The Taste of Victory

She couldn’t taste her victories anymore.

She had a perfect record. District attorney Nisha had a well-deserved reputation. She had yet to meet a defense attorney who could take her on and win. Her sharp wit, unparalleled intellect, unflinching gaze, sleek, svelte and polished disposition left them gaping and invariably tied up in knots. She had put many a violent criminal behind bars.

She had been groomed by the “Prophet” himself. Her father figure, her mentor, the only guru she had ever known. He gave her an obsessive love for law, coached her in the elements of argument and whittled away her rough edges until she became a dreaded and deadly instrument of justice. There was a time when she looked up to him; ever since he took charge of her, in her teen years, up until the day she discovered his clay feet. Her eventual disgust with the Prophet was inevitable and he had foreseen it. Even so he had tutored her well, igniting the spark he had once seen in this orphaned waif of 13 odd years.

Nisha was ambitious and driven and, soon enough, his spotlight became hers and hers alone. They stopped assigning cases to him. He turned to alcohol. He lost himself in the twilight zone where life, death, drunkenness and crime were entangled in one indistinguishable continuum.

They led him in, handcuffed, the charge – murder. The defense didn’t stand a chance. They called the evidence circumstantial, his mental state – tenuous, they stressed his presumed innocence and declared his only crime – drunkenness, but all arguments collapsed under the intense, unwavering questioning directed at them from a seemingly all-pervading, all-consuming Nisha Alex. The defense was vanquished.Their eyes met as the jury ruled against the Prophet and the judge sentenced him to death.Nisha was victorious once again. But this was different. She could no longer taste the victory, its bitter aftertaste, ever-present.

© Pragya Thakur

1 Comment

  1. This is like a homecoming for me…and not altogether a happy one, I'm afraid!

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