The Missing Anklet: A Story by Manisha Amol

Vishakha, a bright student had qualified the medical entrance exam of a premium medical college. She was very excited today being the first day in college. Being late in the morning she hurriedly had to rush for the classes. In the evening while unpacking her stuff in the allotted room she heard a sudden knock on the door. A worried colleague standing at the door signaled her to follow behind. Before she could gather what was in the offing both of them were standing in front of a group of seniors.

Varun, a notorious final-year student was ill-famous for troubling, ragging even torturing freshers. There was no proof of his notoriety hence he would go scot-free as students were scared to lodge a formal complaint against him.

Vishakha along with her friend would be ragged every evening, taunted specifically for adorning her feet with stone studded silver anklets. She was given obnoxious titles because of it, as wearing this jewelry was very uncommon amongst other girl students. This would hurt her even more as it was a special gift given by her mother, she too loved wearing them. For hours she would cry when alone in her room. This torture went on for a few days, she could not take it anymore. One such evening when Varun passed lewd comments she courageously slapped him on his face. All present there were stunned as it was totally unexpected, Vishakha being a shy demure girl. It seemed an unbelievable act for her as well.

Post this incident her ragging completely stopped, Varun did not retaliate then but was constantly planning covertly how to take revenge of this insult.No one had dared to utter a word against him till date, extremely frustrated he could not take this lying down. He was concocting vicious plans to execute it secretly, lest he might get caught.

Vishakha had moved on, forgetting the incident as she got busy preparing for the quarterly exams. She tiredly dozed off in her bed one night late after putting in extra study hours without bolting the room door from inside. Varun happened to pass across her room, to his pleasant surprise he found the door open. Sheepishly he tiptoed into the room carefully removing one anklet from her foot. Hurriedly he walked out with the anklet in his hand. He ensured that it was placed surreptitiously in Shashank’s room who was her batchmate and friend.

Next morning a hue and cry raised by her on the missing anklet brought all the students out in the corridor. Varun suggested that the best solution would be to search for it in every room of the hostel. To her surprise he helped her locate it in Shashank’s room. But he used this as an alibi to prove to everyone that she was into an illicit relationship with no moral values which would set a bad example for other students. The hostel warden was called as there was too much chaos with everyone demanding disciplinary action to be taken against her. She tried her best pleading innocence but to no avail.

Shashank reminded the warden that CCTV cameras had been installed just a few days back in the corridors that will surely unravel the truth. Varun was caught red-handed, visibly holding the anklet moving out of Vishakha’s room. He was debarred from writing the exams, lost one academic year as a punishment. But the worst for him was losing his credibility amongst friends and colleagues.

The missing anklet turned out to be a big savior of Vishakha’s reputation. She was all the more grateful for this precious gift of her mother.