8 February

2x-y: “He was hanging around my house, when I got back from office. He didn’t say anything, or do anything. But I was so scared.”

Me: “That must have been horrid. But don’t think about it. He didn’t do anything to you, right?”

2x-y: “No. But I think this may be a new method of frightening me. And what if he creates a scene like he did in Court that day? My landlord will kick me out. As it is, they were so reluctant to give the flat to a single woman.”

Me: “Why?”

2x-y: “You don’t know? People don’t like giving flats to single women. They have all kinds of inhibitions. I went around for a month before I found this. Even then, I am paying more than the market rate. And I’ve been given lectures in moral science and community living 3 times, and a long list of do’s and don’ts with the lease agreement.”

Me: “That’s so unfair.”

2x-y: “That’s the way it is, Appi. But how would you know? Anyway, should I go to the police?”

Me: “They won’t register a FIR unless he actually does something. They can’t stop him from standing around in the street. No, they’ll take action only if he actually gets violent.”

2x-y gloomily: “By which time, I’ll lose the house.”

Me: “The good thing about all this is that his behaviour will benefit your case. The judge will have more sympathy for you.”

2x-y laughs: “Well then, I guess I should be thankful. She hasn’t seemed that sympathetic so far.

Me: “The case as it is laid out is a different thing, altogether. Judges are trained to take marital disputes with a pinch of salt, because they know that each party may exaggerate the wrongs done to them to get out of the situation. But an FIR is concrete proof, according to law.”

2x-y: “Women should be told this on their wedding night. Register all fights, all physical and mental torture at the nearest police station. You don’t know when you may need the files.”

Me: “I wish. Anyway, keep your phone on all the time, and I’ll do the same. Call me, whenever you need me. Even late at night. OK?”

2x-y hangs up, but I know she isn’t comforted much.

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