Janani picked up her bag. She spit on the ground and then looked up. There were five boys and she knew that she won’t survive this. At best, they would all rape her and leave her to die. Worst case, they would make sure she’s dead.
“I won’t be going down alone.” Janani whispered and opened her bag and thrust her hand in it.
The boys, uncaring of this action laughed. One of them — Barua — whistled. He was already holding Janani’s dupatta. Another one, the leader — Ram — of the group cracked his knuckles.
“I’ll be first.” Ram said in a deep baritone. He was the tallest boy in the village and twice as wide as anyone. Janani gulped, her hand still in the bag. Ram made a swipe at Janani.
Janani whirled to avoid his hand and thrust her bag into the leader. He gasped and looked down. Blood started to ooze out. The knife had torn the bag, his shirt and stomach. The other four gawked at the scene. The one holding the dupatta dropped it and moved five paces away from Janani.
Janani screamed challenging the other four. They turned and left. Janani couldn’t believe her luck!
“But sarpanch ji. This is unfair.” Janani’s mother wailed.
“He was Sharmaji’s only son. Janani will have to pay for her crime.”
“He was trying to rape me.” Janani said, anger flashing in her eyes.
“If he would have succeeded, he would have been punished. But that didn’t happen. You killed him. Besides, Barua was there. He has told that you were only teased and over-reacted.” Sarpanch said. Janani looked at the whole scene and screamed.
“HAVE YOU GONE MAD?”
“It is decided. Janani has lost Sharmaji his son, she will bear him another one.” Sarpanch said. Ram’s father — sharmaji — joined his hand to sarpanch and thanked him. He then looked at Janani greedily. Near him, Ram’s mother was standing, crying. She looked at her husband and then at Janani. She didn’t know whether to cry for her son, her own fate or Janani’s.
Janani couldn’t believe her luck!