“My 14 year old son is in Tihar Jail” Sujata shared with me before joining work at my place “Everyone knows about this in my community. I want to tell you about it lest you get to hear it from someone else. I am just a cook but i value intergrity” Sujata’s words were laced with honor but her eyes were damp and she looked nervous about sharing this with me. “He is my only son and was brought to the city recently… worked with a school here for about 2 weeks before he was trapped”. “Trapped? So you believe he’s not guilty? What was he charged for?” I asked her knowing fully well that as a mother she cant be expected to view the case objectively. She answered “They say he did something ‘dirty’ with a girl student” without meeting her eyes with mine. “You mean he molested a girl?” I asked her straight. She said “Yes, that’s what they say.” “How old is the girl?” I asked. “4-5 years old” she answered shamefacedly. I felt my blood boiling but all I could see in front of me was a distraught, mortified mother.
I asked her further “What is happening now? What are the cops saying” She said “They havent made a charge-sheet…it’s been months. And they don’t make me meet the girl’s parents. I go there every Thursday but I don’t get any answers”. “What answers do you seek from the girl’s parents?” I probed. “I just want to see them once. Also I want to ask them why are the police not showing me any proof.”. “Proof for molestation? Was it in public?” I asked further. She said “Not in public…they say in a bus in the school parking. But they can’t keep my boy behind the bars without a proof. Can they?”
I heard her unsure of what to say and asked “What does your son say?” “He says, I didn’t do anything” she gave me the expected answer. I fell silent. She added “He is getting punished and so am I, can you tell me why?” I said “I have no comments to make on the case. But you are suffering with him because you are his mother. He is your responsibility” She promptly told me “My boy is a good son. I never had to tell him anything. I never had to raise my voice on him.” Puzzled I asked “What does it tell me about him? It just tells me you are a tolerant mother. Its strange that you never had to yell at a growing boy!” She looked at me crestfallen. I said “You are hired for your honesty Sujata… but you must introspect if your quietness was ever read as encouragement by your teenager boy”
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