The ball clearly seemed to be in Razdaans’ court. Barkha had never felt so helpless until now, yet she knew deep down her heart that however difficult the battle might be and however ugly it would get, the only happening that could separate her from Kabir was death.
They landed in New Delhi in the early hours of Wednesday. Trip down the memory lane was more of a heartache that none of them was in an emotional state to endure. They checked in at Maurya Sheraton near Dhaula Kuan. While Anjum was to stay put with Kabir, Raghaven was to accompany Barkha to Advocate Sahoo’s chamber at Tees Hazaari Court.
As she proceeded towards the court premises, she felt a lump in her throat, as if there was a realization that she had entered the battlefield, where the opponent was her beloved and the trophy was her son.
Advocate Sahoo saw the two coming towards his chamber and rose to greet them at the door.
Sahoo: Finally, I am glad you made it on time Ms. Barkha. Hello Mr. Gautam.
Raghaven: Hello Sahoo ji. Let’s get on with it without wasting any time.
Sahoo could see the mixture of various emotions in Raghaven’s demeanour.
Barkha: Mr. Sahoo, please tell me honestly, do I have any reasons to be concerned about my child’s custody? The way we have been called here on urgent basis; it seems otherwise.
Sahoo: Ms. Barkha, I will be frank with you. Your opponent can go to any limits to prove that you are incapable of your son’s custody. There will be character assassination, or questions might be raised on your mental stability following your past few years of acute depression. I need to ask you few things to which I need a completely honest response. Remember that whatever you tell me will help me to fight for you as well as deviate anything that comes your way from the opponent’s end.
Barkha: Alright, please ask whatever it is.
Sahoo: First and foremost, have you ever faced any abuse at the hands of Mr Samay? Remember that when I use the term ‘abuse’, it is not limited to physical abuse. Emotional and verbal abuse develops gradually in six different stages namely, the abuser first builds a scenario that creates tension and stress in the existence of his victim; secondly, it is followed by verbal abuse of harsh belittling remarks to bring down the confidence of his victim; thirdly, the abuser tries to cover-up his acts by turning the tables in such a way that the victim begins to feel wrong and guilty; fourthly, the abuser presents a set of excuses to justify his act or behaviour; fifthly, the abuser becomes normal in no time trying to create an atmosphere as if nothing has happened which is a way to regain power and control over the victim in the relationship; and finally, the abuser resorts to planning the right moment of abuse, which is mostly when he sees that his victim has started to crop out of the effects of the previous session.
Barkha seemed lost, as if reliving the bygone years.
Sahoo: Ms Barkha…….now answer me, were you ever subjected to such an abuse?
Barkha: (Looking at Raghaven) Yes. Everything except physical abuse.
Sahoo: I want you to pen down as many instances as you can of all the past abuses of such kind. In our next session, I would like to go over the instances.
Raghaven: But Mr. Sahoo, is delving into all that all over again necessary?
Sahoo: Of course Mr. Gautam! Apart from this, I would like to know if Barkha has ever taken any psychological counselling from a practitioner.
Barkha: No Mr. Sahoo, never.
Sahoo: Well then, that would be all for now. I will let you know the schedule of our next session.
Never did Barkha know that it would call for a journey back into the past. But it was a traverse she must gather courage for.