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Ria Verma

This is not a fictional story, though I wished that it were. This is my story, the story, which I had told to many close friends, and the people who mean a lot to me, but I felt that nobody understands the gravity of such incident on a little person. They just brushed it aside as an incident that has to be forgotten. No it will never be forgotten or go away.

I was 6 when it happened. A beloved cousin who was much, much older, came to work in the same estate as we lived. He had a car, which was a big deal back then. I adored him; he always had a surprise in his car, a Cadbury chocolate! Just for me, not for sharing but only if I went for a drive with him. And my mother will let me run and get into the car. Then it starts, the hand slips into my dress on top, while I ate the chocolate bar. I didn’t understand the feeling I had when he did so except that the chocolate was tasty and that’s all I remembered for most of the time. Then I’m let off the car and I run back home happily.

But one day it was different. It was an afternoon, my father was at work, siblings were at school, and mother was at home. And he came with his car. I got in as usual but there was no chocolate bar that day, he said it was at home and we had to go and eat it there. So I went, excited. I only recall the bedroom. And the calendar that was hanging on the wall. It was of women who didn’t wear any clothes. He stood me on the edge of the bed and removed my dress while I was holding the chocolate. That’s all I remember of the incident. Then I got off the car clutching the chocolate bar but I couldn’t run home, it was painful and something was terribly sticky, it was all over my thighs and my underwear. I went straight into the bathroom and took it off, changed and called for my mother. She came, looked at me, washed me quietly then washed my underwear and hung it to dry. I didn’t know then what it was. Though I was in pain I just kept quiet about it, as I realize that something really dirty had happened to me.

My cousin came again with this chocolate few days later but I didn’t go to him and my mother was her usual loving self to him. Something had changed for me. Then it happened again and again, with other cousins, his brother, the hand sneaking into your dress, sitting on their laps, going for drives in their cars. But in most incidents I couldn’t recall the details. I guess my brain had a mechanism to block the most traumatic part of the incidents. But the feeling never goes away, that you are somehow now worthless and dirty. I hate her. This person I call mother!

The memories will never go away, and I screwed up my life big time trying to do so, the failed relationships, zero self worth, alcohol & sedatives. It created defects that cant be fixed, flaws.

Now many Indians are in a fucking denial that these things don’t happen in our society that its only rampant in another community as you read it in the papers almost every other week. Well STOP THE FUCKING DENIAL NOW! I’m sure most of you who are reading this article know or knew someone who has been molested, raped and abused by a family member or even have been a victim! But the victim chose to keep quiet to or even silenced by the family members in the name of ‘kudumba manam’ the family’s reputation. I spent years as a prisoner in my own head, screwing up my life, with the filth and guilt I carried with me.

There is no way in dealing with it. They would initially say they are doing this to protect the victim, because later on no one would marry her. What would the society say, own cousin molested her? So they keep quiet, shame on you! You let the fucking perpetrator get away with crime and also let him loose into the society to continue doing it to God knows how many other little girls! So please, I beg of you, if you hear even the tiniest of whisper of a child, a teen, boy or girl, or even a rape of a major, act today. Get angry, very angry and you might save a child’s life from being destroyed.


Ria Verma