“Due to lack of evidence, the court acquits Vaidehi and frees her from all the charges.”
The law may have set her free, but not the society, and definitely not the family. Vaidehi knew she would have to bear the burden all along. ‘Husband’s killer’. Her In-laws were the first to do the ‘honors’ of dumping her out of the house and their life. Not that they were accommodating before. They never stood by her even when she needed them the most. Willfully, she stepped out with her six-year-old daughter, Sia. Her lawyer-cum-confidante, Uma, helped her find an accommodation as a PG.
Vaidehi dusted her degree certificate, which was till now just laminated and buried deep inside her suitcase. “Why do you need to work when I am earning good enough?” Her husband Dev had remarked. He was right, she felt. Afterall, she had to look after Sia and take care of her aged in-laws too. She was a dutiful wife, with no complaints or squabble. But now she knew, her education would be her savior.
Sia cried in her sleep. Unusual thing for a six-year-old, but the poor tormented soul had withered away her innocence mercilessly. Vaidehi cocooned her in a warm reassurance of a closed hideous chapter.
The caliginous sky absorbed her somber expression. The lifeless eyes had witnessed brutality to its peak. Dev was a composed gentleman for the world; but for her, he was no less than a devil. He would get drunk and thrash her for sadistic pleasure. If that wasn’t enough, a rape would follow. His parents would turn a blind eye, citing it as ‘common trend in every household’. Having no family of her own to run to, Vaidehi had almost adapted to this derogatory life, until one day when Sia came crying to her complaining that daddy did dirty things to her. It struck her like a thunderbolt. Her silence had proved to be a bane. Her mother in law didn’t believe. Instead she admonished Sia; and Vaidehi was reprimanded and forbidden to confront Dev regarding this, as it would ‘hurt’ her innocent son’s feelings.
That was the final straw. A family picnic sparked an ingenious idea. The hilltop was a fine locale for executing her plan. The unfortunate fall was blamed on the slippery surface. The contented look bade farewell to her melancholy. But Vaidehi’s untroubled, deceitful smug didn’t go unnoticed by her mother in law, who later filed the case.
Truth was confessed to her dear friend Uma. The brilliant and benevolent lawyer that she was; she extended her full support to Vaidehi and proved the death to be a mere accident.
As finally the sun rose with the orange hue swallowing the ebony sky, Uma’s words reverberated. However dark was the past, don’t let its shadow downcast the future. Tomorrow always brings a ray of hope, positivity and possibility. A silver lining to the cloud; a golden opportunity to life!
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