Tag Archives: survivor

The Homecoming

He tenderly caressed her cheeks which had turned crimson red. Her heartbeat had accelerated and sweat ran in rivulets down her back. And then, all of a sudden, panic slithered inside her. She felt a gnawing, stomach-churning twinge and turned around to scurry out as fast as she could. But, her body seemed to betray her emotions and her legs froze.

Roshni, are you OK? What happened? I am sorry if I …”

Before Vishal could complete, Roshni zoomed past him with all the vigour she could congregate from every muscle within her and soon she was out of his vision, leaving him befuddled and disenchanted.

Roshni stood still outside the shopping arcade exuding copious tears. Dark grey clouds were looming large in the sky, as if the reason for their precipitous emergence was only to serve as a warning for her. A blazing red Swift screeched to a halt right next to her and an effervescent woman screamed from inside.

Beauty does not lie in the eyes of the beholder

// This is one of the winning entries of “Warrior Women” blogathon contest conducted by Women’s Web in association with Juggernaut Books. Fact meets fiction in this tale of two warrior women.

The alarm kept ringing unremittingly but Reeti woke up from her deep slumber only after her mother’s squawk reached her ears. She shot a hasty glance at the clock while she dived towards the bathroom to freshen up. She was late for office again and she knew she would have to face her mother’s wrath as this had become a routine off late. It had been almost 3 months since 23-year-old Reeti began having prolonged midnight conversations with Ritul who lived in Pune. Ritul and Reeti had connected on Facebook through a common close friend. What started as a casual Facebook messenger chat had now turned into a clandestine affair, though there were no talks of commitment from either of them yet.

Reeti gaped at the mirror and felt crestfallen. She was almost in tears looking at the malevolent, outsized pimple that had popped up right at the tip of her nose. All the efforts she had been putting in since the last few days to ensure a scrupulously clear and radiant face had gown down the drain. Ritul was in Mumbai for a customer visit and it was a special day for her – their first date! But she did not want to meet him now. He would also mock at her skin just like some of her friends and relatives did during her growing years. From medical treatments to her grandmother’s hacks, she had tried it all in the past but the pimples kept coming back with a vengeance. There was a time when Reeti was extremely miserable and down in the dumps because apparently no boy had a crush on her ever, even though she was considered to be a benevolent, affable and intelligent girl. But, once she began working for a leading MNC, her self-confidence increased and the thoughts about her physical appearance started taking a backseat. Though she had never met Ritul, she felt a connection with him and was keen to take this relationship forward. He seemed to be a sensitive and level-headed man but Reeti was too scared to lose her worth in his eyes. She did not want him to think of her as an unappealing woman and wanted to look beautiful for him.  But, the bulky bump on her face had shattered her desire. With a heavy heart and moist eyes, she sent him a text message.

“Sorry Ritul, I cannot meet you this time. Something very urgent has come up at office and I will have to work late hours. Hope you understand. Hugs!”

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

// This article was first published on the prestigious platform “Incredible Women of India”. Below is the link to the article:

Sexual Abuse Survivors – The Ugly Reality

“Oh, poor thing has been scarred for life.”

“She has become a big blot on the family’s reputation.”

“That is really sad… but she should have been more careful.”

“Why were you out so late in the night?”

“She has lost everything along with her dignity.”

“How will we face the society now? We are ruined!”

“Better go home and forget about the incident, a case will only subject you to more humiliation.”

These are just some of the awful things we say, and in doing so, continue to victimize the victims of sexual abuse. They face this everywhere – in their homes, at the police station, at the hospital, at their workplaces, in their neighbourhood. Through our insensitive words and actions, we only add insult to their injury.

Super Short Story – Theme “Survivor”

Whenever we read an incident on rape, most of us post on social media about how strongly we condemn such acts and there is anger that is evident in the posts. This is wonderful because it is important that we all raise our voice and use the powerful social media tool to make a difference. However, during my NGO stint I realized that when it really comes to helping and normalizing life for these survivors, only a few of us do so with all our heart. I saw how many people refused to give work to survivors of rape and human trafficking only to avoid their so called reputation from being tarnished. Some also thought of it as a hassle and some just didn’t bother enough. So, point is – let’s practice what we preach. If you really want a change, push yourself and get out of your comfort zone to go the extra mile. It is great to help as per one’s convenience but honestly, that is NOT enough. You are not even doing a great deed by being normal to such survivors, rather you ought to do so because they deserve to be treated normally. Let’s stop victimizing the victims in our own ways everyday.