Restoring the balance

"She's awake! After all these years, she's finally stirred," Apollo cried.  

Zeus walked in to see his son sitting by Themis' side checking her pulse as strange sounding machines recorded her vitals. It was odd to see her in hospital robes, frail owing to the years of living on  intravenous fluids that allow the comatose to age slower. So much had changed in Mount Olympus since she was last on her feet, he realised...

"So lovely to hear your voice, Apollo," Themis said as she sat up and reached to touch his face.

He noticed that she was struggling with her blindfold and leaned in to help her re-tie it. "We've been so worried about you, Themis. The last few decades have been marked by hospital rounds. I had lost hope but when I saw your parameters improving, I was optimistic."

"Oh dear, I must have caused you all a great deal of trouble," Themis said while feeling the hospital bed for her Scales. "Why can't I find my Scales? And where is my robe? I've been sick for decades! There must be so much I need to set right."

Zeus recognised her tone and knew she meant business. He smiled as he picked up the heavy Scales from her bedside table and placed them in her palm.

"Zeus! I didn't realise you were here," Themis squealed as she launched herself into his arms. "I've missed you, my love. How have you been?"

"I've been well but Mount Olympus needs Lady Justice, Themis," Zeus said as he kissed one of his favourite wives on the forehead.

"Give me a few minutes, let me freshen up and we'll get going," she said as she prepared to remove the plugs that were placed all over her body.

"Themis, it is advisable that you rest for a short while," Apollo said, half-begging. "Work can wait a few more days."

"Justice can't, Apollo," Themis said matter-of-factly. "I've been in deep slumber for far too long anyway."

Knowing it would be futile to argue further, Apollo gave in and helped her. He grabbed a fresh towel and gave her a face wash and some cream.

"That is a fairness facewash, Themis," he said. "It will help you retain your flawless fairness and enhance your beauty. The other one is a real gem. It will make you age backwards. That way you'll look like a timeless beauty in all the propaganda posters we put out about your revival."

"But I've been sick, Apollo," Themis said almost aghast. "I have been sick for decades. Isn't it natural for me to look sick?"

She turned to face Zeus, hoping that he would back her.

"Apollo is right, Themis," Zeus said. "You haven't been around for a while. We have to post your comeback on Godgram and we can't have a sick person looking sick, that's unacceptable. Why do you think women look pale and lovely even in their coffins?"

He walked towards Apollo and suggested they hashtag the post with Outfit of The Day (OOTD) as he knew no one wore robes quite like Themis.

Quizzical, she asked Zeus what Godgram was but he brushed her question aside as he was very engrossed in scanning what others in the family had put up on Godgram and whether it was 'yay' or 'nay.' Before she could ask what that meant, she heard a familiar voice in the doorway.

"Maa!" Dike said as she burst into the room with her Scales. "I feel so overwhelmed! I even brought you a welcome gift."

"Dike, my darling!" Themis exclaimed as she felt tears roll down her cheeks when her daughter hugged her. "Is that my sword in your hand?"

"I wanted to give it to you the day you recovered," Dike said while helping her mother to the restroom.

Themis grudgingly applied the face wash for lack of an option, only to be abruptly interrupted by Dike.

"Maa! You need to rub your face in circular motions," she said. "That's what I learnt on Godgram from the Godfluencers. They're not Gods like us but they're pretty darn close!"

"Themis, hurry up! We need to get to work," Zeus yelled. Themis scurried to finish a quick shower donned her robes, and walked out with her Scales and Sword only to be told that she had made her Godgram debut. When she didn't hear footsteps behind, she asked Zeus why Dike wasn't coming to work. He offered little by way of an explanation and told her that she was no longer working with the Justice Department but rather taught law at the University for Greek Gods.

Themis was puzzled by her daughter's career switch but didn't get much time to ponder over it. During the meeting with the top brass of the Department, she was quick to pick up on how the officials addressed everything only to Zeus. It was almost as if she was invisible. Post the meeting, she asked him why this was the case.

"It is nothing, darling," Zeus said. "They're used to reporting to me."

"Why aren't there any women among the top ranks in the Justice Department, Zeus?"

"How does it matter? Justice doesn't see gender now, does it?" Zeus said shrugging.

"Representation does, Zeus," Themis said, trying her best to remain composed. "These are the people who write our laws, preside over them, mete out justice. Of course we need more women!"

"Women are trouble, Themis," Zeus said. "We did have women in the Department at one point but they started asking for things like paid maternity leave and equal pay. Crazy, right?"

Taking her silence to be assent and not astonishment, Zeus went on. "Recently, women here went on a rampage calling out some respectable men as sexual predators! They didn't even leave the Justice Department! Can you believe it?"

"Were any formal complaints filed?"

"Yes, quite a few but we disregarded them," Zeus said nonchalantly. "This is a well-respected institution, Themis. We cannot have people lose faith in it based on false allegations."

"You don't get to decide what is false and what isn't, Zeus," Themis replied as she stood up, towering over the King of Gods. Her chin up, Scales perfectly balanced and armed with her sword, she stormed out. She ordered the young receptionist, Justitia, to place all the sexual harassment complaints, that had been rejected, on her desk. As she walked to her Chambers, she realised she had one more task.

"Justitia, would you send me the list of alleged harassers from the Justice Department please," she said. "And make sure to put out recruitment notices that Themis is looking to induct more women in the Justice Department across all ranks. Promise them equal pay, an inclusive, safe work environment and respect."

"Sure, Lady Justice...May I ask you something?" Justitia croaked.

"Of course," Themis said, her voice warm and welcoming.

"Where can I buy your OOTD?"

"I'll tell you if you send notices to Godfluencers who promote fairness face washes and backward ageing creams," Themis replied with a grin. 

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