This is the third and final part of the story 'Red and White' Read till the end. For the other parts, click on #Red_and_white ______________________________________________________
'She's a virgin', my father exclaimed. Wha..wai..WHAT!? I could sense land slipping off my feet. My pupils widened, heart sank, lips trembled, I was dumbstruck. Was it me, they were going to sell off!? My heart beat was racing and teeth were shaking. No, no, no..this is a nightmare. Wake up! I slapped myself, pinched myself. I didn't have the nerve to believe it was true.
I didn't know what to do? Should I run away? But it was too late, I my voice, my shrieks, my helplessness still haunts me.How I begged and sobbed and plead..I tried to ungrip my arms and flea, even bit the man but he dragged me into a car and drove away. I screamed, 'maa please, please don't let me go! I'll do whatever you say, please, plea..se. ' But she, turned her back onto me as if I was not her own daughter. I was devastated.
I was petrified. I could sense the viciousness in his eyes, lust dripping of his lips, he was staring at me with hunger, as if satisfying himself with the deep gaze at each part of my body.
I didn't know where I had been going, what will happen next? I might just die..
He stopped near an old house and took me to a dark, shabby room with a broken, crooked bed, laid his rough hands on me while I shivered and begged to free me but he won't listen. He undraped me, gripped me tight and forced himself upon me. I was screaming with pain, the sound of my ghungroo synchronizing with my cries as I try to push him away, agony ripping my skin off while he, was scaling every inch of my body as if I was not a person but a piece of flesh , some meat and he was a wolf, hungry and cruel. I suffered the whole night. I closed my eyes, a tear rolled down while I laid in silence and melancholy. My vision was getting obscure, the only thing I could see were the Red and White pearls that groped my neck while he kissed it. My Red lehenga , now covered with his skin while my red bood stained my innocent white soul.
Next day, he dragged me into the car again and drove back to the temple handing me over to a woman who walked this numb soul, lifeless body of mine to a room. 'Rest until another devotee comes and takes you to the brothel. And dress up nicely. They may pay more to your parents.' she said. My already expressionless face drowned onto the bed. I won't even weep, my eyes had dried. The horrendous last night had traumatised me for lifetime and I didn't even know how many more such nights were lurking for me, how many more sheets wanted to feel my agony, how many more wolfs wanted to feed upon me. I wanted to die but maybe this was how my family would survive, by trading my skin for paper.
I was a doll, they played with and then, discarded. It was what they called 'turning a girl from a liability to an asset' This was the glorious 'Devadasi System' And this was my life...life huh!
What did I do to deserve this fate?
Red, the colour of my blood, I was ready, ready to live my worst nightmare. White, my life henceforth, colourless and ashen
Red, the anger in my eyes, the all the tears had left. White, the emptiness in my heart, the nothing I could do.
And then, I knew the answer to 'Where are we going maa?' Was just HELL. RED , with ashes and rashes and wounds and scars And WHITE, with dolent screams that filled my heart.
Until I died. But wait that was everyday. ______________________________________________________
Girls as young as eleven year olds are forced into a never ending vicious circle where the once reverred Devadasi system has turned into prostitution and poor, unemployed parents into pimps.
Forced prostitution is the hideous face behind the Devadasi system that continues to haunt us despite of the act being illegal and banned for more than twenty years.
Please tag as many readers as you can to bring the topic out of slumber.
Part 2 of the story 'Red and White'. For the other parts click on #red_and_white ______________________________________________________
She told me how I had bloomed into a woman , how I could become a mother one day and that it means I had become much more responsible and wise.
Except for the uncomfortable tid bits of old ruffles secured in place to collect my blood that I had to suffer with for five days every month, this concept of womanhood seemed fascinating.
Few months into my womanhood and I found myself dressing up,again, in a red saree, sparkling bangles, a round bindi, payal with lots of ghungrus embedded in it (I liked the sound it made while I walked and danced), my pearl necklace (remember the one I got in the festival) ,earrings and what not! It seemed like I was getting married. (haha)
I asked maa, 'Are we going to attend a marriage ceremony?' and she just nodded her head. It seemed like a turbulent wave of emotions were striking her heart. I wondered why she was not getting dressed up. Curious, I asked, ' what is it maa? Who is being married?' There was a lump in her throat and she said 'You'.
You? That means me. Me! How? What? Whyyy?? I was only thirteen. 'You are marrying the noblest of all, the greatest and the most powerful, the creator, God himself.' she proclaimed. A Devadasi dedicated herself to God and the devotees. She told me it was an honor to be a Devadasi and that I would be their greatest asset.
We reached the temple and I was married off to the deity. Though everyone seemed dead serious, I was so sure it was just a joke, it had to be.
The ceremony was over but my parents were out of sight. Ah! There they were, talking to a middle aged man I've never seen before and negotiating for something. I was good at negotiations as well, being poor, one had to negotiate for a million things to earn two square meals a day.
'Rs 5000' , the man said Woah, that was a huge amount but then father asked for atleast Rs 10,000. Oh Lord! I've never seen such an amount but I wondered what was it for? We had nothing that valuable.
This is my first story titled 'Red and White'. The following is part 1 of the story. Please read it. Some horryfing truth/ reality is waiting for you with the completion of the story and you must know about it. ______________________________________________________
'Where are we going maa?' That was me, an eleven year old girl clad in a beautiful green saaree with bright green bangles dazzling in my arms and a tilak on my forehead. 'To the festival', maa replied. Ahh! How I loved the festival and the fair! We visited temple on the day of festival and worshipped the Goddess but this was the first time I was dressed up so pretty, maybe because I was a grown up then! I quite literally felt like a queen. (haha)
But wait, why were we not heading towards the main entrance? Why were we going into this room I was never allowed before into? 'sit down there, in the centre' maa told me while she arranged various thalis as if some procession was to take place. In no time, about five women surrounded me and whispered into my ear, something that sounded like some old rules about dev..'devadasi' They gave me a pearl necklace..red and white pearls, it was pretty, placed garlands onto my head as if I was the one being worshipped.
It felt a bit...strange..but then we headed back home where maa announced that I was a Devadasi henceforth. I was still new to the term. With the little knowledge I had, I assumed its literary meaning should be 'servant of God'. That was nice, I liked to worship God.
The next day, with the first rays of sunshine, I went to work in the field, came back and helped maa with household chores and dozed off. That was pretty much how a regular day looked like and I was fine with it except for the urge to study that never went away even though it never seemed to struck my parents.
I was thirteen now. And one fine..no..non fine day, I sensed something was wrong between my thighs, it felt like...uhh..blood, dark red , dripping like water. Strange, I didn't get hurt but nevertheless it was disgusting and terrifying.
On acknowledging this, maa kissed my forehead and I felt some joy in her voice which soon started to trail off as if some deep thought hit her and she was left teary eyed. I gazed at her, puzzled, not knowing what was happening with me, with her..