Aarti had just started eating her breakfast when her cell-phone beeped. With a half-eaten sandwich in one hand, she struggled to get her other hand on her phone lying on the middle of the dining table. It was only then her mother, grabbed away her phone and gave a stern look “I told you to not do anything while you’re eating? You never listen to me, do you?” piqued Aarti’s mother popped the question to her daughter. “Arey Maa, it must be Priya. She must have texted about the exam schedule. It was supposed to come out today,” replied Aarti in the softest tone possible to appease her mother. Aarti leaped onto her mother and hugged her as tightly she could. She always did that whenever her mother would scold her for anything. “Aren’t you getting late for college? Now go,” said her mother while handing over the cell phone.
Aarti quickly checked her inbox for the new message. The color from her cheeks went paler as she read it. Her mother didn’t miss it. “Everything all right?” asked her mother concerned. “Um. Ye… Yes. Yes,” Aarti fumbled as she spoke. She quickly turned away in the pretext of picking up her bag from the chair to avoid the gaze of her mother. She knew that if she didn’t, her mom would insist to know more. “It’s just the exam schedule. They have slated a tough paper on the first day,” lied Aarti and made her way to the front door in the bid to go out. “Don’t worry. You’ll manage just fine, I know. Just concentrate ” Mrs. Sharma said while she followed her daughter till the door. “And remember, you can always talk to me about anything. Now go safely. And come back on time,” she smiled as she waved good bye to her daughter. Aarti wore a smile and waved her back. It was just another normal day at Sharma’s.
“You’re wrong if you think you can get away from me by avoiding me. I’ve had enough of your refusal drama. You’re going to have to pay for
it soon. – M”
“Did you tell your mom about this?” asked Priya while reading the message Aarti showed her. A worried Aarti nodded in denial. “For God’s
sake, it’s high time you tell her about this,” said Priya in a disturbed voice. “I know but I just can’t. She’ll get worried and hyper. I don’t want to bother her when Dad is on tour right now. Besides, it’s just a month more now that I’ve to bear with it. After final exams get over, college will end and then this will all come to a permanent halt. I think I can handle that much till then,” replied Aarti somewhat positively yet distressed. She knew the risk she was taking but she was determined and she decided not to let anything or anyone deter that confidence.
Next Morning in the local Newspaper.
In another of those incidents of acid attack, Aarti Sharma, aged 22, a final year commerce student at College of Liberal Studies was attacked
by her classmate Mrinal Chauhan late in the evening while she was returning home from college. It’s been reported that Mrinal Chauhan
had been stalking the girl over an year and had been sending her threatening messages over time and again under the psuedoname “M”.
From the early investigation reports of the police, it seems to be the case of one-sided love affair. The girl, who has suffered from 70% burns on her face, has been admitted to the local hospital for treatment. The police is still looking out for the culprit who has fled from the city after the incident. The state government has condemned the crime and called for an meeting to discuss the rising incidents of such attacks . Meanwhile, we request all the readers to read our special segment named “She: Another one of them” on acid attack victims on our last page.
Just Another Crime Statistic.