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I will not let them snatch my colours, not anyone’s. These are my colours and will be mine always. A poignant journey of inner strength to fight the right battle.
“Is this what it means to be alive?”, Looking towards the rising sun, feeling the warmth of its rays on her face, thought Nibha. She tried to recall the moment, when she had last felt this peaceful. Last few weeks of her life were unable to give her any glimpse of such moment. Looking at the rising sun, she could feel her oneness with it as if she was the one rising after fighting a long battle with a dark-wintery night.
She reminisced about the time, when she had left her hometown and had settled in Delhi with so much hope and aspiration to become successful. It was her first time living separately from her family. She was scared of the city at first, but soon her ambitious heart learnt to survive alone and was filled with confidence. She believed that soon she would be able to bring her parents to live with her. Soon after her graduation, she snatched a good job in a good company. It was all like a dream for Nibha. Sometimes, while talking to her mother on phone, she would say that soon her mother would be there with her.
Nibha was lost in her thoughts, when Savitri, her cook, rang the bell. Nibha opened the door and after telling Savitri to make paranthas for lunch, she called Ms. Nidhi, her therapist, and asked for an appointment.
“Why are you wasting so much of your money?”, asked Savitri. “Didi, When are you getting married? You should start saving money for your marriage.” Nibha smiled at Savitri and said, “You don’t understand.”
“Haan… haan, why would I? You think I am an illiterate but let me tell you I know more of the world than you and I am telling you that you’re just wasting your money on those yellow-blue pills.”
Savitri continued, “Ram-Ram Didi!!! Is there a boy? You don’t look happy to me for last few days. You don’t even scold me now when I don’t cook properly. It is indeed about some boy…right? You are a fool if you are sad over a boy. I am telling you your mummy-papa will find a good groom for you. These love marriages don’t work.”
Getting the notion that she would never win an argument with Savitri, Nibha started reading the newspaper. She’s never been a person to read news thoroughly but to escape the conversation, she found it the only option at that time.
“Who am I to tell anyone to do anything in this house?”murmered Savitri.
Nibha pretended to be lost in the newspaper and did not even raise her face to answer.
Nibha checked the list of lawyers in the city and wrote down few numbers on a paper. She texted Shalini, ” Hey! I know I was wrong, but would you like to have a conversation with me to sort this out? I really miss you.”
Nibha and Shalini had been friends for almost two years, but about a month ago, they had a brawl and after that things got only worse. Nibha remembered how once when she had fallen ill, and her mother was unable to come, Shalini had taken care of her. She felt a wave of affection in her heart for her best friend.
After having her lunch, Nibha called one of the numbers she had noted down earlier. It was Mr. Avinash, a lawyer and he asked her to visit him in the office. She noted down the date and time for the scheduled visit.
Since the last few weeks, Nibha had cut her off from her office and friends. When her senior called her for the reason of her absence, she faked her health condition and asked for a medical leave. The senior was generous and gave her one month’s leave but on a condition that she will have to work extra hours for a month when she joins back.
She started reading a magazine, but found it full of stupid articles and cooking recepies, she put it down on the table. She has an appointment with Ms. Nidhi after two hours. Nibha wore her favourite yellow dress, which she had not worn for a month and she looked at herself in the mirror, “You are here just like you were a month ago. You are the same Nibha, the ambitious and hopeful Nibha. Nothing has changed except the dark bags rounding your eyes.”
She stared at herself in the mirror and having a sigh, she smiled.
She was waiting outside Dr. Nidhi’s room. Dr. Nidhi was busy with some other person and had asked her to wait for few minutes. Sitting outside the room, Nibha thought about the conversation of the previous days.
“Nibha, whatever has happened, it was not your fault and it has not changed you. You are still the same person. Stop degrading yourself. If anything’s changed about you, it’s only the fact that you are now more strong and you should use your strength to climb this mountain, carve a path and make the peak a bit more higher and more broader for other girls to stand.” She pondered how these few words had made her question her stand in the whole situation. She thought how she misbehaved with her best friend, when she was just trying to take care of her and how she rudely asked her to leave her alone.
“Ms. Nibha! Ms. Nibha” a lady called her name and informed her that the therapist is now available and waiting for her.
“Hello Nibha! How have you been doing? This yellow dress looks pretty on you. You should wear this colour more often.” Nibha smiled at Dr. Nidhi, ” I will ma’am. I will wear clothes of all colours.”
“This makes me really happy that you are finally able to see the colours of the rainbow again. This is what you are. You have all the colours in you, No one can snatch that from you. Remember the sunlight is nothing but a mixture of these colours, and look how it generates and nourishes all the lives on this earth.”said Dr. Nidhi looking firmly into the eyes of Nibha.”So, did you think about what we had talked yesterday?”
“Yes, I have thought and I’ve decided that I am going to speak, I am going to take a stand for I am right and truth is with me. I am not a sinner and I don’t accept this suffering. I have decided to make a complaint and file the case. I will not let those bastards snatch my colours, not anyone’s. These are my colours and will be mine always. Even if I lose the case,I will stand with my head high as the defeat would be not mine, but of this law, of this society.”
At this very moment, a message popped up in Nibha’s phone screen which was in her hand. “Stupid, It took this long to text me.I was never angry with you. I was about to visit you tomorrow. Akshay also wants to meet you. He is worried about you. We all are worried. You would not answer our calls. Let’s meet in the evening.” It was Shalini, her best friend, a wave of content and victory ran through her heart.
Dr. Nidhi was content seeing her patient overcoming the trauma and was optimistic now for Nibha after reading the happiness on her face. She thought about how that girl was completely mute, when they met for the first time and how she had sobbed while revealing her assault by three men, and how Nibha’s story sent her to the memory lane of her own school and a peon, whom she would fear. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath and looked again at Nibha. Nibha was filled with hope, her face was shining like the rays absored by her face in the morning were now being scattered all around her. Nibha got up and thanked Dr. Nidhi for her counselling.
“My door is always open for you Nibha. You can come to me whenever crisis occurs and remember, you are not alone in this fight. Share your story and you will find so many souls to accompany you and to fight with you.”
“I will ma’am. Thank you.” Nibha opened the door and left the room. Dr.Nidhi stared at Nibha leaving the room and felt as if it was her, who had won a battle and Nibha was the living mark of that victory.
Image Source: Pexels
Shweta Verma is currently pursuing her masters in Mathematics from University of Delhi.
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