S1E37: Raima’s #MeToo Moment
Recap S1E36 Harry and Swapna in Goa :
Harry and Swapna fly off to Goa, happy in each other’s company. On landing there, Harry sees a message from Shom on his phone, wanting Harry to call him immediately.
Shom expresses guilt for letting down Raima by being seeing at the club the previous night with another girl.
Harry advises him to get on with his life, as Raima would with hers. Their love is eternal and not limited to their being together.
Harry and Swapna check into the hotel in Goa. After a stroll on the beach in the evening and showing their moves at a popular night club, they retire for the night.
Swapna reflects on her love life. Her relationship with Harry has been an unconventional one. Though compatible with each other, they have lead their separate lives, content in the knowledge that they were meant for each other. This mature love finds expression once again that night.
“Hey, Harry,” said Khush, “I have to tell you something hilarious that happened the day the Supreme Court struck down the Adultery Law. A friend of mine was being blackmailed by the manager of the hotel he used to frequent with his neighbour’s wife.”
“How was he able to do this? Isn’t this unprofessional?” asked Harry.
“Apparently, this guy, Subodh Pal had decided to quit his job as he did not get along with the hotel owner’s son, who had recently joined the business, armed with an MBA from Harvard. To spite the management, he stole the records and resorted to blackmailing vulnerable patrons.”
“What did you do, Khush?”
“I roped in my friend, the Chief of Police. We staged a scene to nab the manager red-handed. We got a woman to call and invite him to her residence to collect the hush money. This was only hours after the Supreme Court ruling was announced. While he was counting the money, the woman asked him about the other people he had blackmailed. He rattled off the details and we have the evidence on video, thanks to a secret camera we had planted in the room. He was immediately arrested. The joke was on him because, in trying to build a case of adultery on the part of the woman, he revealed his ignorance of the Supreme Court ruling.”
Harry laughed and patted Khush on his back.
Just then Harry’s phone rang. It was Raima, sounding excited and wanting to talk to Khush immediately.
“The rapist is here,” she said. “Natasha and I have brought him to the police station. We need your help. I am handing over the phone to the Superintendent of Police.”
That was enough for Khush to get into action and in no time Raima’s lecherous uncle Rathin Nandi was behind bars on a non-bailable warrant. Khush commanded much respect in the police force for his association with the Bomb Squad.
Too much of excitement in one day, thought Harry as he and Khush savoured their omelettes, served rolled, at Radio Club. Later, they proceeded to Harry’s house where Raima and Natasha were expected. When they reached home, the girls were already there, waiting eagerly to pour out everything that had happened to them.
Raima and Natasha had spent the night at Natasha’s house on Altamount Road. Being a holiday, they had been looking for an outing. However, whenever they went out together, they became uncomfortably conscious of each other post their union.
“Let’s go to a place where we aren’t being watched all the time,” said Raima.
Natasha suggested the Ghetto Pub in Breach Candy; a delightful place and LGBT-friendly too. Both felt at ease there because it had all kinds of people – what we call straight and not so straight, all in a world of their own.
“Why should we succumb to pressure when our relationship is now considered legal?” She felt for Natasha, who, despite being a pure-hearted and cultured girl, had to face the brunt of society. “Men get away with everything but women re considered sinners for the same act,” she added.
“We will get even with them, don’t worry so much love,” said Natasha, giving Raima a loving kiss.
Raima made up her mind to fight for her beloved Natasha. As head of CSR for the company she worked with, women’s empowerment was her forte. She had even got a rapist jailed.
“Oh my God, not again,” she exclaimed, looking at her phone. There was a call from Pitamaha. “My grandpa will not leave me alone; he thinks Shom and I are living together. The bastard of an uncle that I have is poisoning his mind all the time.”
She answered the call and curtly told her grandfather that she was in a meeting before disconnecting. Seeing Raima crestfallen, Natasha put her arms around her friend. Raima felt better and smiled in gratitude. They decided to head back home.
As they came out of the pub, clinging to each other, someone watched them closely but unnoticed. Raima went up to her Skoda Laura car and both got in. As Raima was about to drive off, someone quickly got in from the rear and banged the door shut.
Shocked, Raima screamed, “Kaka! ekhane?”
The intruder laughed aloud. From Raima’s expressions Natasha deduced that he was Rathin Nandi, the bad uncle Raima had told her about.
“Hain, aami ekhane. Kaino…bhalo lagche na?” he asked. “Drop me to my hotel, Shalimar. I came to live with you but why is your Worli flat always shut? At least your Skoda car remembers me even if you don’t. The car helped me to catch you. Have you shifted bag and baggage with Shom, your elder brother, ha ha ha, Shom, ha ha ha?”
Raima rushed down Warden Road towards Shalimar Hotel to get rid of her nasty uncle. Natasha was terrified. She found a screwdriver in the glove compartment and held on to it. Unnoticed by Raima’s uncle – as she knew he was not phone savvy and inebriated -she pressed the video recording button on her phone and placed the phone on the dashboard.
“I am not in a hurry,” he said. “I have to talk about many things.” There was no reply; Raima was deep in thought.
“Your friend is very seexxxy, so you want to go with her? I saw what you two were doing to each other. Bhordoloker mey ki aemon? Aiee shob ki kore? Very bad! This will not do. Let’s us sit over a cup of tea at my hotel and talk to your sexy friend.”
He laughed aloud almost in Natasha’s ears, looking at her hungrily and touching her bare shoulders. She pushed the screwdriver towards him, threatening to stab his face with it.
“Stop it, you two. I’m driving. Mr Rathin Nandi, you have no right to talk about a lady you know nothing about, in a derogatory manner.”
“Nice lady! Wait till I tell everyone about the nice things you do together.” He eyed Raima like a letch and smiled away. “Mayta kintu bhalo.”
Raima was speeding towards Hotel Shalimar when suddenly, instead of taking the left at the end of Warden Road, she turned right into Napean Sea Road.
“Odi eta ki? Shalimar oee khane chede dile. Edike kano?”
“Aee mey ta ke baari te chede aamra kautha bolbo,” shot back Raima.
Continuing up Ridge Road, she didn’t stop until they reached the police station there. With many state government ministers and top officials living in the neighbourhood, it was a high profile police station. He got a start.
“Eta ke police station bola jaye,” replied Raima with smile.
“Police station kano?”
Natasha screamed her guts out to draw the attention of the cops. They immediately surrounded the car. Raima told them how her uncle had raped her when she was a teenager and made them speak to Khush. He was promptly put behind bars.
Having completed her account, Raima went up to Khush and kissed him on his cheek in gratitude. Khush was thrilled.
Harry got up and saluted Raima on her handling such a difficult situation. She hugged him.
“This is not over yet. Rathin Nandi will be given a chance to defend himself,” cautioned Harry.
To be continued…