DENIED ROOTS

imagesJ0R9WF1G You are barred from attending college from tomorrow, Sita!

Though, you are one of our brightest student

Sita was flummoxed at this announcement

Till yesterday she was considered a gem

What could have happened within twenty-four hours to beget such shame?

Suddenly she remembered the incident and was aghast

Her classmate Anil had threatened to expose her past

Her fault being she had rebuffed his advances

He thought her morals would be loose and he would have his chances

She had trusted him completely as a confidante

Had shared her traumatic past- her uncle had sold her off in the flesh market as a debutante

For months together her flesh had been chewed and scorned

Till one morning she was rescued from that hellhole that only misery spawned

She had rebuffed her mother’s love since her birth

Her mother’s fault, her mother Pavitra, the society called a tart

An uneducated woman, Pavitra, was married off to a wealthy man in the city

Who sold her off, when she conceived and his lust reached its satiety

Pavitra, spent her life in a brothel her purity and youth spent

Her days and nights spent only in lament

Arrival of Sita was a healing touch to her immense torment

Sita, like her father, had no use for her mother once she knew her mother’s identity

Sita spurned her roots and her heredity

Once she grew up Sita, left that hellhole and lived separately to pursue her studies

Supporting herself through tuition and spending time with her college buddies

Anil, she had met in college and considered as a trustworthy friend

But her trust proved to be misplaced and he turned to be a fiend

He contacted one of her uncle once he knew identity of Sita’s past

Her uncle did not waste time and dragged Sita back to the world of lust

Earn he did by selling Sita off in the flesh market a lump sum eighty thousand

That was the price the flesh market fixed for abusing Sita’s body imprisoned

The day Sita was rescued, she was counselled and told to start her life afresh

Picking up the pieces of her shattered dreams and breaking free from the mesh

Sita re-joined college, remaining tight-lipped of her recent trauma

Books became her solace, a world free of pain or dogma

Sita put her heart and soul in her studies and eventually won many accolades

By and by her hard work won her the best student award

Her life was slowly healing and her future taking a shape

When one fateful day the principal barred her from entering the college gate

The reason he cited, her roots belonged to the world of prostitution

Thus to other students she was an abomination

Her presence in the college premises would lead to indiscipline and nuisance

She tried to reason with him and other teachers present

But they all refused to listen to her account and her pain could bring no dent

Sita was left with nowhere to go; suddenly she decided to go back to her roots

She went to her mother, a woman until now Sita had considered crude

Pavitra welcomed her precious child in her bosom

Sita finally felt at peace, at her mother’s lap she felt rescued from the chasm

Throughout the night they held each other, mother and daughter in a loving clasp

The pain, the loneliness, the scars life had given them could no longer loosen their trust

They decided to fight against all life’s ills together

And would not let any misfortunes break their love tender

Sita next morning resolutely stood outside the college gate silently with a placard

Pleading for her cause and her future that was being battered

Day and night she stood silently outside the college gate

Eventually, she was joined by news channels and her college mates

With mounting pressure and intervention from the local ministry

Sita finally got her rights to live as a human being despite her past travesty

She acknowledged the strength that her roots provided in her struggle

Her mother’s love was her strength; her mother was the root from where she had sprouted

That would always remain her identity and this truth she no more doubted.

© Paromita Mukherjee Ojha

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