Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The 'Missed' Missed Call

                           NOT FOR SALE 2
“Holy Crap!” Roy exclaimed. In rather shock. He had to go and pick up Tantra after the exams. Tantra had called him. He was on his bike. It became a missed call. He missed out checking the missed call. He missed the missed call. Funny.

Tantra had given her Suzuki Access for servicing. The exam got over at 9pm. She called him. He missed it. They were just the best of friends and next door neighbours. Roy saw the missed call at 10pm.

Here’s what Tantra did in that one hour wait. She came out of the exam hall, out of the gate, holding the phone, calling Roy. He didn’t answer. She thought he was on his way. She bid goodbye to her friends. They offered to drop her home. She pleasingly denied. She sat on a bench on the footpath. She saw a lady defecating on the footpath. The lady then came and sat on a newspaper about 10 metres away from the place where she defecated. The lady was right next to Tantra’s right leg. She went to the local store, the only one which was open, bought some biscuits, water and tissues. Pune sleeps very early she thought. She sat on the bench and called out the lady. The lady stank but Tantra didn’t cover her nose. That smell was familiar to her nose as she used to visit the Missionaries of Charity quite often.

The lady woke up. They spoke in Hindi.

“Would you eat something? You look awfully tired.”

Tears rolled out of her eyes.  They spoke.

She was Mukfiya. From Bangladesh. She came from a well to do family. Mukfiya eloped with her self-proclaimed boyfriend in April 2011. She was just 19. She was sold off to a brothel in Budhwar Peth. 2500/- was what the guy got. He left. The brothel owner threw Mukfiya out as they were no takers for her within a week. She was dark complexioned, weak. Mukfiya was stranded. With just no money with her, she walked, she slept on a railway platform until she was buzzed off. She then relocated to the footpath right opposite Kendriya Vidyalaya. Being right outside the school, kids did give her the leftover food in their tiffins.
She got a life in the form of that. The children returned home happily with their tiffins spic and span. She couldn’t bathe as she could barely walk. The stink made the children not go near her. That quota of food gradually stopped. All she lived on was water. Her parents had no idea as to where she was. She had no clue where the guy was.

Today was the 20th of July. Mukfiya was in Pune for almost three months now. Tantra sat on the footpath right next to her. She placed her hand on Mukfiya’s knee. She was just in rags and used to wriggle in newspapers to cover her. Tantra had no clue as to what she would do.  Roy came, parked the bike. He wanted to come holding his ears and apologise for the delay but he rather got invited to a heartbreaking sight. Mukfiya rested her head on Tantra’s shoulders. All Tantra expected from Roy was to provide her with a shelter. He called up Tuffy to bring his car. Tuffy didn’t speak a thing when Mukfiya entered. He couldn’t. Tantra would slaughter him. He did realize the generous thing he was doing.
Mukfiya was firstly taken to the hospital. The police stepped in. in a joint program with the West Bengal Police, her house was tracked down in Bangladesh. Her parents were informed.

Well, Mukfiya died. A cardiac arrest denied her to go back home. Probably she would have lived if Tantra hadn’t met her. Atleast Mukfiya’s parents were informed about their daughter’s existence. That gave a relief to Tantra.

Mukfiya was sold as she was a female. She died. The weakness didn’t allow her to look like one. The police didn’t really care after she passed away. They never cared about Indian girls, forget about a Bangladeshi.

Haven’t we seen people on the roads? They might be victims of child trafficking, a sexual racket or just the deprived. Make an effort. Call the police. Do your bit? You might be reuniting a mother, a father, a sister or probably an entire family. The next time you are somewhere near the Pune RTO, check out the kid near the bus stop. He has been there for some time.

A missed call helped Roy, Tantra and Tuffy to do something. Let your eyes be wide open. It might save a life.

That call was destined to be missed. Mukfiya’s parents atleast didn’t miss their daughter’s last rites.