July 14, 2012

Walking Down The Memory Lane

Though I have left my country INDIA way back but still keep myself connected with it by print and electronic media. Past few days I am coming across various news regarding molestation and stripping of girls by teachers, by roadside goons, by cops etc. The recent one where a girl was asked to drink her own urine by her teacher tore my heart away. What has gone wrong with us ?. In which era are we people living in and why are we still slaves ???. We say on International forums that we are country which is being led by a woman President ?. We say on international forums that we are on the verge of becoming super power soon ?. We say on international forums that we are the most fast growing and developing country of the world and yet we end up in behaving like TALIBAN. In fact I find we are worst then Taliban`s. They do what they say and do it openly but we do something,say something and show something else !!!.

Somewhere deep down, I cannot seem to detach myself from those all girls back in India who are victim of our corrupt and failed society. Actually it reminds me of a similar kind of an incident which took place with me at my school Presentation Convent, Srinagar. Maybe that's why I can feel their pain and suffering and understand through which hell they and their families must be going through.at the same time I am also happy with this fact that at least today there is someone to listen to their woes and pleads and that is MEDIA and Social Networking. Media has come out openly in their support and they can freely express their feelings and seek Justice. Whether they get justice or not is a separate issue but at least they are raising their voices against in human acts. I am sure if not today but tomorrow someone, somewhere is going to get benefited by this.

What is happening is shameful but there is a ray of hope but unfortunately back there in 80`s we only had Doordarshan and no private channels. Hence surfacing of such similar incidents was out of question: Flow of information from one state to another was almost impossible and God only knows how many such incidents must have taken place and how many victims like me must have kept silent due to the fear of getting expelled from Schools or no one believing them and hence facing backlash from society or even by their own family members.

Today after 2 decades I have the courage to speak about my pain and my trauma that had shattered my inner self and actually started believing that  - I AM A LOOSER. Thanks to my parents who brought back my confidence in me and made me believe in myself again. Had it not been without them I would have either ended up in committing suicide or I would have left my studies.

Well it still hurts to remember about that incident which actually changed my life. I was in 7th standard and our class teacher was Mrs. Sehgal. It was our history period and we were all in our classrooms. In fact before this class we were in the school ground for PT. Anyways suddenly Mrs.Sehgal comes in our class and ask me to follow her out of the class as she has needs to talk to me regarding something. I was scared and wondered why am I asked to do so but without raising question; I went out of the class with her. Outside she tells me that our Principle Sister Elvira wants to talk to me. I asked what is it all about she said there has been a complaint against me. I was shocked. I had no idea what on earth she was talking about. I held her hand tightly and said Ma'am I have done nothing. She just kept quite and didn't answer me. I asked again Ma'am what is it all about still she kept quite. She took me in a room which was at the back of our Auditorium in first floor of our school and I noticed that this room was really dark and I could barely see anything or anyone. It scared me even more. I held my Ma'am 's hand and cried loudly. Why are we here ?. She said Sister Elvira is waiting for me here only and then I turned my head and heard the voice saying come here Indu. I somehow could see my principal. She was sitting in a chair and looked dreadful and trust me like a ghost in that darkness. Her voice was cold and firm. I remember I was standing in front of her and she was observing me with her eyes for about 5-10 minutes. Gosh those cold eyes were piercing me through and I was thinking why the hell am I here ?. I somehow drew some courage and asked her what have I done and she replied coldly "you are a thief, you have stolen some things from one girl (whom i wont name ) of your class". I looked at her in shock and said NO, that is not true. I am not a thief. I have not stolen anything from anyone. She spat back, "Oh yes! you have, that girl has named you." I swore that I was innocent and by this time tears had already started flowing down. I was pleading and swearing but she was not listening. She choose to become deaf and dumb at that moment. She said if I don't accept my mistake she will expel me from the school and I will not get admission in any other School in Kashmir. I also remember she saying that she will do this in front of the whole school during assembly in the morning and then everyone will spit on me and make fun of me. I kept crying and kept saying there is a mistake. I haven't done anything wrong. Then all of a sudden she told me that she wanted to frisk me, as I might have hidden money and paintings (imagine) in my uniform or shoes. I was literally dead by then. It was something that ripped my innocent soul but I had no other way. I had to do it and SHE FRISKED ME. WHILE BEING FRISKED I WISHED I COULD DIE THERE AND THEN ONLY. My modesty was outraged for the crime that I never committed. Even after all this she did not believe me, she had the guts to tell me again that if I don't accept my mistake she will carry on with her threat of expelling me. I told her I have not done it.In fact during PT period I was there in the playground with entire class and she can check it with our PT Sir and with the girls with whom I was sitting if or not I was there. She can also check my bag. She gets up and give me again that murderous look and walks out of that room. I kept standing there and crying God knows for how many minuets or hours and the finally Mrs. Sehgal comes and tells me to go back to my class. I walked like a dead soul and could not control my tears. My friends asked me what happened but I could not tell them. I was scared that they will also think like them and I will loose them. All I could do was cry and wonder why that girl framed me and why without any proof I was punished and made to go thorough such hell ????.

I went home and told about this incident to my parents and I was firm that I will not be going to school from morning. My parents calmed me down and assured me of their full support and love. For next 5 days I was running with high fever and I was asking god to take me away. This incident was too much for my young mind and soul to accept. All i kept asking was WHY ME ?.WHY ME ?.WHY ME.?

In the meantime my father went to school and confronted our Principal and ALL SHE HAD TO SAY WAS SORRY.

I joined back my school after 1 week and everything seem normal. Mrs. Sehgal had no words for me nor our Principal. They were behaving normally as if nothing had happened !!! Only I knew what was going in my mind and heart. Frankly speaking something very innocent deep down had died in me and I vowed to take my revenge when ever I can and maybe today is the time when I can actually think of giving it back to them. Wish we had such active media back then, maybe I too would have got justice......

By marring my self respect what have those people gained ????. In fact they have made me more strong and have given me courage to stand up for myself and raise my voice. But I will never ever forgive them for the damage that they did to my innocent mind and soul which could have ruined my life or their`s too. Thinking about it still makes me cry and shiver and I still wonder what would have happened if my parents would not have stood by me. Would I be alive today or would they be alive ?. Swear there were times when I actually thought of taking law in my own hands.

If I get a chance I would actually like to get Justice today in the Court Of law..............