Every morning we see our fathers and grandfathers sitting in the balcony with a newspaper and a cup of tea, reading and maybe even discussing what’s going on in the world. But how many times have we done the same thing? That is, taken the newspaper and read every line of it with patience? I’d say, very very few times.  Yes, we do see the fashion columns and what’s the spicy news in Bollywood and Hollywood, but I’m not talking about these news. And what exactly is the reason for that? The reason is nothing but the fact that we are all too busy with our own lives to care for another. We are all too busy clicking our own pictures , updating our own statuses, buying ourselves the things we love and talking to our own friends 24/7 that we forget to see and realize what’s going on in the outside world. We are all stuck in our own little happy bubble where we think that we’re safe and secure. And we are. Until one day the darkness is finally able to pierce through it. We are all happy and merry and are least bothered about what happens to others until and unless the same thing is repeated with us. That’s exactly when we start caring and understanding the pain, the hurt and the emotional turmoil the other person has gone through. Otherwise who cares?

Most of the time there’s a headline in the papers saying that a girl has been molested and the guy is free, roaming around the streets like he deserves a crown on his head. What do we do then? Do we ever sit and wonder what the girl has gone through and what her life will be after the terrible incident ? No. We just say ‘Oh what the world has come to’ and then get on with our lives. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. Maybe not. But I don’t think that we ever have the time to think what the girl and the girl’s family will be going through in the coming days.

You might be wondering why I’m saying all these. It’s because I was one such girl. Only interested in things which included me, otherwise they were of no importance to me. I only cared about myself and my friends plus family. I too was inside my own little happy perfect bubble which bursted one evening making me realise that the world is not actually a safe place. There are monsters out there waiting to grab you and plunge you into an unavoidable darkness. You’ve all read the third point of view of a molestation in newspapers. But have you ever read it or understood it from the victim’s side?

I am a girl and I love to write. I love to play around, I love the starry nights and the pink cotton candies, but my whole life changed that night. When the door of the car clicked open and three men came out and that’s when my skin felt the roughness of mammalian greed instead of the sunshine which I’ve always felt. And then I knew. I knew that my life wasn’t about dolls and chocolates anymore. That’s when I knew that my life would never be the same again and that I will be scarred for life. That’s when I was being taken away and everyone else watched. That’s when I bled and he laughed. That’s when I cried and he laughed. That’s when I knew that no one, absolutely no one, was coming to my rescue. And that’s when I felt completely alone.

No one ever forgets the night that scarred their life ever since, and neither did I. How clearly one remembers all the things of their destruction came as a complete and utter surprise to me. I thought I’d forget with time, that time would erase all the painful memories embedded in my brain. But that didn’t happen. And it never will. So here I am, trying to pen down my thoughts and feelings regarding that awful night that completely changed my life forever.

It wasn’t much of an unusual evening, just that it was a bit cold and foggy- the best type of weather to sit by the window under a blanket with a cup of hot coffee/chocolate and your favorite book- and that there were less people on the road than there usually were. It was around 8 pm when I was returning back home from tuition and I was appreciating the weather to my heart’s content and also thinking of ways I could utilize it to my advantage. Hence I could see neither them nor my destruction coming at me from the other side. It was a black car, with the music blasting at full volume, that came towards me at full speed and stopped beside me. Inside it were three guys out of whom the one driving handed me a paper and asked for the direction to an address on the white torn paper. As I was reading the address, I heard the back door of the car opening with a creak. Little did I know that that creak marked the end of my childhood. One hand groped me from behind and hauled me into the car. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t scream as another pair of hands pressed down on my mouth. I struggled. I fought. I fought for the innocence I had, for the sunshine that was always present in my life, for the peace I always had and for the dreams I wanted to come true. They tore my clothes along with every sense of belief I had in the good. They pressed their body on mine and I felt like my whole existence was pressed down and would never be found. They did nothing but force themselves on me; one, torturing my soul, another, harassing my body and the last destroying my future. I cried and cried, knowing that this single encounter with these three boys would gain nothing but detest from the people around me, would gain nothing but judging eyes. I felt numb and detested myself for I knew that I couldn’t do anything to save myself from these animals.

The next thing I knew was that I was thrown out of the car. They had had their share of fun and then threw out the toy they played with. But the only difference was that I was not a toy. I was not a toy to be played with and thrown away in such a manner. I am a girl, I have feelings and I have a future. But nobody cared. As I was lying on the road, helpless and crying, nobody came to my rescue. Nobody cared enough to help the girl who just got scarred for life. There were no helping hands and I could only see all the judging eyes looking at me from a distance and walking away. I could stare at their eyes and see all those judgmental statements- ‘She’s wearing crop top and skirt, it’s likely to happen’, ‘She’s a girl and she’s staying out so late at night’, ‘Who asked her to wear such a dress?’ etc etc. And I knew they would neither help me nor support me. Somehow, I got up and dragged myself home. My mom was completely shocked and my father did not even look at me. No, there was no police complaint registered just because my family’s dignity and society’s views mattered much more than me.

People would think that one particular incident does not shape one’s life. I used to think that too. I used to believe that people were entitled to live their lives just as others would even after certain incidents which could be forgiven by the society. But no. That was not the case. After that, I was raped every single day. I was raped when the aunt living next door looked away when I smiled at her. I was raped when my best friend refused to sit by my side. I was raped when other boys would sneer at me and none of my friends came to my rescue. I was raped everyday, every moment by the society thereafter. I knew it could never be normal again. I knew I had lost my childhood, my dreams, my innocence, my everything and that my life had been completely destroyed. But I was still a human being without being treated like one.

From that day onwards, all I could ask was ‘Why me?’. Why was I the one who was subjected to such cruelty? Why was I the one who was judged by everyone? Why was I the one whose dreams shattered like a glass plate? Why did my dreams turn to nightmares?

Why me?