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Voicing Silence 7

Monday, February 27, 2017

Voicing Silence 3

(To get a background to this series of posts, I suggest you read the first one here and the second one here.)

Aged ten, around
the time of my assault
In the intervening years since my assault, the whispers grew ubiquitous. Hushed conversations from scarred friends who all talked in coded language about what had happened to them. I should have stopped becoming angry but I just couldn't. Instead I channeled all my rage into the blows I rained on the random stranger who once groped me as I was walking past him one evening when I was in my early twenties. The nonchalance with which another pervert thought he could get away with pinching my breasts made me chase after him faster. But I could rarely sustain the rage which would blaze fiercely and frequently but never long enough for anything positive to emerge. There were no planned course of action to follow through, it was largely fire fighting on a daily basis.

And then something happened a decade ago which reminded me of what triggered my anger all those years ago. I won't go into the specifics of it but suffice to say that the extended family was in vehement denial of it and that caused a permanent and irreparable rift in the circles. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that they all been subjected abuse in some form or the other. They were either themselves assaulted or knew others who had had that happen to them and they had all chose to keep quiet about it. After all, what could they do? And who would believe them anyway?

Remember the aunt from the earlier post who'd had a nervous breakdown? She said something to me not long after the family kerfuffle. She said, "there are very many respected people in this family, many of whose photos have hung on the walls in this house. But few would believe what they got up to." and then she held my gaze for just that little bit longer. She knew that I knew what she was talking about and I also knew that our stories were far from the only ones.

Anyway, by the time we had this conversation,  I was a mother and not constricted by the stifling environs of India and I wanted to do something. And not just for my children's sake but my own. Anything that would articulate what happened to me but nothing seemed right.

(This is a series of every day posts which will culminate in publishing an animated short film Voicing Silence that I commissioned and helped create documenting the sexual assault that happened to me as a 10 year old).

Read the next excerpt here at Voicing Silence 4

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