It all stared with a ruffle of my hair,
and frequent, encouraging pats on my back.
All taken a sign of innocent love and affection. Until;
The affection got too frequent, and
the patting moved to more secret parts of me.

This was a man whose feet my parents touched,
hoping to be blessed, revered and held in high trust.
A man who had traveled the whole world-wide,
learned, wise but with an unquenchable thirst for an evil vile.

I was only five while he was going on forty-five.
He helped me in my studies.
He bathed me. He dressed me.
And helped me sleep, narrating the most beautiful stories.

My parents left me that day in his care,
to pray to God for my health and welfare.
I was alone with the family demigod.
A man who had it all masterfully planned.

That fateful evening was his night of celebration.
He even had my share of the temple’s sweet prasad.
I lay curled up in my bed, trembling in pain.
Hurt, bleeding, and confused – why am in so much pain?

My mother came to my side, wanting to know about my tears and hurt.
I just hugged her not knowing what to tell her.
He entered the room, all-wise, and told her;
it was just the heat and I would get used to it soon  alright.

This fateful evening I am one and five, and he would be five and five.
I now understand what had happened to me.
I was raped as a child by my own family and kind.

This fateful evening I am at his doorstep.
His grandchild is five, like I was that night.
It was his lust. It was my abuse.
I will not let him have another prey.

This is not a personal story.
This is a post inspired by one of the episodes of Satyamev Jayate, and this also is the Child Sexual Abuse Awareness month.
So parents, uncles, aunts, teachers, all please talk to your children and help them understand what’s wrong and right. And make sure you listen to them, not just hear them. Be sensitive and be aware. Please.

Do take time to read Karthick’s piece on the same topic, Innocence no more, here

prasad – a gracious gift, usually food, given at places of worship