Its midnight… there’s absolute silence in the room… all I can hear is the sound of my own heartbeat…
In the corner of my brain I hear a scream. I wonder who is it. I hear another scream…
It is a little girl who is 13 … poking me again and again… screaming. And I ask her, “What is it that you want from me?” She said I’m your childhood, I’m your youth. Do you remember me!!!
I shut my ears. I block my heart. Do I have the guts to face her with a smile! Do I have the guts to face her at all!
She tells me, I know you are very happy and contended in your life … but what about me! How long will you keep me wrapped up in these layers and layers of webs. I’m suffocating. I need to be released, need to breathe.
It s been so many years, she says … let me go. I’m dying in here. I close my eyes and take a deep breath.
I peep into her. She s lying down, tears on her face rolling down, as she looks at me. I see the want in her eye, to be held by me.
I brave my heart, muster the strength and finally pick her up, I hold her close, hug her and we both cry, unable to hold my tears I allow myself to break down.
A deep breath later.
She sleeps in my arms as she’s not slept for three decades, she was 13 since the last 30 years as I never let her grow any older.
She runs in my mind and takes me to her beautiful warm world, where there is a lot of sunlight, laughter, love, caring and so many more beautiful things. I look at her world with a sense of belonging as I remember being there, it is like déjà vu!
Happiness and laughter, her constant companions… She lights up everyone’s life as she smiles and turns everything that breathes into love.
A warm and loving family and a small world full of happiness, unaware of the dark clouds which are looming ahead she smiles and walks with her head held high, the gait of an elephant, the strength of a lion and the feathers of a peacock. Oh an epitome of love and happiness is what I see.
One fine morning as the Sun rises and the day begins she wakes up with a smile and looks her best. It’s a good day and she is beaming as usual.
A dark short ugly demon is eyeing her and she is so unaware of him … she flies like an eagle and does not see him coming till she finds herself standing in front of her. The demon smiles … showing his ugly teeth and she stops in her tracks… her heart starts beating fast … her feet are like jelly… she does not know why but feels the fear of some kind of darkness. He touches her as lecherously as he could … she tries to free herself … but it turns out that he is stronger than her… a small tear drops from her eyelids… she knows she has to save herself from his claws. He scratches her with his paws and two droplets of blood drop down. She screams but he holds her with all his eight tentacles … she wriggles under his clutches and he suffocates her.
She looks at him with pleading eyes … begs him to let her go … He shows all his teeth and digs into her flesh mercilessly… and there it is … scarred for a lifetime … A small little butterfly with crushed wings she scrambles out of the deep dark woods and hides under the broken trunk of an old tree and sits there … not knowing what to do … tears fall down … and her heart bleeds… and for the next three decades she lives this moment every now and then … she never turned a day older than 13.
As I hold her today she has many a complaints… many a regrets … many a tears … many a words left unsaid… If only she knew how to protect herself, life would have been different.
I write this story today as I want to release a few demons of my own…
Almost all of us think that there are no molesters or molested in our family… wrong… absolutely wrong. In each family out of four children any age there will be at least two who are molested at some stage. The worst thing is that they do not tell anyone.
Majority molesters are close or distant relatives which somehow parents don’t seem to know that they are capable of any such thing. Research says that 90% of juvenile sexual abuse victims know their perpetrator in some way. The child is confused and does not know whom to talk to and is scared as to how people would react to their story. It is so tragic that so many kids face these situations at all ages in all walks of life and yet we do nothing about that.
As human trafficking is a part of our society so many are sold at a young age. Even as adults there are so many who are molested and are scared to report to anyone or even share with their loved ones.
As parents we all teach our kids to be careful all our lives … but the mistake which we do is that we don’t teach them how. We tell them to sit, talk, walk, behave properly and in a decent manner which is good as we should but, what is more important is that we should teach them how to react when they are in any such dark situation.
All we do is tell them… come home early, be safe, do not stay out after dark, do not drink, do not talk to strangers, sit with your legs together, pull your skirt down, correct your posture… blah… blah… blah… and we share stories everyday about all those bad people who put children in sacks and walk away and sell their body parts… Oh we have ways and means of scaring them, but none of us, well almost none of us teach them as to what to do when someone touches them for sexual gratification.
For you it is not a big deal … but for a 13 year old it is the end of the world.
To protect is not the answer… To Teach how to defend is!
Let all the children remain in their beautiful warm world full of sunshine and laughter, and let’s teach them how to fight and release the dark demons with tentacles.
Let the butterflies fly… Eagles soar high…
Let smiles take over all their sighs!!!
Read when you have a cup of coffee in your hand ~~~
The old and the young by Rupali Gupta
Was I really that naive…!!! By Ahmed Ata Khan.
Carrying Childhood smiles- Razor Sharp.
115 Million kids -Greater Voice