Micro Tales #20
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
I always feel that we as responsible individuals should do something for the society no matter how small it may be. Ranging from small things like feeding stray animals to standing against crimes and criminal activities, everything counts. Today I’ll be sharing a similar incident where I helped my neighbour to escape from the atrocities done by her husband and family.
The neighbour, Mrs. Mehra, a 30-year-old woman who lives with her family. Her family consists of her husband, three children and her mother-in-law. Her husband and mother-in-law were agitated towards her over the fact that she had given birth to three girl children. They used to taunt and always insult her. One day, her husband came with a woman and child claiming them to be his second wife and his son respectively. Mrs. Mehra* couldn’t accept this fact and didn’t allow them to enter the house. Upon this, her husband beat her several times and locked her up in their store room. I was watching this incident as it happened but didn’t have the courage to do anything. So I told this to my mother who asked me to forget it. She told me not to get involved in other people’s ‘household’ matters as it will create problems for me and for my family. As a result, I decided to keep quiet. I didn’t talk to anyone about this incident and eventually got involved in my own matters.
After almost 4-5 days, I suddenly remembered about this incident and went to my neighbour’s home to check if everything was fine. Mr. Mehra told me that Mrs. Mehra* had gone to her mother’s house a few days ago and hadn’t returned since then. I believed what he said was true and went back home. After a few days I went back again to their house and her husband replied to me the same. His tone made me feel like something is wrong. I went to their store room saving myself from their eyes and saw the door was locked. I peeped through the ventilation window and what I saw was horrible and shocking. I saw Mrs. Mehra* lying down there in such a worse condition which cannot be explained in words. She was wearing the same dress that she wore on the day when I had seen her a few weeks ago. She was lying unconscious and had lost weight. Her poor condition triggered me that she was there in the store room lying on the floor for these past weeks. I wanted to do something for her but I knew the fact I alone couldn’t do anything. So I went back home, called the police station and informed them everything.
When police came, her husband and mother-in-law stated that they locked her inside because she was mentally ill and had tried to kill her mother-in-law by poisoning her. When police opened the store room, they were shocked to see Mrs. Mehra* in such a condition. They immediately took her to the nearby hospital. Doctors informed that she has not been fed for the past few weeks and has lost a huge amount of weight. When police enquired in our neighbourhood about Mrs. Mehra* and her condition, I told them everything. They appreciated me for my courage to come forward and report this incident. But I always feel that I’m responsible for Mrs. Mehra*’s worse condition and for the sufferings that she went through. Had I taken responsibility and called the police then and when Mrs. Mehra* was locked in, she wouldn’t have gone through all these. But as we say, ‘Better Late Than Never’, I’m happy that I could do something for her.
We should never be afraid to raise our voice for anything which is honest and true. We should stand against injustice, lying and greediness. If each of us is ready to stand against these wrong doings, it would change the earth and will make it a better place to leave.
*Name has been changed per request.