One last darkness – Pari’s tale of hope

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Dear reader, I wish I could tell you that she is a heroic woman who intermittently dreams of fighting zombies on some unknown planet. But I would rather say she is not. She is Paransa, and yes, she would surely fight to prove it to the very end. Pari (as she was often called) was sitting at her desk, staring into the space before her. The pile of old photos from her teenage years made her conscious of her age and how much time had flown. Life is pretty okay now (at least at the surface). Yet, deep down, there was a scar from her teenage years that shook her very confidence and self-esteem.

As she flipped through the snaps, she saw a face knowingly grinning back at her. 21 years have gone by since the traumatic incident. The day she felt she was wronged. The day she was…

She was 13 with surging hormones and frequent mood swings. She was never an open book as she mostly kept to herself. She always had a cheerful smile on her face and was that fun-to-be-around kind of a girl once she got comfortable with someone—a girl of average grades but the soul who loved arts and books of the fiction genre.

And then, one day, a pair of mysterious, shrewd eyes was set on her. Ghalib looked longingly at her, devouring the sight of her physical features. A school girl of medium built and average height. Her bright red colored salwar suit accentuated her shapely features and a medium complexion. Her thick, black, and wavy hair dropped just below her shoulder, encircling her round and chubby face.

When would I get a go? He thought.

Ghalib met Pari for the first time at her home for a family get together. She was cheerfully running around the house dutifully running errands for her mother. He just could not take his eyes off her, especially after he realized something deep inside him had been aroused. 

Another side of the story… Same day, same place.

Pari still remembers how her heart skipped a beat on seeing Ghalib. A highly energetic youth with a great sense of humor. She especially adored his wavy hair and the way he styled it with hair gel. She silently wished she could date him. Poor Soul. Little did she know what a snake he would turn out to be.

It so happened that one-day, Pari’s mother, in a casual conversation, happened to mention her aversion towards the subject Mathematics to Ghalib. She was quite concerned too because her grades were consistently coming down because of her not-so-great performance in the subject.

End of waiting days. Ghalib thoughtBeing a postgraduate in Maths himself, who else would be the best person to handle Pari’s tuitions. That’s my call.

“Can I be of some help, Aunty?” offered Ghalib.

“I could give her tuitions when I am free from work.”

Pari’s mother looked at Ghalib with a go-ahead look. “Yes, sure. That’s so kind of you. I would love that,” replied Pari’s mother.

SMILES spread across three faces in the room. All for assorted reasons. 

Pari – I can finally spend some time with him. I could get to know him better.

Pari’s mother – My Pari will soon pick up pace in Mathematics. Her grades would consistently improve too.

Ghalib – He looked at her. SOON very SOON. He felt something stirring somewhere deep inside. Patience has paid its fruit.

After a week, Ghalib was at her place for the Mathematics coaching lessons. 

“I am so glad you could make it,” said Pari’s mother, sounding thankful. “Would you like to have something before you start? Can I get you some hot dosas?”

“Oh! Yes, Aunty. In fact, I love dosas,” replied Ghalib.

Just then, Pari walked in. She was wearing a pink floral frock that dropped just below her knees. “Hello !” she said, smiling sheepishly at Ghalib. He replied with a smile. She watched him feast upon the dosas and gulp down the coffee served to him. 

“Thank you, Aunty. That was truly delicious,” Ghalib called out to the kitchen.

“You are welcome, son. You may use Pari’s room for your classes,” Pari’s mother replied.

“Sure, Aunty. Thank you,” Ghalib added.

Later, Pari and Ghalib sat down at her desk in her room to commence her classes for the most despised subject in her life. 

“Pari, I will take classes for alternative days of two hours sessions.”

Wow! Alternate days with him. She thought. Wonderful. “Okay, sure,” Pari replied.

Initially, the sessions all went well. He was totally approachable, and the classes were quite interesting. She was glad that she was finally able to make out what was being taught.

As days went by, she noticed some changes in his behavior and stares. He started brief physical touches, which initially did not bother her. But later on, the touches were more inappropriate, which left her uneasy. One day, unexpectedly, he held her little face in his hands and kissed her on the lips, and walked out of her room. She was totally appalled by what had just happened. The perturbed feeling never left her for days. From that day on, she would cringe at the mere thought of being in the sessions with Ghalib.

Days later, following the earlier incident, Ghalib would repeatedly slide his hands into her salwar suit and cup her breasts and start fondling them. She tried to push him away several times but in vain.

“Just enjoy it, dear. It will be fun,” promised Ghalib with a wicked smile.

There was a day when no one was around; he went to the extent of pinching her nipples while sitting at the dining table.

In the coming days, Ghalib’s sessions started bothering Pari limitlessly. His touches increased like never before and were becoming more and more inappropriate. In between the classes, Ghalib would slowly inch his hands all the way up to her thighs and would grope her. Ghalib made Pari do some pleasurable favors in return too – like making her softly massage his groins. Some days when the acts became too unbearable, she would escape to the washroom to find some peaceful moments. Alone.

All these acts were done behind closed doors of her room because of which no one knew or noticed. One day after tuitions, she was crying uncontrollably. Pari’s mother noticed this and asked her, “ What is it, darling? Why are you crying?”

Pari, still sobbing, wanted to tell her mother everything, but then she remembered Ghalib’s words – “Sshhh…Don’t tell anyone. The consequences will be bad.” She was not even allowed to speak of her traumatic experience.

“Nothing Mama, haven’t completed my assignment. A little worried because of that,” Pari replied.

A white lie. And her mother believed.

Her prayers were soon answered when Ghalib got a work transfer and left for good. That night she had a blissful sleep. But from there, her life plunged downwards drastically. Her relationships, especially with men, were looked upon by her with suspicion. Even the slightest touch made her draw inwards with fear and guilt. Years have gone by, but the scar remains intact to this date. As expected, Ghalib moved on with life and still walks guilt-free. 

But today, Pari has decided to move on too. By speaking out, she just gained an invincible power over it. The now insignificant scar remains as a reminder of her undeniable and irrevocable past. It sure is a part of her, but now it has a new meaning to it, a new lesson learnt.

She kept the pile of old snaps aside and walked out of the room, head high with resilience clubbed together with integrity and the power to shine in her own light.

A peaceful pact with the past. 

MISSION Accomplished!

Featured Image Credits: Pxhere

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