The Independence in English Women Focused by swapnil pande books and stories PDF | The Independence

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The Independence

"See you tomorrow!!" Priya said jubilantly. The other girl had reached her home's front gate. She turned, smiled and waved back.

Fare-welling her best friend Mayuri, Priya turned left to enter her gully. It was nearly impossible to ride her cycle through the narrow, bumpy lane. So, she walked along with her cycle. As the sunlight dimmed, her daily routine had almost completed its circle.
But, today was different. Today, there was a spring in her steps. A radiance on her face. She was happy today. Not every day you get elected as the School Leader to recite the Pledge and sing National Anthem on the Independence Day. There would be Teachers, there would be Parents, there would be Special Guests. It sure was a big responsibility. But Priya was not the one to be burdened by challenges. She craved them. She was excited.

A loud whistle tore right through her dreamy clouds. She turned her face towards the sound. A big, bulgy young guy was sitting on his bike. Accompanied by friends, looking at her lecherously. Priya started breathing heavily. She had recognized she was near that ugly black dot in her daily routine circle. This had been going around from quite some time now. Pintu, as his friends called him, had been eve teasing her every single day. The long shameless stares, the ugly loud whistles, the name calling, the crass innuendos. Everything had been used. And even after being terrified, Priya had been relentlessly following her mother's advice. 'Keep your head down and ignore these people'. She did the same again.

Suddenly, the bike vroomed. The wheel accelerated. Everything happened in a split second. The bike whizzed past Priya. She felt a hand. Grazing her chest. Stunned, she fell down. The cycle fell on her. The bike zoomed ahead. Abruptly, the tires screeched and puffed the dust to take a whirlwind turn. Pintu looked at her. Smiling he held up his palm and kissed it disgustingly. His friends cheered him on. Priya had gotten numb. She tried to stand up. But her legs refused to obey. She fell down again. Shivering from the shock she somehow piled herself up. Covering her body with the stole, she ran with all her strength. She scampered inside her home. Slamming the door shut. Her body shivered. She collapsed on her knees. Finally, letting out a shriek, she bawled riotously. The cycle and her honor lay there on the road. Stripped, defeated, humiliated.

No one was at home. At this point of time, no one was supposed to be. Her father worked in two shifts at a nearby mill. She rarely even met him during the working week. Her mother, a maid, toiled till late nights. There was no one to console her. To provide her a shoulder. She cried uncontrollably. Her mother, as usual, had kept the hot water bucket in the washroom. She held the bucket and poured it over her body. She took the soap and smeared the part where he had touched. Her tears wiping but failing to mop the soap off completely. She kept on rubbing the part, until it turned blood red. Until the pain grew excruciating.

As hours passed, the tears dried and the eyes swelled. Her mother was home. She had brought her a new School uniform to wear on the Independence Day. Pretending to sleep, Priya buried herself under a shawl.
"Priya, look I bought you a new dress... Priya?", her mother called entering her room. Priya held on to the shawl tightly.
Her mother's face fell. She was disappointed on being so late. Switching off the bulb, she left the room. Priya got up and set the alarm for 5 AM. She had to reach her school by 6. '6 Sharp!' as Pandit sir had said. Desperately, she tried to sleep. She wanted to escape this world. She had realized that the Nightmares with eyes open are more frightening than with them closed. Slowly sleep arrived like a gentle breeze.

It was dawn. The alarm rang. Priya got up quickly and came out in the hall. Surprisingly, she saw her father, polishing her shoes. While her mother cooked lunch. The new uniform lay there, neatly kept on the bed.
"The water is hot. Go and have your bath beta." her mother said. Priya followed.
The sky was still gloomy when she stepped out. "Should I drop you?" her father asked.
"No, Mayuri would be waiting for me" Priya replied and left.

She was halfway through the lane when she noticed the same bike. 'MH11CN04' the number plate read. She recalled that number. On a few steps further, she saw Pintu. There he stood, with the Indian flag in his hand, playing around with it. He too spotted Priya. The evil smile returned on his face.
As she crossed him, "Vroom vroom!" he mimicked the bike, startling her.
She kept walking.
"Ohh that skin! So soft! What wont I give to make it mine!" he mocked ruffling his palm.
Priya turned. He continued to stare. She walked close to him.
"Are you going to slap? Please.. please go ahead! If that's what it takes to touch your skin, then so be it... " he chuckled and put his face ahead.

And she slapped him. With all the courage she had gathered. With all the anger that had seeped inside. Right from the moment she was touched without her consent. She slapped him. Hard. His mouth had started to bled. A blood drop flew across and stained Priya's new white Kurta. That hard. The loud sound echoed through the quiet lane. Pintu's ears buzzed.

He looked at her stunned. There were a few people around as it was Independence Day. They all looked intently. People were watching. He couldn't retaliate. He realized that. He stepped back. Priya walked off.

She reached the school on time. Noticing a street hawker selling Indian flags, she bought a tiny one. She pinned it on the top-left corner of her Kurta. Covering the blood stain.
"How do I look?" she cheerfully asked Mayuri.
"You look like our School's Leader! Confident and fearless!" Mayuri replied.

She recited the Pledge. Sang the national anthem. At the top of her voice. Everything went smoothly. The parades, the speeches, the felicitations. After the school, along with her best-friend, she headed straight to the Police Station and filed a formal complaint. She remembered the vehicle number. Her face remained firm, self-assured as she carried out the process.
After witnessing all the parades across the town, she returned home late in the afternoon. From afar her home, she noticed Pintu at her door. With presumably his father. They stood there folding hands in front of Priya's father.
She smiled.

That morning, the flag wasn't the only thing that got hoisted. Priya's pride waved right up there at the top. Soaring high and above. While the country celebrated its "independence", Priya celebrated her "freedom".

Epilogue : No country can be immaculate. The perfect white. No country, no community, no individual. Every one has stains. The need is to cap them up with goodness. Kindness. Justice. Fairness. Inadvertently, we have become the masters of a game. The blame game. Lets just stop playing it for a moment. Lets just try and shoulder the responsibility for once. The trouble is not to attain the pinnacle, the trouble is to preserve the pinnacle. Yes, the perseverance will be rigorous. But worthwhile. Its about time we realize that the Independence Day means much more than just another extended weekend get-away. Freedom is not to be gifted, it is to be exercised. Ask that 3rd Standard kid learning History Chapter 3 - 'Indian Revolutionaries'. And then ask yourselves. Are you in dependence or independent