Kavya adjusted her pallu and looked at herself in the mirror. She looked beautiful, no one would say she was the mom of a 5 year old. Little Pihu came running into the room and hugged her. "Mumma I am so excited today. 4 days of masti!! Weddings are so much fun. I cannot wait any longer to meet Neha and Prisha. Let's go soon Mumma we have to practise dance steps for sangeet".
"Ya we are going beta, Prisha's Mummy called, they have landed. They will meet us directly in the hall for today's ceremony". Pihu ran into the other room. Kavya joined her mother to see if any help was required. It was her cousin sister's wedding and the whole family had gathered in Pune. Everyone were so busy these days with their jobs in different cities that they hardly met. It was nice to be meeting all cousins after so long.
The doorbell rang and she opened it, she stood still for a second. It was Bhushan Mama with his wife and 2 children, they were settled in London since past 12 years and seldom came down. Mama hugged her "Arre wah Kavya you look stunning, you have grown so big and so beautiful. It's such a pleasure to see you".
Kavya felt her whole body go stiff, she could feel goosebumps and she felt like throwing up. She somehow excused herself and ran to the bathroom and almost puked. She washed her hands twice and sat on the bed. Her mind suddenly went back to those dreadful days when she was a little innocent 8 year old. Mama had come to stay with them as he got a job in Pune. She remembered the first time he asked her to sit on his lap and as she was busy eating the lollipop he gave her, his hand slid under her dress. She jumped down startled but he grabbed her again. And he whispered in her ears "my little girl this is our secret just between the 2 of us, we will have lots of fun. I will give you chocolates daily and get all your favourite comics but don't tell anyone else. They will think you are a bad girl and send you away". She got frightened, her mom always seemed in a frenzy and kept telling her " if you don't behave well, we will send you to boarding school". And she remained silent. Though she did not know this was sexual molestation, she knew it din't feel right. It felt dirty. It felt wrong. If it was just a game why did she feel so unclean and the urge to wash herself. This continued till one day when she felt she could take it no longer, Mama announced that he will be moving to Mumbai where he had got a transfer. It was as if a huge load had been lifted off her shoulders, she silently thanked God.
She remembered visiting her relatives in Mumbai after a few months and there he was. He smiled and talked to her as if nothing had happened. But she was on guard. She made sure she maintained more than a few inches distance from him. She saw her cousin Swati look uneasy , Swati was 2 years younger to her , she saw Mama hold Swati's hand and Swati was almost in tears. She knew her place was now taken by Swati. Though her heart went out to her cousin, a small part of her was secretly glad that it was not her anymore, someone else had taken that place. A few months later she overheard her parents talking that Mama had found a new opportunity in London and he would be moving. She never met him after that and life moved on. Once she was old enough to understand what had actually happened to her, the trauma was immense. It always felt wrong and she would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night at times perspiring and fear on her face. But once she understood the full picture, of what had actually transpired, she went through myriad emotions. Guilt, fear, anger, pain , seething rage, contempt.
Years passed and she had buried her ugly past deep in her heart and tried to lock away the memories in some far flung place that she even she couldn't reach, but had the wounds healed? They sprang alive today with a vengeance and they seemed as fresh as they felt so many years ago.
Someone knocked the door and she jolted back to present. There was little she could do now in the midst of this function. She went to join the proceedings. As she entered the venue her eyes fell on her daughter and her friends. Innocent little girls who were dancing to the hearts glory, oblivious about the big bad world and the danger lurking around them in the form of predators like Bhushan Mama.
Sometimes a moment comes unwarned out of the blue which changes your life, it gives you courage to do things which you could have never dreamt of doing, it fills you with bouts of courage and fearlessness. This was the moment. No she would not let Pihu, Prisha and other little girls fall prey to such monsters. The man who had robbed her of her innocence was roaming around and people were looking up to him in awe unaware of the sins he had committed. There was nothing for her to be ashamed of, or to hide. As a mother, as a woman- she had to break her silence for her own sake, for the sake of her daughter and all the innocent girls out there. She had to stop torturing herself and feeling guilty and redemption was only by showing her wounds and exposing the man who hurt her.
She owed this much to herself , to her child. The storm had passed and now there was a calmness all around her. She walked towards her Mom with a composed face " Ma there is something I need to tell you and Baba".
A visit to the shopping mall and all kinds of people dressed in varied shades and type of clothes is what catches the eye. While the guys longingly ogle at pretty girls and women check out each other from top to down- right from how has she done her hair to her toe nail and the shade of nail paint, one cannot fail to notice some middle aged aunties all dressed up in a pair of jeans or a skirt, some of them look around awkwardly, adjust their dress and try to look comfortable but it’s apparent that they are not. How could they possibly be? For around them are so many eyes scanning them, some are whispering to others and guffawing. It is quite evident that people find it amusing when a fat lady wears jeans. She's your regular woman who has those tires around her waist and some generous dollops of flesh on her thighs. She is the one always trying to hide these so called flaws by wearing an ill fitting salwar for hasn't she heard time and again from everyone- “you are FAT, you
A short story. "We couldn't save him we are extremely sorry ma'am your son is no more". An eerie silence crept all over. I was so shocked that I stood rooted to the spot. No tears, no sobs, no loud cries just a blank stare. Staring into oblivion. It was just this morning that I kissed Rehan good morning, gave him a bear hug which is our morning ritual, whispered in his ears " Mumma loves you baby", lovingly packed his sandwiches and stuffed the chocolate bars and chips into his bag. He was all excited about his school picnic. They we're headed to a resort which had a lake and my boy loved water. What an irony.It's this water which made him pay the price of his life. Yes it took him away from me forever. When a child loses his parents, he is called an orphan. A wife who loses a husband is called a widow, a husband who loses his wife is referred to as s widower. But what do you call a parent who has lost his child. Is there a word? I guess not.
You usually pick up a book to read because you heard a good word about it from a reader friend, or you chanced upon a good review or simply browsing for a book, you read the back cover and were intrigued to know more. My reasons for picking up this book is something you surely can’t beat! A chance encounter with the author Bavna Rai in a networking event right at my workplace made me rush home and download it on my kindle for weekend reading. Now being a blogger and aspiring writer, nothing gives you more joy than meeting someone who shares the same passion. Unfortunately I have never met a single soul who has remotely anything to do with blogging or writing in my workplace though I have worked for some of the biggest names in the Investment Banking World. Imagine how euphoric I was to receive an invitation for a networking event with 2 senior women leaders and I see that one of them is passionate about writing and has authored a book. Listening to Bhavna’s candid thoughts