She had a sense of relief today. Sitting in the big hallway overlooking the mesmerizing greenery, she was happy to have found herself a home after all. She was looking at the passers-by and trying to soak in the flavour of the place. Strangely enough, she was very calm and at peace with everything that had happened thus far. It had been a rollercoaster ride for her.
She shuddered remembering the night Ganesh had picked her up from Manjeet’s place. ‘Ganya’, as he was popularly called, looked unlike any other man she had heard about from her friends. He was well built and really fair. He had flashed a big smile at Manjeet Bhai while paying him crisp notes and promised to give her a good life. “I can see a bright future when I hold her Manjeet Bhai”, he said, running his slender hands on the beauty that stood in front of him. She had felt a little uneasy then, sensing a strange touch. But the look of happiness on Manjeet’s face was enough to say that this was far too good a price for her to let go.
She was scared as she stepped into a new world. Sitting in the car, tucked to the safety of the seat belt, she had cried a little out of nervousness, for this was the first time that she was out in the real world on her own. Before this journey a few friends had always accompanied her. They had all imagined different futures for themselves and had made wish lists too! She was one of the silent few who had only just listened to the interesting ideas and had kept their desires to themselves. She had actually never even imagined being chosen by such a young and sturdy looking man. Her friends gave her a long look of envy as Ganya held her close to him. She could feel them all stare at her and gossip amongst themselves, cursing her good fortune.
As the car took to the road and her new journey began she had know idea what was in store for her. Looking at him and his fancy car, she envisioned a lot about Ganya’s abode. It would be a nice studio apartment with big French windows and a neatly kept bedroom and kitchen. She felt that he would visit her very often if not staying with her all the time. They soon left the city and the car danced in speed on the highway. She was rocking back and forth with anticipation. She didn’t know that her maiden journey would take her out of her hometown into a new town altogether!
After a few hours and two pit stops on the way they reached a deserted factory outlet. She was confused. Why was she brought here? After all a huge price had been paid for her, then why this secretive and soulless place!
Suddenly she heard him declare to his colleagues, “Here! She should be enough to make multimillionaires feel at home.” Soon a few men came and dragged her roughly inside the factory. They praised Ganya for his great catch. She was dumped in a lightless corner. There wasn’t even a window here! She was already feeling suffocated. She really missed Manjeet’s place and her friends. She cried herself to sleep.
Next morning, or evening, there was no way to know the time in this dusty, creaky factory; someone was dumped right on top of her. And then began the real torture. There was hitting, cursing, abusing, pleading, begging, everything enough to break her. There was physical, mental and emotional damage. She had seen the face of death. She was dumbfounded. It was so painful!
Everyday Ganya would be at his rowdy best as all the others ogled at her greedily. She was trapped!
The torture went on and on and to her horror increased every time she saw a new face. She was bruised, hurt and battered. A long time had passed since she left Manjeet Bhai and his safe quarters. Though very small when compared to her new house, his place felt like home. This factory was as lifeless as its occupants. No one even as much as looked at her once her job was over. She was just a piece of furniture for them!
Finally one day she was rescued from the hellhole by inspector Shiv Das and his team. At first they had been busy catching Ganya and his gang. The entire gang was beaten mercilessly for operating such a shameful racket right under their nose! They were stuffed in the police jeeps and promised that they would repent all that they had done!
Under the heat of the moment she had thought that the policemen would ignore her and leave her to agonize forever in the factory! But just as they were about to leave, her Messiah Inspector Shiv noticed her. He told his colleagues, “Let me take her along. I think I can set her up in my old age facility, APNA GHAR ASHRAM!” She wasn’t too hopeful for the future this time, but just happy to get out of this mess.
He took her to his place that night and the next morning she found herself in her beautiful new home. Peaceful and with an aura of love all around, the Ashram seemed like an apt ending to her long journey. Mr. Sharma, the Ashram in-charge welcomed her wholeheartedly and gave her the best spot in the premises. She was jolted to the present as Beerendra uncle sat on her and rejoiced.
He said, “Thank you Shiv beta! This is the most comfortable chair we’ve had in a very long time!”
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The above story is an entry into the writing event(Feb. 02nd – 20th) hosted by ArtoonsInn: #PullTheRug #UniK-3
Event rules and guidelines: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/pull-the-rug-unik-3-writing-event/
Check out Surbhi’s space here: https://writers.artoonsinn.com/author/surbhi-toshniwal/
Photo by Elias Schupmann