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She HAD To Stop Uncle Brajesh Before He Picked Up Her Little Cousin Anu…

Everyone settled down in their seats. By some chance, I ended up sitting with Uncle Brajesh. The fateful night of my life for which I've always curse myself for being so ignorant, so naive, and so childish.

*Trigger warning: This has graphic descriptions of child sexual abuse and may be triggering for survivors.

Knock! Knock!

“Anybody home?” Uncle Brajesh cranes his neck from the slightly ajar door. “Who is this beautiful young lady?”

I run to check the door, but he’s almost already inside by then.

“Hello, Rekha, how have you been?” he inquires.

I nod with a smile, but panic at the same time.

My cousin Anu is playing with her Lego blocks. She looks over her shoulder at Uncle Brajesh, who has already started walking towards her. Anu, oblivious to her surroundings, goes back to building her Lego blocks. Anu has come to spend a few days of her summer vacation with us. She is about ten-years-old.

As I see him standing, my feet freeze. I am nineteen-years-old, yet I have goosebumps all over my body in fear. Scared, I almost spring back to my room and sit inside. There’s a deep scar imprinted in my body and mind, which will never heal.

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*

It all happened years back when I was only eight-years-old.

“Rekha, can you open the door please?” my mother hollered from the kitchen.

I quickly got up from my study table to get the door. The person was standing outside with a cheerful smile.

“Hey, Beautiful, how are you?” he said and picked me up in his arms instantly.

“I’m fine Uncle, but where have you been for so long?” I complained with pouty lips. “And you didn’t come to my concert either. Uncle, no more hugs for you now.”

I was a young, bubbly girl, full of dreams and vigour. I did not know the ups and downs of being a girl. I was just a little girl. Sexuality meant nothing to me. All I knew was that biologically, humans are divided into males and females.

What I didn’t know was that society had divided them into men and women. I was ignorant of the visually divided, deep boundary between them. I was as pure as morning dew inside and out—loved by everyone, adored by my parents and brothers.

Uncle Brajesh was no ordinary friend, but my father’s boss. I was stunningly impressed by his talent, humour, and friendliness. I called him Uncle Brajesh out of love and respect. He never visited our house without candies and sweets for me. I knew he was a very important person for my father, and I should respect him and be on my best behaviour in front of him. And so I did.

“Rekha, tell me the poem you learnt today at school,” he would ask, putting me on his lap. “And recite with actions.”

I would go on and on and tell him all the poems I learnt at school. I loved the attention from a grown up, who was praising me so much. What I didn’t like was when he would more often wrap his arms around my shoulders and clutch my breasts tightly. It hurt me, but before I would scream out of pain, he would remove his arms instantly. I could never figure out his intentions at that time, but every time I felt uncomfortable because of his actions.

Then one day we went on a long bus trip—his family and my family. He had a wife and two little girls, way younger than me. They were very cute. The trip was a twelve-hour-long night journey. Everyone was excited for all the fun awaiting. I could not wait for the trip to start.

Finally, the joyful adventure began. All of us sat in a bus, singing, laughing, chatting, and clapping. At midnight, both families ate dinner in a “Dhaba”. The super tasty food brought so much more energy and excitement to the whole trip. Everyone settled down in their seats. By some chance, I ended up sitting with Uncle Brajesh. The fateful night of my life for which I always curse myself for being so ignorant, so naive, and so childish.

That night in the bus, after some time I started feeling sleepy. Uncle Brajesh offered for me to put my head on his lap and fall asleep. I had no idea what was coming. I was drowsy and tired, so I happily accepted the offer as a gesture of affection from a father figure. Not even once did any bad thought cross my mind. However Uncle had something else going in his perverted mind. In the middle of the night he unzipped his pants and put his penis in my mouth. At first I could not understand what it was. I was startled. Though childish I was, I was big enough to distinguish between private parts and other body parts. I started gagging.

Out of perplexity, I did not scream at that very moment. But I expressed my discomfort by wiggling my body to warn Uncle indirectly about his inappropriate action. He understood the situation and pulled out his penis immediately.

My initial impulses stopped me from reacting frantically at that moment, and I kept pretending to be sleeping, but I was fully awake, looking for the right moment to get away from the spot. I could not believe what had just happened to me. I managed to move away to the seat next to my mother. At last I fell asleep.

Sleep suspended all, but changed nothing. In the morning I got up with shame and disgrace all over my face for no fault of mine. However, I could not comprehend my emotional state. I couldn’t put my emotions into words.

I felt dirty.

I felt betrayed.

That night’s incident had deprecated my whole existence.

We reached the destination in the morning. Everyone had fun, but my mind was constantly racing in resentment.

Should I tell Mom now or after going back home? I could not decide.

The string of tension kept getting tauter with every passing minute. Finally I decided not to tell anyone.

How could I?

I did not know how to tell my mom what had happened. I thought it was more prudent to hide than to fight. I was very ashamed of describing the whole thing to anyone, even to my own mother. On the whole trip, I just tried to keep myself away from Uncle Brajesh without making the situation awkward. I did not want to ruin the good relationship between our two families.

After coming back home, settling down with my daily routine wasn’t easy. I felt my whole life had completely changed after that fateful night. I had become surprisingly quiet and  looked at everything differently. I tried my best to forget everything, as if the tumultuous incident of the past day had never happened. Whenever Uncle Brajesh paid a visit, I would hide somewhere. I did not want to be seen, neither did I want to see his face out of disgust and fear. His every visit to the house became like passing a kidney stone for me.

At home, no one even guessed what emotional trauma I was going through. I would rarely talk to anyone about anything. Mom kept asking me why I was so quiet lately. She would try to engage in small talk, but I wouldn’t reciprocate for long. It was too bad that my thoughts were not on a string. If they were, Mother would have given them a good yank by then.

Eleven years have passed. The memory has faded a little but isn’t wiped out completely. I turned eighteen-years-old. I made peace with my mental state and tried to distract my thoughts every time they haunted me. Uncle Brajesh continued to be our family friend, but I never showed up in front of him.

*

My antenna goes off the moment I hear his filthy voice sitting in my room. My own raw memories came flooding to mind. I see history repeating itself. The breeze bullied the reeds forcing them to swish and sway to its vagaries, forwards and backwards, this way and that. Everything was as it had been yesterday and the day before. The cuckoo bird continued its ‘coo-coo-once-is-not-enough-here’s-another’ coo-coo call, pleased with its own poetics, its rhythm unfaltering. So much had transpired, yet nothing had changed. This monster of a man has not changed a bit over the years.

There is no surprise, when the moment Mom goes to the kitchen to get tea and snacks, Uncle sits close to Anu and starts talking to her while stroking her hair and pulling her closer to him. Anu does not feel the bad intention yet, as she is just a child. While having a conversation about school and friends, Uncle asks Anu to come and sit on his lap and he holds her by her chest. Anu starts squirming and wants to get down, but Uncle won’t set her free.

“That is it!” I screech from my room. “Take your dirty hands off my cousin, right now.” I am well prepared to confront him today.

I sprint out of my room and yell at Uncle. Mom also comes out of the kitchen and has a startled look on her face. Before Mom asks anything, I blurt it out.

“This is a bad uncle, he put his private part in my mouth on the bus that day and now he is trying to do the same to Anu.”

There is an awkward silence everywhere in the house.

Mom is in shock, her mouth open in disgust and anger. There is no exchange of words. Uncle quietly gets up from the sofa, picks up his belongings and walks out the door. Just then, my father enters. He has already heard everything.

“Wait, wait. Not so fast Mr. Brajesh,” my father commands, grabbing Uncle Brajesh by his collar. “No one messes with my daughter. You will be punished for this.” My father picks up the phone and calls the Child Abuse Center. Within minutes, cops come and handcuff Uncle Brajesh, filing a complaint against him.

I could not stop the past, but I saved the present. I take a sigh of relief.

While I am reeling with my past, tears roll down my cheeks, and Anu runs to me and wipes my tears.

One day I may learn to love the man of my life, but I will never find a way to shed my old fear.

Image source: Favor_of_God from Getty Images Free for Canva Pro 

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About the Author

Sharda Mishra

I am a photographer and an avid reader. I am not a writer but I like to give words to my emotions. I love to cook and hike. I believe in humor and its impact read more...

4 Posts | 12,211 Views

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