dear enabler (1)

tw: mentions of abuse and enabling behavior

dear enabler,

maybe, i wasn’t enough for you. 

maybe, i worked too hard to fill the empty spaces in your life. 

perhaps, that’s why i presumed you valued me whenever you treated me like a human being (i guess, i was too used to you treating me like the filth on the streets of sonipat). 

but, then, you didn’t really care about me, did you? you simply thought me to be less useless and more bearable than the ones you continued to treat like filth. 

well, i can’t really blame you for that… i was way too compliant. i was the one who made efforts to match your “high” and “progressive” standards.

and you… you thought me to be “just another bubbly girl from delhi”. 

is that why you never took my pain seriously? is that why you labeled my trauma as “half info” and said that i was making a “big deal” out of everything? is that why you silently watched when an abuser ripped me apart with his sharp tongue? is that why you allowed him to keep fueling his male ego with my tears? 

dear enabler,

i tried…i tried a lot to get you to like me for who i was.

but, i guess, it was you who could never see me as anything but a “stupid delhi girl”. 

-myth

TW: rape, mentions of penis and vagina

CW: This post is a bit of a rant.

2019?

I thought it was a lucky year.

Oh! How foolish was I to believe that?

Why was it lucky? Because I got my predicted scores in board exams? Or because I had my first kiss that year? Or because I was happy in both school and college?

The truth is that I messed things up the most in 2019.

I was so disillusioned by the good things that I allowed someone to rape me in my own room a day before my 20th birthday. Yes, it was RAPE and I will not let anyone convince me about the fact that rape only includes vaginal or anal penetration because it doesn’t.

He raped every cell in my body and received just a ‘serious warning’ for whatever he had done.

Why did they favor him over me? Because I wasn’t lucky enough to be born with a penis between my legs?

Why did his friends enable his behavior? Because he had violated someone with a vagina and that wasn’t a big deal for them?

Why are the authorities trying to shut my mouth? Because I reported my own rape and chose to not remain silent?

The difference between having a penis or a vagina is so huge that many of us have to fight everyday to safeguard our basic rights.

Can I ask the ones (especially cis men) who say, “women should stop feeling sorry for themselves,” to kindly keep their mouths shut in front of me? Yes, I can and I will.

The Swing

Something I had written during Spring’20 (about a year back)

It was my last night in boarding school.

I was glad that there was an outing for the corridors and the garden of my hostel were unusually quiet. I walked around the entire hostel one last time and allowed the memories of the past two years make me as teary as they could. When I had gotten enough of the hostel, I simply went and sat on the swing–which I knew I would miss the most. On the other nights, it would be difficult to sit on the swing because it would always be occupied by juniors. Once I sat on it, I realised that the hostel was darker than usual–the ten dormitories were barely lit. Perhaps, it was too late and those that had stayed back in the hostel were also asleep.

I tried to remember the first time I’d sat on that swing.

It was on one of my first Sundays in this school when I was a homesick newcomer who would cry at the slightest mention of home. Everyone seemed to be cold, but, this swing had embraced me with open arms. It was just us–the empty garden, the swing and I. It was drizzling that day and I hadn’t bothered to be indoors. After all, the rain was what hid my tears. The songs playing on my walkman made me cry even more because everything made me miss the place I’d left behind. My empty letter writing pad which lay next to me got wet in the rain. Luckily, watching the peacock dance in the garden stopped me from feeling worse.

The swing and I developed a relation that morning. Sometimes, I would sit on it with my friends and play antakshri. On other times, I would sit on it with my juniors, either consoling them because they were upset about being away from home or sharing food with them.

I came back to where I was, gathered my thoughts back and looked everywhere trying to drink in all the details of this hostel. The next time I would be back here, I’d be referred to as an ‘alumnus’ instead of a student. When I’d joined this school, I couldn’t wait for these two years to pass, but, that day, I felt as if my school days had passed too soon. I looked at all those spots and places where I’d had tiny little fights with my seniors for being too rebellious. All those fights seemed so unnecessary that I could only laugh at them. I looked at the area outside the house mistress’ office where we would all line up for inspection, checking and even inter-house practices. I realised that day that the swing’s location allowed one to gain a view of every corner of the hostel which had hundreds of memories attached to it. Everywhere I looked, I could only see the moments that I’d lived there. I felt like Nick Carraway who was seeing the Gatsby castle for the last time–I’d watched ‘The Great Gatsby’ too many times. Nonetheless, I understood that the days during which I hoped to be a better person and strived for improvement were the best days of my life–no amount of adjustment to boarding life could take away the feelings of a newcomer who didn’t know what awaited her.

That night I allowed myself to feel every pain and every ounce of happiness which I hadn’t felt before. I didn’t realise it when my cheeks got wet and warm. These were the tears of someone who was evolving from the past.

I could leave school, school would never leave me–quite a clichéd line. Having had that thought, I wiped my tears, got up from the swing and walked straight towards my dormitory without looking back.

an ode to my breasts (1)

at the age of ten,

i couldn’t help

but feel insecure

about how huge they were.

them being huge

led to

the cleavage being deeper.

i don’t think

i can ever forget

what all they—

the relatives&family friends—

said.

(your cleavage shows too much)

they would teach me

how to bend,

how to coverup

and how to feel ashamed.

-as if i could control their size

at the age of ten,

someone grabbed them

and that is when

i started hating them.

-they made me feel polluted

after that,

i couldn’t look

at my naked breasts.

i would bathe with

a sports bra on

and would cover myself

(with a towel)

the moment

i was done bathing.

-i hated my breasts

guess what it is

I don’t quite understand

where it comes from.

Sometimes, it’s there when

I see a happy couple.

Sometimes, when

I see someone do everything

I wanted to do.

Sometimes, when

I see someone look good

(in pictures–photogenic people

are its biggest cause)

Sometimes, when

I watch people be comfortable

in their own skin

(it is during these times

that I wonder whether

academic success

has anything to do

with self-esteem)

Sometimes, when

I watch people read books

much faster than me.

Sometimes, when

I see a person’s face

and begin to think/wonder

where that arrogance comes from.

On other times,

it remains under my skin

refusing to leave

and forcing me

to become like the ones

I actually dislike.

Hurtful Pretense

Ohhh pretentious men! Why do you behave as if you consider women to be equal to you when the slightest mention of a woman’s inconvenience makes you so uncomfortable?

Why do you bullshit about ‘feminist theory’ and ‘queer theory’ when all you can say to a sexual assault survivor when she reaches out to you is:

you can’t randomly walk into my DMs… and just ask me to do anything like this??

I’m sorry I can’t engage with this. I don’t feel comfortable at all.

I’m sorry no offence but I’m not your best friend for you to just be….yk..saying stuff like you are rn.

I don’t want to be involved in this///??

And I don’t want you perceiving me as a tool for whatever closure you’re thinking of.

I don’t even know you well enough, I’m sorry?”

You let me down, you misogynistic English major. I hope you receive whatever is the equivalent of my pain for a man…

About a Year and a Half ago

Something I wrote in January, 2020/(How a sexual assault survivor feels):

it is one of those times when im so sick and tired of being around people and sharing my personal space with them that i just want to be left alone.

i dont want to see anyone, i dont want to tell anyone why im not happy, i dont want to have lunch with those people and i just want to be on my own. 

i dont want to drink on thursday nights,  i dont want to hook up with anyone because i have feelings for absolutely no one.

the good memories of my past have faded and i cant remember what it feels like to genuinely like someone. 

my body understands me. my vagina no longer gets wet even after stimulation. my head aches when there are too many people around me. i feel like throwing up when im forced to talk.

it is now that i miss school

i miss school because in school i didn’t have to pretend to be happy, i didn’t have to justify anything to anyone and even the ones i was always with would blabber, but, never force me to speak. please keep these shit people away who affect my mental well-being

please God

give me the courage to go back to how i used to be 

i cant give up on those who’ve held me
but, i want my space i need some distance from everyone.

Masaru Yada (1)

Masaru and I met for the first time

in my neighbour’s house

(The neighbour was his classmate).

We were both seven years old

and were waiting to enter grade three.

I remember him asking me,

Hazuki…

Is falling in love at our age wrong?

I remember myself say,

Not at all…

//more than a decade later,

it was Masaru who said to me

that love isn’t something

he believes in//

Masaru and I never spoke again.

He was in the class next to mine.

So, I kept seeing him.

He stayed near my house.

So, he was unavoidable.

But, irrespective of how many times

I caught him staring at me,

we never spoke to one another.

However, one day,

I stopped seeing him.

Turned out,

he shifted somewhere else

and had changed schools.

That never really bothered me.

Masaru was neither that good-looking

nor exceptional in academics

nor from a well-to-do family.

So, I couldn’t care less

about his existence.

But then, a day came when

I realised that

he still existed.

I was in a relative’s house that day

and was the only female cousin

present there.

So, all my male cousins could do

was to ask me to check facebook

as they did

what boys would do.

I remember opening facebook

and seeing Masaru’s post.

He, like me, was thirteen then.

What a relatable post that was…

(A cartoon character

speaking some sensible lines).

My instincts told me

that very day that

Masaru would soon

re-enter my life.

Reminiscence

I am afraid of what might happen.

I am afraid of what love might do to me.

Love, after all, is always one-sided (I am never the ‘you’ for the ‘you’ in my poems).

I sometimes look back and think of what I was in 2017 (Just another homesick student of Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya who counted days to get back home).

But, I was still happy in boarding school (in 2017). I was happy with:

/the ‘one friend’ I had/

/the poetry I’d write in the torn middle pages of my notebooks/

/reading ‘The Namesake’ while studying for a Sociology exam (at the same time)/

/no concealer and curly hair/

/whatever little time I got with my phone during outings/

/writing and receiving letters from my pen-friend at Mayo College Girl’s School/

/mixing coffee powder in the sweetened warm milk during breakfast and teatime/

/sitting on the swing outside Chittarangada Bhawan on a rainy day and watching a peacock dance/

/making diary entries on the same swing while listening to music/

/eating parathas and taking long walks and baths on Sundays/

/underlining and drawing clouds around the important words in the Economics textbook/

/practicing before lunch for a singing competition, after lunch for art and before dinner for THE DEBATE/

There was love in all of these things I would do in 2017. But, I thought it was THE DEBATE where I found love…

Or maybe, that was love too…

The Gwalior sky appeared more beautiful from when I looked at it from the (Scindia) Fort. The Gurudwara seemed more magical. The debaters were more intimidating. And… My being was more hollow while returning to my very own SKV.

I sometimes feel sad for myself when I realise that that particular evening might be the best evening of my life. I feel as if I deserve a better ‘best moment’. But, I’ve never (ever) been as happy as I was that evening. I’ve never felt love with the same intensity.

Nonetheless, I am afraid of:

/falling in love with someone else/

/not being able to get over the 2017 love/

/neglecting the small (real) loves for the sake of one person who might never come/