Manjusha was a very vivacious girl of 17, almost touching 18. She was tall, very good looking and her movements were graceful. Her parents were both middle level government officers. She had an elder brother by a year as well as a 2 years younger one. She had just cleared 12th and joined college. She was very social and jovial. She was well liked by one and all in our locality. She was very respectful to all elders. We were on good terms with her parents. I used to come across her during my evening walks. She visited us sometimes to seek guidance about career courses etc. What I could gather from her talks was that her parents favoured her brothers more. Their attitude towards her was not as warm as one may expect due to her being the only daughter. However it did not seem to affect her behaviour.
She was friendly with a boy about 3 years elder belonging to a well to do family. He was tall and quite handsome. He had just graduated. I had met him few times when he was with her and he seemed to be a nice boy with an aim to make it into filmworld. They looked a very nice as a couple. She had confirmed that her parents were in the know of their friendship.
A couple of months later I did not see her around for a week or so. Later I came to know that she had gone away with that boy to Mumbai. He wanted her also to join films as she had talent. She had turned 18 just a few days before she went away. She had told her parents and left. This was about 2 years ago.
Why am I bringing it up now is because last week I went to meet her father to discuss something about our locality and saw her there. She was just a shadow of her oldself. Her father told her to go to her room. He does share his woes with me, so he told me that when she went with that boy they wanted them to get married with knowledge of his family but the boy had stated that once they establish themselves in films they would tie the knot in proper fashion. They struggled for months to get a break in films by making numerous rounds of different studios and meeting many known or unknown persons involved with film making. Unfortunately it was a dream which looked rosy but reality was harsh. Though they had financial support from his family, it was not possible to continue indefinitely. We all are aware of how advantage is taken of such persons. He persuaded her to succumb to casting couch demands as it seemed last resort to gain foothold into glamour world. They did get some bit roles but nothing to talk about. But then there was no stopping such acts. She was very unhappy with this and refused him at times. He somehow convinced her that once they establish it would not be needed anymore. However it was not so and she was desperate to end this kind of life. On her refusal next time, he abused her physically and forced her to submit to demands of an agent who promised to get them meaty roles. This finally led to her being offered to please all and sundry. She could not take it anymore and packed her bags coming back without telling him.
As expected her father said that he would have rather seen her dead than to be there with them. I bluntly told him what stopped him from killing her, to which he replied that he could not as she was his child. So I then told him that it was the reason why she came back to them. She had faith in them to provide her help to start her life afresh. I suggested that putting past behind now, she start her studies to complete graduation even as private candidate. She could also take up some job for keep herself busy as well as financially independent. I offered to speak to some known person to take her as receptionist in their company. Fortunately sense prevailed and after some discussion with Manjusha we went ahead with it. She is now working in a company known to me and I keep track of it. She has started preparing to complete graduation.
I am bringing it here to analyse as to who was at fault. In my opinion it is first the parents who did not have enough bonding with her to make her feel confident for sharing her dreams with them before it was too late. Even then there was hardly any effort from them to make her see the truth. They could have given her directions to reach her goals in much better way or even taken help from some person who could have. Then the girl as she was too naïve to understand what world is like. She could have discussed this with someone whom she had trust in before taking such a big step. She just let herself be swept off her feet with rosy talk of that boy. Lastly the boy who being elder should have taken due steps for her well being. If they could not get a break into the films, he should have come back with her. I do not wish to blame the system in glamour world as there is no way of stopping such happenings unless those susceptible to such acts become strong to refuse.
May I invite your views on who to blame for this.