He was standing near the hospital entrance waiting for the rains to stop. The sudden rains had brought things to a jam in the city. Since he hadn’t brought an umbrella he couldn’t walk and the traffic was too slow moving to take a cab. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette and the lighter. Out of habit he ran his fingers along the length of the stick before inhaling it in before flicking the lighter open and lighting it up. He hadn’t been smoking for a while, but today he had remembered to pick up the pack and lighter from the drawer in the office up in the hospital. He was feeling tensed, scared for himself and for her. He half had a mind to call her up to check up on her, but he had already done that a couple of minutes back.
The ambulance came in to a screeching stop near the entrance, and the orderlies rushed towards it as two patients were brought out of it. It was a young man and a woman both seemed to be in their early twenties. Both seemed to have been beaten up pretty bad. The boy had bruises and assault marks all over him and seemed to be bleeding from his mouth. His shirt had been ripped apart half way through and he winced every time someone touched him to support him while he was being moved on a stretcher. The girl seemed to have had it worse. She was beaten up as well, but had bite and scratch marks all over her naked body. It wasn’t that she wasn’t covered up, there was a sheet covering her body but her clothes were missing, and the sheet slipped when she was lifted to be put on the stretcher. One of the female nurses stepped back when she was being wheeled through along with him to the emergency room. He threw the half smoked cigarette and put on his apron as he ran through with the stretchers, ordering the orderlies to prep the room and the supplies he would need.
He and the team tried to work the best they could through the two hours that followed, but the girl did not make it through. Apart from the marks visible on her body, she had suffered two broken ribs, severe trauma on the head and her vagina. She had been raped. Gang raped, brutally. She had tried to put up a fight like anyone would do defend themselves, but was over powered by the men who had gone down on her. Turn by turn. The boy it seems had tried to intervene to help her but was beaten up brutally by the same men. He would however go on to live. He was standing still standing there in room slightly taken aback at the condition of the two. He was pulling of the gloves off his hand to wash them when a man came running in. “Please doctor, please save Riya. She is the only daughter I have.  She has been through enough for a life time. Please doctor, please save her!” He didn’t know what to say. Almost robotically he started “I am sorry sir, but we did all that we could. I am afraid the injuries she has had are far too severe.  She has had too much blood loss and I am afraid there is nothing we can do to save her.”
The father kept on speaking as he tugged at his scrubs. He didn’t hear a word of what was being told, but could only see the expressions on his face as it contorted with pain, anger and helplessness. An orderly came in and lead the weeping father out. He walked out after them. A group had gathered outside the room, probably friends and family of the two. He kept hearing while he stood there. It seemed that the boy and girl were engaged, and had gone to a bar in the city to celebrate. They had run in to a rowdy group of men when they were leaving the bar. The same group proceeded to beat them before proceeding to rape the girl. He couldn’t stand there anymore as more people tried to ask him if anything could be done for the girl. He changed into his clothes and took a cab to home. It was early morning now, and she was still sleeping when he came in. He did not wake her up but just lay next to her and kept staring at her till he dozed off to sleep. When he woke up in the evening she was predictably not there. She would have gone to her shift in the hospital but he still called her up to check up on her. He felt a sense of relief when she answered. She had come to know of the case too, and asked him to come and check up on the boy was sleeping now.
He took an hour to get ready, had a long hot bath to come to his senses before he left for the hospital. The police were there in the boy’s room with both the families when he entered.
“Yes officer, I had kissed her before the three of them started calling names at us.”
“What time was it? Were you drinking?”
“It was slightly past eleven, I remember paying the bill around eleven. We had been drinking, yes, but only a beer or two while the match was on.”
“Any other description of the three people who raped her?” He winced when he heard that word. “No, all that I remember of them I have already told the officer who came in just before you.”
“Very well, the bar has a CCTV camera near its entrance where you were attacked; we will try to pull up some useful footage from it. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I understand that you were recently engaged, and you have my word that we will try all we can to catch the men responsible for this. Doctor, will you please come with us, we need to just go through your statements as well.”
He left with the cops to give his statements in a different room. The officer had the presence of mind to not take his statements in front of the families thinking that they would it hurt them even more. He went down to her section to meet her once. He waited for her to come out of a patient’s room. The two of them did not talk much, but just sat together for a while before she went off on her rounds again, and he to the boy’s room.
“Why were you drinking and kissing her on the street? Have you no sense of shame, how to behave decently?”
“Decency, you ask me to behave decently father? So it was indecent in kissing her as we walked out of the bar? Just a small innocent kiss. Yes, that was indecent of me. Do you know what they did to her?”
“Of course I do.”
“You weren’t there when it happened. The three of them were drunk silly. They called us names, and when we walked away, they ran after us. We called for help but there was no one nearby.
They beat me first while one of them held her. She tried to fight as well, but the guy holding her, he pulled her hair and kept slapping her. When they were done with me they went on to rape her. She fought, but they bit her, punched her and one after other raped her.
I had only kissed her, but they stripped her naked and beat her before raping her on a street. Where is the decency in that? Where is the decency in that?”
Everyone went silent. He asked them to leave the room so that the nurse could change his dressings. The nurse was not due for another hour, but he felt that the boy could do with this little comfort.
“You know doctor, I loved her and she loved me back. We were so happy to have been engaged. Even our parents approved of it. I still remember the kiss she gave me that night. Her lips were so soft and moist. I still remember it like an old memory that you keep thinking of, because she always kissed me like that. I don’t think I have the will to live much longer. But I must tell you this because I am told you tried to save her. You did more for her than the rest of the world could. That night we had planned to save up to buy a house for ourselves to movie in to when we would get married.
I still cannot understand why they did this to us. Why do they hate us so much? Ours was an act of love, why did they do this to her…to anyone…”
“Hush now, you need to be quiet and rest. The nurse will be on her way soon. I will give you a dose of sedative to put you to sleep. You need more rest to recover.” He gave him a shot before calling the nurse in.
He was standing near the hospital entrance waiting for the rains to stop. The sudden rains had brought things to a jam in the city. Since he hadn’t brought an umbrella he couldn’t walk and the traffic was too slow moving to take a cab. He reached into his pocket for a cigarette and the lighter. Out of habit he ran his fingers along the length of the stick before inhaling it in before flicking the lighter open and lighting it up. He hadn’t been smoking for a while, but today he had remembered to pick up the pack and lighter from the drawer in the office up in the hospital. He was feeling tensed, scared for himself and for her. He half had a mind to call her up to check up on her, but he had already done that a couple of minutes back.
The boy had taken a blade and slit his wrists in the bathroom. He was dead minutes before his family had noticed that he was taking too long in the bathroom. Today was his funeral. It seemed odd that it should rain today in the winters. He finished smoking his cigarette before he threw the stub on the ground and crushed it with his heel. He pulled up the collars of his jacket before walking off. He was going to attend the funeral.
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7 thoughts on “Indecent

  1. I am moved beyond words, Hrishi! The different perspectives, the unabashed unapologetic narrative, everything so in place.And will we ever do the decent thing? Or keep terming the victims as indecent? On can only hope. Very very moving. Keep 'em coming.

  2. I hate the idea of it. Everytime I go to meet a friend, I hate to fear that one of us may not reach home safe, unscared, alive. We should not be the ones to be afraid. It should be them. Not us. Not us

  3. We have laws, but we don't have law enforcers. Problem is that cops and the political system is too corrupt and morally inept. And we, the bystanders just stand by and watch. If we collectively thrash these people, things will be very different.This story moved me.

  4. Though I know these things are harsh realities of our society I still don't have a brave heart that can bear to listen all this. Ever new day our daily newspapers bring such news to us (from years and years)though what have we done so far to protect the women of society? We have rules but are we really aware of them we have democracy but do we really know the benefits of it. We are cowards who are afraid to give it back to the society, we sit back and listen the tantrums. I wish women had the nerve to stand up for themselves and men could have been brave enough to stand for them.

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