Name of the Flower:
Purity of Heart, Innocence
Name of the Girl
Her Association with the Flower
“Didi?” a soft whisper from outside stopped Rewa from concentrating on her homework. Damn it. Bela had come to irritate her again.
Before she could voice her irritation, her best friend Sandeep came in. Closing her books, Rewa ran out of the room, excited at the prospect of an unplanned badminton match. Ignoring Bela's accusing looks, Rewa grabbed her racket and skipped out of the room with Sandeep behind her.
Sandeep and Rewa had grown up together and he was almost 3 years older than her. They were bosom pals and whenever he came, Rewa and he clashed in the badminton court over a match.
"Mamma, I'm going out to play with Sandeep," she shouted across to her mom, who was busy sitting and chatting with her aunts. This everyday tradition of a joint family system was really loved by Rewa as it gave her move freedom to escape the watchful eyes of her parents. "Rewa," her Aunt stopped her, "where is Bela?"
"Please go and bring her down," her mom ordered.
"But Aunty, we have to start a match," Sandeep whined, although a bit cutely to make Rewa's mom agree. But mom being mom, would not relent. "Sonia and Sonakshi are not here and Bela will be all alone. Keep her with you." The look of final commandment had Rewa murmur her excuse to a thoroughly irritated Sandeep, and run up the stairs to blast Bela for not following them down.
But no words came out of her mouth.
Her eight-year-old cousin Bela was standing in the living room amidst a pool of water.
Shocked, Rewa almost shouted, "you idiot, did you do shu-shu here?"
Bela nodded helplessly, tears streaming down her cheeks. The invisible bond between the cousins that could hardly be seen under normal circumstances, rose like the Phoenix, engulfing them both in a myriad of emotions.
"Why? You have never done this before."
"Because I get scared every time I think I have to go through it again."
"No, he touches me in the wrong places and talks dirty things to me."
"Who?" I screamed, suddenly scared to know the answer.
She did not say anything but her eyes widened as her gaze fixed on to someone behind me. I slowly turned to see the ashen face of her tormentor - Sandeep.
Rewa's diary entry that night:
21st of June, 1980
She is just a child. Why did she not tell me? Why did she keep it inside her for so long? Could I have changed anything, if I knew?
A reminder to myself: teach my children as soon as they are able to understand what sexual predators are all about.
- With tears streaming down my face, I crushed a twig of baby's breath between the pages of my dairy - crying for the innocence lost.
Check the Letter A for Anamika story here ....