“I was born into a traditional marwari family. Growing up in a joint family brought with it’s own ups and downs but I found it so difficult to cope here. Being the butt of all the pranks and jokes my cousins pulled on me, my helpless mother feared raising the voice against them and rather, shoved her frustration on me. This physical violence built a deep fear about my mother and I never felt safe sharing anything with her. This demure act of self protection would in turn bring in a disastrous side effect, I would come to understand later.
Eventually, when things got out of hand, we moved out of the joint family, something which was unspeakable in the early 90s. We moved into a community apartment and life took a turn for the worse. Being reared in traditional ways, I have never been clothed in anything apart from a salwar kameez. So, mingingling with kids in my apartment was a hard pass and I was always made fun of and sometimes even singled out of events and games.
During one of the community fundraisers, the kids were asked to go knocking on doors asking the residents to pitch in money for the event. Above us, on the 9th floor, a man in his late 30s had just moved in and he was living with his mother and his nephews. He was an IAS officer who had recently been divorced. Knocking on their door by chance welcomed me into a new world – one where I was seen and welcomed and accepted for who I was. The family welcomed me and invited me in to play with their kids. For someone who had only seen hatred from a very young age, this seemed like a precious gift. I started going to their house often to play with the kids.
Slowly as we got accustomed to the family, this man also made an impression on my family. Owing to his past, he had won the sympathy of my parents and my mother eventually started to consider him as her own brother. And then, the tables began to turn!
One day, he invited me to take a tour of his office. He asked my mother if he could take me and his nephews to show his new house in Besant Nagar. However, he took me to a hotel telling us that it was his new office. As a meek 13 year old, this puzzled me so much but I trusted him completely to let him take me there. He checked his two nephews into a room and took me to another separate room. Locking the door, he set up the handicam to start filming and tried to remove my shirt. It was thoroughly shocking and I pleaded with him non-stop to stop doing it to me. This was probably the first time that a man had seen my thighs. He attempted to undress me a couple of more times and upon my utmost resistance, he gave up and dropped me back at my place.
It was thoroughly unsettling and when I called him later, he asked to never ever speak to me again. My world came tumbling down as I was on the verge of losing the one person who accepted me as I was and showered affection. As a kid, this adult affection was heavily missing in my life and I had at this point in time grown fond of him.
A week later, we reconciled and he took me to his apartment on the top floor and raped me (Which I wouldn’t know until later). And then it continued for two years non-stop. He would turn up at my doorstep and tell my parents that he was going to teach me maths. He would enter my room, lock the door and rape me; right under the nose of my parents.
Whenever I objected, he would threaten to leak the recorded tapes to my mother and I was terrified of my mom so I just sucked it up. He made me do unspeakable things and this sexual abuse continued non-stop for two years. Whenever he had the urge, he would turn up at my place, lock the door and ask me to oblige to his fantasies.
It was during my 15th year that I finally had the courage to retaliate. He turned up at my place under the pretext of leaking the tapes to my mom and I ran to my mom, locked the door and turned on the music loud. He obviously didn’t have the courage to tell my mom that he took me to a hotel room and filmed me so he left, having a general chat. And that was the end of it! He was done in my life.
A few months later, I received a call from his ex-wife who asked to meet with me. I went in to find out that he had married an underage girl and did the exact same thing to another girl. The wife gave me the tapes and assured me that I could delete them and be at peace.
Panicking that I was pregnant, I consulted a gynac who told me that this was rape and asked to speak with my parents. Assured that I was not pregnant, I fled the place. As you can imagine, the immense amount of rage I felt at him for violating my body rocked my foundations. I turned fiercely aggressive and my teachers often complained about it to my parents. Maybe, it would have been amazing if someone had just asked me why I changed overnight but that never came.
Fueling all my aggressiveness towards my business, I started my own venture at the age of 19. By then, I couldn’t care less about anything else but making it in life. My venture skyrocketed and I crossed a 10-year milestone in that. In my 30th year, I met a wonderful man and we decided to tie the knot.
My past was long hidden but the birth of my child brought with it a fresh load of frenzy I wasn’t quite prepared for. I started becoming paranoid about leaving my child with anyone – my husband, my uncle, my parents, the school, auto driver. What if someone did the same thing to him? What if he is sexually abused? Consulting with a therapist, I understood that I have been living with this trauma for a long long time.
I confronted him last year because the trauma was too much to handle and I needed to know ‘Why’. He answered saying that if I wanted closure, he would be willing to give me money. This year once again I reached out to him and his answer was that he loved me. How does one equate abuse to love?
But the buck stops here. I have decided to come out with my story and here it is. I will not let this go unheard and I want every parent to read and understand one main thing – that they are the first and foremost safe haven that the child has in this world. And when they can’t take the time to provide that trust to the kid, the child is left unhinged. If you have read this, I would like you to support me and amplify my story. I am contemplating legal action and I need you reader to tell me the best route forward. Should I or should I not?”