I was traveling in a rental car when i heard the thumping of a flat tire. We pulled over and discover the thumping is not coming from a flat, after all, but from the trunk. What or who is making the noise?
We felt scared. All three of started staring at one another. Dark stormy night and an empty highway and this noise on top of it, the feeling was eerie. I felt my throat go dry with fear. “Let’s open it and see. It would be minor fault after all.” Robin, my companion said and we all opened up the side doors and stood facing the trunk. I don’t know about others, but i was actually feeling as if I am unboxing a halloween gift when we openen the trunk. The loud shriek, thst followed as we opened it was alarming.
We all stepped back with eyes as wide as potatoes. I actually blinked twice. Was it a doll? I remember playing with something like this when I was a baby. But oh, a doll doesn’t stare you back as if she’s seen the angel of death in front of her. Neither does she has scratches on her face and hands with blood running out of them. But, the sight was just shocking. I have no word to describe her. She was a small girl, may be around 8/9 years, fully dressed in a red bridal lehenga. Her face would have been covered with heavy makeup but have been ruined with tears and sweat.
My other friend Meera held her up and got her out of the trunk where she was sitting tightened up in herself. “She’s Shivering” she whispered slowly while she made her stood up. She wasn’t wearing any footwear, even her foot were having blood marks on them. Her tiny fingers were now clasped in one other. And she started crying unstoppingly seeing us.
“Geeta!” She told us between hiccups when we asked her name. “I ran away, I ran away from my wedding, from my husband”. She told us with breaking voice. “Husband, did she say that?”I asked my friends. We all knew that was what she said. “But you are so small. You couldn’t marry and what kind of a rotten fellow was he who could marry a child?” My voice became feirce even after controlling a lot. “No! Don’t say anything against him. He’s my God. Aunty says husbands are wife’s God. Never do anything that irritates them and never say anything bad about them otherwise we will suffer.” She told us in her extreme innocence in between those hiccups.
I was disgusted. “What rubbish. And if you can’t do anything that irritates him, then why did you run away from him?” “I was scared.” She said in her small voice. “scared?” That were we three in a chorus now. “I saw my husband using blade on my eldest sister. You know, we are three sisters. My eldest sister is Seeta, middle one Savitri and I am Geeta. We were all married together today and he was cutting her bridal lehenga with blades and she was screaming. She was bleeding, didi was bleeding. I got so scared, I knew after didi he’ll go to Savitri and hurt her too and then he’ll cut me too. So…. So I ran. I ran and got in to your car to got away from him.” She started wailing in between those sentences. Meera hugged her closer and asked her slowly, “but if was hurting your didi, didn’t her husband stopped him and save her? And how can he touch your sisters, doesn’t their getting married and going with their respective husbands?” She forgot all her tears and blinked as she saw us, “which husbands? We are sisters and we marry the same man. Then which other husband are you talking about?”
We all stared back at her open mouthed. These three sisters were actually married to a single man. Can this be real? We exchanged surprised glances. Shocked was a short word for us. “Geeta, can you tell me more about you and your family and your husband?” Robin was a social worker. He knew he smelled danger here. “We are three sisters. My didi three years older to me, than is savitri and then myself. Our mother died some months back and we live with our mamu. We all girls work with mamy at a bangle factory the whole day. But still we couldn’t have enough food for us. Mamu has got two sons and both of them go to school. Even we used to go to school, but after mother died, mamu said we don’t have money to pay school people. So we started working so that we can gather some money and go to school. I liked going there and writing so much. I really miss my teacher and friends there. Some days back this uncle came with mamu to our place and my uncle told us all to wear our new frocks. He was really very nice. He talked to us nicely and even gave us all three lots of money to eat. Next day, he brought us all new lehengas and mamu told he’s going to be our husband the next day. That night we had a huge fight at home. Mamy was fighting with mamu saying how can he marry us to that man in exchange of five thousand rupees. But mamu hit her badly that night and the next day made us all ready for our marriage. Even didi and savitri were crying the whole night on the same day. After marriage he took us to his home and I was kept in a separate small room. He told us that was our new home and it was really very big. He even got us lots of tasty food to it. But that night when he was cutting didi with knife, I got scared and I ran away. I don’t even know if didi is alright. May be she will be in hospital, and savitri, even she would be crying. I don’t know what to do. Please can you save them, please?”
We were hearing this all with a grim expression. Human trafficking sas real and this girl was a living example of it. Imagine an uncle selling of his three nieces just for an amount of five thousand! And what’s more disgusting, the man may be a psycho and rapist too. I was feeling depressed thinking about her two sisters, both of them still a child and being attacked with a blade.
“Where’s your new home, do you know the address? We’ll help get your sisters back to you.” We asked her but she was very young to remember an adress that she have been taken for just a few hours. Neither did she remembered her chawl’s name. “Ok, you got in our car from near by your house, right?” Robin got the idea and she agreed. We took a u turn and took our car back to where we had come from. Meanwhile, Robin made all the necessary phone calls to the authorities required for immediate action. We stopped near the antic shop we had visited some hours back and where Gita would have stepped in the trunk and got herself locked.
“That’s the house”. She pointed towards the small bungalow opposite the antic shop. But she started shivering again glancing it. We both left her with Meera and knocked the door loudly. A middle aged half bald man with loose kurta that was half buttoned and had blood stains on them opened the door. He was frustrated and in rage and with the speed in which he opened the door, we knew he had already noticed the missing Geeta and was searching or waiting for her. “What do you want? Who are you?” He asked harshly.
“Seeta and Savitri. We want them back with us.” Robin replied calmly but he was shocked to the chore. “Wwhhat are you talking about? Who Seeta? I don’t know anything about her.” He was stammering now. But Robin was famous for his immediate and rough actions. He took the man by his collar, grabbed him in the house with and started opening the doors one after another screaming Seeta’s name loudly. We saw a girl in the far corner of the last room in a similar bridal attire hiding behind the curtains all scared and crying. When asked her name, she said she was Savitri. “Where’s Seeta?” We asked her and she pointed towards the cupboard. I slowly tip toed towards it and opened it only to be screaming loudly.
A thin girl in her undergarments fell upon me all covered with blood and scratches. “Oh God! She’s dead Robin.” I could hardly breath. This was the worst moment of my life. That innocent girl was all white on her face with all blood now in cupboard and on the floor. “No, she’s breathing. We can save her.” Robin shouted after checking her pulse. At that moment Meera came in with the police and NGO volunteers who have already brought a small hospital van with them.
Soon the girls were accompanying her sister to the hospital and later they would be handed to Child care center. Police arrested the man and their uncle for the ruthless crime they did.
What was the most sad part in this story, the uncle have spent the five thousand rupees in his dose of cocaine and rum and had them all the previous night that he took in exchange for the lives and happiness of these three innocent girls.
It’s disheartening to see humans actually leaving humanism. Human traffic is real. It actually transforms lots of young girls in to prostitution daily. It kills girls like Seeta because of some pycho sexist man and these girls don’t even raise their voices because they are trained ny their relatives to not to bad mouth about their buyer husbands to anyone!