“Sue them! Sue them all!” Usual ruckus in courtroom-7 that morning. There are murders and robberies and then, there’s a bunch of angry women.
“ORDER! ORDER. What seems to be the problem?” Well, to begin with, your honour, you happen to be a man. I’m not entirely sure you qualify to solve my problem. But she didn’t point that part out. “This.. *awkward pause* man! And that one, right there! And the fourteen others, standing in line. Them! They! These!” She bellowed like a bull, waggling a finger at them. It could satisfy another 27 Dresses, the way they waited in line, bewildered by being pulled off work and being presented in court. Sixteen. Sixteen?
“Wait a goddamn second. *Ahem* Apologies. You’ve brought sixteen men as the accused? Sixteen?! What seems to be the crime?! Not another gang-rape!” Such insensitiveness arising from being muddled with cases of men, such honorable species these, not having a control on their penises, being brought into his courtroom every alternate day. COURTROOM. Should be renamed a halfway house for men, from birth to rape to lifetime imprisonment. Anyway, I’d be a shoddy reporter if I kept digressing from the topic this way. This woman, patiently waiting for the commotion to die down, raised a hand to silence the crowds.
“No, your lordship. These men, I hold them individually liable for breach of contract.” She replied, calmly. “Oral contract.” She added, as an afterthought. “Well, sometimes written. I’ve heard communication vide WhatsApp figures as documentary evidence, in a few exceptional cases. I’ve done my research. In State of Delhi v. Mohd. Afzal & Others, it was held that electronic records are admissible. I can prove it to you, I have screenshots.. I’ve chat history on-“ She babbled on nervously, while the judge held his hand up.
“Hold on, please. What sort of contract is this? Is this a civil case you wish to ensue? Do you seek damages for breach of contract? Do you have a copy of the contract? Are there witnesses? Do you have everything in order? Or have you walked in determined to ruin my day with petty squabbles?” The judge inquired politely, and rather sarcastically, I might add. I do like to add a little bit of spice to my reporting. Not that this case needed any.
“Like I pointed out earlier, your lordship. These men.. these men have been promising me things for as long as I can remember! I got ‘forever’ promised on Tuesday, with this one here. A few months back, that one wanted to ‘walk on fire to prove the honesty of our relationship’ and now refuses to. I caught him in bed with another woman. Shouldn’t I be demanding the ratification of my promise? Where is the fire and where is the walk? Him. He promised to ‘make sure there is a smile on that face of yours as long as the sun keeps rising in the east’. Well, the last time I checked, your lordship, the sun still rises there. I haven’t a smile on my face for hours, standing in this stuffy courtroom. I could go on-“ She paused dramatically. Hell broke loose.
“Sue them! Sue all of them!” Screams erupted from the gaggle of women sitting on both sides of the pathway. Some were clutching catchy titles. Probably to keep up with the mood of the day. I could read an ‘Off with their heads!’ in one or two places. Such creativity.
“ORDER!” Shouted the wizened judge in exasperation. There were no lawyers to be seen in the court today. The judge must have noticed. “Where is the lawyer representing your foolish exercise? Did you just walk in here expecting to be heard?” He begged for silence. “Your lordship, Section 32 of the Advocates Act guarantees-“ She began triumphantly. “I KNOW what it guarantees. The absurdity, and so unregulated, worries me. It seems to me your little skit, without a script, too, is more like a Public Interest Litigation.” The judge burst into laughter, over the spectacle. Justice Khurana was known for his patience, and a queer sense of humour, never having lost his temper in court. Admirable old man, he, willing to comment on a case this idiotic. But then again, I’m a man. I wouldn’t probably understand.
Hell threatened to blast unregulated within the crowds once more. “FILE A PIL! WE DEMAND A PIL! He promised me a forever five times last month! His forever lasted five days! He promised me he’ll go to hell for me! His idea of hell was Bombay! He promised me he’ll walk to the ends of the Earth to see me! Walked right into my best friend’s arms! He promised me he’ll be there every second of the day! He promised me the sun, the moon, the stars, Jupiter, Pluto, Pimpri Chinchwad, Hadapsar! He promised to stick around till death do us part! He isn’t dead yet! He promised me-“ RIP. TEAR. KILL.
I know who’d want to let the Basilisk out in this place.
“I’ve humoured this long enough! Those are not contracts! Those are well-written words! If you women were stupid enough to believe these exercises, YOU should be put behind bars! I didn’t practice law for thirty years to solve your dating issues! I’m putting an end to this right away!” He turned towards the court scribe and beckoned imperiously.
“But papa! Ashish’s one of them!” Screamed the loudest voice after this speech. Justice Khurana looked up to spot his 26-year old, recently divorced, daughter staring up at him, her eyes welling up slowly. She was a part of the crowd, waiting for justice. And he happened to be the justice. Ashish, now his ex-son-in-law, had gone on a ‘business trip’ and returned with another wife and child. Ashish, who pushed his ever energetic daughter into therapy. Ashish, who-
The tired old judge turned to his scribe, with a smile.
“OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!”.
–An ode to my Tinder Now-Ex, who’s moving to the City That Never Sleeps, and decided to not stop sleeping around either.