You grasp the edge of the desk and swallow your fear, blink your eyes rapidly until your face feels composed.
You don’t think of yourself as foolhardy. You’re no hero, and even if you were, it’s not a role you can foist onto your assistants, dedicated as they are. But as a woman, you can’t help but feel you owe it to your fellow Indian women, all of whom know this occurs on a daily basis only to be met with silence. If you don’t run this as a local story, you truly believe: no one else will. The atmosphere of fear, the culture of silence, it’s just too oppressive for anyone to want to break first.
But you don’t want to scare Isha with this. You stack the vetted stories and place the article about the Delhi rape on top. You take the letter in your hands, open the door. “Rajiv?” you call.
He comes in after a moment, scribbling notes on a stenographer’s pad. “You wanted to speak to me?”
You unfold the letter and hand it to Rajiv. His eyes narrow as he reads it, just once, before raising his eyes to yours. “You don’t really believe this?” he asks. “It’s paper tigers. Empty threats.”
You’re thinking of your husband, your mother, wondering what your mother would say if she knew. Probably that women are raped every day and this is no different, and it’s nothing to stick your neck out for now, is it? You say, “You never know.”
“So what do we do? Call the police?” he says. His face clearly saying, Information should stop for no one.
“Listen to me,” you say. “It will be all right. Here’s what we’ll do.”