Chapter 240: Epilogue

Land

I posted the last two chapters together and in case you missed it, please click here to read the previous Chapter 239: Defying Gravity

Chapter 240: Epilogue

So it happened that Rajani returned to Chandigarh. Aditi insisted on accompanying her and stayed on for a couple of days at a nearby hotel. She didn’t want anybody to think Rajani was all alone in the world.

Mrs Parminder, Rajani’s new landlady, was rather militant and aggressive. She ruled her PG and play school with an iron hand. She wasn’t allowed to use the rod but she made ample use of her frown, which sent shivers down Rajani’s spine. Yet Mrs Parminder and Aditi hit off at first meeting and became fast friends.

Bit by bit Rajani saw through MPs façade and could meet her without losing her equanimity. Rajani’s greatest strength was Anisha who took to her new life like a duck to water. Busy exploring her new world, she asked for her father only once in a while.

The initial weeks were tough and best glossed over. She considered moving back to her parents’ place about a hundred times. She couldn’t draw an easy breath nor sleep and when she did nightmares haunted her. The worst ones were the ones where she or Anisha were chased and molested by Kuldeep and all of a sudden he would morph into Suryakant. She would wake up sweating and retching. Yet these dreams helped her hold on and carry on despite all odds. Her broken tooth was infected and required numerous sittings and rapidly depleted her meager resources.

But her nightmares, MPs frowns and glares along with Aditi’s bracing talks held her back. Taking their advice, she focused on getting by one day at a time.

One step at a time.

Taken aback by her grit and determination, fate got bored and moved on to greener (weaker) pastures. The infection reduced as did the swelling and the pain. She graduated from thin gruel to hot crispy parathas.

She helped Mrs Parminder around the house in the morning and in the school during the day. Afternoons and evenings were for Anisha while she spent half the night scouring the Internet for options and opportunities. She found a gang of ladies who were similarly abused and were attempting to raise their voice against the reigning unfair societal norms and practices. Being a part of with them not only gave her moral support but also helped her overcome bouts of guilt and tendency to blame herself. It was shocking how despite being educated so many women were in the same boat, or at least similar boats. One lady of the girl gang was a lawyer and had offered to fight her case once she  gathered the gumption to file a case.

As promised, the girls organized a trip and came to visit Rajani and even dragged her for an overnight trip to Kasauli. Rajani was thrilled to be able to finally share ‘normal’ news of her life.

While Rajani did not want for anything she constantly fretted over her financial situation. She had enough to get by but nothing saved for a rainy day. Court cases were expensive and notorious for dragging on and on. She had to do something to supplement her earnings from the school job. Anisha would require admission to a school, there maybe medical bills. She had new nightmares. Her sleepless searches led her to an online tutor site which paid very well. Slowly her bank balance grew and so did her confidence. Biting the bullet, and armed with her support gang, she filed a case charging both her in-laws and parents of mental and physical abuse and torture. Aditi made sure her case grabbed the headlines and shock waves went through the entire country. She met her parents for the first time in court. They wept all over her and begged pardon. As did Sunaina. Her family was shattered, broken, the children were suffering, they were innocent, why make them suffer, if only she would withdraw her case, all would be well, they would be one big happy family. Harsha would move out with her, Anisha would get her father, what could be better than that? Withdraw the case, Sunaina pleaded over and over again.

Rajani was dry-eyed and unyielding. Anisha is next still echoed in her head. There would be no more potential Ayeshas she swore, not if she could help it. She battled her case for four long years and emerged victorious – uncontested divorce from Harsha, seven-year imprisonment for Kuldeep, massive fines for the others for aiding and abetting mental and physical trauma and abuse despite knowing everything. She put away all the money for Anisha’s future and refused alimony support for Anisha’s upkeep and education. She eventually forgave her parents but didn’t move back in with them. One good thing about coming out of hiding was that she re-established contact with Shikha and her giggles.

Mother and daughter grew up together with Anisha showing the way. She was a remarkably mature girl and her mother’s greatest strength and support. Over the years, Rajani made it a point to share bits and pieces of her life. Anisha took these snippets in her stride often chastising her mother for not moving out earlier.  They were the best of friends and worst of enemies – especially when it came to the last piece of chocolate. They studied together and it so happened that they both became doctors – Anisha a medical doctor and Rajani a doctorate in mathematics.

Pakhi also took a call and divorced her husband. She left for Ahmedabad to pursue MBA, which she passed with flying colors. Despite getting a better placement at Bengaluru, she opted for Chandigarh as her city of choice. She had fallen in love with her classmate who hailed from there and ultimately married him and settled down not too far from where Rajani stayed. Aditi put in her papers at Paperworks and shifted base to Chandigarh and went back to her first love journalism and newfound love, Anisha, while Tanya became the defanged BBW at Paperworks.

***

 

“I could not stop talking because now I had started my story, it wanted to be finished. We cannot choose where to start and stop. Our stories are the tellers of us. ” ― Chris Cleave, Little Bee

A/N So that’s it folks. I thank each and every one of you, including the silent readers for your company on this difficult journey. Frankly I am surprised that you have held on for so long. As I have said before, given a choice, I wouldn’t have read this story. I started blogging because I had to tell this story which is over and done but whether I managed in depict one or more of my multiple objectives or just ended up scaring impressionable minds off marriage is another story. Since you have held on for so long would you mind telling me if this story is worthy of a larger audience? Do you think it needed to be told? Will it make any difference? Or was reading it a waste of time or at best a time pass horror story that is over and done with? These questions plague me and for that reason I have not even publicized it on my own blog. Moonshine is posted as Pages so it doesn’t show up on the main blog page or in automated notification list either. Any sort of feedback – good bad ugly, either here or by email is most welcome and I sincerely hope some of you will come forward and share your views and thoughts and put my doubts and questions to rest – either way.  Go on be brutal, I am currently riding high on a wave of euphoria at having completed this mammoth task. At other times I feel completely drained and exhausted like one does after a prolonged bout of emesis.

Even though I have wrapped up Moonshine, I hope to continue to write flash fiction, short stories, restart my Story Club feature and of course when DMami strikes, spin yarns of Silver Streaks. If any of you would like to receive a mail notification whenever I post, please click the Follow button. However, like I mentioned above, automated notifications are not sent if I post a story under DM’s desk. So if you are just interested in IPK based stories do send an email to mysilverstreaks@gmail.com. Or we could meet on twitter (@mysilverstreaks), as I make it a point to tweet my IPK stories. Woh kya hai na, Arnav aur Khushi ki baat ho aur aap saath na ho yeh to What the waali baat hogi hai ki nahi? 😀

See you around, on another page, another day, another story 🙂

 

 

14 thoughts on “Chapter 240: Epilogue”

  1. I’m so happy.. you don’t know what joy these last two chapters have brought to me. I was half expecting Rajani to find another chance at love. Maybe return of Harry. Yet I’m glad she did find her love in mathematics. Her real love in Anisha, her strength in Aditi, Tanya and Pakhi. All these women abused in some or the other form took life by its horns and emerged out victorious.
    People like them show that we don’t need a man to complete us. We are complete in ourselves and if a man good enough comes by then it’s good. If not then we are no lesser mortals. We can build our lives from scratch. All we need is an unflinching belief that we would and people like Aditi, they’re our real blessings.
    Thank you so much Dhalia. Again you wrote a marvelous piece.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you, Dahlia, for telling the story which had its root in all the atrocities done to women and female children. Yes, it needed to to be told. Thank you for tolerating my rants and ‘I know what Rajani should do’ comments and I accept the rap on my knuckles.
    I am looking forward to more IPK stories and DMami posts. I check the site every day so I am sure I will not miss the posts.
    Have a great day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Ferdi your rants were my favorite – it means you care😊 No raps just a gentle nudge perhaps a raised eyebrow (a la asr) dammit if only i could😏😀🤣 have a good evening🌷

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am so glad that you undertook this mammoth task of bringing this awful story to light. This was hard work- 2 years, right? And posting so many episodes regularly must’ve taken a toll on you too, because every writer begins to get emotionally involved in their story, and you are an excellent one! So yes, I think you must publicize this story. I had no idea that it wasn’t visible on your main page- why not? I must insist that you bring it forward!

    Like Vishaka above, I too liked the fact that no prince in shining armor came sweeping on his Honda or whatever to save the damsel in distress. Rajani found her own strength, supported by her friends. Justice was served in full measure. When she finally grew up, she did it with a bang. It would’ve been good to read some more details on how she stood up to the world, but then a story is done when it’s done…:).

    I shall give you 3 months to recover from this saga, but I really hope you start writing another story to fill the dark dreary days of the Boston winter. Thank you, and all the best!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually i have to thank you for all the hand-holding from introducing me to haiku, your so-what nitpicking not to mention knuckle raps kept me in line and focused. That you held on until the bitter end is a huge feather in my cap (you do 100 book reading challenges!!!) and motivates me and tempts me to try another one. Just to see if I can 🙂 I just checked – you have been posting!!! Can’t wait to dive in – see you around 🙂

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  4. Thanks for all the latest updates on Rajani, Dahlia. We all have been following her journey for over two years now, for it end so quickly and abruptly. The chronicles of Rajani has been very helpful in understanding the struggles, conditioning, life and upbringing of millions of women in the subcontinent. While I am happy our Rajani has started a new and better life, I know that it is not true of most people who are in abusive and manipulative households and relationships. To break the shackles and start anew is very difficult, especially in today’s political environment where we have moved away from open and progressive to ‘traditional’ and even barbaric.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are absolutely right Anna and i appreciate that you didnt miss the reality despite the fluff of a happy ending. Indeed it is a zillion times easier to write the successful escape of a Rajani than to actually execute it. There is a desperate urgent need to have a support system in place. Unbelievable that there is no safe option for a single mother other than her inlaws or parents. I just hope that somebody does something sooner than later. Thank you Anna for your support on this difficult journey

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Mayuri for such an awesome and encouraging comment. I have to admit I am (pleasantly) surprised and gratified with all the love and support even for such a difficult and disturbing topic.

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