Archie couldn’t answer her. A tear drop fell on Deepti’s hand. Deepti looked at Archie. Deepti asked her, “Aap…” and she stopped seeing Archie’s face.
Archie realized then that she was crying. Archie moved her head to and fro to reply her. She meant: No. It’s not a curse to be born as a girl.
Words weren’t coming out. Archie signalled her that she wanted to have water. Deepti took her to a water cooler and moved from there.
As Archie drank water she found it difficult to gulp down water. Her throat was paining. She couldn’t drink fast. She wanted to stop her tears.
She walked fast across the corridor looking down. She held back her tears but they wouldn’t stop. She ran into someone and she lifted her head to see that it was Sunil.
“Hey! Where were you? We had a game period here. It was fun. I was searching for you,” Sunil said in a single breath.
Archie didn’t look up much. Sunil lifted her face by her chin.
Archie’s eyes were red and her cheeks were wet.
“Oh! My God! Archie!! What has happened to you?” Sunil exclaimed.
Archie cried all the more. She said, “Deepti…..” She couldn’t say anything more.
“Deepti…. Yes. What happened to her? You spoke to her right?” Sunil asked her wiping her tears with his hands.
Archie just hugged him and cried on his shoulders. It was the first time Archie had expressed her emotions in front of Sunil. He always wanted Archie to consider him as her best friend. Archie of course had a soft corner for him but never showed it. It was completely different that day. Archie needed Sunil’s care.
He brought her on one side and made her sit.
“Oh! We’ll talk. Now stop crying. I never knew my idiot could cry so much,” Sunil said trying to change her mood.
“Stop it Sunil,” Archie said hitting him on his palms and then pushed him away.
He came near and put his hands on her head.
“It’s okay dear. Don’t get angry,” Sunil said trying to calm her down.
He felt like saying, “I love you Archie. Can’t bear to see you crying like this.” But….he couldn’t say. His eyes did speak and Archie also understood his feelings.
In another 10 min the 6 were sitting in a nearby coffee shop. Ashu had taken permission from the chief for a mini coffee break seeing Archie’s condition.
Ashu started laughing at her and Sunil joined in. They said, “Hey, see Miss Perfection and Fighter Cock is crying.”
“Oh! Shut up. Will you?” Sherin said.
“What has happened Archie,” Pri asked.
Archie was feeling better and she told the whole story.
All 5 listened. No body questioned or commented. When she finished, all went silent and in their own thoughts.
Ashu and Sunil’s expression changed. They became gloomy.
Pri had a disgusted look on her face. She said furiously, “You men!! Yuck people!”
Sherin said, “Oh! Come on. Don’t blame everyone for that.”
Pri said “Then, what? Do you think even we girls are safe? Just because we are more privileged than her and we are more educated and we have good parents we can’t change the whole system.”
Sherin explained to Pri, “Laws have become strict and people who do such crimes are punished. We can do something.”
Namu spoke for the first time in the last 15 min saying, “How can we do anything?”
Pri said, “Why not? We must sue that man.”
Namu said, “How on earth? These NGO people didn’t do anything till now; you feel we students will be able to do something? We have not even completed our post graduation.”
Archie said, “We can do something but there is no use punishing that man. It’s Deepti’s life that is spoilt. Just by punishing him do you think Deepti will get back her self respect and her virginity?”
After long, one of the guys spoke.
Ashu said, “Yeah! You are right Archie. We can do something and Pri don’t blame men. All are not the same.”
Pri gave a stare when Ashu said that.
Sherin said supporting Ashu, “Yes, Ashu but what on earth do you think we can do?”
Archie, “Let’s get her married.”
How do the other 5 react to Archie’s idea? What happens next? Do they accept it? Keep reading the next parts for finding the answers.