“I admit to have seen my son committing the crime of demeaning the girl’s virtue and promise to stay true to my word as I present myself in court as a witness whenever the need arises.” I signed the statement and made my way out of the police station giving the policeman a nod. I see my son being dragged by two policemen handcuffed, I could see his eyes cold and filled with loath, all directed to me. I turn my face around so that he cannot see the tear that escaped my eyes; he does not have the slightest idea what he has done, he may curse me now but at some point in time he might thank me because this is right and it will make him a better person. I take longer steps as I speed out of the police station and cross the road to hail a cab to the temple. I fall on my knees in front of the goddess Durga and let the tears fall freely, I ask her to guide me and lead me to do what is right and settle the turmoil of emotions in my heart. I ask for the strength I shall need to walk on the path of truth, and in the end I pray for the wellbeing of the girl who is struggling for her life in the hospital.
When I see the IV tubes attached to the girl’s body, my heart falls to my gut and there is very little I have to say to her mom, who looked terrible with those sleep bags and pale face. I give her mother the Prasad I got for her from the temple, the blessings of the goddess. And sit beside her on the chair in the hospital room, neither of us speak for a while as we stare into open space lost in our thoughts. Suddenly she places her hand on my hand and gives it a light squeeze; I turn to look at her in the eye and what I see in them astounds me. I saw gratitude, in a low but firm voice she whispered “Doctors said she is recovering fast and that I can take her home in a day or two, thank you for everything that you did and are doing for me and my daughter. I respect you for you are a phenomenal woman who had the courage to stand against her own son for the dignity of my daughter.” For a minute or two I kept staring at her, afraid that she might have said something defamatory she cast her eyes towards the ground. With a small smile I tell her, “You are right. I can’t say about the phenomenal part though but yes I am a woman first and that is something I chose to remember “. With that being said I take your leave and expect to see you in court tomorrow, my well wishes are with her.
He was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment, I could not hold on to the strong exterior any longer. I broke down; wails of this mother could be heard far and long. I did what is right and now it is my turn to mourn in loss, how I wish he is a changed man once he returns and that he has a new life free from all evils. For all a mother wants for her son is to bask in the warm glow of divine light and happiness at his feet. But her love for him should not give him the illusion that he will have her shelter to protect him from the punishment of his wrongdoings. I maybe a weak mother but I am a strong woman.
Days passed as the years changed; on her death bed she awaited the arrival of her son, battling against time, gambling her every breath for just one more second of beating heart.
And how drowsy the eyes feel longing for a reason to live, heavy the weight seems upon it and darkness casts its shadow over the vast horizon called life.
Just one more chance and his last smile, nothing more they are looking for.
Death beckons but still they are holding onto the single hole of light from where they think,
He will present himself coming beyond the casted spell, because that is all they need just one more chance.
Panting the heart beats, tired of its duty to keep pumping the blood, limp the body resides, void of any sensations, only feelings alive.
That is all they need just one more chance.
They have come a long way now, blurred image of people rushing towards them, the red siren blinking but no sound reaches those ears. The only thing they are looking for is his warm smile, even the blurred will suffice but all they need is just one last chance to see him smile, one last chance to thank him for she is at peace now, served his sentence, no longer does he hold the debt to life and neither does she.