Feminist by Accident
It was the sound of a click that brought Scarlett back to her senses amidst the commotion. The second click prompted her to open her eyes. It was a blurry vision, everything around her was eclipsed in the smoke. As the smoky veil dispersed into the air, Scarlett caught the sight of the well groomed man playing poker on his Iphone 12. With an uncomfortable swallow, she turned to the women beside her asking for a drag.
Soon the woman left her seat with a few others as they were summoned by the man in olive. These nine odd women were busy chatting away with each other as they were strip searched one after the other.
“Let go na sahib,” interrupted a brown man, offering some cash to the officer.
The man sitting behind the desk, clad in olive raised his brows from afar while chewing his tobacco.
“You wasted my time, shall cost you the night.”
“Sahib please, we poor people, take care, need money sahib,” said the brown man hesitantly.
“Then make it double,” the officer asserted.
As the brown man stood horror struck, the officer asked his men to put the nine women behind the bars.
“Sahib.. Sahib..no..” reluctantly the brown man questioned.
No sooner did a guy clad in white kurta pajama entered the police station that the officer jumped to welcome him. The man sat like a bull in a china shop. Crossing his legs, the man put his left arm around the head rest of the chair he was sitting in.
“Sharma get special tea for sahib,” the officer sat back grinning.
“Wrap the case Choudhary,” the minister continued calmly, “take care of the girl too.”
“How?” the officer smirked.
“I’m sure you know your ways,” the minister placed a black duffle bag on the table.
As he looked through the minister, the officer motioned for his assistant to release a prisoner.
The silent instruction went right and the rich rapist stood beside his father as officer Choudhary tore apart a page from his logbook. Voicelessly, Scarlett observed the page shred into pieces as the minister left.
At last, officer Choudhary called her.
Afraid, she got up and moved to the chair where the minister sat a few minutes earlier.
“Why did you do it madam?” he continued, “Why did you hit his car?”
Scarlett sat quietly, looking down at the muddy floor.
“Bloody say something,” he snapped at her, banging the table with his right hand.
“Because I wanted to,” Scarlett retaliated in anger with all the strength she could gather.
Staring at Scarlett, the officer called for his assistant. The next moment, Scarlett found her inside the lockup.
Scarlett stopped as she entered the lockup, scanning the small room. Soon she spotted a place to rest through the night amongst the nine other women she had counted before.
The trip to India turned out to be way too adventurous for the solo traveller.
“Tell me now that women can’t drive,” Scarlett snarled at the man playing poker from afar.
- Shikha Nangru