Shanaya -1 Society — 0
“I want you all to read this book of G. B. Shaw — The arms and the men and be prepared for mock test tomorrow,” I said to class
“Yes, Shanaya ma’am” They sang in unison
“Oh, yes darling, anything for you” A boy’s voice said
“You and your gang are going to be out of my class for whole year,” I said to Hardik
“As you wish miss, anything for you baby,” He remarked again
“Leave now…” I roared with anger
As usual, I was called by principal.
“Shanaya this is third time in a row that I am hearing complaints from your students that you dress inappropriately for English Teacher of college students”
“Sir, it’s not like that I am wearing a bikini and how can you encourage that flirtish remarks they make on me while teaching.”
“See my dear this is not U.S. You have to adapt to Indian society. We cannot make everybody shut up. You have to change Shanaya or else…”
“I will be fired…Yes, sir, I am sorry”
That day as I went to my mom’s home, I told all this to her and she said, “You do not need to change, this society needs dusting and cleaning. You are not wrong, but I would like to say one thing, do you badly need this job badly?”
“Yes, mom it will prove great for my career as I just need one more month and I can apply in Oxford for part time masters in creative writing and by that time I will also finish my diploma in creative writing from IGNOU, cherry on the top”
“Then change yourself for one month and then you will be a free bird”
“I think you’re right mom”
“I love you, mom”
“Thank you, mom. If not for you I don’t know what I would have done?”
“Then take me with you please?”
“You sure you will not miss Rakesh uncle?”
“You always catch me at my weakest…smart girl”
“Hahaha…. Sorry and I got to go, my not so patient boyfriend is waiting for me with delicious dinner”
“Go now and say my Hello to Navneet”
“I will…See ya”
I left for my home. I am living with my boyfriend. He is Mumbai branch head of Navneet Publications — 27 years old (same age as me), sophisticated, mature and open-minded man who loves and respects me and my mother. I love him and respect him as well. He is a darling boyfriend to me and an amazing non-blood son to my mother. He accepts me and my mother for who we are and is not ashamed of us.
“I am home Nav, Sorry…Sorry…Sorry”
“You are late miss and your punishment is we will be watching horror movie tonight”
“Oh, god please don’t tell me AMITYVILLE”
“Yes, my love, now sit, let’s have dinner, I have prepared Dal and Karela, especially for you”
“Thank you, let’s….”
Once we finished having dinner, I changed into pajamas and we started movie. Half-a-way I was so scared that I ran into our room and slept under the blanket. He came laughing 5mins later and we cuddled and slept.
Next morning I woke up at 7. I cleaned all mess from yesterday’s dinner, washed clothes, did dishes and was leaving for the college. Today I chose to wear kurta and leggings with dupatta.
“Everyone prepared for mock test?”
“What happened Hardik today no darling no baby?”
“Okay class let’s start the test”
I started distributing the paper. After 45 minutes, bell rang and I started collecting papers.
“I am so sorry Shanaya miss; we will not mock you again but please don’t leave us”
“What are you guys talking about; I am not going anywhere…”
“Then why did Principal Rathi said you will leave us in a month?”
“I’ll just come…excuse me”
I ran towards principal’s cabin, knocked,
“May I come in Mr. Rathi…?”
“Yes…Yes… Please, come in Shanaya I was expecting you sooner or later…Hardik apologized…right? And that’s why you came running to me?”
“Yes, sir…I am confused how do you know?”
“We received your acceptance letter from Oxford. You applied for Masters in Creative Writing part-time course…Congratulations my dear”
I was so happy, that I couldn’t believe what he said. It took me few minutes to absorb the information.
“Thank you so much, sir. Can I please have a minute? I need to inform this to Nav and Mom”
“Yes… Yes… Please… Go ahead”
I called Nav and I shouted and Nav understood.
“Congratulation my love. So, when shall I book my tickets?”
“Actually, about that, I want to talk to you when we get back home”
“Okay see you in the evening, Love you”
“Love you, bye”
Then I called mom and told her everything. She asked, “Is Nav coming with you?”
“About that we will discuss tonight, you and Rakesh Uncle come home tonight. I am preparing dinner”
Then I finished resignation formality and principal said that the next day will be my last day in Xavier College
Around 7 pm Nav arrived and shortly after that mom and Rakesh uncle arrived. Everyone congratulated me and we all sat for dinner. I prepared chapatti, Mix vegetable and Paneer sabzi, dal fry and jeera rice — mom’s favorite, Russian salad and sushi– Rakesh uncle’s favorite and Mexican gravy with rice — I and Nav’s favorite.
After dinner, we all sat to discuss me going to Oxford.
“As you, all know I have received acceptance application from Oxford, what you all say?”
Mom said, “Congratulations dear…When do you have to leave?”
“A month from now”
“I am coming with you because I have to meet some investors there and once you settle down there I’ll be back”
I, mom and Rakesh uncle smiled.
Then Rakesh uncle said, “I am transferring some amount in your account and please don’t say NO. I know you are my over-independent daughter but I would love that because I am proud of you”
“Okay I will not argue”
“Well then, let’s celebrate I have brought vintage red wine”, Nav said
We celebrated that night. After mom and Rakesh uncle left, I and Nav made love. Next morning I wore Red Kurta with red leggings with red designer dupatta. I was about to leave for college I saw one jewelry box. I opened it and it was engagement solitaire. I was shocked. And then I left happy.
As I reached college, everyone welcomed me with a big smile on their face. I was surprised that what is happening. Then it strikes me that maybe principal Rathi has told everyone that I am going London and it was my last day at Xavier.
Everyone was gathered at assembly and announcement was made regarding I going to Oxford. Everyone congratulated me. We then resumed our schedule. I had first and last class in T.Y.B.B.A. When I entered class, everyone was sad. On asking, they said that they will miss me and won’t get teacher like me for English. Some even prepared cards for me and some bought gifts. Hardik came to me and said, “I am very sorry to miss for all my comments and rude vulgar remarks. Please do not leave us and go”
“Sorry dear, it’s the question of my career, I have to go but we all will keep in touch via Facebook and besides I am still here for a month so you can ask for any doubts by calling”
“Sure ma’am, thank you”
“You’re most welcome,” I said and left for my other classes.
That look I saw in Hardik’s eyes were confusing and scarier. I felt something wrong.
Then the day passed quickly and it was time for my last class. Before that class, Mr. Rathi called me and gave me experience certificate, recommendation form a trophy for Best English Professor.
“We know you love her but do something with her fast, she is leaving,” Samir said
“Yeah today I am thinking, after all, I am in love with her since the day I saw her”
“We will help you out,” Rakesh said
“Can we join you…even I am dying to taste her?” Sunil said
“Sure buddy…today it is…after school”
I went to the class for my last lecture. I did not teach them anything instead, we communicated. I, with my students discussed various topics of India and international. All this time I notice Hardik and his friends were silent. I tried making them talk but couldn’t. The final bell rang; everyone wished me Goodbye and Whole College left.
As I was about to leave…suddenly Hardik and his gang of 4 came from behind and asked me, “Ma’am we have one doubt…May we?”
I turned around and said “Yeah sure…” but then I noticed Hardik and his 4 friends were there and one of them was locking the door.
I shouted, “What are you doing? Why are you closing the door? Please open the door.
“We cannot ma’am, what we want to ask can be done in closed room”
“Listen please I beg of you, don’t do this please…”
They did not listen and Hardik forcefully removed all my clothes, shut my mouth and raped me. Then Sunil, Samir and Rajesh all three did the same. I screamed and shouted but nobody listened to me and then after I blacked out.
When I woke up, I was in hospital and Mom was sitting beside me. She was about to say something, I stopped her and said, “Please don’t say anything, I know what happened and I know Nav didn’t stay for even me to wake up…He wasn’t man enough to confront me and say NO to me. Our 5 years of relationship was all a lie. He did not stay with me in my hard times…its good I didn’t make decision of marrying him…”
“What? He proposed you?”
“Yeah I saw solitaire today morning on our dressing…”
“Okay that’s enough, we are going home in 2 hours and you are coming to stay with me and Rakesh…No arguments”
After we went home, mom hugged me. I cried and cried clinging to her. She made me eat against my will. She talked to me for a bit to change my mind. Then she left for her office but Rakesh uncle stayed home. He pampered me, whole day with chocolates and comics reading. But at night I got flashbacks, so I couldn’t sleep. Next day morning, I told Rakesh uncle to take me to Nav’s home. I called him but he did not receive my call. Then I texted him stating I would be home for taking my baggage. Then Rakesh uncle took me to Nav’s home. As I reached he opened the door and did not even look into my eyes. I forcefully tried to control my tears. I went to our room and saw my bag was packed. All things were packed and that solitaire still laid there and watching that I couldn’t stop my tears. So, I hurried from there and I and Rakesh uncle left.
I decided to myself I will expose Rakesh and his group but with proof. So, I decided to confront them with one of my best friend Purna with hidden camera. She had a tie-up with new channel and that thing benefitted us. I called them up to meet at a place — all four of them. They came and I politely asked them, “Why did you do all this? What wrong did I do to you?”
“I was in love with you and I couldn’t bear Navneet touching you at any cost and if he gets to touch you why not me?”
“But he was my boyfriend and I allowed him to touch me, you touched me unwillingly”
“I couldn’t stop myself, not after watching you in Red Kurta and leggings”
“Then what about Rajesh, Sunil, and Samir? How could you allow that?”
“They were as aroused as I was, so I couldn’t stop them and we all enjoyed you and your body…”
“Shut up…” I shouted and slapped him. I and Purna left from there.
That night Purna showed this clip to her head and they agreed to run that. We also took police into confidence as Hardik was MLA’s son. This matter could be sensitive so we took utmost care and hoped for the best.
Following morning, Mom and Rakesh uncle both came to my room with breakfast. They talked for a bit and then showed me newspaper. It was written, “Hardik and his friends were arrested for their misbehavior with their English teacher…”
I read and tears dropped down from my eyes. Mom and Rakesh uncle both held me down. Rakesh uncle said, “Now I know my daughter can fight whole world and she can stay in London alone…I trust the courage of my daughter…”
“Thank you…because men like you exist, there is hope for women like us to survive…I Love you”, I said
“Okay now enough of mellow drama of you father and daughter…Common Shanaya let’s pack your bags…”
“Okay, mom let’s…”
“This is the way where we part ladies…I’ll make arrangements of some last-minute items…I will see you directly on airport?”
“Yes, Rakesh now leave me and my daughter alone…Go”, mom chimed
I love their chemistry…and I hope they would get married soon.
I and mom left for airport after 3 hours. Rakesh uncle was standing there with small duffle bag. I signed to myself, “One more baggage?”
As we were sitting in the waiting area, Navneet came to me…
“Hie Shanaya…how are you?”
“Good…what are you doing here?”
“I and Rakesh will bring coffee for you guys…” mom said and they both left.
After they left, before I could say anything, Nav said, “Please let me speak first. I am sorry for everything that I did to you. I was a coward. I challenged everybody to be open-minded and I was only not strong enough to accept that. You have no idea how guilty I felt after I left you without confronting you. Please…Please…Please forgive me. I am truly sorry and now I am not scared of anything.”
Then he sat on his knees and asked me, “Will you please do me great honors by marrying me?”
I smiled to myself and said, “NO” and walked away.