Sunday, February 3

Chained

So excited to say that this post won the Gold Batom as part of the Blog-a-Ton 36 Contest ! :) 

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 36; the thirty-fifth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "and then there were none"


                          
                   The irritating noise of a key scraping against the large metal lock snapped her awake from her sleep . Every shred of her sleep paralysed muscles urged her to drift back to that blissful state one time more . To her surprise , she realised that the nightmare which usually haunted her in her sleep never bothered her last night . It was the slight motion of her friend Rekha folding her shuffled bedspread onto a neat shack , that revived her thoughts back to the present . As if in a trance , Seema , jolted up from her cot and having hurried through her bedspread ,almost scampered herself down the stairs to take a bath . Held firmly in her arms was a saffron coloured saree which she had kept apart yearningly for this day.

Returning back to her room , Seema , brushed back her locks without checking herself on the mirror . Collecting her things , she slowed down her steps and stood silenty facing her friend .  

“  You are brave and you will always be I know “ , Rekha muttered in her breath while they shared a strong friendly hug .

As Seema walked down the corridor , its floor ice cold , she grazed her warm brown eyes over the small charming patch of garden packed with bright yellow blossoms  , now swaying gracefully in the morning breeze . All the peaceful hours in her past two years, she spent nursing these flowers , and looking with admiration at her garden that day , she felt as though her favorite flowers too were bidding her farewell in their own simple way .   

Reaching the office room functioning in the next building , she scribbled her signature on the ledger as instructed .

“ I have never seen you this pleasant Seema . Be smiling the rest of your life too ok “ , the lady at the desk showered her share of blessings too . 

Making sure she had no official procedures left , Seema started walking in small rapid steps to the gate . The loud alarming shrill by which the gate opened used to send a ruffle of emotions inside her . On the contrary , this time , she found herself trying hard to suppress her urge to yank open the gate in all its fervour for she knew that no amount of shrillness can disturb the state of mind she was in this day .

A glint of  joy started playing at the corners of her mouth as she stepped out into the sunny air . Her apprehensive gaze ,  in swift motions started scanning the surrounding .

“ Seema “

She glanced back in the opposite direction and her eyes fell on a familiar figure clad in a plain green cotton saree, a face she had been seeing every month for the past two years .

“ Where is she ? Didn’t you promise me that you would let me see her when I was released from prison ? “

“ Don’t feel sad Seema  . She was not in her right mood it seems . Come , let me take you to her “ .

The journey by car to see her seemed the longest she had travelled in her whole life . As if to sketch to life the cocktail of emotions gurgling inside her depth , the sky started transforming into an inky shade . Fresh drops of rain settled on her cheek to dissolve into a wet stain . It took little effort for her mind to slid back into that black hole of dark memories once again .

Two years back , one rainy day Seema as usual was immersed neck deep in her chores at her house . Worried and dismayed was she pondering on a means to buy text books for her sister for the 12th standard classes commencing the coming week .  Little apprehension , if at all any , fleeted through her mind , when her husband called out her from inside requesting a glass of water . Caught in the middle of chopping down the logs , she had asked her little sister to carry the glass to him . After around half an hour of seeing no sign of her sister , she had rushed inside frantically only to be welcomed by the gory sight of her drunk husband trampling her half naked barely conscious sister  . Before she could encourage a second thought , before she could come back to her normal sense , she had chopped her husband to pieces with her axe  .

Cringing her eyes as the torturing events that followed flashed across her eyes , she sank back on her seat . People did stand by her at the start of the trial , but as the procedure started heading the much feared way her neighbours too started shunning her . And then there were none , not even the law to prove her right .Her relentless pleas that her husband used to assault her as well during their married years fell on deaf years . 

For months she had been bogged down by a drilling question as to whether her killing her husband should have been averted . Didnt her sister's agony deserve justice ? The man would even have strangled her sister to death in his barbarious act if she hadnt stumbled upon them .During those hours of crying softly at night in the darkness of the dingy cell , there wasnt a moment when she hadnt cursed herself for pushing her sister's life down a horrifying abyss . If it wasnt for the kind representatives of a Mahila Mandir who promised to take care of her sister while she was in prison , she would have been left in an even melancholious situation wondering what would become of her sister during her punishment years . 

As the car came to a halt , the lady guided Seema inside the Mahila Mandir to a room at the far end of the corridor . Seema noticed that place housed an alarming number of women who , unfortunately must have ended up being homeless , maybe due to no fault of their own . A girl , around 10 years sat studying at a chair facing the window while another girl , older by a few years was engaged in cleaning small bits of cobwebs from the window pane . The place seemed to throw at her a vibe of peace and contentment. 

Seema focused her gaze on a lady walking slowly towards her from a distance . Looking intently, she realised that the lady wasnt alone . Her wide opened eyes welled up in tears as Seema watched the lady bringing along with her , the one person whom she had been yearning to see for the past one year . Folding her arms, now trembling ,Seema slowly accepted her sister’s baby onto her arms and snuggled her close to her. 

The loss of her sister in child birth one year back had devastated her already shattered life . But now , looking at the months old little bundle , the fruit of her husband's mindless act , resting peacefully in her arms she felt a surge of hope tugging at her heartstrings .  

" I will keep her safe , no matter what . " A determined decision took form in her mind .

 But the very next second , she felt the dark silhouette of a fear over shadowing her hopes while a harrowing thought passed through her mind - 

' I cannot keep her safe , never when this world is cruel . '

The rapturous chuckle of the baby brought her back to the present . She kissed the baby on her cheek and offered a silent prayer to the Almighty . 

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Image Source :  Here

The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Participation Count: 03

52 comments:

  1. This is a beautiful story. Everything Seema felt could be so wonderfully understood. And the ending, dark and realistic. I loved it!

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  2. Beautiful creativity.
    Emotions are at peak in this.
    All the best for BAT.

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  3. very beautiful! I remember reading something like this a while ago and I thought - serves that man right.

    So still i abide by my decision. Serves him right for putting a finger on the girl.

    Do visit my post "vishw-aaropam"! Would love to see you by! *cheers*

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  4. thankyou http://whateverihavesaidorsung.wordpress.com/ . I am happy that you understood the story in all its depth :)

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  5. thankyou snuffles jay ! :) The theme deserved an emotional narration i felt . .

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  6. @ kappu : you are right . i had written a micro fiction on similar lines a few days back. Thankyou for reading this post as well and for commenting :)

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  7. killing in self defense is no kill at all :) Well written, all the luck for BATM!

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  8. The last part brought a lump to my throat..Beautiful narration made me hang to the last word.
    Excellent.

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  9. saro : thanks for agreeing and for the wish :) but then a massive transformation in the attitudes which subdue women would be far more peaceful than bloodshed in any manner . .hopes are high as the issue has atleast managed to spark a debate even though at this late hour !

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  10. panchali ma'm : thankyou for the appreciation . it always means a lot when it comes from a writer as prolific as you :)

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  11. A haunting, painfully poignant and heartwrenching melody seemed to play through your story. Did he deserve to die? Yes. Did she? Not in a million years.

    And to think of the innocent baby and the circumstances of her conception and birth, and to hope beyond hope that the shadow of a crime that was committed against her when she did not even exist won't cast darkness in her life - the reader is left with a lump in the throat and a prayer in the heart.

    Lovely!

    Mixi (Let me know what you think of my BAT-36 story)

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  12. Mixi : i am moved by your thoughts on the post . . i agree to every single word that you have said . You happened to summarise the essence of the situation exactly like i had intended to convey through my story . thankyou :) will be on your post soon :)

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  13. You have handled the sensitive issue very well. Emotions have not clouded the reason, that is the strength of your story. ATB

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  14. Such a deep truth through the eyes of lady who would have felt everything staking everything just because the jerk ruined everything. I wonder where the world is heading to, I just wish with this story that women of today get justice not punishment for cruelities of some mindless jerk. Your style of writing is impeccable. All the very best for BAT !

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  15. thanks dilip ji for those good words :)

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  16. thanks again tanya :) so true what you have said ! congratulations on your liebster award . .you deserve it so much . . i truly admire your writing myself . . way to go girl :)

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  17. superb. the emotions expressed and the language was too good...

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  18. thankyou for those good words shivprasad . . :)

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  19. My heart went heavy with the narration, Seema's apprehensions regarding the baby are so real, will she be able to protect the baby, when she could do little to protect her mother. Given that the world has not changed.

    narration is commendable Maliny, I wish you luck!

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  20. thank you meenakshi . . i am glad you found so :) the way you absorbed the content in its true sense is in itself the much needed appreciation :)

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  21. Hello! First time visitor!
    Loved your writing- clean and uncomplicated.
    Looking forward to more of your stories :)

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  22. Nicely narrated, brimming with emotions!!

    http://ponderingtwo.blogspot.in

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  23. very well narrated! Life has to go on with a spirit called Hope. Glad to see the the character being woven that way.

    Superb!

    Akila

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  24. all d bst for yr entry in BAT

    nicely written :)

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  25. thankyou dk . . feel good to have heard those good words about my writing style :) do drop by more :)

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  26. thanks hetal :) will come over to your blog soon :)

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  27. thanks akhila . . hope seems the best thing around ! will be over to check your entry too . . :)

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  28. as i always say, if only people start seeing these crimes instead of averting their eyes from domestic abuses of the grossest kind.
    i hope these write ups make people aware.

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  29. true that you have said ratika . .if only people started showing more sense in dealing with these issues . Providing awareness is the least we could do . . thanks for your opinion ratika . .loved your entry for BAT too :)

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  30. the story flows perfectly keeping in mind the feelings of Seema. Nicely written Maliny. You provided good justice to the character. :)

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    1. Thanks Saurabh . . glad that you thought so :) drop by more :)

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  31. The narration had been gripping till the end.The stalwartness of the woman protagonist(Seema) has been portrayed thoroughly well..

    P.S really sorry for dropping in so late..I apologize...

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  32. I just posted a comment ..Is it up for moderation,I could not see any message floating for it...

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    1. the comment was up for moderation . . i just published it . . no worries please . . how could such an encouraging comment go unnoticed :) thank you for the good words . And its never late to accept such a sweet comment from a fellow blogger . Do drop by more and best wishes for BAT :)

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  33. I do not have words to express as to how much I have been engulfed by your flawless expression of thoughts. The story has moved me to the core. Your words could provide me the perfect imagination of Seema's dangling emotions.

    Great!! My apologies for reading it so late ...

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    1. thankyou :) i am overwhelmed by your comment myself . glad that you found the post evocative . loved your entry for BAT too . keep coming back for more :)

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  34. First time on your blog. This is a great story :) <3

    love
    http://www.meghasarin.com

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    1. thank you megha :) will definitely come over to your blog . .

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  35. Congrats for your blog-a-ton award! well deserved. My first visit to yr site of the many more more to come.

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    1. thank you Mehroo :) its indeed my pleasure to have you in this space . Kepp coming back :)

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  36. Very well written. Congrats on blog-a-ton win.

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  37. Wonderfully written.. a really gripping tale.. Congratulations on your Blog-a-Ton win

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    1. thanks a lot for those nice words :)

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  38. Malini,first of all my hearty congrats for blog-a-ton win !!
    I am a late entrant to your site, hence missed it earlier. The story is so gripping and full of emotions that seemed to choke my heart. Seema's belligerence and her reaction is so natural.. Simply fabulous!!

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  39. Poignant story. But truth is reflected in every line. Very beautifully crafted.

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