TW: Mention of suicide, suicide attempts, and assault.
To the Minister of Women and Child Development,
What is unpleasant is that even today the education system and complications a girl has to face after being physically harassed are infinite. Quotidian we comb through numerous articles, but nobody gets to see the ‘sensationalism’ of this topic nor how worse this situation could become.
Till date, it’s strenuous for me to acknowledge what I had put my parents through with all of this, to talk about what I myself was put through, to feel like a complete loser, and to finally withhold every ounce of what my dad said to me.
Firstly, even rationalizing what I’ve been through in the past eight months gives me goosebumps, and penning it gives me double the pain.
It all began with having five backlogs in my first semester of engineering, which I agree is entirely my fault as I took it lightly thinking it will turn out to be like 10th grade. “I can study just a few days previously,” I thought. Which turned out to be false, and I meticulously failed.
I had no courage to face my parents and ended up taking half a bottle of my thyroid pills and sprayed insect spray all over my mouth, assuming I would be dead without having to face my parents and not have them see what a pitiable person I was. This was because I know it takes a lot of determination to earn money, and nor did I get a free seat, it was my dad’s hard-earned money.
When I left the suicide note in the foyer for my mom to read it, it took a toll on me to write things to her that I never thought I’d say. The next day when I opened my eyes and realised I was alive, nobody can relate to how melancholic I felt.
After two weeks of mummy and pappa’s ‘TED talks’, I was fine to go to college and proceed with my second semester, assuming “I can definitely make through this and hit stardom.” And, when I finally made things better for myself, I had to endure the most revolting situation I could ever be in. I was physically abused by a 30-year-old man, which dragged me three steps back to the phase I was previously in.
I came home running and called my best friend who suggested I take it to the elders, and thought that action had to be taken against this.
I was numb and I couldn’t feel a thing. I bit my tongue until it bled and was on mute and didn’t utter a word to my mom. I went upstairs, and the more I thought, the more I felt like killing that ruthless scumbag. It was 2 AM, and I texted my sister, telling her the whole thing.
The next day, my parents knew, and action was taken. It wasn’t easy, we live in a world where everyone relies on ‘proof’, and taking action took around 20 days. Of course, it did give me satisfaction, but it didn’t give enough justice to the situation I was put in.
I couldn’t resist the thought of being such a pain to my parents. Then, I again tried a different way to end my life. But, apparently, my parents never left me alone and came running upstairs after presuming what I was doing alone for so long.
When I realised how messed my life was, things got worse. It had been months, I had stopped going to college, giving my friends reasons that I had health issues, which I did. This phase of my life has tremendously been sickening, thinking of why I was even alive the whole time.
I lost a whole year, and had to join the engineering course again.
But, talking about the worse part, it’s such a pain in the arse when my dad stated, “It’s your fault, you never studied. You take life for granted.” The words reflected what I thought to myself, “you deserve this.”
On what basis can ‘anybody’ be so rude after what happened? Was I at fault that someone did that to me? But, I also agree, staying under one’s roof is always nauseating. I’ve zipped my mouth thinking I’ll stay this way until I earn my own bread.
My dad hasn’t been an easy person to deal with. It could be because his mindset differs from mine. Being a doctor, all he said was “Only medicine and engineering are supreme.”
Like Mr Sherlock, the most successful people alive are shining in different areas. When I took up writing seriously, my dad once again went all again like, “this can be a hobby but not a profession.”
It’s been quite a rough time through all of this, but I managed to write about what I felt and got one of my books published on Amazon. I was told not to talk about what I’d been through, but I guess it’s high time to stop hiding behind the screen, as I don’t see my fault.
I’ve been working as an intern for a few platforms on Instagram, and I’m glad that I’m moving past this phase. I’ll be rejoining engineering, and I don’t see my life going anywhere, I’m still not clear about how I see myself in a few years.
Finally, I feel the mental health discourse in India has a lot more to work on, in the way to betterment. The education system has partially flipped this year, setting a different variety of rules for the youth.