“Mom,please let’s not go tomorow! ”
“Why dear?” Don’t you like dancing and painting?
I had no reply for it, because they are my favourite hobbies.
“Ok then! ” I sighed.
Another Sunday it is! Early morning 8am, daddy drops me and my brother for painting class.It’s our painting teacher’s home.He stays there with his wife and 2 childrens of our age.
We go and sit in a corner on the floor laid with carpet. Many students of different age groups come and join us.We are given a task to complete and we do that.
Till here all goes alright always. But the moment he comes and sits beside us to teach us, my heart starts skipping beats! I just pray to God,’let this time pass away soon!’
He calls me first from the corner and asks me to sit beside him.With stone in my heart ,I go and sit, I get my work checked.He makes me sit beside him till the class gets over, and others with their turn, comes and goes back to their own places.Sometimes I make some excuse and go and sit beside my brother.
My teacher praises my work everyday. I use to feel very happy with that until the day I grew up to understand his intentions.His pats, his long hands resting over my back, his cuddles, I always granted as love and appreciation from a dad like teacher.
After my painting class was my dance class in schedule. For this I go to town with my mom,making a journey of half an hour.That time auto or jeep were the available vehicles for transport.
I always choosed to go inside first and sit near the window.Whenever I missed I always faced some weird things again.Some unknown people trying hard to reach out and touch differently in different places, taking all measures to not make it noticeable. Not even my mom came to know this things happening.Thankfully,everytime I start feeling uncomfortable and scared,by that time I almost reach my home.It never reached to its extreme.And I was dumb little girl who kept on wondering, “What’s this?” The first day this happened, I was a fifth standard student,the age and childhood days, people say to be the best. That day I couldnot concentrate on my dance class,in fact that thing haunted me for the rest of the days till I completed my dance course at the age of 16.
This classes went on and on till I reached my 10th standard.My painting classes were left for a month.By then for some reason he was not able to continue his classes at his home.I was so happy listening to this. But not for long this happiness lasted!
Because he was the best painting teacher of the locality and because I have to appear my final painting exams within a month, my daddy convinced him to come and teach me for this month at our residence itself.
This is fine!I thought.After all it’s my home, mom and dad will be around.But here, me and my brother sat together,but with some ideas my teacher always makes me sit beside him,while my brother by my side.Alas!! his unwanted touches continued. I try to resist with my uncomfortable moves. But it got no effect! In fact to pass the copy to my brother, he use to extend his hand to him in such a way,at that level,touching me in a way, that I always make a move backward as much as I could!! But his hands followed my direction.At that time I feel like smacking his hand and pushing him away and run to my Mom.
This happens at the moment my mom could not stay around us for her household chores. But without having any idea regarding this, in spite of her works she used to sit in the room talking about our works with the teacher.He grabs the chance in her absence everytime.
And finally the last day, where I painted a still life in a canvas.Unfortunately my brother was not there that day because of his cricket coaching class at the same time.It was still going alright because my mom was around.The moment she left the room and was talking to a neighbour, he got the better opportunity. He kept the canvas at a distance on a table. He came near me and kept his hands once on my shoulders hanging it down from there and sometimes both his hands around my shoulders.I was just holding my breathe thinking he is my teacher.That time we were not being said and taught about such moves and acts.I had no idea regarding what’s going on again.
At last he made me sit on the couch, he sat beside me. He kissed me on my cheeks. I accepted with a stone heart,saying within ,”It’s ok,he is my dad like teacher.”
The next moment he asked me to kiss him. It was a bolt from the blue for me!! “Why the hell should I kiss him?” I screamed inside.This time I really felt like screaming out loud,”Mom,please do come and slap this man!!” I felt something very wrong happening.I felt like throwing him out of our house and expose his dirty mind admist all in the locality.But all this were just going on in mind that moment.I haven’t seen and known any such cases yet! I thought, maybe I ‘m wrong.Still I gathered strength and said ‘No’ to him. I gathered the courage to say him, “I will go and call my mom now! “.
He stopped me just that moment saying, “Please don’t call your Mom. Please don’t say anything to her about this. ” He was begging me like anything and asked to promise to not say anything about it to anyone ever.He stood up,stepping towards the door bidding goodbye and wishing the best for my exams.I felt a sigh of relief! I don’t have to bear him anymore. I did not reply anything and my Mom reached the room by then.
I could not say anything to her that time because I did not understand what to say and how to say. Was it my fault or why did that happen? Whether this is natural?If this happens with all? I did not have answer to any of this for a long time.I did not know it’s so common for all girls in our country! I never knew that girls face even more worser and the worst than just that!
When I grew up, after around 2 years,I could understand it all.Unwanted touch,looks,words to a girl and broadly ‘sexual assault’ is a crime.Only then, I said all to my mom. She got damn angry and felt helpless at that time. But warned me to not tolerate such things ever in my life. Asked me to scream out,take help from anyone and to say it out loud to the one beside. “Stop it and raise your voice”, she said.