The Little Girl Who Has Gone Away

I didn’t know her. She was born after I left my hometown. But I knew her dad, her uncles, her cousins and everyone else in her family. I never saw her that is until I saw her pictures all over my Facebook feed: pictures of a dead girl, raped and tortured, left to die in a jungle.Her body was in the jungle for five days and no one found her… neither humans nor animals in the jungle. And that picture is engrossed in my mind since that day.

I was in the same town when I was seven: that was seventeen years ago. Seventeen…the number of years she would have lived to be my age but she didn’t. Instead, she was brutally murdered. I have no intention of glorifying the death of a little kid. All I want to do is to get these feelings out of my mind. I don’t want to imagine the seven year old me going through everything she did.

What is it that make humans turn into monsters? How psychopaths who rape kids, people who molest girls on roads, uncles who sexually harass little kids stay amongst us yet manage to hide their intentions? How do we tolerate such things? Do we think that it could never happen to us? At least I thought so, until this time. Yes, I do get affected every time I read about a rape, I discuss it with other people, I curse the criminals, talk about the inefficiency of police in our country, and in another two- four days I forget about it, until the cycle starts again with a new case. But it isn’t the same this time. Is it because she was someone I knew? Is it because I never thought that such a thing could happen in my small, peaceful town? Was I thinking that Uttarakhand being devbhoomi ( the land of the Gods) is above these things? Well, I  guess I was wrong.

If there is something that is above everything, it is evil. Sexual crimes exist every where, whether you are roaming alone in a dark street or you are inside your house. Any person, regardless of his/her age, class, caste or nationality could be a molester, a psychopath. You need not be wearing a short dress to invite unwanted attention, even 7 year olds get raped. I can never understand what goes inside the mind of a molester, what makes them do what they do? Why is it that evil prevails over sanity? I don’t know if anyone could ever answer these questions for me but I know that time and again I’ll be forced to ask these questions. And every time I’ll hear about a new case, the pictures of this girl will cross my mind taking me to the small town where I once lived safely.

Raising Your Voice

A girl aged 11, on her way to attend her cousin’s wedding, sat next to the driver in an overcrowded jeep. The driver drove the jeep with his right hand while keeping the left one on her thighs. She felt uneasy but didn’t know what was wrong. It was only when she grew up she realized what he did  and she hated herself for letting that happen, for not raising her voice. Memories of that day still haunt her.

She turned 18, and was on her way to college in a bus, when a man nearly in his fifties, sat next to her and started asking her about the city. She politely answered his questions. But after few minutes, the same man kept his hand on her thighs. Memories of the jeep driver came seeping into her mind. She was scared, while he kept touching her. In a low voice she asked him to take his hand away but he didn’t  A lady standing nearby saw him and asked him to vacate the seat as it was reserved for ladies. She must have seen him harassing her. She was relieved but hated herself for not raising her voice again. Memories of that day still haunt her.

Last Friday, this same girl aged 22 now went to the market along with her mom and took a rickshaw to the post office. A man sat in front of her. She felt uncomfortable in his presence but as it was only a matter of a few minutes, she thought to adjust. The man touched her leg but she ignored it thinking it would have happened accidentally. But in a few seconds, the man kept his hand over her thighs. The last two incidents came flashing into her mind and she screamed and asked the rickshaw puller to stop. She shouted at him, abused and warned him and he looked at her as if nothing happened. She decided not to give him the benefit of doubt this time. She had to raise her voice, she couldn’t live with one more regret. She had to do this, otherwise she would have hated her again, for letting that happen. She kept shouting at him, taking out all her rage, for the day she was just 11 and didn’t know why she felt uncomfortable with that man’s touch, for the day she was an innocent scared teenager, for the countless days, she was reminded that she was a girl who was bound to feel unsafe, who was bound to be raped with those indecent gestures of shameful men.

And it was that day, when she stopped hating herself for letting something happen. Instead she hated those men who made her feel this way. She raised her voice and found solace. For once, she felt powerful, she felt better. She felt okay to be a woman…

P.S. I am back. I can’t stay away from writing for long, its the only thing that keeps me sane.

I Won’t Rest In Peace

There are no tears in my eyes as I leave this place,

Nor do I feel any pain, no emotions on my face.

This soil now smells of my blood,and

The air is mixed with ashes of my existence.

All my dreams lie shattered on the floor,

My life has ended, destiny has closed its doors.

I wanted to live, wasn’t given that right,

I was silenced even before I could fight.

As my soul rises above, I could see people out on the streets,

Why didn’t they come out to cover up my battered body, at that time of need?

It wasn’t just me who was tormented that night,

Each mark on my corpse depicts a woman’s plight.

Whom should i blame is the question on my mind,

The government,culture or people, they are all the same kind.

The moment you demand justice for me, raise your voices in a protest,

A girl somewhere meets the same fate as mine, her voice is supressed.

And my soul wanders along with those who were snatched the right to live,

We were killed just for being women, none of you can we forgive.

We won’t rest in peace if you just hang a person or two,

You can’t change the world, until you bring a change within you!

courtesy:indiatoday.in

courtesy: indiatoday.in

When Humans Turn Into Devils

A medical student in her twenties, who was traveling with her male friend in a whiteline bus from Munirka to Uttam Nagar area in west Delhi, was allegedly gang-raped by a group of men inside the moving bus and thrown off the vehicle near Mahipalpur in south Delhi on late Sunday night. Read the full news here.

The girl lies in a critical condition in an ICU battling for her life as her male friend lies in another, as he too was beaten up by the molesters. A movie night turned into a nightmare for these two young souls. The girl, a medical student and the boy, a passed out engineer and a civil services aspirant wouldn’t have thought to witness such a night in their lives. But, it happened. The girl was gangraped by five men in a moving bus, after beating up her boyfriend with a rod. The girl has been hit with a blunt object and besides injuries from the sexual assault, her whole intestine has been damaged.

As i read this news, however hard i tried to forget about it and focus on my studies, i just couldn’t. What i did was read more about it, and while doing so i came across many comments below this news. Comments by fellow Indians, blaming Shiela Dixit, Delhi Police, Hindus, Muslims ( a rape can instigate communal riots in our country), bus drivers, education, hormones, the list goes on. What no one thought about, was the condition of that girl. The news channels got a new thing to discuss, bloggers like me got a new post, police got a new job in hand,but what about the girl. What did she get? Lifelong scars, fear, or probably death. Soon enough we’ll also get few people questioning the girl over what she was doing with a male friend at 11 pm in a bus. A certain sect of people in our country believe that modernisation, mobile phones, television, and even chowmein are responsible for the growing crime rates against women. To clarify the doubts of such people i would like to write about one such incident that i can never forget. Infact whenever i read or hear about rapes, the same incident come across my mind.

It is a really old incident, probably in the late 1990’s or early 2000’s when i was around 10-11 years old. I lived in a really small town not a modernised city like Delhi. There were no cell phones. The only channel we watched was Doordarshan. Like everyday i was reading the newspaper and in the front page  was the news of a women who was raped at her own house. Her son was first murdered in front of her eyes( hit by an iron rod) and then she was raped by 3-4 men who were hiding beneath the bed in the daytime. As soon as it was dark, they came out and raped her. The lady here wasn’t a modern(in indian dictionary) girl who could surge the hormones of these innocent men by wearing provocative dresses but a married young woman with a 5 year old kid. She was infact the wife of a man working in the Indian army, who was posted elsewhere during the time of the incident. I read this news and i didn’t understand anything, though i knew that ‘hatya’ meant murder, ‘Balatkaar’ was too difficult a word to understand at that young age. I was a kid, i didnt knew what happened. I understood all those terms when i grew up. Why this incident is still so fresh in my memory is because, i saw those 2 dead bodies. The mortgage was very close to my home, i just went nearby to buy something and saw those two bodies wrapped in white cloth. And i instantly realised that those are the bodies of the people i read about. I still can’t forget that, not even after all these years.

This incident is about 12 years old, but as i thought about it and about this Delhi girl today, i can’t help but cry, cry for their loss, for the pain they went through. They were punished for no fault of theirs.

The police can find those suspects, there could be court cases, they could get Death penalty for this heinous crime ( which i don’t think they will in our country) but could we ever make them feel what this girl felt last night. No, we can’t. Though i strongly believe that rape is the cruelest crime, i don’t think that death is the ultimate punishment. Death means freedom. It won’t help anyone of us to make that girl feel any better. If somehow we accept or digest the thing that a single person raped a girl, i just can’t believe how could five people turn into devils at the same time. Why didn’t their conscience stop them, not even one of them? How on earth can someone be so brutal?

As i write about it here, that girl is fighting for her life. Last night when all of us were securely sleeping in our rooms, that girl was getting raped in a moving bus, in front of her boyfriend. What could be more terrible. Death? I don’t think so.

I could have been in place of that girl. It could have been my friend, or my sister. Or you. I am scared, i am crying, i don’t know what to do about it? I just can’t take it off my mind.

Can she really live again? I don’t have any answer.

http://mtv.in.com/blogs/general/just-in/national-capital-region-of-shame-50154671.html?india