Short Story [S1E8] – Raima’s Justice
Recap of Short Story [S1E7] Holi Ho! : It’s Holi, the perfect time for Harry to meet up with his friends Shom, Raima, Khush, Swapna and Natasha. Everyone is in high spirits with the food, sweets and bhang. Shom and Raima, who have been apart for a while, find the time to be with one another. Shom clears Raima’s misconceptions about bhang, ‘the drink of the gods’, as he describes it. Shom thinks Raima is being materialistic but she reassures him that all she wants is to be with him. Love triumphs as they express their feelings for each other.
Raima was still in Bombay, putting off her grandpa with an excuse every time he called. She had been tied up from Holi to Woman’s Day, working actively on cases relating women’s empowerment. Khush came forward to help her in one such case, an attempted rape on a masseuse at a spa. Given her strong feelings about rape, she went all out to seek justice for the victim. The only person who knew why was Shom, and he admired her for the initiative. Having got the builder behind bars, gave her a sense of accomplishment.
Now that the case was out of the way, she had some time on her hands. She headed to Harry’s house. It was a place she loved for it belonged to the man who had adopted her as his daughter. She rang the doorbell and it was immediately answered by Harry.
They hugged and Harry kissed her on the forehead.
“You have made me proud, the way you nabbed the builder. Where do you get such determination?” he enquired.
“Only Shom knows why I feel so strongly about rape. I have been a victim myself,” she said.
“What?” said Harry aghast.
Raima turned pensive as she recollected the incident. She had been a fatherless child. Her father had died in a motorcycle accident when she was only three years old. Her mother went into a state of shock and never fully recovered. The trauma caused her to be hospitalised and Raima – an only child – was sent to live with her aunt. Despite having a full-time job and a handicapped mother to look after, her aunt readily took on the responsibility of raising her brother’s daughter. After all, she and her husband were childless.
Raima developed extraordinary fortitude to cope with the loss of her father, her mother’s hospitalisation and having to live with an aunt and an uncle she was too little to know. Her uncle was jobless, but inherited much wealth by giving Raima’s father’s house on rent and collecting the money from his life insurance policy.
Raima turned out to be an intelligent and ambitious girl. She realised that she was all by herself, with little support as her aunt aged. However, nothing could dampen her spirits. All it did was make her strong and street-smart. Being a single young girl, there were difficult situations she had had to face with guts and a presence of mind. By the time she turned fourteen, she realised that men were constantly eyeing her.
Her lecherous uncle would make passes at her. The scoundrel got bolder after he caught her kissing a lad from the neighbourhood. Once, when Raima was alone at home, studying, the bastard entered her room reeking of gin. He made advances at her, boasting that he was much better at kissing than the boy from the neighbourhood. He grabbed her and held her tight against his body, ignoring her resistance. She was in the grip of fear, frantically trying to get away. But he was strong and she was completely overpowered. In desperation, she bit his right hand as hard as she could. He yelped, grimacing in pain and hit her hard on the temple with his fist. Raima went limp and her resistance vanished.
‘Serves you right,’ he spat at her sprawled on the floor.
The sneer turned into a leer as he picked her up and took her into his bedroom. As her resistance was low, he started stripping her. She cried and pleaded with him but to no avail.
“What a smooth skin you have,” he said, “Who are you saving it for? You will love every moment with me.”
He quickly unbuttoned himself and he went for her, squeezing her breasts, but soon lost control. With moans and grunts, he ejaculated.
He shuddered and his hands went limp. Raima quickly detached herself and ran towards the toilet, screaming rape. She was gripped with terrible anger.
He had to be punished, he had to pay for this, she vowed. His sperm was all over her dress. She remembered what she had read in the papers a long time ago. President Clinton had been identified by his sperm. She changed and put away her dress as evidence.
She told him that she knew that the rape of a minor was a crime and if he ever tried any tricks with her again, not only would she tell her aunt but also submit the dress as evidence to the police, after which he could happily rot in jail. In return for her silence, she made him promise to be a better husband and a good uncle.
Never did her uncle ever come near her again. He was meek like a lamb. Much to her aunt’s delight, Raima made him spend his wealth on his wife, taking her out to dinners and movies, and buying her fashionable clothes. Whenever she needed money for herself, Raima would dangle the sword of guilt over his head and he would pay up. She knew that wasn’t extortion if the person was only paying for his sins.
Next Story: S1E9 Harry, The Love Guru