November 8, 2011

Is it ME????

Posted by The DRAGON in the skin of a goat ;-p at 12:47 AM

WARNING: Unsually(unusual for me) long post ahead. I'm sorry, wouldn't be doing justice if I tried to shorten it. I skim through long posts, won't blame you if you did it too.


Lemon yellow dress with baby-pink frills....A bag with some kittens drawn over it(she lacked cats back then too)..a yellow cap to go with dress and yellow pumps to match the cap....she looked cute in her attire with those stuffed cheeks and sparkling eyes...she pouted a little, she wanted mommy to buy her yellow gloves also so that she could look like 'Baby Shamali' in her latest movie. Mommy, Tushara akka and her were going to central Mangalore from gran's place to have 'Gadbad' at 'Shetty Icecreams'. They took the inter city bus; it was crowded and mommy had to stand. She was given place to sit between an uncle and aunty...after some stops aunty left and another uncle came sat next to her, who made her sit on his lap; she didn't mind all her uncles would always either put her on their lap or around their shoulders. Mommy got a place some where in front and akka was somewhere lost in the crowd. It was a hot April day and everybody was busy in their own world. Uncle started patting me first, and then moved slowly up until he reached where it hurt. She squirmed and called out for Mommy, but her voice was stifled in the crowd. She sat still, ignoring uncle's fingers' for 7 minutes, 7 longest minutes of her life and then her stop came. As she got down, she could feel uncle sneering at her back; she didn't understand what just happened but she held Mommy tightly after that. She was 4 and a half then.

Mom would work till 7 and her school would get over at 3. Dad would drop her back home after school and go to work, second shift. She would be locked inside till mom came at 7, after which it was too late to go outside. A new family moved in next door and they had 3 kids in the family, the youngest boy just a year older than her.  They started playing through the window in her balcony and  Dad started allowing her to stay at the neighbours place after school till Mommy came back. The boy had an elder brother who would come join them in their games sometimes. One day the younger boy was late from school and the elder one offered to teach a new game. He warned that it's a game for big children and she would get hurt. She was a tomboy then and didn't want to look weak. She agreed. He took her to the attic made her lie down, said things in her ears, and then did things to her. She was uncomfortable and she asked him to stop. But he taunted her saying she was being a pussy. She didn't want to be made fun of by the boys later so she went along. This happened everytime they were alone, sometimes he would tie her up, sometimes ask her to make noises and sometimes just sit and stare. She began to sense that it wasn't really a game which all kids played and she stopped visiting the neighbours. The locked house felt safer, much safer back then. They moved in some time and she has never seen them again. He was 20 and she was 10 years old.

She had grown to distrust men. She was never close to Mommy and Dad worked at odd times. She felt she would be an extra burden to them if she spoke out loud. Every neighbour seemed to be a creep in some way. Some tried to forcefully kiss her. some felt her up, some would ask her out and when turned down would make life miserable for her. When she tried speaking to Mommy about it once, Mommy said at this rate we would have to lie down on the rail way tracks and kill ourselves. This was after an incident happened with her cousin. She then decide to bottle it up all inside her. She would constantly ask herself  'What have I done to deserve all this....can I not be left in peace...Whose fault is all this? Are the others degenerates or is it me? '. She had her board exams and couldn't spare much thought for all this then. She would go up on her terrace to study in the evenings, she liked studying out loud and couldn't do it in her room. One day she found a note dropped on her terrace, vulgar pictures and some obscene writings were in it, she burnt it lest Mommy should find it. Next week she found a used condom thrown. She gagged but had to dispose of it before anybody else saw it. She had no idea who was behind it but it had begin to bother her. One day as she sat studying for her Physics finals she heard somebody call out her name, when she turned towards the source, she found a naked man, shagging off to glory at his window which looked down on her terrace. She was numb for a minute not knowing what to do, she fled downstairs the next instant. Every other time she went upstairs and was alone, the pervert would get his jollies in the same manner. She tried to ignore him but the episode had scalded her badly. After one day of persitsant cat calls she had had enough and went to confront her tormentor. This man had a daughter of 3 years and a gullible wife. She was torn, imagine the plight of the poor wife, but she knew she couldn't let this go on. She yelled at him in front of others, told the wife exactly what kind of a monster she was living with. The family left in a month, but not the horrors. She was 16 then.

By know she had learnt to take stock of her situation and handle it better, if not in the best way. She punched those who got too close to her, publicly humiliated those who thought they could get away with advances, sexual or otherwise, and never let her younger sister out of her sight. She had grown stronger and had learnt to make new friends, even guys. She moved to a co-ed, did everything she could to come out of her shell. She managed it. She rebelled coz the society wouldn't spare her if she didn't, she took a firm stand even if she was the only one who stood against the odds. Things seemed to be under control  until Final year engineering. She started getting weird calls at odd times, horrendous messages and mails and she had no clue what was happening.After sometime one of her friends told her that a fake ORKUT profile had been created with her pics, number and mail ID. The profile was that of a professional call girl. Again she thought 'IS IT ME? What got to her most was the pics from her actual profile contained pics of her friends too, which were morphed and obscene titles added to each. When the calls started bothering her to an extent that it started affecting her final year exams, she decided it was time to take action. She couldn't change her number, she had just filled out some forms, where the only reference was her cell number. She took the matter to the cyber cops. They told her off initally saying 'you should have known better than to put up your pics on a social networking site'. She wouldn't take no for an answer so went to the papers. An article in a Bangalore daily about the callousness of the cyber cops got them active and kicking. The site kept coming back, even after it was closed down several times; the actual perpetrator has never been found, though she has a hunch who it might be( If she ever meets that guy again he would lose more than just his vital organs). She was 22 then.

Nothing terrible has happened to her since then,  mainly because she hasn't let anything happen to her. She wears her skirts and shorts, regardless of the cat calls and lecherous eyes, she make no compromise for the sake of the porkis of the world. Doesn't mean she invites trouble willingly, there is always a shawl to drape her self and a pocket knife to protect herself!!! Things happened, they happened to her. Today she believes that if they hadn't happen she would have never been the strong, confident woman she is today. Maybe that many things didn't have to happen, but she couldn't control it then. So yes she now knows the answer to 'IT IS ME? ' cause she had it in her to take the potholes in her life and turn them into the milestones of her life!!!

I haven't written this as a confession because it isn't that. I haven't written this to heal myself because a part of me is never going to be that. I haven't written this for sympathy either, I din need it then, don't need it now. When the topic for this month's discussion was put up, the only thing that struck a chord me in what Maith wrote was this "Your story might just help someone undergoing similar situation.. ". I do hope it helps somebody today and continues to help somebody else tomorrow. I chose to write in the 3rd person since it's me as I see through my eyes, almost as if looking at a stranger. I'm a different person today, I've crossed the barrier, walked through the fire and emerged as the dragon I am today and I have nobody else to thank for that, but me, which is the best part of it all :D. People usually think that abused victims turn all messed up in the head; I'm crazy and silly as hell ,but I know without a doubt that my heads' where it should be...on my neck ;). Not many are this lucky though, some remain scarred for life. Yes it is me that I talk about above, but it wasn't me that caused all that to happen to me, I had to realize that myself to stop punishing myself. But it sure was me who chose put an end to it. Our life isn't determined by our abilities, it's defined by the choices we make!!!

If you chose to suffer in silence, you will do just that: SUFFER. If you stand up for your rights, I don't guarantee that you won't suffer but at least you won't wallow in self pity and worst of all self loathing. Today I don't let even a fly invade my privacy, but I'm also not a stuck-up old woman. With so many things in my past, I have trust issues, who wouldn't, I have a collective dislike to all men-kind and treat offense as my best defence. Yet all my best friends are guys and most guys love having me around them because I take even the most sexist joke in my stride, I know exactly where to draw boundaries and most importantly I value human relationships a lot. (It also helps that my confidence and devil-may-care attitude adds to the charm but I'm not here to boast about my hotness am I :P ;) :P). I don't generalize, which helps me a lot, otherwise I'd be left in and island where the ghosts of my past would haunt me forever. It's not my intention to preach, just hope somebody wills to take a leaf outta my book. Look around you, there are umpteen examples of abuse everywhere. Do your bit to help if not stop it; It doesn't have to always been blood-shed sometimes a silent tear might also help whilst other times a shoulder to lean on might work wonders.

Remember it is you and you alone who is responsible for your choices, choose them wisely!

P.S. : I've been MIA for so long, I couldn't even write about last months topic , which I really wanted to :(. Have been sick and down with dust allergy. Hopefully this month is better!

P.P.S: I wrote this with a steady hand, which means I must be growing up...:D...but I do hope nobody was offended by the content or the language. Maith wanted it to be true and tried to make it as true as I could at each stage in life.

P.P.P.S: FL, I have something lined up for you as well. Just wish my fingers would shrink back to their original size, after which I can dish it out, and then you can get back at Paani Puri lover and me together OK? :P :P :P.

14 comments:

Keirthana on November 8, 2011 at 10:20 AM said...

I will not give you Sympathy because you do not need it. I will give you a standing ovation because you deserve that! Girl, you are an example set to be followed. I really hope that all the girls today are as strong as you are.

maithili on November 8, 2011 at 10:58 AM said...

*stands up and applauds*

Yes you did complete justice to what I wanted! A story that could help others in similar situation.. I m soo proud of you for being so brave.. It is truly an individual's choice to be strong or to suffer and you epitomize strength..

Mystical Skeptical Me on November 8, 2011 at 1:53 PM said...

*Tight Hug* I am speechless. I am growing up too. I will not say anything. The proof that you have grown strong is this. *Hugs*

Suruchi on November 8, 2011 at 3:34 PM said...

Hi Dragon,
You know when I read the topic of discussion I thought not many would have the guts to come out with their stories-for if you are a girl, you ALWAYS have a story of this sort!

I have loads of my own-but perhaps I would never have the balls to stand up and say what you have done here! I love you for this-you have turned into an outstanding woman for all the crap that you suffered-somehow that's the only plus point that comes out of this-we become stronger!

we need to yell out that it won't be easy to mess with us and get away-you just taught that!

get well soon n all my love n respect with u always!

Viya ;) on November 8, 2011 at 5:21 PM said...

I'm literally speechless!!
*huuug* ( and get well sooon! )...
literally a dragon warrior! ( for some reason the picture of the tigress from kung fu panda popped into my head now.. ) .. :D

meoww on November 8, 2011 at 9:25 PM said...

*2 minutes of silence*
i am still trying to digest whatever you have written.
can i call you the IRON LADY from today..??!
can i call you my HERO from today??!!

nothing that i say can do justice to what you have done in your life.
i don't want my pitty words to belittle your act of unfathomable bravery..
so i will just say one thing..

you have inspired me to write my story..
thank you..

PS-sorry..this comment was not at all bubbly..:):)
god bless you darling..
you have made all of us PROUD..!!
cheers!

Sunitha on November 9, 2011 at 1:06 AM said...

Kudos to you for standing up to yourself and for sharing this with us. You rock.

The DRAGON in the skin of a goat ;-p on November 9, 2011 at 9:02 AM said...

@All: Thank you all for going through that long post, I can't manage long posts, so respect you for that. I would have really wanted all out here, to read and comment, you know that's when the whole purpose of this discussion means something, when we reach out.

@Keirthana:Trust me, I wasn't the way I am today. I've always been a binary person for sure, when I was young I was a tomboy, owing to the fact that I was the girl everywhere I went, which meant I was mostly vulnerable. These episodes made me retreat into a shell. But I was harming myself a lot, not talking to anybody and taking all the blame on me. Whatever made me realize that, was my truning point, and ever since I've been strong and growing stronger :)

@Maith: Mast thanks awave :)...I don't know if I epitomize strength or not but yes I am much stronger now. I feel I have left the worst behind me, which gives me that strength. Like I said I only wish, if not my experiences, what I did with those experiences, helps other girls/women. The applause should be for you for starting this whole thing girl :D

@Pradeeta: Don't speeden up the growing, it has to come naturally for it to last. Hugs and love <3 <3

@Suruchi:I love your name, have I told you that :D...I don't know how many girls will benefit from my tale, but the best thing that happened to me with this is, apne comment kiya :D...firsht time...that was enough to light up my day :D :D :D...the plus point is yes we become stronger, but only if we chose too. Another thing is we become aware and we could others out. My mum was never around to help in this way, she was in a larger sense a guardian, she's better with my younger sis, but maybe the heeling would ahve been better if she was there for me. You have a daughter plus your a teacher. You can reach out to more poeple than I can.

@V: I'm getting better darling all thanks to you guys constantly checking on me :)...Dragon wasn't strong enough? But I do love the Tigress :D

@Ads:You call me DIGS, that should do. IRON lady is Indira and I really don't want to be anybosy's hero. Like I said in thye post, I only only wrote it to let others know that what you do with your life is in your hands. Sab naseeb ka khel nahi hota hai. Every girl would have gone through something, we live in such a place, such a world, where we are the weaker sex. The least we do is not believe that we actually are the weaker sex.

@Sunita: Danks...I know ..I rock I rule :D.

Mystical Skeptical Me on November 9, 2011 at 10:39 AM said...

A LOT of love to you to Dragon. :D <3

Paanipuri Lover on November 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM said...

Ok! You're actually a dragon! Really, by all means! You know, you are what I aspire to be! That streak of boldness and confidence, it defines you missy! I loved this post, to that extent that I read it thrice! You're a rockstar! And if someday I get the strength to write my story here, you'll be the reason! :D :D

Love and hugs! :D

kalpak n. on November 10, 2011 at 1:20 PM said...

aah...miss titanium balls it is...u have proved that name u gave urself in this post dragon :)

RESPECT!

The DRAGON in the skin of a goat ;-p on November 10, 2011 at 11:24 PM said...

@Paanipuri Lover:You read this thrice? That's got to be the best compliment I've gotten so far. I can't read long posts oand you did this 3 times...RESPECT!!! The reason I started writing is cause of RED, I loved her guts, today somebody tells me this, ahhh the simple joys of life :D :D :D...you should write dear, like I said in my post if I could help even a single person, I'd be the happiest.

@Poopy: I told they were made of titanium...you wouldn't believe it...ab proof mila :D...thanks buddy...respect tho nahi chahiye tha, but appreciate you taking out tiem to read this.

PeeVee™ on December 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM said...

I read this first when you posted it, I didn't want to comment, so I left.
Now I feel I should have, I don't have the courage to read it again.

Nobody should have to go through such pain in life.

Raumali Dasgupta on February 24, 2012 at 9:01 AM said...

I feel like reading it again and again, but everytime it feels like a bee stinging me

Pat on your back, no compliment is enough for you

our society need women like you, who turns their weakness into their strength.

when I read this post of yours, a strange strength filled me from inside, it's a inspiring one

I am proud of you :) :)

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