I felt weakened, weakened in my resolve to fight the system as I looked at the face of my husband. Why should he suffer on account of me? I started feeling guilty—guilty of taking the cudgel to fight against the system when I had not realized the kind of problems it would land me into. I thought of retreating back—leaving everything behind and stand defeated. But would it make me satisfied when I would not be able to look at my face in the mirror when my own eyes would be asking me questions about my inability to stand up when it needed to be stood. I stifled my cries but tears wet and hot would run unabashed from my eyes. No—I thought, “I won’t cry.” Not anymore—and why should I cry? My husband, KS’s words reverberated in my ears when endearingly, getting hold of my wet face he had said, “Hold yourself— YOU have taught me to fight for my rights.” And caressing my back had uttered those words, “I am with you, don’t go weak.” I cried openly for being the cause of his worry lines that had become so prominent during these days. “We’ll fight it out together.” He said with a steely resolve in his voice. I don’t know when did I drift in the lap of sleep and when I got up it was already 6 a.m., another guilt feeling filled me up at not being a good wife to the man who provided support to me at all steps of life. Running to the kitchen I found the vegetable being cooked and KS was taking his bath. I had overslept and he had put the vegetable to simmer on the stove. How negligent had I become in my duties and the thought that throughout the week he would be cooking his food himself, killed me. How considerate he had, always, been. I prepared few chapattis for him and put tea pan on the stove. My head was throbbing with pain and my eyes red and swollen spoke of the uneasy sleep that I had had. Though I wanted to hide all those symbols of my state of minds but how could I as KS, my alter ego, knows me inside-out to hide anything from him. It was time for him to go as he had to leave early to his workplace. “Eat well and take your medicines regularly.” The care and love in his voice made me look at him with red rimmed eyes. “No, don’t cry—the cause is not worth your tears.” I hugged him close as I wanted to take as much of the positive energy emanating from him as I could. Looking back at me and waiving his hand even when he had started his scooter, KS drove away. The home was so silent and lonely. I was sitting at the window of the Living room and watching seemingly happy people going for a morning walk. Were they really happy? I wanted to ask them. I was tired of all these philosophical questions and wanted to get my mind clear of all these thoughts. I wished I could cleanse my mind of all these thoughts that made my life miserable. The quest for justice and fair play had taken the peace from my home away and now I wavered between the options whether it all was worth the cause? Shaking my head clear of all such notions, I prepared, with an effort, to face another grueling day among indifferent colleagues at my work place! The ringing of the phone, in the other room, brought me back to the world of reality. “Mamma” cried my little one. “Are you ok?” Could I detect deep concern in her voice? Had I become such a despicable being that even my kids thought me of an object of compassion instead of an object of strength that I earlier stood for? “I am perfectly good—don’t you worry” modulating my voice as well as I could to perfect normal I replied back. “Don’t let anything bother you. The time will pass away and the cause is not worth you Mamma.” A line of smile passed my lips as my little one had started role-playing as a mom to me. “OK, as you say.” I laughed a little. “Mamma, I heard you laugh after such a long time’” the little detective again started playing the role of a vigilant care-taker. Brushing aside her concerns so that she doesn’t burden herself with my “problems”, I talked normally to her. “Wear good clothes to your class and eat well, you’ll feel good,” was her parting advice to me. Smiling at my daughter’s motherly role for me, her mom, I got up and hurried to the bathroom. Looking at my face in the mirror, I could see the face of a strong woman who had taken the horn by the bull by fighting injustice at her workplace. I felt strong. Much stronger than I had been! I was not alone…I had my family with me supporting me, encouraging me to fight for a cause. It was not “my” cause…it had become “our” cause”! Walking towards my cupboard, I got out a fire-red outfit to wear to my Institute. I noticed that I was smiling while putting it on. I was wearing fire-red dress. Red colour helps you fight depression; I remembered, and smiled, once again. I was literally on fire! Beware, you all predators and perpetrators, out there! Ah, It is a new woman that you meet today, I am a new person. It is a new day, a new beginning and staring at you, today, would be a fiery red woman!