How was your first kiss?
It is the sweetest memory that I have. We did not kiss for long, like what they show in movies, it was a matter of a few seconds. It was a beautiful rainy evening and my favorite music was playing in the cafe. With her by my side, it was bliss. We had been dating for a while then and she wanted to get some coffee.
I was 17, and the only mode of transportation was to walk. I was holding her hand and somewhere I knew I was doing the right thing. I reached out to her and pulled her, one hand on her waist and the other on her neck. I closed my eyes and let my whole body melt, I could feel her wet hair brushing my cheek. There was love, solidity, fierceness, and passion. It was something that I had never felt before and something that I will cherish for eternity. I might have kissed a million times after that, but the first time, it was special.
Wasn’t that beautiful? But how many of them get to feel that way about their first kiss. Let me tell you a story.
It was a normal day at college until Charu got that one text from her mom.
“Subbu mama (uncle) passed away. He got a cardiac-arrest while working at the site. We are going to the hospital.”, it read.
She read and re-read the message. On any given day, she was someone who was very compassionate, the lightest of the things would wreck her emotions. But, today she did not cry. She smiled instead.
Because she remembered.
She remembered how Subbu uncle used to forcibly pull her and kiss her in her mouth. She was seven or eight, she did not do anything to deserve that.
She remembered how she used to run to the room, close the door and drag the pillows to the door so that she could reach the latch that was on the top.
She remembered how she would then hide beneath the cot and make no sound, but he would still come by the window and call her name.
She remembered how her own name terrorized her. So much that even today, if someone had to call her name from behind she would jerk.
She remembered how the smell of alcohol would fill her nostrils when he kissed her. The way she fought to let go of his clutches.
She remembered how he threatened to hit her dog if she had to open up about all of this to someone.
She remembered it like yesterday. That disgusting feel she had every time she was abused, groped and sexually assaulted. She remembered how hopeless it made her feel.
She smiled because she remembered.
He was educated. He had an engineering degree. He was married and had 3 kids of which the eldest was a girl and she was at least two years older than Charu. He came with a very decent and pious family background. But, he chose to do what he did.
Today, decades later, Charu still gets those dreams that torments her soul. She still sees those images that sends a chill down her spine. The guy who abused her is no more, but the abuse remains fresh in her mind.
Credits to Subbu Mama, she never got to enjoy the essence of her first kiss. Thanks to him for all the sleepless nights she spent not knowing what to do. Thanks to him for robbing her innocence.
Thanks to him, she looked out for other kids in her family. Thanks to him, she identified uncles and aunties like him in family functions.
Charu is me, Charu is you, Charu is every single boy and girl who got abused in some way or the other. Charu is everybody who shared the #metoo post.
And, when I share something like this, the immediate response that I get is that there is no point in sharing this on the social media, there is no point in blaming those in your friends list.
Wrong. I am channeling my anger in the right direction. The uncles and aunties on my Friend’s list could have done it. It should prick them. The cousins in my list might read them, they will know that they don’t have to go through this alone.
Subbu Mama was not uneducated. He was an engineer, and I’m sure that there were other doctors, teachers, government servants and what not. Education has nothing to do with this. The job they do has nothing to do with this. What matters is their inner demons.
Maybe it’s high time we identify these demons and protect the kids in our house. When a child is abused, it casts a shadow to the length of his/her lifetime.
There is no excuse for Child abuse.