the helping hands in other’s need. Our family was an ideal family for our village. Even in any urgent needs, father helped his near and dear relatives and friends whole heartily.                                           
Our time was going sweet and pleasant without any hurdles and upheavals. We got whatever we want in life. Our life spent in funs and fairs. We celebrated Holi, Dasehera, Dipawali, Baishakhi, Rakhi and all the holy festivals with grand celebrations and with great pomp.

As we were simple village folks we were far and far away from the world of towns and cities. We didn’t know what was going on around the country and around the world. Our country and our world were our own village and our land.

Father always believed in the mantra of work is worship. Even we had no big agriculture land but whatever we had was enough for our family.

But as the needle of time was swinging continuously, we were growing day by day. Our needs were also rising continuously.

The pressures of our needs started mounting dramatically.

Sometime we need this and sometime we need that.

Our small agriculture land was not enough for our big family.

Small family
Small problem

Big family
Big problem

Father and mother toiled very hard day and night to fulfill our needs, but not enough for us. When we were merely a small kid everything was manageable for us, but as we were growing younger and older nothing was manageable for us.

We felt the heat of scarcities in our lives.

Shortest of food
Shortest of cereals

Shortest of clothes
Shortest of rooms

Sometime this was short
Sometime that was short

We found short of this
We found short of that

We found shortest of everything
We had to spend our lives in scarcities.

Once everything was manageable and adjustable for us, then gradually nothing was suitable for us and whatever father tried to manage there was always some scarcities.

We had a habit to get everything in full satisfactions in our lives since our childhood days and our father and mother always fulfilled all our desires and wishes.

But thereafter things were completely changed.

Once we got new dresses and new stuffs of our own choices then we had to share our dresses and other stuffs of our house amongst us. We had bound to share everything.

Tittles and tattles continued amongst us……….but no solutions……..and at the end of the day we had to accept…………

Once if we had any tittles and tattles for any stuffs, then father immediately fulfilled our desires and wishes, but then the time had totally different for us. We had no option rather than accept whatever we had.

In order to solve the poor condition of our family father tried to find out some alternatives. So father rented some more agriculture land for more cultivation from the village landlords and from the other people.

Father took advice from his closed friends to take loan from the bank.

Father applied for bank loan.

Everyday father visited in the bank for loan. But the bank officials didn’t heed my father. Father was illiterate, didn’t know anything. Then father took help from our village headman who knows everything about bank loan. He accompanied with my father. Father spent all the expenditures for his bus fares, his cost of food, tea, his chewing tobacco, and his smoking bidis to his paan. Everything.

Every morning father visited in the bank along with the village headman and in the evening returned home empty handed.

Then the situation turned so grim that my father became penniless, empty handed, crying for every single penny. In urgency father had to mortgage some portion of our small land.

Father was depressed and tensed.

Father’s dhoti turned pale colour and torn after washing repeatedly, his slipper tear away it’s sole, but the bank officials didn’t sanction loan. They always gave new datelines. And when father visited they gave another dateline.

Dateline after dateline.

Then today turned tomorrow;
Tomorrow turned week;
Week turned month;
And month turned year.

But there was no loan for father.

After visiting more than hundred times, at last, father got agriculture loan of Rs. 50,000 when father bribed them. The amount of Rs. 50,000 was divided into three parts, one part for bank officials, another part for bank agent, third part was for village headman, and finally father got Rs.25, 000 only.

Father was happy that at least he got some portion of bank loan after so many upheavals and troubles.

Father started farming in our small agriculture land and the land rented from other people. Our whole family engaged in agriculture works whole heartily.

We worked day and night. We made day and night similar. Our family was happy. We were working very hard without caring heat and cold in our agriculture land.

Tilling in the hard soil; furrowing in the dry soil; and sowing of seeds.

We toiled day and night,
We shed sweats of our brows,
We didn’t cared hot and cold,
We forgot tiredness and rest,
We lost our thirst and hunger,
We worked with heart and soul,

Then ultimately we finished our agriculture works.

After some days we saw the small seedlings growing greener and greener in our agriculture fields, and then after some months we saw the green seedlings turned into green plants.

We were happy and excited.

We eagerly waited for the seeds of our hard works………..

Watering, weeding and spreading manure fertilizes were our regular works. The growing plants were our life. We cared as our children.

Father made scarecrows with his old pant and shirt. Put it in the middle of the crop fields. Day and night the scarecrow scared away the wild birds and small animals, worked as care taker of our crop fields. When the wind blows it appeared as a man standing and swinging his hands in the middle of the crop fields and scared away birds and animals.

After a few months, the green plants turned into yellowish golden color plants, ripen slowly and slowly.

We visited in our agriculture lands everyday.

And after months and months of heart throbbing waiting, our hard works paid us with good cultivation.

The Monsoon also played very crucial role in our good cultivation.

Then the harvest time arrived.

We all family members harvested our hard toiling crops delightfully.

The production was beyond our expectation. We got surplus productions.

Father was contented. He sold in the market in good price. And one-fourth of the interest rate of the bank loan was returned in the very first year.

Father was so delighted. He gifted us with new clothes and other stuffs. I was dreaming for new dresses for so long. At one time it was became distant dream for me. I was very happy. Mother was happy. And everybody in our family was happy. At last the moment of happiness was returned in our lives with a big smile.

The first year of good cultivation was ended with happiness and joy in our lives.

Father was expecting the same good cultivation for the next coming years.

Father took some more loans from the village Mahajans and money lenders of Rs.10, 000.

In the same way we worked day in and night out in our agriculture land.

We were working with new zest and enthusiasms.

We were waiting eagerly for good Monsoon, because our cultivation was dependent on Monsoon. Good Monsoon means good harvesting. And bad Monsoon means no harvesting.

We waited and waited eagerly for good Monsoon for many days and many months.

But the Monsoon was delayed.

It played the game of hide and seek.

The Monsoon was not as good as we were expecting. We reaped only our yearly needs. There were no surplus production; not enough to pay the interest rate of Bank, village Mahajans and money lenders.

Father sold half of our agriculture production that we stored for yearly needs. We had to sell our two cattle. There was no other way in order to pay the bank rate.

The bank officials started visiting everyday in our house for money.

It was irritating and embarrassing moments for us to face them everyday.

Father somehow paid the second quarter of interest rate.

But on the other hand the village Mahajans and the money lenders started asking for their interest. Father was helpless. He gave them word that in the coming year their interest would be paid before paying to anybody.

They were not ready to agree. At last father mortgaged mother’s jewelries in order to pay their interest rate, the only asset of mother, mother got when she was married with father.  

Our situation was becoming so grim that in the lean year we had to work in other places for money. Somehow we had managed for the yearly needs and adjusted.

Even we had to stop our schooling.

Then the time of cultivation had arrived.

We started working before the knocking of the Monsoon season.

The year was very crucial for us. We had to pay our outstanding interest rate of bank; the interest of Mahajans and the interest of money lenders. And at the same time we had to fulfill our yearly needs also.

We prayed a lot and worked in our agriculture land and rented lands with the same zest and enthusiasms as before. We worked day in and day out.

But in our crucial moment, the Monsoon cursed on our poor lives. The Monsoon played its ugly game and hit us gravely. We were in the edge of dying situation.

There were no rainy clouds
There were only flying clouds
Only the souring heat of sun
Burning hot like the erupting lavas
There were no croaking sounds of frogs
The mother earth cried out in disgrace
Only cracking soils and the blowing sands
The streams and brooks dried up
The leafless tress were stood still raising their trunks in the above sky

But there was no answer from the above

There was not a single drop of rainfall throughout the year.

We shocked and cried out in disgrace and desperation.

We were helpless. We were hapless. We were ruined. We had not a single grain to feed us. There were dryness and drought everywhere, only souring hot torrid sunshine everywhere, chasing to gulped everybody.

The situation was so pathetic and grim that every creature was in the grip of death.

Men died……
Animals died…..
Plants died…………….
Birds died……………….
The rivers dried up………..
The ponds dried up…………..
Everything dried up………………

Only the bones of starvation and scarcities were spreading everywhere.

The helpless farmers committed suicide. During the same year more than one thousand farmers took their lives in the whole regions, because of the failure of Monsoon and the rising bank loans and debts of the mahajans and the money lenders.

Father and other farmers of our village and the farmers of neighbouring villages went to the government offices and to the ministers for immediate assistance. They only promise that the government would take necessary steps very soon to curb the on going drought and the bad Monsoon. But there was no help from the government. All the people were dying in hunger and thirst.

With the drying season our hopes and dreams also dried up. We were dying in the scarcities of food and water.

Our situation grew grimmer and grimmer as the days and weeks progressed. The bank officials, the village Mahajans and the money lenders started visiting us frequently for their money.

Debt and debt
Heavy debt

Under its weight; we can’t sit
Under its weight; we can’t stand
Under its weight; we can’t sleep
We were laden in heavy debt

Our life in debt
Our world in debt

“My baap please try to understand our problem. Right now I’m helpless. I’m not going to betray you. I’ll definitely return your money and your interest rate. But now I’m in deep trouble. You know that there is no Monsoon in this season. Cultivation is very difficult. Please wait for some time.” Father begged them to wait till the situation of drought would end, but in vein.

They were not ready to hear anything. They were hungry like the wild beast, ready to pounce.

They even threaten father.

“Look Hariya, pay back our money as soon as possible otherwise we’ll forcefully take all your possessions.”

Father was helpless how could he pay back the pending interest rates of banks,  Mahajans and money lenders.

Somehow we managed our livelihood even in scarcities.

Father was penniless. He was unable to pay any money neither to the Bank nor to the village Mahajans nor to the money lenders.

When the bank officials, mahajans and money lenders failed to collect money from father, then they sent their money collectors who were accompanied with goons. They threaten us.

After some days they gave their ultimatum to return their money and their interest rate.

“Hariya, we gave you the last date to pay back our money. We’ll come again on next week. Be ready with our money.”

“My baap how could I manage money for you? I’ve nothing with me. Even I couldn’t manage two times meal for my family” father begged helplessly.

“We don’t know anything! We just want our money back, that’s it. It’s not our problem from where you could manage our money. We have given you ultimatum for recovering our money.” They said very harshly and sarcastically.

“My Baap try to understand my problem. Nothing is unknown to you. You all knew that this year there is no Monsoon and no rain. There is drought everywhere and scarcity of everything. There is no possibility to grow anything in the agriculture land” father bowed down and tried hard to convince them.

“No, No Hariya we don’t know anything. We just want our money back” they retorted.

Father was very upset and helpless. He cried and begged in front of them but in vein.

All the doors of hopes of father was ended, there was no one to help him in the crucial juncture of time. There was no one who was not suffered from the on going drought and bad Monsoon.

Then days and nights went on and on in our dismays and upheavals, father tried hard to find out any solution to solve the ongoing crisis.

Then one day early in the morning father went to his relatives and his closed friends for some help, but they too suffered with the same conditions. Nobody was escaped from the ongoing drought and the bad Monsoon.

Father returned home empty handed with sullen and crest fallen heart.

But at that night father was looking very relaxed and carefree. There was not a slightest furrow of any sorrow on his forehead.

He was talking very freely with us after a gape of more than a year. He shared everything with us and we were listened him delightfully.

He cracked jokes of his younger days, anecdotes of his life and how he met my mother before wedding. There was no sign of any kind of anxieties and tensions on his face. We had our lunch together happily and then we gone to sleep together in our terrace.

In the next morning we woke up very late.

But father was nowhere.

We thought he was out in the field as usual for loo or to see the land. We had waited him for long to have our tea together. But he didn’t return. It was already seven in the morning.

“Ai Raju- Ai Raju, come here” mother called.

Raju was busy with his studies at that time.

“Yes, maa…..” Raju replied.

“Call your Bapu immediately” mother said sweeping the threshold and the verandahs of our house.

“Where is Bapu?” Raju asked.

“In the field I guess. Go and look around and call him immediately. It’s too late to have tea” mother said.

“Okay, maa” Raju ran to the field to call father, making a sound of motor cycle with his mouth.


But Raju returned home within a minute running and hafting; he was out of his breathe.

“Maa-Maa-Maa………Bapu-Bapu-Bapu…..” Raju didn’t clear his words, gasping.

He didn’t speak. He was sweating and in terrifying state. His eyes full of rolling tears.

“What happened, Raju? Where is your Bapu?” mother asked, perplexed.

“He is…..He is……” Raju’s words broke and unfinished. He fell down. He was out of his breathe. He was crying and crying.

Without any speculation I was running with Raju to know the exact scene.

When I reached I was dumbfound and shocked, my body shivered with cold. I was frozen.

I saw father’s lifeless body; hanging in the free air with a branch of a tree.

Father committed suicide.

I fell down, I sobbed and sobbed.

There was no bound of dismays and traumas in our family.

Like all the thunderbolts of the sky were striking upon us in one single stroke very hard, mercilessly.

Blizzards, Typhoons, Hurricanes and Tsunamis all came in our life at once.

Mother broke down, fainted and fell down on the ground unconsciously. My three elder sisters held each other and fell down on the ground as the fallen dried leaves and sobbed.

Tears and fears engulfed in our life.
Worries and anxieties overwhelmed in our life.
Hardships and disturbances swallowed up in our life.

We lamented.
We grieved.
We mourned.

Our whole family drowned into the ocean of sorrow.


                                         Helpless and Hapless

We lost the loving shadow of our father. We lost his love and affection. We lost his cares. We missed our beloved father very much.

I saw the broken pieces of bangles of mother;
I saw the erasing vermilion of mother’s head;
I saw mother wearing white sari;
I saw mother taken off her jewelries.
I saw mother loosening her long hairs on the floor.
I saw the emotional weeping of mother.
I saw mother beating her bosom for father.

I cried with mother holding her tight to console her.

Father’s funeral was solemnized with a lot of hurdles. We were penniless, crying and dying for every single coin of money, to complete the last rite of father. It was our near and dear relatives and friends who helped us to complete father’s final rituals.

After the very next day of father’s funeral………..

Our problems raised more and more.

Sometime the bank official visited. Sometime the village Mahajans visited. And sometime the money lenders visited. Some of them we know and some of them we didn’t know. From how many people father had lent money we didn’t know, everyday one after another came in our house to recover their money.

It was very embarrassing moment for us to handle them. Mother tried her best to deal with them. But it was very tough to deal with them.

We stood silently and watched their abuses and curses. We had no other option rather than hear helplessly and shyly.

The bank officials stopped visiting when they came to know about the incident of father.

But the village Mahajans and the money lenders didn’t stopped, they regularly visited and harassing us day after day for their money.

“Look Maya your husband has taken five thousand rupees from us. We felt sorry for you but it’s a question of our business. We want our money back.” The money lender said; giving their reasons.

Five thousand rupees was a million dollar worth for us.

“Bhaiya give me some time to arrange money” mother requested them to give some more time to arrange money even though she knew that she couldn’t manage anything. How could she manage so much of money, it was a big question and an impossible task.

Mother told them everything about our lands and whatever we had. Even they didn’t believe, and asked more money from us. But how my poor mother would arrange anything to return the pending interest to them? We had nothing in our hands.

We were empty;
Empty life,
Empty heart,
Empty world,
Empty from all sides,
Empty. Empty. Empty.

They divided our agriculture lands amongst themselves. Even they were not satisfied and tried different tactics to recover their money from us.

We were thrown out from our house and from our village.

Once we had our own house;
Once we had our own village;
Once we had our own friends and neighbors;
Once we had our own people.

But within a day we became homeless.
We had nobody.
We were all alone.

We left our beloved house. We left our beloved village.

We shed tears. We left everything. We just carried our old memories along with us.

I recalled all my sweet memories and exciting moments of my life.

Somehow we got shelter in our relative’s house in distant village. It was our sheer luck.

The most serious thing that stroked us at the moment was how to earn our living. Where we would get and who would provide us.

For few days we were dependent on our relative’s mercy.

Then they arranged some work for us.

The work was road constructions and repairing work under the Rural development programmed under the government of India. Mother, my three sisters and I worked there for our survival. The wages were very nominal, less than men workers. The payments were also delayed. We had to wait for weeks and months and sometimes for years. The contractor didn’t pay our wages in time. But we had no other option rather than work there. So sometime we had to work as a domestic maid in the village.

Shyam chacha our distant relative arranged one old house for us in rent.

Shyam chacha’s family was big, so it was not convenient for us to stay in his house for long. So we shifted in our rented house. The house was only one living room and one small kitchen room. Very small. Very congested. Suffocated. But enough to put our heads. The rent was Rs.500 per month.

Even it was quite difficult for us to afford Rs.500 per month.

We had to manage somehow.

                                           The Betrayal

A year later Raghu our distant relative visited us. He was uncle in our relation. But at the time of our father’s dead he didn’t visit us.

Raghu appeared suddenly like a flashing light in our dark life.

“I’m so sorry bhavi. I’m very sorry for bhaiya. I didn’t get leave at the time of bhaiya’s dead.” He said in very sad tone.

He cried a lot and felt sorry for father’s dead.

For the first time I came to know that we had also very loving and caring relative who cared us very much. I felt very glad. I thanked almighty a hundred times for His timely help for us.

He chatted with us a lot of things. He shared us many things about his life. His ups and downs. His successes and failures.

We were very impressed with him.

“Bhavi I got married in town where I set up my own business. I have two children, elder is a girl and younger is a boy” he informed delightfully.

Mother only listen him silently.

“Bhavi I have earned good money there and now none it to worry about your survival.” Raghu said, showing his intimacy for us.

“I’ll take all your responsibilities in my hands.” Raghu assured.

“Really?” mother frown her eyebrows; doubted him.

“Believe me bhavi. Don’t worry for anything. I’ll solve your problem” Raghu said.

“Okay if you say so.” mother replied.

But somewhere in mother’s inner heart she didn’t believe Raghu whatever he had given his accounts of life and assurance to take care of us.

“Bhavi take this sum of five hundred rupees.” Raghu offered.

“No, No Raghu I can’t take your money” mother said reluctantly.

“What are you saying bhavi? Why don’t you take money from me? I’m not anything for you?” Raghu said in sad tone.

“No, Raghu not like this. Actually I can’t take anything from anybody because I’m not capable to return anything” mother gave reason.

“Bhavi you’re my own. How could you think like this? You’ve nothing to return me. It’s my love for you all, that’s all.” Raghu said and shed his tears.

Whether Raghu was really shedding his tears or just a crocodile’s tears we didn’t know.

At last mother accepted five hundred rupees from Raghu.

Raghu handed ten rupees each in our hands too.

We were very happy and delighted.

“I’ll visit again.” He said.

“Bhavi, if you want anything don’t hesitate to ask me. Ask me freely without hesitation. Don’t worry for anything, ok?” Raghu assured.

Then he left with a promise to visit us again.

After that Raghu started visiting us regularly.

He took care of us like his own family.

“Bhavi, why don’t you all join with me in town and stay with me? How long you work like a labourer here and there; begging for meagre wages from these crook contractors. I’ve my own business. You can work there comfortable and you too get good salaries.” Raghu said.

He insisted us to go with him.

“Raghu I’m very grateful to you for your kindness. But I can’t leave my place” mother said, giving her ultimate decision.

Raghu won our heart.  But he failed to win mother’s heart.

Mother had many doubts about his intentions and motives .We liked Raghu very much, he had won our hearts already.

Whenever mother tried to speak anything against Raghu, we sisters took the side of Raghu.

“I knew why Raghu did come here regularly. I know his evil motives. There is something fishy in his mind” mother had strong doubts about Raghu.

“Why are you saying like this Maa? After father’s dead who cared about us only Raghu chacha takes care of us. After all he is our own relative.” We took the side of Raghu.

“Be careful with Raghu! I know better than you all about him. Don’t believe him. Don’t go with his sweet behaviors!” mother warned us. Her voice was firmed.

Even we had arguments with mother for Raghu.

He was ideal for us after father’s dead. We didn’t want to hear anything against him.

One day Raghu came as usual in our rented house.

“Radhima where is bhavi?” Raghu asked my elder sister.

It was afternoon.

“Chacha, maa went for work early in the morning.” Radhima didi replied.

“When bhavi will return from work?” Raghu asked.

“Chacha, maa will return home in the evening,” Radhima didi said.

“Okay. Get ready to go with me, your chachi is seriously ill, she is in the hospital; she needs someone to look after her. And I have some urgent work in Delhi. I have to go there tonight. So I came here to take any one of you along with me. Radhima you come with me.” Raghu said in very dejected manner.

“Chacha wait for maa. First I’ve to take permission from her.” Radhima didi said.

“It’ll get very late.” Raghu said, tensely.

“I’ve no time to wait for bhavi. I’ll tell everything to bhavi later on when I come back from Delhi. It’s only a matter of two or three days. You get ready now!” Raghu was very quick.

“Rani, give these five hundred rupees to bhavi.” Raghu handed me.

Raghu took Radhima didi along with him in his Maruti van. For the first time he came with Maruti van.

When mother returned from work in the evening she was shocked and angry with Radhima didi and all of us.

“I’ve warned you all many times that don’t go closer to Raghu, don’t go closer to Raghu, but you all didn’t heed my words. Now look he has taken Radhima with him. What he will do with my poor child? Only god knows” mother cried a lot.

“What are you talking like this maa? Why you always doubted about chacha? He told that chachi was very serious and she needs someone to look after her. And chacha has very urgent work in Delhi. So he came here to take us. That’s all. Why are you taking so serious?” Radhika said.

“SERIOUS!!” Mother slapped Radhika so hard that the sound of slap echoed in every corner of our small room.

“Why didn’t you go with him you bitch? You talk about SERIOUS!!” Mother was very angry. Her eyes filled with fire.

Mother loved Radhima didi very much.

I was so scared that I didn’t gather dare to give five hundred rupees to mother that was given by Raghu.

That night we had not taken our food and gone to sleep empty stomach.

After one month Raghu visited us again.

Raghu disclosed everything to mother. He convinced her.

“Bhavi, Radhima is working in good business. Don’t worry about her. I’ll take care of her.” Raghu assured.

“What business? I don’t know anything! Bring back my daughter as it is as you’ve took her” mother asked firmly with a lot of doubts and angered.

“In-in….. good business, bhavi. N-Nothing… to worry about her” Raghu answered, fumbling.

“H-Here is her first salary a thousand rupees.” Raghu handed Radhima didi’s first salary on mother’s hands.

“Look Raghu I don’t believe you, if you engage my daughter in any bad things then I’ll never forgive you…..remember it!” mother warned him firmly.

“No, no bhavi. W-What are you talking about? Radhima is like my own daughter. H-How could I? B-Believe me bhavi .” Raghu replied very cautiously.

Raghu coaxed mother with his own tactics while giving a lot of impressive accounts.

Mother calmed down her anger.

We all were very happy for Radhima didi.

The following three months also Raghu visited with the same amount of rupees.

Then six months passed no news of Radhima didi. No money and no news. Even Raghu stopped visiting us.

We were very worried about Radhima didi. Mother cried day and night. We too missed her very much.

Suddenly Raghu visited with the news that Radhima didi was seriously ill and she wanted to see me. We were worried about her.

Mother was crying. She was very tensed and worried. She loved Radhima didi very much.

“I’ll go with you to see my daughter.” Mother said.

Mother wanted to go with Raghu to see Radhima didi.

“No bhavi, you none it go. She’ll be all right. And I’ll bring her back very soon.”

Raghu persuaded mother.

Mother sent me along with Raghu to see Radhima didi without any speculations.

I went with Raghu happily. 

Raghu handed Rs.1000 on my mother’s hand.

                                                  The Trap

I accompanied with Raghu to see Radhima didi.

I was very happy and excited, and at the same time I was worried about her. I was eagerly waiting to meet Radhima didi after more than six months. I had missed her a lot. I had a lot of things to share with her. She was not only my elder sister but also my mentor. I loved her very much. She was my favorite.

I traveled by bus and train for the first time in my life. I had seen a sea of people, so much of people in the town like a big fairs was going on. The big buildings, the big shops, and the big restaurants were very busy and crowded with people. The buses, the big trucks, the cars, the auto rickshaws, the motor byes, the scooters, the auto rickshaws, the rickshaw pullers and all the varieties of vehicles on the roads zooming every moment. I had not seen anything in my life outside our village. I was spellbound and confused to see all these things in the town. I enjoyed the moment very much.

Raghu took me in a good restaurant for food. I dined with my heart content. Then Raghu took me in an auto rickshaw outskirt the town.

I was very happy and excited that I would meet Radhima didi very soon.

It was evening when I reached with Raghu in his place. I was shocked and scared to see his place. His place was very odd and scary place, a place like old crumbling and abandoned building.

“Rani you stay here haa. I’ll just going and coming, ok? Don’t afraid, haa? Don’t go anywhere.” Raghu said me very lovingly.

I agreed without any word.

“Hmm…” I replied and nodded.

I was very excited to meet Radhima didi. I didn’t mind to stay anywhere whether it would be a strange place or any other place. It was my intense love for Radhima didi. I was only thinking about Radhima didi; how I would meet her; what things I would tell her first and what things I would tell her last; what things I would complain about her. I had so many things to share with her.

I stayed outside the odd and strange place without any speculation.

How much time had elapsed I didn’t have any idea. I was waiting and waiting for Raghu and Radhima didi.

The darkness of night quickly wore the dark attire and engulfed everything under her bosom and nothing was visible around. I could only hear the howling of dogs and the sounds of zooming heavy trucks and other vehicles on the nearby road.

I waited Raghu for long time but he didn’t return.

I tried to scan around the place. But I didn’t find any human soul there. I was very terrified. I didn’t know any one. I was unknown to the place. Everything seemed to be hunted. In darkness everything appeared as the figures of witches, devils, demons, monsters, ogress, ghosts and beasts around me and approaching to attack me. Everything appeared eerie, lonely and ghostly.

“Radhima didi, Radhima didi where are you? Are you hear me?” I cried out my elder sister’s name here and there helplessly.

But there was no one to hear my voice.

“Raghu chacha-Raghu chacha where are you? Come soon! I’m very scared.” I called out, terrified.

I cried and folded my arms and sat down on the ground.

I didn’t find Radhima didi.

I didn’t know anyone in that strange place. I didn’t know how to return my home. I cried out for mother. I cried out for my sisters. I cried out for my brother, Raju. But no one was there to rescue me from that strange place. I was all alone there.

Just then someone’s warm fingers touched my shoulder.

“W-Who?.....Raghu chacha?” I said in terrifying tone.

I stood up with shocked.

What I saw was a female figure standing in front me. She was looked like an ogress. She was chewing paan. Her lips and mouth was red with the spits of paan. She was old as my mother.

“Hey girl what’s your name?” The lady asked me.

“R-Rani!” I replied, terrified.

She smiled at me. Her smiled was like a smile of ghost.

“Come with me!” She called me to go with her.

She patted on my back.

“No-No I can’t go with you. Who are you?” I denied her. I didn’t want to go with her.

“I’m waiting for my chacha. He’ll come. He’ll take me with him.” I said very confidently.

The ogress like lady smiled at me and held my hands tight.

“Nobody will come here to take you girl. Come with me!” The lady clamped my hands.

“Leave me! Leave me!............ I don’t want to go with you. Where are you taking me?” I yelled aloud.

I tried to set free from her hard clutches. But I didn’t over power her. Her men held me and took me along with them.

They took me in a Maruti van. After an hour long zig-zag and narrow streets journey the Maruti van stopped at the old building outskirt the town.

I was introduced with other girls. I was shocked to see them in the miserable condition. I was very perplexed to see them.

“Who are these girls?” I thought, seriously.

They were lying on the dirty and old carpets on the floor. The floor was covered with the pieces of torn newspapers, polythenes, plastics and the rappers of biscuits. Some were crying. Some were carefree, smiling and laughing without any reasons. Some were dead silent, silent as graveyard. Some were unknown to this world. Some were sleeping on their bags, covering their veils, holding their bags tightly that somebody would snatch their belongings. Some were lean and thin. Some were bulky. Some were white as milky. Some were as black as ashes. There were varieties of girls from different places.

The room was full of different foul smells. Smells of sweats, smells of tears, smells of oils, smells of moisten soil or mud, smells of rotten stuffs and unidentified smells.

I felt sick and about to vomit.

The entire floor was complete messed, looked like stocks of bundle laden in any warehouse. The ceiling was knitted with the hanging spider webs and the huge blades of rusted ceiling fan was moving like a bullock cart in cracking sound, even it would awake the dead soul. The houseflies and the mosquitoes were hovering up and down here and there to attack their preys and to relish with human bloods. The soldiers of ants were marching together in search of their food. And the small rats and big rats were emerging out from their holes and running from one corner to another corner and make scare.

When they saw me, they were not welcoming me. I was scared to see their worried faces and ill conditions. For the first time I saw such a bad human conditions in my life.

It didn’t take me much time to understand that my condition would be the same as these poor girls.

“You’re sinner Raghu. You’re sinner Raghu. You betrayed me! You betrayed us! You’ll go to hell. You’re a bastard! Maa was right, you’re bastard!” I cursed Raghu.

I accused Raghu. I cried aloud and dejected.

I remembered every word warn by mother. She warned us time and again. But we fools never heed her words.

“Don’t believe Raghu!…...Don’t believe Raghu!”

I sobbed and sobbed. But it was too late for me to retake anything. Nobody was there to rescue me.

“Whoever has brought you here has sold you to this bitch, do you know that?” One girl said. Her voice was full of fury and perching my heart and soul in one instant.

I cried. I cried. I felt dizziness and fell down.

When I woke up it was morning already. I was feeling hungry. I was not in my senses. I sobbed again and again.

“Don’t cry-Don’t cry……” The eldest girl patted on my back.

She was black in her complexion but she was beautiful like a black beauty. She cared me. She rubbed my tears. I felt her warm and loving touch for me.

“Take this. Have some food.” She handed me the plate of roti. She solaced me.

She lovingly torn a piece of roti and put in my mouth. I slowly ate and swallowed. I hugged her tight as my rescuer.

“Thank you!” I said, wailing.

“Who are you?” I asked her.

“I’m Sushila. What is your name, sister?” she said with her soft voice.

“Rani.” I replied.

“Rani. Good name. My sister’s name is also Rani.” Sushila said and consoled me.

“Don’t cry!” she said warmly.

She cared me and loved me. I felt her touching love. I hugged her and slept on her lap.

The whole day I spent with her. And at night I slept with her.

But the next morning I didn’t find Sushila. She had gone.

“Where is Sushila? Where is Sushila?........” I asked and looking for her, but I didn’t find her.

“She is gone. She has been taken away last night.” I got answer from one girl.

I was very upset. I cried a lot. I missed her a lot. She was only my solace in my loneliness and dismay.

Every night five to six girls were taken away from there. Two strong and black men came along with the ogress and they choose girls one by one.

“Yes, she is fine. Take her.” They selected the best looking girl from there.

I was very scared. I hid myself with my bag. The night was very scary for me.

Every other night the same scene was happened.

Some girls were returned the same night those who were rejected and in their place some other girls were selected and taken away. The new girls were also brought after every third or fourth day.

I was kept for six days.

Initially I didn’t know why they kept me for so long. Later I came to know that I was too young for them and good looking, comparison to other girls. Till that moment they didn’t find good customer for me.

Each and every girl had their own stories to tell. But who would listen them and who would rescue them from there. Their stories were quite similar with me. Some were being sold by their own parents because they had no means of livelihood. Some were sold by their beloved lovers for money. Some were came themselves for good jobs in towns and cities and fell in the traps of sex agents, who were running sex rackets in big towns and big cities.

Some were crying for their ill fated lives. Some were cursing their parents for their poor upbringings. Some were prepared to run away from there. Some were crest fallen. And some were accepted whatever be the outcome in their lives.

Just silently waiting and wailing for their turns.

I was crying, covering my face with my fingers.

“You’re bastard Raghu! You’re betrayer! You’ll go to hell!” I sobbed and cursed Raghu.




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