Monday, February 15, 2016

Short Story 5: Respect Them

Manisha is 17 and she ran away from her home with a small set of clothes, her favorite God's idol, a picture of her family and very little money that she had saved.
Manisha lost her father 5 months back, and her mother started dating another man who now started to live in her own house. This man, her mother's boyfriend has been trying to get into Manisha's pants for as long as she can remember. She did try to tell this to her mother. But, her mother's reaction always was "Cmon beta, he sees you as his daughter, and his touches are fatherly, you are overthinking. Stop reading gory newspapers"
Manisha, like every girl knew what a good touch is and what a bad touch is.

She reached a big city & got a job of a librarian in a local library that paid pittance but she was happy that atleast she had a job. She rented a dingy apartment with a leaking roof near her library. In a few months, the library was shutting down and she lost her job.
With no education, she tried applying to as many jobs as possible, but all in vain.
Her meager savings were also exhausting soon. There was a time when she did not have money to pay her rent, to which the landlord who stayed in the lower floor said with a nasty smirk "I can waive off your rent if you 'help' me when my wife isn't around. You know what I mean right"
Disgusted with this thought and the sight of this stinking pot bellied man, Manisha decided to move away from this place. But, where would she go?

She knew no one in the city, except for a school friend who had moved here years back. Manisha, looked up her friends number and called her. Her friend, Reema, invited her home. Manisha, was happy but her happiness didn't last long.
She reached Reema's house, it was located in a shady area, the house smelt of smoke, alcohol & drugs. Her friend Reema, was now unrecognizable in her black fake leather little dress, colored hair & puffy eyes. Reema, gave Manisha a spare room, that Manisha made as livable as possible.
She still was applying for jobs but no progress at all.

In the meanwhile, Manisha saw Reema sleep all morning and leave every evening with heavy makeup and shiny clothes. She never had the guts to ask what Reema does for a living. Reema hardly spoke to Manisha.
Manisha, wrote to her mother every month but never got replies from her. Many times she felt maybe she made a mistake by leaving home, but her mother's boyfriend's creepy hands were enough to change her mind

Reema "Hey, its been 4 months, I cant really feed you for free you know"
Manisha knew it would come to this someday "yes, I am looking for jobs"
Reema 'I have a proposition, I work for this bar as a dancer, there is a position vacant, nothing much to do, shake your booty, serve men alcohol, there is no compulsion to go with them unless you want to earn a lot"
Manisha was shocked at this proposition but she was getting desperate. She said to herself "Why not? Maybe its not that bad"

So, next day she went to the bar, and was escorted inside by a weird looking man. Inside there were four men checking her from top to bottom.
"Yo girl, whats with the good girl full length frock? Show us some booty"
Manisha looked confused, for which the more mature looking man said "Strip, we want to see if you can bring business to us"
Feeling ashamed to strip in front of strangers, Manisha did as slowly as possible
"Yo, we ain't got all day, baby doll" Manisha now stood naked with just her intimates on her.
The men scrutinized her all over, asked her to turn around, asked her to bend, surprisingly their looks were not lecherous. 
"yeah, you would do, we will pay you a 10 grand, 10% of the tips are our cut, you come at 9 and leave at 4"
Manisha "9am?"
All the men started laughing "9pm darlin" stressing on the PM
One of them said "Your stage name will be Rosey, goes will with that shaky booty" and the other men grunted a reply.
With tears in her eyes, she dressed and ran back home as fast as her feet could carry. Manisha cried all day.
Next day, when she went to the bar, she switched off Manisha and put on a persona for Rosey. From then on, every evening she becomes the sexy Rosey while in the day she is naive Manisha, who goes to a book store and reads as many books as possible.
Ten thousand rupees was not bad, also the tips were decent.
This made Manisha feel less guilty about herself & switching personality worked for her. Money was coming in, now Manisha rented her own place on a pretty street, where no one knew what she does.She still writes letters to her mother with no replies.

One evening while "Rosey" was coming back from work, someone in the dark alley pulled her in, groped her & covered her mouth and raped her repeatedly saying "Bitches like you deserve this"

Feeling disgusted, Manisha, sat there crying, she couldn't even go to the cops. No one would believe a bar dancer being raped.
Somehow, pulling herself, and covering herself with whatever clothes was left over, she ran across the road with million thoughts running in her head and with a tear stained, kohl dripped blackened face, what she didn't see was the truck coming on the road.
After a few months,Manisha a.k.a Rosey, was declared as orphan, unclaimed body and was burnt just like that, without any family or friends.
No one, not even her mother knew she was dead.

There are so many such Manisha's out there who resign to fate. No man had a right to rape her based on her profession. Many girls are desperate to feed their families & take up professions that they arent happy about.
Help them, if you can't at least respect them instead of violating them.


  1. You have a Bollywood movie's plotline in hand. Could be a sequel to Chandni Bar too. It's gripping, hard-hitting, realistic... and yes, tragic. Well done, Dee! :)


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