The sound of heavy rainfall on a silent night always gave her peace. But on that night, it didn’t.
Chavi was running late to reach home after work, yet again. While coming out from office, she remembered her father’s warning. “If you’d come home late one more time, then you have to quit your job.”
“Bhaiya, jaldi chalo please,” she told the office cab’s driver.
“Mom, I have left. I will be home in an hour,” she told her mother.
“Why didn’t you call yourself that you’d get late? We have to worry about you all the time,” her mother snapped and disconnected the call.
Chavi was been bought up in a conservative family. She was the first girl from her family who completed her higher education and worked for a company. Chavi’s father was a businessman and her mother had been a homemaker all her life, they didn’t know about the pressure at work or the fierce competition which plagued almost everyone.
Whenever Chavi left early from work, she was been considered as an underperforming employee. So no matter what happened, Chavi made sure that she’d stay at work for as long as her other colleagues stayed.
“The road is emptier than every day,” Chavi and the cab driver discussed.
At one of the signals, a policeman showed his hand and made their car stop.
“Alcohol check,” the policeman mentioned.
“The driver isn’t drunk. He is my office driver. I am getting late sir, let us go,” she requested.
In a fraction of second, the policeman choked the driver and pulled him out of the car. Then two men entered the cab from the front and two from behind.
Before Chavi could understand anything, she found herself begging and pleading to the fake policemen, to let her go.
They took her gold chain, her phone and her ATM card and pin. In between, all of them got drunk inside the car.
“Bhaiya, ap log gaadi bhi rakh lo. But let me go please, my parents would be worried,” she pleaded again.
The guy at her left started touching her. Chavi resisted and removed his hand.
“Afsar madam gusse wali hai,” the other guy commented.
Chavi sensed what was going on. But she wasn’t ready to surrender. They scratched her, burned her with their cigarette’s ash, slapped her, bit her, and raped her one by one.
“Don’t do this, let me go,” she shouted, cried, and screamed, each time they pushed them on her.
When Chavi couldn’t take it anymore, she kicked one of the men in his genitals while he was unbuttoning his pants again.
Raged, he took out a knife from his pocket, and cut Chavi’s right cheek. He asked her not to scream but she did. When she opened her mouth this time, the sharp knife started from the edge of her lips and reached her cheek bone. It was blood all over in car. Chavi’s screams stopped.
In her half conscious state of mind, Chavi heard the four of them discussing about an appropriate place to kill her. They took her to a deserted construction site, threw her on the ground, set her on fire alive and left.
Chavi felt her body burning but she couldn’t scream because of her bruised right cheek. She became unconscious and her body just waited to get over the pain. The end was coming.
But suddenly Chavi heard the loud sound of heavy rainfall. The sound she loved so much. The sound which gave her peace. It rained until morning.
Chavi was discovered the next morning, in her half burnt state. When she opened her eyes after four days, she knew that her life has changed for forever.
Chavi’s family told doctors that her car caught fire while she was coming back from work. Everyone was told the same story.
Fully recovered from outside but still burnt and cut from inside, she said, “I want to fight against those assailants.”
“Your pride is gone. You are so young. No one would take you as their wife or daughter-in-law if this case becomes public. Only dead women fight for justice.” She heard.
Chavi was weak. She felt weaker than all the women who stand for themselves. She always wanted a normal life; a family, a professional career and a house with a park view.
“No order of court can get you have lost,” she was told.
Chavi underwent a plastic surgery and the scar on her face became lightened and easily conceivable with cosmetics. Her burnt marks too healed with time.
What time couldn’t heal were the marks on her soul. Chavi didn’t sleep even for one night after she recovered. She feared sleep. She feared rains. All she did was sit in her room and listen to the radio or television so loud that she couldn’t even hear herself breathe.
She got married but couldn’t stay in it. She feared sex and touch of a man. She even feared the presence of a man around her. It was all fear and dark, everywhere.
It was 17th December, 2012; all the news channels were flooded with the news about Nirbhaya’s brutal gang rape.
The horrors of that case not only shook the country but the entire world. The medical reports confirmed that Nirbhaya was beaten, penetrated with an iron rod in the genitals, and almost eviscerated by the minor, who pulled her intestines out through her genitals.
Nirbhaya survived for thirteen days, before she was declared dead on December 29th.
Chavi’s restlessness grew after she heard about the case constantly. “How could she let her rapists go?” She wondered how many women got raped and burned by them after that night.
In one of the news reports, she saw a similar case of a man being robbed by fake policeman. She suspected that those are the same men who raped her.
Chavi decided to catch her culprits. Every night from then, she started passing that path in her car and waited to get stopped on her way.
The judgment day arrived and it finally happened. She was stopped on a secluded road by a man dressed as traffic cop. As soon as the four of them get inside the car, she pulled out her gun and put it on one of the guy’s head.
She feared nothing in those moments, not even her life.
She took the car to the same deserted construction site, which was still under construction. She shot all four of them in their genitals. She burned them alive irrespective of how much they pleaded for life.
It didn’t rain on that night.
The next day, Chavi was arrested and later convicted by the court of law for taking the course of justice in her hands. She was charged with cold blooded murder but was released after five years when the nation stood for her and demanded justice for her.
It was the same day when Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for Nirbhaya’s rapists.
Chavi slept that night.
“Your pride is intact. It was never in your vagina.” Nirbhaya told her in her dreams, just few moments after Chavi took overdose of sleeping pills.
“I got to live,” she decided and called 911. She claimed her life back.