Ammu was born on a beautifully bright Sunday. That Sunday changed the life of Sneha and Saarang. Their joy knew no bounds. Till then they lead a different life but after Ammu , their routine changed. Their priorities changed. All that they did had ammu in the center. With her in their life, every day was pure bliss.
They went out for outing and picnics. They went out for tours and holidays. They visited their relatives and friends. They made sure they did everything with Ammu. All that she wanted was hers. All that she dreamed, they made it a reality. All this love never spoilt Ammu though. She was a girl with a pure heart. Her teachers loved her. So did her neighbors. She was the pet of her grandparent and the darling of the family. She was loud yet soft. Childlike yet mature; mischievous yet adorable; she was the life of sneha and Saarang.
Years passed with great speed and finally it was time for her to tie the knot. As much as they loved to see their daughter wed, so much it hurt them to part with her. After school, when she went out to do their college, they were literally heartbroken. She insisted on doing her masters outside. They let her go. But then they comforted themselves by telling each other she will be back in a year. But now she’ll be gone away from their life.
They were reluctant yet they had to accept it. Proposals were pouring in for Ammu. She was tall and slender. With her wavy hair and fair complexion, she was the much sought after girl. Her eyes were round and hazel brown and her lips delicately matched her trim face. Her cheeks were not chubby but neither was it skeletal. On the whole, it was impossible to not like her. And if one knew her, then there was no way one could ignore her for she was sweet and smart. She also knew how to carry herself. She was bold and outspoken and knew how to hit the nail on its head, especially when any smart romeo tried his tricks on her.
“Sneha, Ammu is still not home?”
“I think she’s gone to her friend’s place”
“ohh. Buy why so late?”
“Well, I’ll just give her a call.”
Sneha tried Ammu’s cell. When she couldn't’t get her cell after repeated attempts, she gave her friend a call.
“Hi Neethu. This is Ammu's mother. Is Ammu there?”
“No Aunty. She didn’t come here. She left straight for home.”
What began as a casual call turned out to be a brewing storm; Sneha and Saarang tried reaching out to all of Ammu’s friends. None seemed to know of her whereabouts. They had all gone to the beach together. Being a Sunday, it was a little crowded. After spending some time joking around, they had left from there. That’s all her friends could tell them. Tensed and worried, they went to the police station
to file a complaint. After giving the police her photo and other necessary details they were asked to go home. The Inspector in the station was a friend of Saarang and he assured him all the help.
That Sunday changed their life forever. In the middle of the night, saarang received a call. The police found her and had taken her to the hospital. They were asked to go the hospital.
‘Is she alive?’ – That was all what Saarang wanted to know.
“Yes she is sir” – was the reply.
They rushed to the hospital. What greeted their eye was something they least expected. In the Intensive Care Unit’s bed, entangled by wires all around was a girl darkened with bruises who looked pale and lifeless. Her heart seemed working but she seemed deprived of something more vital. She seemed robbed; as though she had lost something critical.
The doctors confirmed that there was an attempt to rape her. All she managed to say was daddy and mummy. Nothing more would she utter. From medical examination, her clitoris was badly bruised. She suffered injuries all over her face. It appeared to be a violent and forceful attempt to enter her. She suffered injuries on her arms and legs as well. Probably as she attempted to defend herself;
Police found her lying behind a tree. They found her dress torn and her scooty damaged. They were not sure for how long she was lying like that. Her phone was lying in her bag and she seemed too shocked to even move.
Their lives changed for the worse. Not in the wildest of dreams did they think of something like this. Their only daughter, their life, their everything was lying in front of them like a used fruit, helpless; deprived; engulfed in sorrow; it all seemed too tragic; vengeance, pity, horror, anger, hurt – the emotions they went through were multiple. They couldn't cry beyond a point.
Days changed and their routines changed again. Where once she was the darling of all, now she became the much spoken about girl but in the wrong sense. Her relatives initially expressed their sympathy but with time they distanced themselves from the family. Her friends, barring a few completely disowned her.
It was beyond what Saarang and sneha could take. Yet they knew they should fight. They had to live for their daughter. Ammu, the never silent girl had her lips sealed. She could never come out of the incident. Grown in the loving care of her parents, she couldn't handle the whole violence. Her physical injuries were healing but her mental scar was too deep to even feel any remedy. Doctors advised her complete rest. She seemed lost in a delirium. Every now and then she would wake up from her sleep with a loud cry. Images disturbed her. She refused to go out. A certain fear had enveloped her. Her mother tried hard to give her all the protection, but she still felt insecure. She found men very intimidating. She was living, but perhaps a life which had lost all aspects of dignified living. She was breathing but her organs were behaving as machines to let her perform biological functions.
Not able to see their daughter as such, they took her to a completely different place. They shifted their residence. They made a new start. But nothing helped. They themselves couldn’t come over it, they couldn't imagine her state. After much thought, Saarang made up his mind. He wasn’t going to let the rascal who killed his daughter Scot free. He decided to fight it. He had to give some justice to his daughter.
He hired the best of lawyers. He used all of his resources. They went to courts. They took tests. And with the help of his contacts, they nabbed the victim. The fought the case with valor. Saarang left no stone unturned in his quest for justice. Dates after dates, hearing after hearing, court took its own pace. At the end of it, the judge delivered the sentence.
Found guilty. Seven years of imprisonment to the victim.
Saarang was flabbergasted!
“My lord, my daughter has ceased to live. My wife and I have lost our only heir. We live in a
world of darkness. Our dreams have crashed and hopes have died. Our friends and foes look
at us differently. Society refuses to even consider us amongst them. It’s as though we have
committed a crime. We three live a life of abandonment. Dignity was one thing we had, now
that’s irrevocable snatched away from us. In return for all that, you hand this lad a few years to languish in prison? Is that what you call justice?"
"Tomorrow, he’ll do the same to another girl. He may destroy another family. He may cause
unknown miseries. Do you even recognize that?"
"How can you deem his life fit for survival? This pervert of a man surely deserves something
more sinister. How else will he know the pain he has caused? How will he realize the state we
"And what signals are you sending to all those men of his kind? Is there no such thing as
He cried to himself. But of no avail. Such is the state of affairs!
PS: Indian law treats rape as a criminal offence. It falls under criminal law in India. An offender
is liable to be punished with an imprisonment of minimum 7 years to maximum 10 years and
fine. Further, if the offence is committed in custody or on an expecting woman, or a woman
below 12 years or gang rape, the punishment will be minimum 10 years of imprisonment.
P.P.S : Every year thousands of such cases happen. Majority go unreported. Of those that are reported,very few are convicted. Most never gets a judgment. And the convicts are in prison for a few years at the max. Is it not time for India to raise the quantum of punishment? What is seven years in prison against the destruction of so many lives?