Collateral Damage By Asmita Seth

Updated: Aug 29, 2018

The Writiesta Writing Competition had a lot of writers showcase their talent. We have selected 5 best entries for the same.

This one, written by Asmita Seth is one out of the 5 best entries.

The power that people turn a blind eye to turns into immense power that you can’t control and every single time this happens innocent suffer and are marked as “collateral damage” in the history books.

People looked up to him, feared his presence and gave him respect, whether he deserved it all was a question amongst many other questions that no one wanted to ask. The amount of power he had was also something no one wanted to question.

They said he was a perfect gentleman, and the women loved him. He had a beautiful smile and dimples that settles deep into his cheeks. He always wore suspenders that went well with his shirt, and glasses that made his eyes look bigger.

But she wasn’t a collateral damage, I clenched my fist and my nails dig deep into the flesh of my palms, letting warm blood flow into them. Every time I think about it I feel this anger that cannot be explained in words, I want to scream louder than what I am capable of. My mom said people respected him and nothing could be done, but he stole from me, someone I cannot replace.

My sister was a beautiful person, you could not help but love her, she had a heart bigger than most people. She taught me how to be loving and kind to this heartless world, she taught me how to let go of my anger. Without her around, I was nothing. Men were naturally attracted to her, she smiled at them but gave none any attention, only I knew that no man in this world could woe her, and perhaps the world could never accept that, I know my parents couldn’t. That’s why they took her to him. The devil in suspenders.

Every weekend I would hear screams and pain but I shut them off with my pillow, I wish I fought for you sis, but a voice told me they were right, they were honourable and you were wrong, and you were a dishonour to a long family history.

Day after day they pushed you to love the picture of a man in your bed. When you gave up and you were finally down on your knees they thought they won. He tied his hand to yours, and said that you were his honourable wife, stole you away from your identity, your home and your family. Your family wore a blindfold and earplugs when this happened. The most powerful man wanted to take everything you ever were, why would anyone object?

I was interrupted when I hear my mom screaming and I look up as she runs to hug me, she screams into my ear, “Your sister is pregnant”. I freeze, she is pregnant, I had so many questions. My mother hands me a letter. The envelope was sealed and had my name written on it in perfect calligraphy. It took my years to understand the concept of privacy, and I was glad she handed me a sealed envelope. It took me a second to rip it open.

Dear sister,

How are you my chotu? Are you taking care of yourself? I know you are. You are a strong woman, I know you can handle yourself. I also know you are worried about me, but I will be fine. I could never ever teach you how important it is to know yourself and learn to love yourself. So, I will give it a try now.

The first day, they told me I need to rectify myself, that I could not love a woman and my destiny was to serve a man. They did everything they could, they starved me, took away everything I had, even my body.

He was a respectable man and everyone said he was right, so I took it. But not anymore, not when I know that another human being’s responsibility lies in my hand, it will not face the same fate I did. I was right, chotu. I just needed to trust myself. Tonight chotu, I will run away with my baby and you. Join me, I want you away from this world. You, the baby and me deserve better.

They tried to steal everything, but here’s the catch they can’t, not until I am dead.

Meet me at midnight, near big gate.



I didn’t need to think twice, I was running away with my sister. Sometimes seconds feel like hours, and times like that you wonder if god is playing games with you. Lengthening the time, every thought that come to your mind stabs you right in the chest. Tick tock, its almost 12, where is she? Is she safe? Did something happen? Did they catch her?

I finally hear footsteps, and heavy breathing, I turn to see a face I thought I would never see.

“You are here” She whispers. I jump to hug her, and I want her to stay there, remain in my arms, for some reason I think I can keep her safe.

We start walking, I don’t know where, but I walk along. There is silence and my sister speaks up “Are you happy you are going to be an aunt?”

“Are you happy you are going to be a mom?” I ask her back.

She takes my hand and keeps it on her stomach, “This, was a sign from god, I got back up again, I will be the luckiest mom in the world.” I wish that was true, I wish life was easy and among all I wish it was fair, but that just isn’t real now is it?

We walk in silence for fifteen long minutes, and out of nowhere light is flashes directly into my eyes and before I know it, my sister covers me to protect me. She screams that she is sorry, she screams mercy, but they are deaf to us. Ironic isn’t it? Men that are suppose to protect us are deaf to our voices. I hear gunshots and I feel warm blood on my face, I hear the sound of my own voice but I feel paralyzed




111 days, 11 hours, 11 minutes… that’s how long my sister has gone without saying a word after that day, people come and go and she smiles and nods but no one could ever take back what he stole. She said they can’t steal everything, not until she is dead. They killed her. The honourable men killed her.


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