Monday, January 30, 2012


The walk to my aunt's house is short, yet it feels like the most interesting route one can take. I cross sweet shops, roadside barbers, a mosque, homes, rickshaws, dispensaries and a tube well crowded with young men lathering themselves with soap so hard that all you can see is the white foam and not an inch of the dark skin under.  As soon as I come to what seems like a clearing, I hear the bells ringing at the Kaali temple and cross the pond covered so densely with foliage that there is no way of telling if there is any water under, I know I'm almost there. It is no doubt easy to spot my aunt's house in that colony - it's the only house that shows signs of wealth denoted by fresh paint, and a car parked in the garage. It is also the only house where the man of the house sits by the window overlooking the street drinking his tea or not. It seems like he is always looking out of that window. Till date, I wonder why.

I love going to my aunt's place and will come up with any excuse to leave my grandparent's house and walk over there. It is also where I want to be when there is no power. Theirs is the only house I know with a generator where we can sit under the fan and watch TV while all the neighboring homes have people sitting by kerosene lamps fanning themselves desperately with hand fans and cursing that the power has to always go off right at the time of their favorite show of which there aren't too many to begin with. I also love going there because unlike my grandparents who won't feed me any junk food, there is an abundance of that at my aunt's place. She will also make those deep fried bread pakoras with a meat filling I love to eat so much with dollops of ketchup. It feels like heaven in my mouth and I savor it till all I can taste is my own saliva.

I love spending time with my sister. We sit on top of the winding stairs that lead down to an overgrown garden and talk for hours. She is much older to me but somehow we find common ground. I am jealous she has her own room in a home I would die to have. I can sense she will make strides in her life like no other women in our family.

In a house so full of fun, laughter and love, lurks shadows dark and ugly. They spring out of nowhere and grab me by surprise. They thrust their long ugly tongues inside my small mouth and I can taste bile rising up my throat. I'm afraid to venture near that window where I know he will cuddle me and shower me with his love in a way that makes me want to run far far away and never come back. The night I sleep over and yet am unable to sleep because my hand is in places that is beyond the wildest and darkest imagination of a little girl - I just shut my eyes tight and try my best to not throw up and wish and pray my aunt doesn't wake up.

My uncle dies a few days after my wedding. I hope his soul has not rested in peace.

Dedicated to all those little girls who are molested by family members and are unable to speak up in fear of...well, FEAR.


MACMD said...

It's horrible and upsetting to think this happened to you. I wish I could go back in time and kick some uncle ass. But I applaud you for writing this. It took guts. And you are who you are today because you have a lot of those. At the end of the day, you got your own back in the best way possible: by being a beautiful, strong person. I'm proud of you.

Joy @CGBC Youth said...

You are right, some posts requires no title; some facts desire no name. I find it both scary and comforting reading this that it really could happen to anyone, yet look what strong woman you are! Hugs! I wonder about your sister (cousin? Or sister?) what great things is she up to?

Meenakshy said...

Abuse is sad. I am so so sorry this happened to you. Many people stuff this kind of memory in a far corner of their minds and then it kills their soul. But facing it like you are is not only brave but healing for your soul. Sharing it like you did will hopefully bring awareness to parents and hopefully they will be careful with their own kids and not think: oh, this won't happen to me or my kids! Another sad but true fact is that culprits are usually people we know and put a great deal of trust in. I raised my kids to be aware of such situations and also to be able to speak up and share with me - no matter what. We come from a generation and culture where we never talk of such things because they do NOT exist! Mala, you have lived your life with so much beauty, grace, gusto and LIFE. That IS a great example for other women/girls who will (unfortunate but sadly true)face this in their life paths. Thank you for sharing your story. Much love and light your way.

Pardesi said...

Far too many are ashamed to tell their story...kudos to you, and I hope that it inspires others to do the same.

The Pink Tornado said...

Very well narrated, Mala boudi! I was choked with emotion for a lot of days after reading your post and finally, decided to comment. You spoke for a lot of other women (and perhaps, men too) who try to bury such horrifying childhood experience in self-denial and self-pity. I strongly wish our kids can stand up to such cannibals on their face.
Thank you for writing this post.

sukalpa said...

Proud of u munni...and like always by your side rock solid.

Mala said...

Thank you ladies!