By Richa Priyanka:
No one knows when or how the foundation of a crime is laid. What stimulates a rapist, and what enrages a killer, is something that will probably always remain in the dark. While sending her for school, would the six year old girl’s parents have known about the catastrophe’ that was to strike on their little one? Would she, the little girl, still unaware of the iniquity of her beautiful world, have known that some of the men she probably calls “uncle”, or “sir”, or “bhaiyya” everyday at school, have their loins burning in a desire to molest her?
I try my best to get into the minds of all kinds of people, and to understand the motive of what they do, or say. But the paedophiles make my head go round. In his universally acknowledged book, Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov talks about young girls aging between nine to fourteen years, he calls them nymphets. Humbert Humbert, the lead of the novella, is abnormally attracted to these nymphets. I try hard to see the book as a work of art, and it’d be very juvenile to say that it isn’t so, but my prejudices never let me go as far. My mind wanders from the exquisite work of fiction in my hands, to the incomprehensible desires of the paedophile lead, and further on to the paedophiles all around us who lead little kids to see their virginity wrecked even before their innocence could be wrecked. I’m more than often disgusted to know that paedophiles and their desires won’t leave my head long enough for me to complete reading one absolute craft of English Literature.
Rapes, they say, are a result of the patriarchy bred into us since childhood. Some say it is a political cause, some blame the society. Some others even go farther off to blame the victims instead. I am still discovering as to what these molesters might feel when they pounce on a decided victim with their dirty hands, and dirty motives.
I was sixteen when I was molested myself. I’d been out with a guy at six in the evening, in a place not so crowded when two tribal men came out of nowhere and held us apart. Toying with any part of my skin they felt like, they abused the guy for taking a girl out “so late in the evening”, saying it hurt the decency of a place to find a guy and a girl out in the dark together. I wanted to tell them that it wasn’t dark yet, and we weren’t the ‘indecent couple’Â they thought us to be, but was too scared to do so. I just stood there and shivered, as a strong hand grabbed my breasts, digging his nails deep into the skin. I’d never been touched before, not by a guy, and not where he did. I had no idea how to feel, but fear drove me like it was my stimulus now. They toyed with me for half an hour, while one of the guys gave me the first kiss of my life. I’d read in the books, the first kiss was supposed to feel beautiful, it was supposed to send butterflies down your stomach. Mine just scared me. I am still so glad they did not rape me. I am glad they didn’t unbutton my shirt or tear off my panties. They just toyed with me, until my fear somehow crept into them. With marks hidden underneath my clothes, and a sharp bite on my left cheek, I was let go.
Maybe if I’d been raped, I’d have known their psychology better. But my virginity was spared on the cost of this knowledge impossible to acquire.
The six year girl, raped in Bengaluru by her gym instructor and the security guard (security guard, I say again), wasn’t as fortunate as me. She was exploited more. I wonder if she was molested until her innocence broke off too. She came face to face with the experiments of one radical part of the human dirt, the lust driven male who would rape a girl five times less his age.
Kurt Cobain once said, “Thanks for the tragedy. I need it for my art.” But, as many would like to presume, this tragedy never fuelled my passion for writing. I was fuelled by love. The rains that had poured down recklessly on the day I was molested never again channelled romance in me. The rains drove me mad, made me helpless. But again, I am luckier than the girl who would feel as helpless and exasperated at the thought of an unavoidable place like school, and for people like instructors and security guards.
The only way she is luckier than me is that she could let the world know of her pain when she most needed it. Like most other terrified girls, I didn’t know what to do when the accident happened with me. I’d never discussed matters of physical intimacy with my parents before, and I knew not what to tell them. I shut up, and let the pain burn me through. Except for the guy I was with, and my best friend, no one ever got to know about the incident. Neither of them ever provoked me to tell my parents, or to report a complaint. I became a buried case, and remained so, until this girl’s rapist forced me to come forward. Until the cries of her parents, her friends and her supporters soothed me. And once again, failing my molesters, I was fuelled by all the love they showed for her, for it was love shown for me too.
If you are a survivor, parent or guardian who wants to seek help for child sexual abuse, or know someone who might, you can dial 1098 for CHILDLINE (a 24-hour national helpline) or email them at [email protected] You can also call NGO Arpan on their helpline 091-98190-86444, for counselling support.