Gender Human Rights Short Stories

Being Invisible to the Beautiful

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ira’s life turned topsy-turvy with the death of her husband. Her elder son, Shailesh, a gay, who was loving and caring like his father had to leave the house, as gays have no place in civilised society. Sesh, her younger son, was abusive. He was extracting money from Ira. Her bank balance was empty. She was in deep debts. Will she be able to meet the never ending demands of Sesh? Find out what happened to Ira in this heart-wrenching story to Anoucheka, exclusively for Different Truths.

The air smelled of grass. Fresh and wet. The air smelled of joy. Of expectations. Of fulfillment. It was still early morning and people, already up and well dressed, seemed not to notice the beauty which was offered to them. Rushing down the pavements, trying hard not to miss their bus, they walked on their way, concentrated on their aim. They walked on, so rooted in their own occupations that they heeded not the bland feminine figure walking around aimlessly around town.

A fifty-three- year-old woman, dressed in the same clothes she had worn yesterday and even the day before yesterday, with messy hair and with eyes that seemed to say, “See me! Help me! Save me!”

Ira was her name. She came from a wealthy family. At least, that was how her family was considered before her husband passed away. They owned a house, large enough to be called a mansion, had two cars and two incredible sons. Life had been different, life had been rosy, sweet, enjoyable, and pleasant. Ira looked at those people following their own aims and felt envious. Why, they were living normal lives. They were safe, protected. They lived their lives, struggled with their hassles but they did not have to face those demons Ira had to.

She knew that she most probably looked like a tramp. She knew that she was invisible to them. She also knew that they would give her alms if she sat down and held out her palms to them. But her pride did not allow her to do such a thing. She was Ira after all. She came from a good family. The times may be bad for the moment but she would overcome these. She would slay them down. Ira looked around her and gulped when she realised that a police officer was staring at her sternly. She walked away quickly so as not to have to face him. The best option was to go by the beach.

As she walked, she came across a young man and the jolts of pain hit her again. She was reminded of her two sons, Shailesh and Sesh Narayan (just Sesh to her). She was reminded of the death of her husband, caused by a heart attack when Shailesh, the elder one, had left the household to settle with a man. She was reminded of the vulnerability of Sesh, who had taken to drugs, who had become addicted to these and who was at home, right now, thrashing everything around just to get some money to buy his required daily dose. Shailesh had already left her. She would never call him to tell him of what was happening at home even if his only sin was to be gay. He had been responsible, attentive and caring towards her and his late father. Had he been home, he would have found the way to help his younger brother out. But Ira would never call him. Gays were not accepted in the family. Even if she did not know where to seek help, she would never bend down and seek help from her son.

“Where would I find this money?” she thought.

Sesh had been clear. She must give him three thousand rupees. If she did not, she would have to be ready to face the consequences. Ira sighed. Her bank balance was empty. She had already sold her jewelry. The neighbors refused to lend her more money as she still owed them huge amounts.

Lost in her thoughts, Ira walked on till she reached the shore. How soothing those angry waves were. The roar they were making matched the cyclone raging in her. She sat down on the cool sand and let her tears flow. Suddenly, her mobile phone rang. It was Sesh.

“Give me some time,” she said. “I’m still trying to find the money.”

“Bitch! Find it fast or I will sell the whole house!”

There was no use arguing with Sesh. Ira felt her strength leaving her. She could no more hold the phone in her hand. Something came over her, a realisation of despair or even doom! She would not live like that. She would never have inner peace. There was only one way out. Ira did not have to make any effort for that. Something pulled her. She got up and walked towards the sea. She walked and let herself be engulfed in those raging waves.

On that early beautiful and fragrant morning, those people who went on their way never noticed the bland feminine figure who committed suicide in the roaring sea. Meanwhile, Sesh thrashed everything around and waited for his mother. Shailesh, on the other hand, lived his life with his much-beloved companion. Life went on its way, seeing only that which it wanted to see. Life went on and wondered about how events would turn out to be when Ira’s body would be found.

©Anoucheka Gangabissoon

Pix from the Net.

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