Thursday, 19 May 2016

Secret About Me I Learnt Last Night.

Mind works in the funniest of ways.


I had initially talked about my sexual abuse in detail during  my counseling sessions. After that, I started telling family and friends about it. Soon after, I wrote about it publicly and then discussing it became as normal as discussing music and movies for me. I began my healing journey, and the flashbacks and nightmares stopped bugging me. But last night, something strange occurred to me while I was sitting at the dining table, during a family dinner. My extended family from my mother's side was invited for a dinner at my place and being the introvert I am, I was observing people sitting close to me.

Suddenly, my selective listening took over, and I heard the word "Sant Ji" from my aunt's mouth. "Sant" is the Hindi translation of the word "Saint". And at that moment, while eating a scrumptious meal, surrounded by many people around me, with a number of sounds that blended to form noise, I realized something that stirred me. 

For as long as I can remember, I felt a hint of fear and discomfort when I was in the proximity of "Sant Ji", until he died a few months back. I didn't really know the reason until last night.

When I was very young, around 4-5 years old, I used to go to my aunt's place on a daily basis. They had a joint family, and "Sant Ji" - an old man who was a part of their family and a so-called celibate, lived in the same house as them. I have very little memories associated with him. But something I remember vividly is that one time after he had called me close to him and made me sit on his lap, my aunt assertively asked me not to go to him if he called me. Since then, I tried my best to avoid him, and I was not sure of the reason.

Turns out, this mystical man, who his family members referred to as a 'Saint', who was very much respected by the people who knew him, had molested me, when I was a four year old child.

All the memories came back to me last night. The shivering of his hands while they traversed the contours of my body, his making me sit on his lap, on the top of his genitalia, that staircase where this all used to happen, his tiny room on the rooftop that he invited me in to, the fear I had in me even years after all of it happened whenever he passed by, all of it. This realization was overwhelming. I had to find a quiet corner for myself, after I gulped down the remaining dinner. 

But, unlike the previous instances when I had felt betrayal, anger and a sense of violation on realizing the fact that I had been sexually abused, this time was different.

Yesterday, I was not angry, or sad, or disturbed by it. An addition to the list did not upset me.
I was laughing. I literally was. I was laughing on the absurdity of this all. I was laughing on how neglected our children are. I was laughing on how we can go on to speak lengths about poverty, corruption, pollution, etc. but something that rattles the world of so many children, the most innocent beings among us, is brushed under the carpet.

I was laughing on the masks everyone around me is wearing.

I don't know the history of this man. I don't know what experiences and conditioning he had been through, that he saw a small child as an object of sexual gratification. But I know that he was hiding something dark beneath that saffron attire.

I don't know what my aunt knew about him. But, by the way she asked me to avoid him clearly says how she was hiding something from me, from everyone. Maybe, there was a history of sexual abuse by him in their family. Maybe she had been a witness of it. I don't know about the fears she had that kept her from speaking against this cruelty, but I know that she knew that whatever was happening wasn't right, no matter how casual it would have seemed to her.

I was a child then, unaware of whatever was happening. I am grown up now, very much aware of what all happened to me as a child. I somehow gathered the courage to throw off the masks that had been stifling me. Had it not been so, I may have been ended up the same way most people do. Suffering in silence, or making others suffer.

Innocent Children
Picture by Ambika Batra.

I don't want to know what may have happened if I had continued to live with the devil on my back. But, I do know, that for me, child abuse is not something that you can describe as 'Ye toh hota hi hai sab ke saath' (this happens with almost everyone). I am not okay with it. I am not okay that we are taught to 'respect our elders', while so many of us violate the children who are equally deserving of respect. I have been repeatedly accused of talking about 'these kind of things' all the time, and I don't have the least problem with it. I am proud that I can let my heart talk, and not take my fears take over.
I am glad that I am not wearing any mask, revealing all of me to you, vulnerable, and true.


  1. "I was laughing on the masks everyone around me is wearing."
    "I am glad that I am not wearing any mask, revealing all of me to you, vulnerable, and true."

    Love this!

  2. thank you for sharing this. seriously.

  3. You are amazing!❤️
    That's all I can say! 😌

  4. I m proud that you let your heart talk and not take your fears take over.I wish everyone can do the same then this world would be a better place than now.

  5. Appreciated! Superb stuff!

  6. Knew u from my childhood. Ur really amazing