The best part about CSA Celebration is the ‘awareness’ it is spreading. Parents need to be informed regarding what to do. A child’s life is not an easy one. He/she is expected to learn and grasp many things. He is expected to talk to strangers. He is often asked to recite a poem to people who compare him/her with some other child. The rat race begins from the moment a kid starts grabbing an object or starts sitting on his/her own.
We do tell our kids to be cautious of strangers and to be wary of accepting gifts from them. What is often not told is to let the child be aware that if he/she finds something unusual or feels uncomfortable with someone he/she should tell one of the parents. A parent needs to invest this much confidence in the child. A child has a sharp mind and it grasps and locks an incident in the memory for too long.
I was 9 years then. I was very excited because dad and I were travelling to Mathura for a wedding ceremony. It was one of our closest friend’s daughter’s wedding. We were around 20-25 people in the bus that was booked specially. We sang and played antakshari. I used to learn music back then and I was asked to sing repeatedly. There was this very thin short guy in his mid-20s with thick moustache who praised my singing a lot. The other people were teasing him a lot saying next would be his turn to get married. On our way back to Delhi, I was way too sleepy and rested on dad’s shoulders. But then dad was having his spondylitis pain and that guy asked dad to let me put my head on his lap. He said it very sweetly and my dad obliged! I kept my head on his lap and tried to sleep. Soon after I realized he was trying to feel my non-existent breasts. It felt weird so I got up and started crying. Dad got worried as he thought I saw a bad dream and took me away from him and caressed me back to sleep. I didn’t tell him what happened. I was too confused and unaware. But I knew what he did was not right.
I slowly tried to forget this incidence but that bus and that guy is still livid in my imagination.
Then another incident happened that made me aware how pathetic few people can be. I was may be 11 years old. Mom and I were going to visit my uncle’s place and that day we couldn’t find an auto-rickshaw. We took DTC Bus. The bus was crowded like anything. A kind woman asked me to come and sit on her lap. Mom was standing near the conductor. The bus was so crowded that I couldn’t even see her clearly. Just before our stop was about to come a guy started feeling me. I am not comfortable to share what exactly he did. I was disgusted and knew it was not an accepted behaviour. I heard my mom call my name and we got off. The moment we got off my mom asked me if that guy was doing something bad to me. I just nodded my head in approval. She didn’t ask me the details but explained few things to me. She said, ‘ if ever you feel something is not right or you feel uncomfortable due to someone’s words you have to come straight to me or dad or bhaiya and tell us.’ I followed her words. My elder brother was always there. After few years later a senior in school misbehaved with me in the school bus and I told him. I felt secured because of him.
Four years back I was coming back to home in the tainted Ghaziabad route private bus. This guy actually hurt me terribly from behind. I was in pain. The last incidents came back to haunt me and I just turned and slapped him hard across the face and got off. I never took the same route again. (http://mindflirting.wordpress.com/2008/08/08/evetease/)
Till date, I feel that whatever my mom told me that day made me a stronger person. But the incidences still make me sick to my stomach. They make me really angry. I cry afterwards. It makes me quiet and depressed.
These incidents made me wary of people touching me. I had issues with even my close friends touching me. An accidental touch of hand would make me want to wash my hands endlessly. I still don’t prefer hugs. When I think of those incidents locked far away in a corner of my mind it makes me sick and want to throw up. I am fully aware that I going to throw up as soon as I finish writing this post. I had to gather lot of courage to share my story here.
After leaving Delhi and moving to NZ, I could walk on the roads with my held up high. I could wear what I wanted to. There were no eve-teasers. No one looked at me with lecherous eyes.
My confidence has come back. I will tell the same things what my mum told me to my child. I going to make him/her confident that he/she can talk to me whatever he/she feels is incorrect. Moreover I am going to cuddle and hug him/her a lot so that he/she is aware what a legitimate touch is and what is not.
This CSA is a great endeavour. Kudos to all the people sharing their posts here!