I challenge any of us to say they have never been sexually exploited, be it with a word or a gesture, a look that undresses you or a touch that scratches your very soul, or even that all pervasive fear that never releases its hold on you and controls your life.
I have had unseen fingers probing my genitals when I was boarding a train, all of 10 years of age, wearing that new frock I loved so much, excited to start my summer vacation.
I was confused and could not comprehend what had happened. But even then I knew something bad, and filthy, and sick had been done to me. I still remember the feel of those rough fingers punching into my tiny child’s body.
I have been groped and pinched and mauled on a crowded bus on my way backfrom college in Delhi. I struggled towards the door, only to have my top lifted up and hands cup my breasts in full view of the road. I know that nauseating feeling of fear, loathing, hate, shame, humiliation and for some strange reason, guilt, that floods a girl who is a victim of sexual offences in our country.
Shame and guilt, as though I was somehow responsible for this happening to me.
I have been chased by boys on motorcycles while travelling alone in an auto at night in Delhi. I was only saved from Damini’s fate by the auto-driver who managed to dodge the gang while I frantically called for police assistance, which arrived about fifteen minutestoo late even though I was right at India Gate, the most heavily patrolled area of Delhi.
If that auto driver had decided to join the boys in raping me, nothing could have saved me.
The voices that spoke to you are neither alone nor isolated in their experience of depravity. If I, despite being a well-educated, working, upper-middle class girl in a big city, could not escape unscathed and unscarred, how can anyone else have a chance?
(MEENAKSHI’S BLOG : http://fisheyes-meanie.blogspot.in/)