A Letter To The Cousin Who Publicly Molested Me

Posted by Ahana Bose in Gender-Based Violence, My Story
June 30, 2017


I am not supposed to say this, but I will shout out with the loudest pitch possible and say this anyway.

You are a terrible human being. Yes, you are. You are the worst thing that has happened to your parents and family and probably you are the worst thing that can happen to any grandmother, mother, friend, partner, and wife and…sister.

No, I am not going to pour out my rage in this letter. I am not going relive each and every moment of agony I had to go through because of you. I am not going to give a vivid explanation of the day when you tucked me within your arms that I couldn’t move my body, I was just 11 then. Nor will I recall the days of my childhood when you used to frighten me in every nasty way possible. Maybe some other time.

But here it is; I am not going to forgive you for what you did to me 2 years ago. It was the day of my sister’s wedding ceremony. The rituals were going on and I was standing beside you. Everyone was busy with the bride and groom and taking advantage of the moment, you groped my breast. I was shocked at first but when I yelled back, you just lost it. You grabbed my waist and hit me numerous times. I felt a burning sensation while you hit me on the chest. I almost never cry but tears rolled down my cheeks, that didn’t make you stop.

Yes, you had a winning smirk on your face on that day because no one uttered a word or came forward to defend me, to save me from your pestering hands. Rather, I was shushed for the sake of my family’s ‘reputation’. I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t cry and I just felt numb. I thought, why me? What was my fault? Did donning a sari ‘invite’ your lecherous innuendos? Or your unexplained grudge about my sexual orientation forced you to ‘teach me a lesson’?

Yes, you always had an interest in my sexual orientation. I was in love with a girl before entering high school and it always gave you a strange pleasure to mock me in front of everyone. Isn’t it so, brother? What about when you used to torment me at each family gathering? What about your unacceptable physical conduct that persisted for years? Do you have any answer?

I guess you don’t.

Anyway, moving on, my helplessness haunted me for enough time. I couldn’t seek help from anyone. I was forced to stay silent and you put on a face of nonchalance and went on as you wished. Of course, you got a fair share of sympathy. But every time you looked at me, I was being crushed with anger, disgust, and sorrow coupled with my disgusting vulnerability? I felt so dirty sometimes I couldn’t even look at myself. My self-esteem was shattered and I felt I will never trust anyone anymore.

However, let me tell you a few things. What you did to me was not my mistake but yours. Secondly, my sexual orientation is not a matter of yours or anyone’s interest. Thirdly, for heaven’s sake, stop thinking that violating anyone’s dignity is a goddamn accomplishment. It is time you clear your misconceptions.

Also, I want to pay my gratitude to you.

Thank you for hitting me so hard that I finally came to terms with the amount of strength I have within me. Thank you for showing me the people I can actually rely upon. Thank you for letting me realise that in the end, no one is going to save you but you. I am grateful to you for throwing me into the abyss of that unforgettable pain that has made me what I am today. We are shaped towards betterment through what we overcome and here I have overcome all the years of your despicable perversion. Thank you for opening up my eyes to those very few people who had back throughout everything and to everyone else who didn’t.

I express my gratitude to you for making me realise that I am the hero of my story.


A woman.