The Hanging Dupatta

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It was like no one would ever miss her.
Starting from the day she was born, discrimination was common in her life. She remembered the time her grandmother told her the story about how her father almost killed her when she was just a newborn baby.
The Lady told her that after much pleading and weeping,  the drunk man had finally let her live and from that day forth, the women of the house began protecting her, making sure that either one of them were always by her side.
But it hardly helped. Once her mother passed away, she found herself all alone excepting for the dear company of her grandmother who once took a couple of blows from her alcoholic son to protect her granddaughter from a beating.
Often, the old lady had begged her to run away and find a living where people wouldn’t keep trying to abuse her physically

 

Today, standing on a chair, she remembered these bitter memories as she began tying her dupatta around the fan.
On her bed, lay a note. One that she’d taken hours to write, cherishing the last few words that would ever represent her dying soul. She’d written about the times she felt like killing herself but never did not because she didn’t have the guts to do it but because she didn’t have the belief that she was even worth that much trouble. Her whole life of ridicule taught her that she’d never be able to think of herself as someone worth anyone’s time. Not even her own.
Often,  her father asked himself why he ever even listened to his mother and let his daughter live instead of drowning her in the sea the day she was born. It was a bitter thought, knowing that her own family felt that way about her. But then again, there was the fact that he’d let her stay, gave her one, sometimes two meals a day if she was lucky and gave her a roof over her head. These things made her hope, sometimes wish that he loved her.

 

Now, as she tightened the dupatta around the fan and tested it by pulling it tight, she felt her own heart beat a hundred times faster than it ever had. A part of her wished that the fan would fall and with that, her plans of killing herself would fail but then she knew that this was the only way out of the situation.

 

Goodbye, she said to herself. Goodbye world. Good riddance, she thought. Just as she put her head into the looped noose, she heard a creak at the other end of the room.
Getting down from the stool, she tip toed into the living room and peeped. Her father had passed out on the couch, having drunk too much. At the far end of the room, her grandmother’s photograph was placed high up on the wall as if looking down upon her.
She remembered the time her grandmother passed away and how devastated she had been. She remembered the old lady’s last words and how she’d asked her to be careful and to stay away from the wretched man she called her son. And then she told her the story of how she had first had a baby girl who was killed the moment she was born by the midwife who had delivered her.
“I wept silently for many years” Her grandmother said, breathing heavily. “But now I realize that my child is happier up there than she ever would have been down here.”
Hearing those words escaping her grandmother’s lips, they both cried for the child who never had a chance.
Now, as she walked back into her room, prepared to hang herself, determined more than ever, she remembered how, once, she thought that running away would be the solution. She’d packed her bags and decided to leave, opening the window of her room to escape. Her timing couldn’t have been more wrong as the door knob turned in her room as one foot was out the window. Within two seconds and three long strides, her father grabbed her by the arms and dragged her back into the house, his eyes bulging with anger and his face red with hatred. That day, she received the worst beating of her life. She couldn’t risk it again. Death was the only option.

 

She got on to the stool and put her head into the cloth made hole. Funny, how the dress that was once on her body, covering her modesty was now helping her leave this world. She tightened the noose and took a deep breath before kicking the stool off. As it fell with a loud noise to the floor and she flailed helplessly, her last thought was that of the previous night where her father had sold her off to their neighbour for three nights.
That had been the last straw.

 

Suicide is not an option. It never is supposed to be.
If only people realized that women deserve a right to choice.
Maybe then, the smiles would increase and clothes would be used for their original purpose.
Maybe then, the women would finally smile.

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