“I fear making my daughter go to school in a pool car. I did not even keep a driver for my car.”
“Why didn’t you tell your parents about it then?”
“I feared he would do it again, and in a worse manner. And my parents trusted him”
She went to her bedroom and brought a thick fat book. It was not actually a book. It was a diary, and as she turned through the dust-stricken pages, I saw most of the pages were heavily scribbled, just scribbled. A very few pages actually had a few lines written on it.
“What are these scribbles about, Naina?” I asked. She looked at me. I tried to look deep into her eyes and I felt the pathos she was about to fill my ears with. For a few seconds, she went blank and with a face without any expressions, she said “I could not say anything when he grabbed my breasts and pressed them incessantly. I was warned not to tell my father, else he would do it harder. I could not talk about it to anybody. I was a 10 year old girl whose parents were on the verge of separation. I had no one to share my fears and problems with. My mother stayed in Mumbai and my father did not even have time to ask me how I was and what I was doing. I stayed with Maashi, the maid. I could not share anything with anybody till I was 16 and I shifted to a new city without my father.”
Tears rolled down her eyes. I offered my handkerchief to wipe her face. She preferred to use her dupatta instead. She took a few sips of water and relaxed herself on the sofa.
“Naina, speak about it. I shall put this up for a site. Your story shall reach out to the thousands of parents who need to be made aware about such criminals who get away with such crimes without any punishment.”
She looked barely at the window on her right and said, “Every morning he picked me up from my house. I was the first person to get in the car and the last to come out. He respected my father very much and assured him that he would keep me safe. He made me sit in the front seat, on his immediate left. His activities started while coming back home from school. Initially it was brushing my thigh with his hands while pushing the gear and moving his hands on my back in a loving manner. I felt uncomfortable, but I was a quiet kid. He even bought me chocolates a first few months. He took his dirtiness to the next level.
It was the last day before the summer vacations. He did not take the regular way home. He took an alternative route and parked the car in a lonely place. He moved up the glasses of the windows. He looked at me with an expression I did not comprehend at that age, but I still remember his bloodshot eyes and the fair face flushed red. He put both his hands on my breasts and moved them. ‘Ki korchho eta? Haat shorao. Amake bari niye cholo!’ (What are you doing? Remove your hands. Take me home), I exclaimed. It was the first time I protested. He grabbed my breasts tighter and moved his face closer to mine and whispered ‘Tomake ador korchhi. Bari ektu pore jabo’ (I am loving you. We shall go home later), he said.
‘Baba ke bole debo!’ (I shall tell my father)
‘Bolle aaro jore ador korbo’ (If you say, I shall love you harder)
And I went mum. He grabbed my breasts and felt my nipples and all I would do was keep quiet and wish that this would end soon. As soon as he dropped me home, I rushed to the bathroom and cried my heart out and bathed numerous times that night. I brought out this diary and tried to write but what came out were irregular lines drawn with force.”
“He did not stop there, did he?”
“After a month of holidays, he came to pick me up. Maashi made me sit near him. Hatred and fear was consuming me. I knew inside he would not let me go that day. That day, while coming back home, he parked the car at that very place. He lifted up my skirt and pulled my pant down and pushed the index finger of his left hand right through my vagina. I screamed in pain but he shut my mouth with his other hand. I bit him and he slapped me and bit my lips. He pushed his finger deeper and all I could do is cry silently and grab my skirt with all my force. That night I could not sleep. Worse things happened then on. He even unbuttoned my shirt and bit my nipples and all over my back. And on my thirteenth birthday, he could not keep it in.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“That day, I went to school for taking an exam. While returning home he stopped at the same location. He held my hands and forced me to move to the back seat. I could have run away that day, I even had chances but somehow I was used to being weak and submissive to him. He forced me to lie on the seat. He came inside and shut the door. He unzipped his pants, took his penis out and lifting my skirt and pulling my pants down, he pushed his penis inside. And that too did not stop there. And all I could do was cry and scribble on the papers.”
She stopped talking and cried her heart out. I did not stop her. I could feel the terrible, terrible pathos.
“I cried in pain. I shouted, but he sucked my lips and pressed my breasts. I was on my periods then”, she spoke and cried more. It took her sometime to calm down.
She continued, “My results were deteriorating, my father was called so many times in school but he was a busy business man. My mother had almost disowned me. I failed that year. My father chided me but never asked what was wrong. He decided to send me off to a boarding school in Dehradoon.”
“You were relieved from that monster at least.”
“Yes, I was actually. A failure changed my life for better. There, in that boarding school, I did not perform well in the beginning. The student counselor was a good lady. In one of the sessions with her, I talked about it and it felt like a heavy stone being lifted from my body. Then I told it to a few trustworthy friends but that fear is still within me. I kept this diary, you see.”
“Shamik knows about it?
“He does. He was one my friends whom I trusted and he married me even after knowing this, and now we have a daughter”. She smiled.
She continued, “It is horrible when parents are like strangers to you. Every parent should let their child open up to them. If I had one opportunity to sit with my parents and talk about it, that hell of Ashutosh Das would not have touched me. He might have died by now. He had a son older than me then. I saw him once when I was in Kolkata for some work but that was years ago. From Dehradoon to Delhi and now in Raipur, I never looked back. I think you should check your phone whether it is still recording, it has been a few hours.”
“You know you are strong woman and your story is going to make so many people aware.”
We stood up and hugged. I checked my phone and saved the recording. We were really close friends and now we are closer. I left super quickly and penned down her story. People we trust the most might not be the right ones to bestow our trust upon. Think twice. Your children are your youngest companions. Sit with them, talk to them, let them share their stories and not end up being another Naina Thakur Dey. Rise for your children.