After several doorbell rings and battering, the doorknob was snapped by hammer and opened; the neighbours had also gathered.

The moment the door opened, she saw his feet and screamed in a chilling voice. Her eyes flew open as she saw Raman dangling through the fan….. his eyes wide open. Within a few seconds, she fainted and fell with a thud on the floor.

Baffled, Ashish immediately called the couple’s parents. Being a close friend and colleague of Raman he knew that Raman had been mortified and suspended from the services that morning because of the sexual harassment allegations.

“Gosh! How could he take such an extreme action?” cried Ashish, feeling a surge of adrenaline. He noticed a letter on the table which mentioned the same, along with love for Khushi.

The ladies from the neighbourhood tried to revive Khushi, while some men called the police and media followed, as usual.

An open case #Metoomisused #jealously flashed on social media and some TV channels; while some kept a distance as they were supporting #Metoo.

For about two days Khushi regained consciousness only to grieve. She wasn’t conscious, even when Raman was being given his last tribute before cremation. Everyone was worried about Khushi now.

“How could this happen to such a beautiful inseparable couple?” discussed some. While a few commented, “How could such a high positioned spotless person bear this shame?”

Yet a few others said, “He should have at least discussed with his wife. Many politicians and Bollywood personalities have faced allegations too. They are hardly bothered and keep applying for anticipatory bails.”

A movement had started against #Metoo.

On the fourth day after the prayers, Khushi agreed to join a discussion panel on television. The panel consisted of members of women’s organizations, vocal men and moderators. Khushi joined with her parents as well as her in-laws but the red teary eyes appeared mere spectators.

As the discussion moved, Khushi recalled her strong support to #Metoo; as a child she had been assaulted by her own Uncle and could never gather the courage to speak, even to her own parents.

But Raman; ah! She knew, was only her man. Just a few days back, he was worried because a girl in his team, who badly wanted to settle in U.S, had pestered him. She was even ready to sleep with him in exchange and Raman had categorically denied. He had mentioned about this to Khushi in detail. She knew the lady well.

With welling eyes, she suddenly stood and screamed, “Stop it! ‘Metoo’ or ‘Misused to settle scores’. Whatever it is, I will fight in the court of law. But for heaven’s sake stop this harrowing discussion. This is a gimmick. Crime is crime,” she continued joining her hands and lowering her pitch. “Please understand! We all are humans first and then a man or a woman. We cannot survive without each other. Stop judging genders so strongly.”

Silently she walked past the audience.

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Ritu Gulabani

Ritu A Gulabani is an author of an inspiring and relatable book “From Caterpillar to Butterfly” and a mother of two young boys. An ex-Banker and a certified lecturer, her work has been published at many platforms. When she is not busy with her kids, kitchen or daily chores, she is reading, writing or concentrating on self-improvement which includes yoga, meditation, tasty healthy recipes and do it yourself stuff.
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