I remember vividly the joys of growing into a teen, eyes full of dreams, heart full of imagination and mind ready to do adventurous things, wow superb phase of life but recall painfully how a few could snip off the happiness cruelly leaving behind the deep scars for a life time!! A friend was in sobs on the slight mention of teen age experiences after almost 25 years!! We gathered just for a change and someone broached this teen age experience issue, none noticed but I saw her sniffing softly wondering what went wrong to upset her so much. When I asked she broke down like a child, narrating in between the sobs gasping and looking here and there like a baby with her dark black heavy eyes, fearing anyone overhearing her woes.
I could just lend my ears to erase her pains. She spent her childhood in her grandparents home where she was the apple of almost everyone in surrounding as well home. When teen age tapped her doors she was so thrilled with everything she came across, which can only be experienced. She was treated with much of pampering and care that made her friends envy her luck. Being the only girl in the family of three uncles and two aunts she was treated with utmost care and love in everything she asked or thought of. She just wondered how a girl can be so fortunate!! One day all her good dreams turned into nightmares and days became dark. She went to a friend’s place to spend some time. Without knocking the door as usual brimming with joy entered home and bumped into her brother. He was more than happy to see her dressed in a charming red frock laced around neck to make her look more elegant. To his eyes but she looked gorgeous and quite appealing. Once inside she didn’t realize him bolting the door behind her back and advancing towards her with a wicked smile. She tried hard to resist but could not escape his clasp around her frail body. She could feel his breathing over her delicate neck and frightened she could not even scream as she never expected in her wildest dreams any such thing would come across to snatch her lovely eyes beauty permanently. He tried to make her feel comfortable but she was like a frightened deer in a lion’s claws fearing every moment and unable to utter a word. He left her at her door steps ruefully with great care after fulfilling his mean, wicked desires. She could barely notice the steps as her big eyes were filled with bitter and salty tears making her throat choke with mixed emotions, body cracking with a heavy unbearable pain. Why she has to face such a bad thing in such a tender age? What was her mistake? When she sobbed and refused to have lunch, grandma came and caressing her hair asked gently, “Why my dear, you don’t feel hungry or what? Come we would lunch together, I have prepared specially for you Brinjal fry.” How could she refuse her love? She could barely eat, on the pretext of stomach pain she left food half eaten to grandma’s dismay. After that day her chirpiness vanished and gloomy expression made her beautiful face dull.
She could not focus on studies like before and the teachers were quite shocked to note the changes. Maybe she missed her mother who left her two years back in tears. Somehow days passed at it’s own pace and soon it became very evident to almost everyone around her that something fishy is making her change into a sober and matured person in such a tender age when she was barely 17 years! Immediately arrangements were made to visit a psychologist and they were shocked to hear the narration of that awful incident piercing the hearts ruthlessly. So this thing only shattered her whole personality! She was given sedatives but her smile never came back. She changed into a sober and matured person, still very attractive and charming to those who loved her more than anything else in the world. She forgot friends and smile, now immersed in reading and writing to get rid of her woes hovering all over her person.
Soon after completing 12th with great efforts she decided to work and study in night college, here our friendship bloomed into a strong relationship. Though I listened to her painful experience which drastically diverted her to lead a life without any grip and interest to whatever life offered. Unfortunately the villain in this whole story was from brahmin community and senior to her, thus my faith in caste system vanished into thin air and I found myself turning a highly irritated creature on the slightest mention of caste. I could not help but dwell on a few incidents of my life.
Generally we meet people of different attitudes but some stay in our mind with their unique attitudes leaving an impression and a mark over our mind. I fortunately met such a person. He became a friend when I started working. He used to playfully rag but never meant to hurt. I liked him being of similar characteristics, could confide to him without worrying about anything. We had a genuine liking for each and a rapport full of mutual understanding. We never cared about anyone or anything, the people around us had so much to say about our relationship which was never considered. What amused most was backbiting. I had a habit if anyone assumed things I used to fuel their mind.
After a certain period we were separated and shifted to different places, I got so occupied in family life that almost lost touch, being in rural area never gave importance to anything than family and probably that was the biggest folly of mine. Suddenly after 17 long years when we happened to face each other it was simply a surprise as he had 2 sons and I had 3 children we never dreamed of meeting at all. My best friends were married and had 2 handsome sons, meeting welled up so many memories that hardly the time of 4 hours was enough yet a deep satisfaction of being together filled my mind with a content. After our departure we sometimes called up and inquired the well being but time flew and lots of things changed.
Suddenly one day I got the news of my friend demise which shook me to no end. She was healthy and above everything he took good care of her in every possible manner. Then how she died in mid of a happy life!! Maybe God loved her more than us! After almost 2 years of her demise am still not able to forget her, god only can console her family. Both the sons have grown up and studying yet the caring and love of a mother is incomparable. He is a very friendly father and tries his best to bridge the gap. I am very surprised when I heard him talk about his son’s emotional attachment to a girl with pride and happiness. Can a father be so friendly? I can’t imagine from a male so easy acceptance without any egoistic interference. The children are really fortunate to have such a father.
Though she is not among us but she too enjoyed her life with him as he was the best caring person a girl could think of as a husband. A son he takes care of his parents. In my friends I have liked him the same from my young age till now, sometimes if stressed he is a stress buster for me lending his ear silently and laughing out my worries easily to make me relax. I sometimes think why God separates couples leading a happy life and feeling incomplete without each other so cruelly? She asked me before leaving, “Are you happy with your life?” I nodded and that was the last thing we shared. I gifted her with my friend and she in return gifted two sons, reminding me of her presence around always.
I was in teens quite upset as I had some fixed biased attitudes and thus felt a strong hatred towards male counterparts to the extent of feeling a burning sensation produced due to the hatred thus making me a cripple in many a ways when it came to confront them face to face, be it any situation I could not resist my inner feelings though very brilliantly I could hide but I felt disgusted for even talking to them. I used to think often, It’s unhealthy attitude and must get rid of it at the earliest but who could help me? I then decided to help myself as I knew myself well than any other person so started a self analysis round and made a list of things I felt like changing immediately.
My friend being attached to me, I thought of utilizing his presence to shed my psychological hurdles thus I started to behave friendly with him but my inner self resisted strongly which I ignored tactfully. In a few weeks I could see positive changes like the sight of males didn’t irritate me. then I started moving freely like shaking hands or patting gently thus apart from my initial self rejections I could again see the changes happily unlike earlier days. While eating I made it a point to share food with them who knew me well thus started a round of inner battle. Gradually I could overcome my basic hurdles which could be spotted by others if keenly observed, my first step towards success then I focused on behavior which aroused a deep discontent within me if against my heart I talked freely to any person. I started inviting my friends home and spent time with them being with family I felt comfortable but at the same time rebelled against my own mental fears convincing every male can’t be a devil unlike my mental pictures. Initially I failed but then with my friends I could see myself relaxed in being with them. this was my second successful step.
After a few years constant efforts I succeeded in changing lots of silly things which hang around me thus creating a false world, devoid of enjoying anything always immersed in depressions. I met a man who expressed his liking for me the very first day he spoke to me, I was aghast as I knew my problems whereas he had seen me only as a silent type of person and had wrong ideas of my character so I straightaway refused though little hard for him yet somehow I convinced him.I gave him a list of all the negatives in my mind which would be against for a healthy relationship as a husband wife, told to consider and then talk anything as it was impossible to maintain a healthy relationship. After 3 days he again approached me with the same adamant attitude of marrying me.
I felt pity for him as he underestimated the whole things being deeply impressed with my character. I then told him to straight away meet my parents for anything regarding marriage, as if he was not bold enough he won’t go to my parents and I could escape from him. We worked in the same manufacturing unit so in a day frequently had to see each other for the various procedures. He went and met my mother and expressed his desire to marry me, which was not on my cards at all. My mother was perplexed as I had told her already to refuse his proposal giving some excuse which she did but he was not willing to listen to any excuse and every Sunday met her, spent time talking to her thus she developed a liking for him and finally agreed for marrying us reluctantly giving the reasons of tortures from his parents side being inter-state marriage which he instantly brushed away smiling valiantly.
The day was fixed for our marriage. 14th October being an auspicious day as a close friend suggested, we registered our marriage and then went to a temple of Goddess Kali, for some rituals like wearing toe rings and bangles and accepting each other as life-partners. After the final marriage we came home, took blessings of my parents, his parents being against and in south, we took blessings from his house owner who too were from south and liked him, after the basic sentimental rituals we came to our place as husband and wife. Full day went smoothly but night brought all the possible nightmares which I had in my mind, making me a paralytic. Again I had to struggle with myself to be normal with him which was really impossible. Though we worked at the same place but never had a chance to be physically close so his presence made me fearful and nervous sending negative signals entirely collapsing me as a wife. His hands when touched me I felt a sort of hatred spreading and disgust enveloped me. I just kept his hands away, so shocked he just looked at me in questioning manner, I told him to stay away giving a lame excuse which obviously perplexed him.
Though familiar faces we never had been in close contact in any way, him being hot tempered always I used to remain aloof but here fate tied me with him. I sat in silence deeply disturbed mentally and he too disturbed for not able to experience his first night with his newly wed wife!! What a plight!
My mind slipped in past days when the seed of this hatred was sown in early age. I was barely 10 years old, I used to go to mill for grinding wheat and other such jobs, being crowded many a times had no option than to wait and this proved a curse for me. From my childhood I was very sharp and observant, the person at the mill was not a good fellow and tried to molest the young girls who came to mill, unfortunately I witnessed this heinous thing and in my mind started to hate the males from the depth of my heart. As I grew this hatred too grew and I found myself mentally cripple as I had to study with boys in school, had to move with boys in so many circumstances. In my eyes all the males were culprit. One by one this thing got more and more strong as sex abuse though not publicized like present times yet had its root in my times nearly 40 years back also.
If the girls tried to tell their moms about the next door neighbor they were instructed to keep their “mouth shut” on the pretext of “creating problems” in the family. These moms are strange as they want to protect the wrong doers not their daughters! What a stupid attitude! Who is important the daughter or the culprit? Why this fear of getting a bad name? From whom, for whom, Why, What purpose it serves? So many unanswered questions were constantly itching my mind.
Another person who once again made a strong impact over my tender mind was one old man nearing 75, we used to play with him enjoying his company addressing as grandpa, he was the father of our house owner lady. He forced young girls who played with us to massage his genitals, this scene shattered my respect for elders. How an elderly person can be so vulgar? A teacher in school tried to please his dirty intentions in touching the shoulders and back while doing correction work on the pretext of explaining to them. He even used to put his hands around girls very closely. This annoyed me and I became a very silent type of person as a result because I could not ask clearly or do anything being young.
These things stopped my normal activities and I became over-matured and thoughtful person, at times depression engulfed my whole self but none at home spotted my problems as otherwise I was a normal duty-bound person doing all my jobs, I failed to concentrate on studies and always a silent fear gripped my mind. I could not trust a male be it any relation, Was it wrong? My mind was always perplexed yet I was a good sister, daughter. Nowadays parents, media, friends all seem to be over caring but in my teens nothing like this was there to comfort or console so always a fright hang around and made me an imbalanced person. I had a good control though yet very close friends could sense something fishy but I never shared anything to anyone.
My twin sister was not with me till quite a long time so none to understand my feelings. Ultimately I decided to step out of this gloomy world and started writing to vent my frustrations and hatred. Without letting my address published I kept publishing my articles in Manorama, Sarita, Mukta, Dharmyug etc, one of my teacher asked me to cut and file those but I never gave much importance. It helped me become little normal outwards. Inside but I was the same and the hatred kept my mind burning. Then after 12th when I started working I made it a point to free myself from this low self esteem and unwanted negatives, taking the help of my friend Prakash I could succeed but without even letting him know. Initially I felt a storm of hatred towards him then it subsided. Another person who helped me with a lot of love and care was Raja, he addressed me thangachi meaning younger sister in Tamil which I never knew. Though he is no more I can’t forget his genuine affection. These two boys helped me sail smooth and to a great extent I could feel normal.
Then came the blow. A person at that time who is now my dear husband approached me for marriage. I was hanging in my shattered world and he was dreaming of marrying me! He was a genuine person, who heard everything I told him about the incidents breaking me to this extent in cool mood and said to be away from all the worries, and that he would take care of me well. I was behind refusing and he was behind pursuing and finally he won after almost 6 years long battle of silence and tears. I used to feel highly depressed but myself unaware of any such thing. After we got married I warned him not to disturb me in any way as though I seemed normal the storm inside was still the same. After our marriage on 14th October, seeing my nonplussed behaviour he went to Bangalore in a few days, though reluctant left as he failed to convince me. On Dec 24th he came back and that gap filled the gap between us silently without any hang ups we started our married life. Without any grudges for whatever troubles I gave he proved to be a very gentle person and till date he is the same.
I could not cope up easily but had no options then to surrender.I sailed through ups and downs managing somehow and became a proud mom of two sons and a daughter. Time is the best healer for everything, I became a complete South Indian housewife within a short period of 22 years in south and somewhat got accustomed too but heart was not content and I experienced a sort of aloofness from the surroundings though I had to hide this feel from others. I indulged myself in lots of charitable activities which I could afford, gave counselling to young children fearing the same must not be repeated in anyone’s life. Experiencing relief in writing, reading, teaching, counselling so far have completed my voyage against the currents. This aloofness is the result of so many things witnessed by my innocent mind though not involved yet involved to a great extent I till date fail to be a successful person.
Out side all know me as a loving teacher having tremendous power to change minds, yet am a failure. Now my kids have crossed teen age and have good matured understanding attitude, I love to be around as a brisk mom but many a times find it a hard task being again a depressed person, “Oh no, not again”, my mind and heart retort but age is playing hide and seek and I find myself cripple like many a times in coping up life like my young age days. So much of zest yet I was not happy. Always demanding something extra and extra without realizing how I became a harsh person to my own self whereas everyone around me loved my caring and responsible nature. I was not the same with me. Why so much of expectations always criticizing myself!! Maybe I never found my old self and kept searching the chirpy girl who vanished somewhere and emerged a serious over matured person who was never content with her own self, what a tragedy!! Here am my own enemy psychologically.
I met a person resembling to my own experience to the extent of duplication. Sarah felt a burning sense deep inside her being, mingled with hatred she could trace her own feelings well and tried to analyze her disturbed attitude. She could not though recall with clarity but a few images crossed her mind often changing her into a depressed teen, which she hated very much. Teen age mention brings so many colorful memories to every mind but her mind was always filled with an unknown feeling of contempt towards her counterparts. Why her fate played so cruelly with her life even before she could blossom as a woman. She stayed with her parents and a younger sister in a flat close to the suburbs. Never a sense of fear came to her while moving alone in a crowded place or travelling alone from school to home. She had a daring and chirpy nature which everyone loved.
Suddenly on a fateful day she came across a man whom she had not seen before trying to reach her skirt in a crowded train compartment. She could feel his fingers moving freely to hold her body parts but she could not scream as emotions and fear choked her voice. She wanted to move away to save herself but the place was not enough to even think till the station came and and people started to move. The hands had gripped and crushed her trembling body in a devilish manner unaware of her feelings. She was fully collapsed mentally by the time a space was made to at least stand with ease.
When she reached home nothing was the same in her person. She hated to come out of her room. Sobbing incessantly she denied to come out. When ultimately she could gather her voice she told her mother about this heinous experience but she brushed away saying it’s nothing to worry and it happens to every girl in the trains. She expected sympathy and understanding from mother but got a slap instead! Was she her mom or a bitch? How can a mother be so cool? Why then a girl need home and parents? Questions throbbed her mind violently. Bouts of feelings made her frail built body tremble with hatred now for her mother than the beast in the train. All the males in society seemed like mongrels to her and she hated the very sight of them. She stopped talking to mom and kept herself locked despite the knocking of her sister.
Shower could not cleanse her mind nor change her mood. She felt numb in the shower but refused to move as if punishing herself for being responsible for the whole experience. These males have so much of lust in glance and touch, how can these beasts roam freely? Why no one dares to tear their faces? She clenched her fists tightly even while sleeping maybe fighting to unfold the hidden things behind the masked gentle faces! How dare these can think of a woman even before she touches womanhood to spoil her life so ruthlessly? Being a woman is a crime or what, why then all shut their mouth on the mention of such things which need immediate action? Girls have no value in society or they need such experiences while growing to shatter their whole self because of such low grade people ? Her whole self burnt with hatred, anger for the people surrounding her.
Totally changed person was now searching her own self but in vain, the teen now turned violent, introvert, aggressive and spells of crying stole her natural doe eyed beautiful glowing face charm which could make hearts skip a beat automatically. Manjari was now ready to revenge it seemed first her mother and then others. Her classes failed to capture her roaming mind either friends as she became aloof and avoided company. She was a confused person always with a wavering mind not the usual chirpy one whom none could fail to admire. No one knew the reality but were aghast to see her behave in a whimsical manner. After almost 5 long years on meeting I could sense a matured outlook affected deep somewhere displaying a great impact.
I decided to talk to her maybe it would bring a change to her weird life as I knew her since childhood days. A day was fixed and both of us sat face to face to share or rather lighten the burden on my mind and her psyche. She composed herself for a little while and then looked into my eyes deeply as if wanted to be sure of herself and check me well before confiding. She asked me to promise her first that I won’t tell anyone about all this. I had to promise.
She narrated her woes and my eyes welled up automatically. At the tender age of 12 she underwent a threatening experience from a male who made her sort of frenzy. After the train episode which only had shattered her mentally she again faced simultaneous attempts from various people some relatives and some strangers but all disguised as well wishers entered into home and messed up her life. Her step father, then maternal uncle, her boy friend who entertained his close friends with her company. Slowly she somewhat became numb to such happenings, she herself is not sure. Then ultimately when she felt almost dead in spirit tried to change her entire track and revolted against this circle called family and well wishers. Every eye scanned her as if she was a psycho and needed therapy sessions.
In the beginning she felt depressed, dejected, shocked and gloomy but in a few years she prepared herself to avenge the masked culprits wandering openly playing with innocent lives ruthlessly. Why these moms so fondly advocate wrong doers than the innocent girls who have their world in their moms. She very much hated the sight of a male be brother or father. Blood gushed through her veins very hot from head to toe, making her fragile body tremble. She has established a counselling unit now for young girls especially undergoing such mental torments and also planning to open an industrial unit for various food items so that she can help such girls gain confidence and earnings.
I am so much feeling attached to her as myself underwent all this havoc and overcame with much difficulties than anyone can imagine. Today successfully doing lots of things to keep me engaged and fit.