“Two months later. Netra again complaint about pain...” followed by silence once again.
Tears were seeping down her cheeks, uncontrollably.
“She showed me where exactly was she experiencing the paining. I literally felt my heart stopped beating.S-she looked scared tal-talking about it and I know I had to stay calm. For her.
I gently asked her, what happened?” Poornima begin chocking.
“Sh- she told me —” Poornima burst out. She covered her mouth, controlling her wailing.
Gautham patiently waited for her to speak again, without interrupting her.
“Netra told me that” Poornima chocked again. The more she tried to tell the harder it got for her to say the words her daughter told her.
“Are you okay?”
She nodded, her face were still covered with her hands. After a few minutes, she wipe her tears between hiccups.
“she told me, tata puts his finger in here and it’s painful...
She pointed between her thighs.
I was devastated. I couldn’t think any longer.
I held her tight in my arms calming her that everything will be alright. She kept mumbling about it... I understood what could have happened to my daughter.....
He hurt my daughter.....
That entire night she kept repeating to me what that bastard did to her and how much in pain she was.
And that was not the first time.
I was shattered. Completely.” she wailed, loud now.
Gautham was now standing at the far end of the room, leaning towards the wall with his hands behind him. Controlling the tears that was welling his eyes. He as a man suddenly felt helpless for the little girl, for this woman.
“Why didn’t Netra tell you earlier?” he asked almost whispering, without moving an inch from there.
“He threatened her. That he would send her far away from me. She got scared.
The next day, I stayed home with Netra. I wanted to know what exactly this man was up to.
And to my surprise, Netra wasn’t the only girl. There were six kids including boys from the same apartment and they were babysat by Kalidasan and wife.
I called the girls, four of them. And among the four, only two of them aged six and seven were affected. The other two were three years old, they were not touched.
I did what I thought the best. I went to the secretary of the apartment to complaint that the man is abusing my kid and the other kids. I made sure, what happens to my daughter stays with me....
It’s to you whom I’m telling to now. Because you need to know...You have to know...”
“Didn’t the secretary took any action?” Gautham had resumed his seat opposite her.
“Kalidasan. A man in his mid-fifties who lived longer than my age in that apartment had completely turn my own statement against me.
He had turned the entire apartment against me and my daughter. That man had accused me that I have made a fake compliant against him because my husband left me.
I was demanding money it seems, according to him and when I denied, he told them I was creating drama.
Nobody believed me.
My six year old clinged to me, sobbing while the entire apartment accused me for trying to defame a respectable old man.” Poornima wiped of the remaining tears from her eyes and cheeks.
“Three times, I tried three times. No one believed me.”
“Why didn’t you come to the police?”
She huffed, “I did but they choose to believe the old man instead of me...
because I’m a woman.
Two weeks gone by just waiting. Waiting for the police to listen to me.
Nothing worked, it killed me. I was too desperate to get this man punished but the law wasn’t helping.
The two weeks felt like hell every single day.
So, I did what needs to be done.
But I tried again, I approached the two girls. Tried to persuade them to tell their parents about it but they were to scared to trust me after that scenario.
That’s when I decided. No one will help me unless I help myself. I took the law in my own hands” Her eyes rigid and cold but burning in anger.
She leaned closer to the table, “My daughter was raped... and I killed the man responsible for the pain my daughter had suffered.
I killed that bloody pedophile!”
She sat back with no remorse.
Gautham was dumbstruck, he sat there paralyzed.
The room door knocked but both sat still, eyes fixate on each other.
She spoke again.
“Our daughter was raped, Gautham Shankar...
I tried everything I could while I protect my daughter’s dignity. I had even tried to reach you but nothing worked.
Do you expect me to sit and wait for justice, for you? While he keep hurting kids of our daughter’s age?” Tears, however she tried to control, welled up her eyes.
So it did for him. The tears he had been controlling now burst out.
Another knock and the door opened with noise. Gautham quickly wiped his tears and signaled them to come in.
“Sir, the apartment secretary is here” said the constable and behind the constable stood two ladies constables.
“I wish we could have worked it out, Gautham”
“Take care of Netra. She is still in the apartment” the emotionless Poornima said and followed the constables as they escorted her to her cell.