Wednesday, 24 February 2021

part 1 : Escaping the hell- 2 another rihana story...

 (based on a real story)

It's never too late, no matter how late it had been. There's always hope...

I should've guessed something was wrong when she ever so affectionately kissed my forehead. I mean my mum has never shown any affection towards me ever since she dragged me in the house at the age 7 "chal ander!"  she'd snapped when she brought me from my father's house. I didn't understand hindi that time as I only spoke in English for the seven years of my life and after sudden death of my father, my mum got my custody. They were divorced for many years and fortunately I was given to my dad and my brother sohail and sister mena was given to my mum. As soon I came to Glasgow (my mum's house) from Manchester (my dad's house) , all my clothes were taken away from me and got replaced


with salwar kameez. They never accepted me in the family, but I kept doing all the work they used to throw at me just in the hope that one day they'll start to love me. What else would a seven year old would crave for? My mother never used to ask me how my day was whenever I used to come home from school, rather a snappy command used to be thrown at me, "get me some tea" and the dirty breakfast dishes were piled up in the sink for me to clean them. I used to stutter back then and once my mother tried to cure my stutter by pinning me to the floor and cutting the skin under my tongue with a razor blade. I was child back then and just accepted that was what life was like.

At age 13 we all went India for holidays and all of a sudden my mum started behaving really nicely with me, told me "what a good girl you've been rihana" and even kissed my forehead. I thought finally after years of yearning my mum realised her love for me. But that hope was short lived as next day I was taken to some isolated village in the middle of nowhere in India and made me meet my future husband!

My eyes widened in shock and I helplessly pleaded my mum to not do this with me. I mean I was just 13 and my "future husband" was in his late twenties.

"I am not going to marry him!" I finally said adamantly in front of everyone when they brought engagement ring in front of me. Next instant I got slapped by my mum and my "future husband" shoved the ring in my finger so harshly that his sharp nails scratched my fingers which started bleeding.

"kitni nalayak ladki hai, iske to baal khicke ek thappad maarna chahiye"

"aur nahi to kya? Apne hone wale shauhar (husband) ke saamne uchi aawaz mein baat karti hai"

"chi chi laanat aisi aulaad par to. Paida hone par hi maar dena chahiye tha"

"rashida begum ki to izzat par thu thu ho rahi hai"

"BATAMEEZ!" my mum's word stung me as she slapped me again and tears started to roll down my red from slap cheek. I just looked around at people's faces literally begging for help with my eyes but I only got disgusted looks in return.

"mummy don't do this to me" I licked my parched lips and fell on her feet practically begging her to have some mercy on me. A few men came and dragged me by my own puny arms and dumped in a room filled with maulana (Islamic priest). It was all so intimidating. I just sat there and hugged my knees. Afterall I was a mere 13 year old, what could I have even done. I made up my mind that I am not going to say "kabool" for this marriage no matter what and they can't make me marry some guy double my age.

The maulanas started praying something which I didn't listen but i faintly heard that my name was taken and they were marrying me with some guy called Afzal sheikh. They suddenly stopped praying and the room got silenced, i reluctantly lifted my head up and they all were glaring at me to say "kabool" and accept this Afzal guy as my lawfully wedded husband. I firmly shook my head in a no and bit my tongue hard. No matter what they do, they can't get that kabool out of my mouth. Afzal just pulled my hand while other men pinned me down on the floor and captured a small helpless 13 year old. He stretched my hand and dipped my thumb in the ink box. Then it dawned upon me what they're about to do. They're forcefully gonna make me thumbprint the wedding certificate.

"NOOO LET ME GOOO" i screamed and tried to take my hand away from his strong grip but it was a futile attempt as he effortlessly dabbed my inky thumb on the wedding contract and that time all hell broke loose as I realised I just got forcefully married to a man double my age while am just 13 year old teenager!

I felt my vision going darker and darker as my head spun, I felt my bones going jelly and slowly i gave up all the hope to keep my eyes open. I let them shut and fell back hoping that when i wake up, i'll be back in England away from this hell.

My mind was keep zooming and showing me images which looked horrific and absurd. Totally! I mean how I can dream about getting married to a guy double my age. Uh what a stupid dream. I'd rather wake up then dream about something so spine chilling. I quickly opened my eyes smiling to myself that I woke up from some bizarre dream and suddenly felt my heart stop when I realised that I was lying down on the someone's bed and felt dried rose petals under my palm. I swallowed my saliva as i scanned the room and suddenly all the images of my "forceful marriage" came flooding back in my mind. My body jerked up from the bed and the blanket fell over my chest revealing my naked body. I blocked my mouth to stop a tearful scream coming out. What the hell is happening?

"uth gayi tu?" said a scruffy male voice from next to me as I turned my head away with a jerk to look at my husband afzal lying next to me without any clothes on. He looked uglier than i though with his beer belly and dark chest hair scrambled all over his front. He reeked of beer and fags and even had nose and ear hair. I wanted to puke but clamped my both hands on my mouth.

"don't come near me..I'll scream." I cried as i saw him getting up from bed coming over to me like a tiger approaching his prey.

"Sali kamini! Ekto aadhi raat se so rahi hai aur  muje bolti hai paas mat aao. Tujhe to mein batata hu" with that pulled me in the middle of the bed and pinned me down. I just kept my eyes closed while wrapping my small hands around my chest as I kept taking god's name in my mind. But it was a futile attempt as that night he mercilessly raped me. I lost my soul I guess. He killed an innocent 13 year old's  soul that night; I couldn't even believe that someone can do such disgusting thing to me?

He kept raping me every night for a year until I got pregnant which was my mum's wish. I was fourteen-years-old when felt my stomach bulging and got all the pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness, sweat breakout, blackouts etc. I was bloody 14 and got pregnant! I hugged my bulging stomach and cried that whole day. It was practically impossible for me to run from here. There was no way! I was always locked up in the house. 6 months later i gave birth to my son and suddenly I found a reason to live. That day i decided that no matter what happens i won't let scratch come on my baby. I will protect my baby from everyone and make him so strong that he will never have to face what I've faced. I named my baby ishaan.

Three years later and it was still the same, everyday was pure harassment but I kept living, kept living for my son and kept him away from all the troubles, even from a young age of 14, my motherly instinct came so naturally that I sometimes wondered why my mum never loved me like that? Was I that misfortune that I couldn't even stimulate any motherly instinct in my mum for me? Maybe I was just very unworthy of being a daughter, no wonder I ended up like this! But my son will get all the love he deserves or even more than that.  I reached a tender age of 17 with a 3 year old at me hip but no matter what the circumstances, i was a proud mother and i got all my affection i craved all my life from my baby ishan.  I was just sweeping the outside courtyard when I suddenly heard a heart piercing scream of ishan and ran inside where I saw my husband walking away from ishan into his room. I picked ishan up and started cradling him.

"naa baby, don't cry. Why you crying mela baby?" i started patting his back when i saw red bruise on his back. It felt like someone squashed my heart out, whatever they did to me, I'd live with that, but if someone touches my son I wouldn't take that. That time I knew that I had to run, I don't know how but for my baby I had to run.

"AFZAL! DID YOU SMACK ISHAN?" I couldn't keep my inner mother calm. He came out of the bathroom with shaving cream smeared all over his face.

"AWAAZ NICHE RAKH! Haan maara to? Kya kar legi? Chal nikal mere muh ke saamne se" he barked while pushing me out of the house and locking the door on my face. That night I spent with crying ishan outside in the cold as afzal refused to open the door.

I had nowhere to go, simply nowhere... i didn't even knew where the hell I was!

I felt someone shaking me up. Slowly i opened my eyes and shut them again as it was bright sunshine outside and my eyes couldn't focus with the quick change of light intensity. 


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