AND THEN SHE DIED

This is a human drama - the story of Maya, born in a village in South India into a poor family. Circumstances force her to come to Bombay as a child of ten years.

Maya sets out to live her life in very trying conditions at a tender age. Her chance meeting with Gokuldas, her future husband, brings some respite to her otherwise dreary life. They are a very loving couple. Gokuldas tends to stray which leads to corrosion in the relationship. His cruel streak surfaces and manifests itself till it could no longer be borne by Maya.

This is a story of courage, determination, loss and triumph of an illiterate woman born in poverty and thrown to the wolves by circumstances of her birth and birth-place. This story will give hope to countless women who compromise with their circumstances and remain where they are. It encourages a destitute woman to no longer be chained to her fate but create her own fate and her own life. Some succeed …. some keep on trying……some die!

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13. NIGHTMARES

 

Gokuldas had managed to bring light into the lives of the men in the hotel. However, entry into adulthood takes a long time to adjust, especially when one is away from their families. One person was very desperate, seeking outlet for the passion building in him over the years. When one is desperate, one does not understand what one is doing. One feels that whatever one is doing is correct and the concept of right or wrong is blurred. It is this desperation that resulted in the nightmares for Gokuldas.

 

It was a year and more that Gokuldas was working in the hotel and it was the first day of the New Year 1935. There had been merriment all around and all had gone to bed late that night in exhaustion. Gokuldas fell into a deep dreamless sleep. He had the habit of sleeping on his stomach. He woke up suddenly feeling a sharp pain. A young rough hand was on his mouth and something or some person was astride him. His shorts had been pulled down and something hard was trying to find a passage deep inside him. This was what had awoken him …. the pain!

 

“Keep still, I shall give you two rupees,” the voice, which he recognised belonged to the Goan chap, hissed. He tried to struggle out but did not succeed. He was afraid to shout even when the hand was removed from the mouth. He felt something wet between his legs and rear and then the weight was off his back. Gokuldas got up, washed himself and then struggled himself to sleep. Sleep eluded him till the crack of dawn became visible from the windows. When he went to wear his uniform the next morning he found two one rupee coins in the uniform pocket. He felt ashamed, cheap and hurt. His nightmares had begun and continued for many more nights, if not all nights.

 

The Goan chap, once while drunk on the weekly holiday, boasted of his deed to his companion. “Two rupees, it takes only two rupees,” he winked and slurred, “Gokuldas is available at nights.”

 

“I don’t believe this,” said his companion, “Gokul is such a decent boy.”

 

The matter reached the ears of the head-cook, who took Gokuldas aside and asked him about it. Gokuldas began crying and nodded. He explained that he had felt powerless and ashamed to speak of his nightmares to anybody and had hence kept quite till he was asked. He gave the head-cook all the coins that he had collected from his fees which would appear in his uniform pocket after those nightmares. The head-cook counted the money and understood.

 

The Goan chap was sent back to Goa the same evening. One sort of nightmares ended for Gokuldas. Gokuldas was, however, not the same any more. A cruel streak was developing in him. It was latent, but ready to burst at any given opportunity. 

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