I have always believed that education makes one resolute enough to stand for anything which is wrong ethically, morally and legally. But is that always true? I ended up questioning myself, on meeting a strong independent girl, who although knowing what’s right and wrong, was in a dilemma when she was put in the situation.
Because some things always remain a hush-hush for the society.
Because even though she may have pompously preached about girls having the courage to speak about sexual harassment, when she was in such adversity, she shocked herself.
Meet the girl whose mistake was that she did not tell in the first go. And courageous because she did eventually let her voice do the talking.
“Hailing from the bustling city of New Delhi, I’ve grown up in an open-minded Army family. With a doting disciplined father, an excited and fun-loving friend for a mother and a free-spirited, independent elder brother, I’ve had a happy childhood with no real complaints or regrets. With the first semester exams just around the corner, I decided to go study at my aunt’s place in the city itself, a place I had frequented almost every other weekend throughout the semester. This visit proved to be different, though.”
And it Happened
“The uncle I had always considered no less than a father to me – the uncle who had seen me grow up and had been a part of my life for as long as I can remember – molested me that first night I stayed over while my unaware aunt slept in her room. It was confusing, subtle and unbelievable enough for me to be able to convince myself that it hadn’t truly happened to me. This kind of thing never happens to you or me, does it? “He’s like my father,” I told myself, “he didn’t mean anything by what he said and did. It was innocent, I’m sure!” I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, not because I wanted to feel like a giving person but simply because the alternative was unfathomable. That was where I screwed up.”
Cause she did not tell
“He decided I was an easy target and he needn’t relent because I did not tell. The next night, he got brave. There wasn’t any room for doubt. I had been molested by my own uncle, two nights in a row. I managed to push him out of my room in his drunken, sleepy stupor, but I never managed to catch any sleep in those two nights. The first night had been an array of confused thoughts clouding my judgement and the second had been fear and yes, shame. Dirty, guilty shame, that I had let myself go through this a second time. I did not tell my aunt, in spite of her loving, caring nature, because of the fear that she might not take my side over her husband’s. With my brother away in college and my father on a UN Peacekeeping Mission in Africa at the time, my mother was staying alone in the tiny inconspicuous place we had been posted to before dad’s African assignment. In spite of my fear of how she’d deal with it all alone, I decided I needed to tell somebody and it had to be her. And so it was.”
“Today, more than two years later, I’m in a good place. I’ve broken all ties with the man I once trusted blindly and I’ve managed to emerge unscathed, physically. The close relatives and family know what he did and while for my aunt’s sake, we decided not to press charges, he didn’t really go unpunished. That very year, due to a circumstantial matter, he lost his job. Karma works in mysterious ways – mysterious, but oh so wonderful!”
She feels she cannot talk about changing society just because of this incident. But she is pretty sure that telling the truth is the right answer. The fact that ‘Nothing, ever, makes it okay’ needs to be realised.
The story of the courageous girl remains anonymous. This simply means that she could be anybody – a friend, a sister, a classmate, a relative, anyone really. Let’s make sure she is not your friend, sister, classmate or relative. Let’s make sure we speak up.
Graphic Credits: Panache Ideas
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.