Another hiatus, entailed by a major, life-altering event, temporarily silenced my virtual quill, only temporarily.
During the days when I was actively churning out gibberish at a frenetic pace on Your Story Club, I had submitted a short story to them. It was on the topic of female child abuse. They found it inappropriate and asked me if I would like to modify it with the help of their editorial staff. Yes, you have guessed correctly; I rejected the “offer”. After several years, I feel like sharing it with you all on my blog.
Here comes the “THE ENDANGERED SPECIES”.
THE ENDANGERED SPECIES
Guddi was fourteen years old when she died.
The Father and the Mother rejoiced, “Goddess Lakshmi is born amidst us.”
“We shall name her Lakshmi,” said the Mother.
“But, I will call her Guddi,” declared the Father.
Guddi rolled over. Her parents rejoiced.
Guddi crawled. Her parents were on cloud nine.
Guddi walked her first step. Her parents reached the moon.
Guddi spoke her first word, “Amma”. Her parents celebrated.
Guddi started attending school. Her parents attained the seventh heaven of bliss.
Guddi returned from school distressed. The Mother was distressed. She looked at Guddi’s uniform. She understood.
The Mother whispered to the Father, “Our Guddi has attained puberty.”
They threw a gala party and invited relatives and friends.
The Mother spoke to the Father, “We have to start looking for alliances for our Guddi.”
The Father replied, “No, she is only in school. I want her to study and become a doctor or a computer engineer.”
They argued and, finally, the Mother gave in.
One day, the Mother told the Father, “My brother’s son, Babloo, is coming to this place.”
The Father asked, “Why?”
“He has got admission in a college here. He will stay with us and study.”
“Why can’t he stay in a hostel?”
“My brother is worried. Babloo fell into bad company and created some trouble there. If he stays in a hostel, there won’t be any check on him. Please, let him stay,” the Mother pleaded.
The Father gave in. “All right, but be careful.”
“Babloo, will you please help me solve this arithmetic problem?”
“What is it?”
Guddi went close to him. Babloo caught by her waist and drew her to him.
Guddi panicked and struggled to extricate herself, in vain.
“If you tell anyone about this, I will surely tell all your friends in your school and distribute the videos I took.”
Guddi wept silently and ran away, adjusting her skirt and blouse.
Months passed by...
The Mother returned from market.
There was complete silence in the house.
“Guddi...Guddi...where are you?”
The Mother entered Guddi’s room and was shocked speechless...
There was a ceiling fan in the room.
The Mother’s sari was hanging from the ceiling fan.
There was a noose at the end of the sari.
The noose was tight around a neck.
The neck belonged to Guddi.
Guddi’s eyes bulged out. Her tongue protruded through the lips.
The Mother screamed and fell unconscious.
The autopsy revealed that Guddi was not a virgin. On her body, there were some marks of struggle, scratches, and bites.
The Father and the Mother stood stunned incredulously.
A note, written by Guddi for her Parents, was found on her study table.
“Mom and Dad,
I cannot describe what Babloo and his friends have been doing to me. I tried to tell you on several occasions about the way Babloo was leering at me and touching me but you two wouldn’t listen to me. Babloo threatened to post my ‘those’ photos on the Internet. I was afraid. Two of his friends joined him.
There is no end to my misery. I cannot face the world. I am taking my life.
Mummy, papa, I love you very much. I wanted to study and become a computer engineer like dad wanted. I wanted to get a good job and support you in your old age. I can do none of those now.
If there is next birth, I want to be born as your son and take care of you.
Sorry mummy. Sorry papa.
The Police investigated and arrested Babloo and two of his friends.
“Goddess Durga is born in our family,” The Parents announced.
While inside the mother’s womb, when she is delivered onto the Mother Earth, when she goes into the world seeking education and knowledge, while at work, or in her married life, in fact, until her last breath on this planet earth, a woman’s life is one of struggle to stay alive. Danger lurks at every turn and every corner on her path. If she crosses one alive, she confronts another, every moment, every day, every year.
The endangered animals can be protected with fences.
Truly, woman is the endangered species since, in her case, the fences themselves are the real stalking threats to her survival.
This short story is my humble homage and tribute to women of this world.
All the characters and situations portrayed in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely coincidental.
... Shyam Sundar Bulusu