31st october, 1984… I remember this date pretty clearly. Indira Gandhi had been assassinated and we had been sent home from school. On the way back, one of the worst boys in our bus said something like achha hua mar gayi… Chutti toh mili! I picked up a fight
with him as I felt anger towards this heartless, insensitised brat who would dishonor not only a woman but even her memory. As he was infinitely bigger and a whole lot meaner than me, he pound me to the ground. My clothes were in shambles and I looked like a kid in the beginning of a washing powder commercial.
And that’s how I walked into my house. My mother was furious like any mother would be and after giving me one tight chamaad, she took my clothes off and threw them into the wash. My fathers reaction was different. He asked me why I got into a fight. When I told him the story, he said I did the right thing. To uphold the honor of a woman is imperative under any and all situations. Somehow I think, had he been alive today (god rest his soul) his reaction would probably have been different. Because no parent would want to lose his child while he was trying to protect the dignity of a woman.
My heartfelt condolences to the Santos and Fernandez families. Two very happy, invaluable as friends and correctly brought up (won’t use the word brave because they did what was organic to them) lost their lives whilst protecting a lady. Four dregs of society not only dishonored a lady but capped it with ‘punishing’ the boys who tried to protect her. Keenan and Reuben are the true heroes of society who should have triumphed in that fight but sometimes real life doesn’t quite turn out as reel life, where every scene is scripted.
But the public outrage that followed post the incident gives me great hope that justice shall be served and the heroes will win in the end. They will get their reward, albeit posthumously. With our CM Shri Prithviraj Chavan putting his might behind the case, it’s a matter of time before those heartless murderers are delivered the death penalty.. I have never been an advocate of capital punishment but in this case, nothing less would suffice.. It would be a crime against the memory of the two boys to let their murderers breathe for a second longer than the duration of the case. No parent should tell their kids “Mind your own business” the next time he gets into a fight to protect a womans dignity!