It took some Courage and a lot of Hope!

Priya calling: Hey Ridhi, I really really need to meet you.

Ridhi: Are you crying? What’s wrong Priya? Is it about the guy you have a major crush on? Did he say no? huh?

Priya: Sobbing…I can’t talk over the phone. I need to see you. (continues sobbing)

Ridhi: Hush, stop crying. Ok come over to my place. We will talk about it and find a solution.

If the guy said no, it’s not a major issue. You will find better guys.


I am waiting for you come soon.

Priya: Still sobbing. Hmm. I know there is no solution but I really need to talk to you. I am coming in 10 min.

Priya and Ridhi two best friends study in 12th Class and the major issues of their life are the upcoming boards, a really good collection of dresses, guys and the many crushes, owning the coolest gadgets and cribbing about the “so u have boards this year, do well coz that will decide the action course of your future” from every second person they come across.
Now that pretty much defines LIFE AT 17! But Ridhi’s story went through a twist and something changed her life forever. It just took a moment and everything changed!

Priya: Hey Ridhi …what’s wrong. Why are you quivering?

He is just a guy. You don’t need to cry over him. You deserve someone better.

Ridhi continues sobbing.

Priya: What is it. Tell me?

Ridhi: I don’t want to live any more. I want to die.

Priya: What …what are you talking about…What’s wrong?

Ridhi: My life is over.

(crying miserably)

Priya: Hugs Ridhi and asks her “tell me what has happened and your life is not over. Whatever it is we will find a solution sweetheart”


Ridhi tells her story sobbingly.

Priya you know I went to attend my cousin’s wedding in Punjab. There was this cousin of mine who came from U.S to attend the wedding. We were meeting for the very 1st time. He was friendly and we were having a good time.

Ridhi continues quivering.

Priya: And?

Ridhi: I know we can’t do anything. (Starts crying miserably) I will kill myself. Nobody will believe me. Nobody is going to trust me.

Priya: Shh Ridhi…first tell me what happened.

Ridhi: During the night all of us were sleeping in a big hall. You know I have asthma. This guy came over me. Everyone including me was tired and sleepy. I was sleeping. I can’t say any more…

Priya: Shhh take your time .What did he do?

Ridhi: He covered my mouth and I was unable to breath or shout for help.

He….he raped me…I was crying out in pain…but to no avail…!

Ridhi starts crying again and falls on the ground…

She keeps on repeating…..My family will not believe me. Nobody will support me… I can’t live any longer…I hate myself…

Priya is quite for a moment coz she doesn’t know how to pacify her best friend.

Priya gathers courage and helps Ridhi to get up. She hugs her tight.

Priya: Ridhi it’s not your fault. It’s the guy who has committed the sin. Why are you blaming yourself? I know you are going through hell but you are just 17. You have to show the strength and courage. Why don’t you tell your parents. Maybe they will find your cousin and he will be punished for what he did!

Ridhi: No Priya ….I don’t believe my parents will support me and how will they blame their own family member of raping their daughter.

No I can’t do this.

Priya: Ridhi if you don’t want them to tell this at least promise me you will not harm yourself. You will not lose hope and courage. I will be there to support you.


Ridhi: I promise you I will not give up on my life and thanks for being there.

Ridhi flunked her 12th boards because she was going through a psychological trauma. Being a science student she could not handle everything she was going through. The society is judgmental.

Everyone pointed fingers at her poor performance. Everyone was harsh, in spite of knowing the reason and the trauma a 17 year was going through.

Ridhi kept her promise to her best friend. She turned a deaf ear to the society. She worked hard for a year. She was a good student. She fought with her inner self which mad her weak and finally scored brilliantly in her boards.

Ridhi calling…

Priya: Hay Hi Ridhi. What’s up?

Ridhi excitedly announces…You know what Priya I scored 90% in my boards and I have so many options to choose from. I am so happy and I am so confused about my decision.

What should I opt for…?

Priya: I knew you would do brilliantly “congratulations and celebrations”…Just remember my treat. I am so happy for you.

1 year later…

Priya is sitting in an All India level competition cheering her friend Ridhi.

The prize money is Rs 1 lakh and a 1 week educational trip to Australia.

Ridhi spoke brilliantly and was declared the winner.

She heard the crowd cheering for her and the applause.

Finally she was at peace with herself. The society which pointed fingers at her for her poor performance came up to congratulate her.

She proudly collected her prize and went to hug Priya.

With tears in her eyes she said “Priya thank you for giving me the courage to fight and not giving up on my life”

Tanushree Banerjee

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