I was playing on the road outside my house with my friend Shanthi who lived next door. We were skipping rope and playing hopping game (pandi) on an aero plane figure. We study in the same school in class three. My mom has permitted me to play with Shanthi only opposite our houses and not elsewhere. Only my grandma was at home. My mom would return from work only at 6pm and dad later in the night.
Today Shanthi had brought a 5 star chocolate. She gave me a small portion and was sucking the bigger part. You know how much I love chocolates but felt shy to ask her for more. When I was looking at her longingly, she asked “Do you want some more?”
I said “No, you have already sucked it.”
“Never mind. I will give you from the other end”
I declined saying mom will be angry. It was then an uncle who was smoking cigarette at the opposite pan shop of Balan Nair came to me and offered me a piece of the same chocolate.”Have it. I saw you watching your friend eat”
“I don’t want. My mom has told me not to take anything from strangers” At that point of time Shanthi was called by someone from her house and she went away.
The uncle said “No harm, I have a girl of your age in my home a few houses away from here. If you come with me, you can play with her and also get a box full of these chocolates. I work in a chocolate company”
“No, mom has said that I can play only here. I do not want your chocolate”
“It is okay if you don’t wish to come. Have this chocolate that I have already bought for you” he said
I could not resist the temptation and took it from him. As I opened the wrapper and ate it, it was so yummy and delicious that I felt like having more. When he saw me relishing he said “Do you like it? You do not have to play with the girl. Just collect the box of chocolates and run back to your home. My house is just 100 yards away. It will not take even five minutes to be back”
When I went to his place, there was no girl. It was one room at the terrace. He said “The girl must have gone down. She will come very soon” He opened a box a, took some candies and gave me telling that chocolates seemed exhausted. He sat on the cot very close to me and patted my head. He smelled bad. I wished to run away from the place and got up. But he would not let me go and held my hand tightly and said “Don’t go. The girl will be here soon. I will get you a big box of chocolates. Be a good girl. Do not cry.”
His hands started feeling all over me and he dragged me closer to him. I got scared. I remembered my mom telling me not to allow strangers even teachers of any gender to touch and particularly some places. I realized he must be a wicked man and started crying loudly.
“If you raise noise, I will kill you .Be quiet and you can go home in a few minutes” he threatened and pushed me down on the cot and fell over me. When I screamed he hit me hard and covered my mouth with his hands and tore my clothes. Soon he was trying to hurt me and I cried in pain. When he let go his hand, I bit him hard and screamed loud. I was fainting in fear
It was then I heard the door being knocked hard from outside and voices asking the man to open. But the man would not move away from me and continued to hurt me. I screamed louder and louder repeatedly. The people outside breaking the door open rushed in and pulled the brute away from me. They beat him blue, tied his hands with a towel and dragged him away to the police station.
Shanthi’s mom and Shanthi who were with them covered me with her duppata and rushed me to a hospital nearby. In a short while my parents were also there. It was my friend Shanthi who saved me. When she came out of her home and did not find me outside or in my home, she alerted her mom. Seeing them frantically searching for me, Balan Nair gave them the tip that he saw the loafer Raju talking to me and also informed where he lived. That timely clue brought them to the scene of crime to save me in the nick of time before much damage could be done.
My parents shifted soon to another locality and put me in a new school. About a year later when I met Shanthi in a temple where I had gone with my mom, she told me that someone had fatally stabbed Balan Nair out of enmity a few months after we left the locality. I could guess who it could be.