Ditya belonged to a lower-middle-class family. She couldn’t complete her graduation due to the financial crunch. When she was 18-years-old, her parents got her married to a man who was ten years older than her. But rather than complaining, she embraced all that destiny offered with a smile. For the first couple of months, her married life was smooth. But eventually, the mask of goodness that Rajesh was wearing peeled off. He tortured and even beat her black and blue. She endured everything silently.
When Rajesh left for work the following day, her next-door neighbour, Neena, rang the bell. Ditya quickly wiped her tears with her sari pallu and hastened towards the door to open it.
“Hi, this is Neena, your neighbour. Is everything fine? I heard some conflict.”
Ditya lied and tried to hide her pain. But the bruises on her face and body were visible. A chill of unease slithered down Neena’s spine, but she kept quiet.
Days passed. Neena and Ditya met almost every day. They became good friends and loved each other’s company. Ditya made delicacies for Neena and also felt safe when Neena was around.
One night, Rajesh came home late, fully drunk and began abusing and beating Ditya. Blood started oozing out of her nose. The pain was unbearable, and she couldn’t sleep that night. Each day she was moving one inch towards darkness.
When Neena learned about this, her heart ached with pain. She placed her hand on Ditya’s shoulder and said, “You know what…..” But before she could complete her sentence, Ditya interrupted, “yes, I know. Toxic or good, we girls have to adjust in every situation.”
“Not at all. I am trying to say that the place you are standing today has neither any light nor any future. You have two options. The choice is yours. Either continue to live a life surrounded by storms or fight and move forward where there is sunlight and rainbow.” Neena answered with concern in her voice
“Yes, I understand that. But where do I go? I am not even financially independent.” answered Ditya
“Well, Ditya, let me be honest with you. The day you moved in to be my neighbour, I fell in love with you. But disappointment gripped me tightly when I discovered the man in your life was your husband. Considering that you are in an abusive relationship, I recommend you walk out. We can live together and lead a life with dignity.” Neena spilt the beans
Hearing this, Ditya said, “I, too, love you, but what will society say?”
“We are part of this society, but we have the right to make decisions and live our lives with pride.” Answered Neena.
Both packed their bags and, hand in hand, moved out of the house, head high.
Rajesh tried to stop Ditya with his honey-laced words. However, She had made up her mind. She also realized a rainbow is often a sign of hope, the beauty after the storm.
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