Vartika Sharma Lekhak’s short story is a rude call of awakening about the long-debated issue of marital rape and the impact it has on a woman’s psyche.
“Ramia, O Ramia! Come here…your Pitaji is back, make some tea.”
Ramia looked at the picture in the textbook, her attention fully focused on the two men in the picture. She recalled today’s history class, the look of pride on the teacher’s face when she explained the significance of the context of the picture.
“Ramia!” She heard her mother’s rising voice.
Hurriedly she tucked the book under the bed and ran outside to mother.
A smile broke on her chapped lips at the sight of the familiar form of her Pitaji reclined on the charpoy in the inner courtyard. Amma was sitting on haunches beside the charpoy and her back swaying with the movement of the cane fan in her hand. Even from the distance, she could sense the cheerfulness in his voice.
Their talks stopped abruptly as Ramia sat down next to them. Pitaji patted her small head lovingly and took out a beaded anklet from the jute bag.
“Why this wastage now,” Amma scowled.