Short Shorts : Three : Pretty Flower

She was ten. Brushing her bobbing pigtails one extra time, she patted them down. White, with pink and purple flowers. This was her favorite frock.

Everyone said he was very smart. One day, maybe, you will also go to IIT, they used to tell to her. She couldn’t wait to grow up and be like him. Ravi was her favorite cousin. Always brought her chocolates. Cadbury Eclairs. And took her on piggy-back rides and made her giggle. And when mum wasn’t around, he would sneak her off to get ice cream. Butterscotch.

She sat next to him on the edge of the bed, feet dangling and swinging, and showed him her new painting. I won the second prize for it, she said, her face beaming with pride. That’s very nice. You know, those flowers on your dress are very nice too, he said, as he started to trace their outlines. His fingers slowly ran up her thigh.

She did not want to grow up and be like him. She did not want to grow up.


Written as part of the Blank Noise Blog-a-thon 2006. Although, since this isn’t about street harassment, which is the topic of the blog-a-thon, I am not entirely sure if it qualifies.

Sexual harassment and abuse of children younger than twelve years old constitutes a good percentage of the total reported cases. And yet, the available statistics hardly reflect reality. A large number of children don’t even know how to identify abuse, forget report it. Even more so, when the abuser is a family member.

As adults, we have some ways to oppose harassment. Whether we do or not, is a different matter. But we can yell, scream, try to fight back physically and attempt to raise awareness about it. But what does a child do? Their inherent trust in adults, their fear to question their motives and actions, and their own inability to distinguish between right and wrong often leaves them powerless.

Update : Some contact numbers (Thanks Rajesh and Peter, for the info!)

If you know or suspect that a child is being abused, talk to you local authorities or call —

62 thoughts on “Short Shorts : Three : Pretty Flower

  1. Anurag

    The more I read people’s blogs, the more rampant such problems seem to be. Wonder who is to blame: our societal structure, our legal structure or ourselves?

  2. Ekta

    Hey Megha,
    Well written as always!
    But to me its almost as frustating as sad to see this happening and worse still done by people you know…..

  3. Andy E.

    I remember watching Monsoon Wedding and being shocked at the ending and even more shocked when the bunch of desi friends I was watching it with told me how rampant such abuse was in our society, especially towards kids.

    I think this accentuates the importance of parents all the more (I can’t help but think that 90% of the people who have kids have no clue how to raise them). Parents need to be aware of these kind of dangers and more and need to calibrate the alarm-levels of their kids early, so that they recognize that anytime they’re uncomfortable they need to let their parents know.

    Meanwhile, spreading awareness like your post does is extremely important. Great job.

  4. Vasu

    Good’un!
    The more we talk & make people aware the better. Harassment IS harassment, on the streets or not & should be punished.

  5. aNTi

    [Megha] Lucid… as usual.

    It gives me the creeps….And the sad part is, nothing can turn the clock back. The victims are scarred for life. So much for poets like thiruvalluvar saying that the hurt caused by words cannot be relieved. Wonder what he would have said had he known about these things…. :(

  6. s!

    i think you are right in saying that child abuse should also be counted as one of the crimes. what happens on the streets is just a reflection of what happens behind closed doors. for all we know, it could be like an iceberg, which has 7/8 of its bulk underwater!

  7. Raj

    That is indeed very disturbing.

    Crimes against children mostly go unreported, even unacknowledged although they scar the kids for life.

  8. amit deshmukh

    very well mentioned. alongwith monsoon wedding i also remember “split wide open” for similar references. its such a sorry state. i feel sad while mentioning this, but take the cases of small baby girls being raped and eventually killed by grown up males. what times are we living in?

  9. P.K.Dubey

    Women are speaking out more than men……men trying to be all macho dont let their thoughts out into the open…and i feel that since we guys do learn abt the birds and the bees a lil later than most women… we almost dont know we are being abused ..till much later. I guess what I am trying to say is that abuse isnt just an adult male to child female phenomenon. A lot of infant males do not realise the abuse and find it a lot harder to come out with later in life. This manifests itself in turning them into harassers later in life as they couldnt find help or release at the right time. Since this blog is making an effort to spread awareness these are my two bits…”abuse makes no gender biases”

  10. Jay

    [megha] You hit the nail on its head. I personally know a couple of people who experienced this. I’m going to elaborate just a tad bit to add to the ensuing discussions here.

    In one case where it was a girl, she slowly developed a certain confidence in herself to resist (not physically, I may add) and started conversing with the harasser, questioning intent, lust, desire, and what the heck he was thinking. I thought it was pretty amazing that she discovered self-confidence as a child to conduct herself maturely. Soon after a few conversations, she weaned herself away from this person (probably realizing that the man was sick to the bone) and only interacted with him at social gatherings and at crowded places when it was absolutely essential.

    In another case, things got pretty out of hand. Eventually, when things subsided, it was because the little boy really did not know what to do, and the harasser realized his folly, albeit it took a while.

    What’s intriguing in both these cases is that the children really did not know who was to blame. While they now resign to thinking that it was obviously the adults’ mistake at large to express sexual intent toward minors and act illegally, a small part of their minds also thinks that they were partly to blame. And this thought exists primarily because of the manner in which the harassment was terminated.

    While it was lucky (for lack of a better word) that the harassers involved in both these cases realized their mistakes and terminated further behavioral actions, they apologized by saying, “We did something wrong and immoral, an act that is reprehensible by any reasonable measure”. Statements like these only confuse the child’s mind as it leads the child to believe that he/she is also partly to blame for existing in that situation. From an outside point of view, I know it sounds absurd and that the harassed should never think that it was their fault. But this is unfortunately how these two people felt, still feel to a much lesser extent.

    I’m glad that the Blank noise project is addressing an issue of paramount importance such as this. Sympathy, sadness, anger, and other emotions aside, I believe that harassers (especially child abusers) need psychiatric help and someone needs to tell them clearly that they affect how a child thinks, not only during childhood, but also during the entire term of life. As for what goes on inside the harasser’s mind who is perhaps a married adult who probably fell in love, fought with his/her parents to get married, and had a difficult time dealing with societal pressure trying to explain his/her marriage, only psychiatric intervention may be able to tell.

    I apologize for taking much space on this comment, but I hope that my diatribe provides perspective and anecdotal relevance.

  11. Richa

    Incidents of child abuse always creeps me out. Coincidence..I was watching Law and order: SVU last night. The case was about child pornography on internet. And as usual, finally they grab the bad guy and this guy was abusing his own daughter even before she was able to walk (and at time of arrest she was around 8 or 9 years old)…making pornographic pictures of her and then claims that he ‘loved’ his daughter (my swear words dictionary is very limited and all I could think was BASTARD..anyone has a better word? ). He wasn’t a tiny bit guilty for what he did. Instead, he claimed that he wasn’t alone (his pornographic site subsrciber buddies, of course)..he isn’t the freak. And we, who think he is, are freaks instead. We are trying to suppress this like homosexuality, Inter racial marriage etc. What wouldn’t I have done to just kill that bastard! Yes it was fiction. But there was some truth behind everything that happened in that episode…there are child porn site on net. There are real people who subscribe to them. And sadly incestuous child abusers are also real.And what about human trafficking? And mostly in cases like these, reality is more gruesome than fiction. There is something very wrong about this world. At times I just don’t want to be a part of it.

  12. Apple

    I was abused by a first cousin. It took me ten years to come out with it and when I did, one of the things my fickle father said was, “chheletar jibon noshto korbe” (now she’ll spoil the boy’s life). I’m going to do something about this.

  13. Rajesh J Advani

    Your post reminds me of this song about child abuse, written and sung by Amy Grant. It’s called Ask Me. The lyrics –

    I see her as a little girl hiding in her room
    She takes another bath and she sprays her momma’s perfume
    To try to wipe away the scent he left behind
    But it haunts her mind.

    You see she’s his little rag, nothing more than just a waif
    And he’s mopping up his need, she is tired and afraid
    Maybe she’ll find a way through these awful years to disappear.

    Ask me if I think there’s a God up in the heaven
    Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
    Ask me if I think there’s a God up in the heavens
    I see no mercy and no one down here’s naming names
    Nobody’s naming names.

    Now she’s looking in the mirror at a lovely woman face
    No more frightened little girl, like she’s gone without a trace
    Still she leaves the light burning in the hall
    It’s hard to sleep at all.

    Still she crawls up in her bed acting quiet as a mouse
    Deep inside she’s listening for a creaking in the house
    But noone’s left to harm her, she’s finally safe and sound
    There’s a peace she’s found.

    Ask her how she knows there’s a God up in the heaven
    Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
    Ask her how she knows there’s a God up in the heavens
    She said His mercy is bringing her life again.

    Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heaven
    (How do you know?)
    Where did He go in the middle of her shame
    (Where did He go?)
    Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens
    (How do you know?)
    She said his mercy is bringing her life again
    She’s coming to life again.

    He’s in the middle of her pain
    In the middle of her shame
    Mercy brings life
    He’s in the middle
    Mercy in the middle.

    So ask me how I know
    Ask me how I know, yeah
    Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heaven
    (How do you know?)
    Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens
    (How do you know?)
    Yeah, ask me how I know
    (How do you know?)
    Ask me
    Ask me
    Ask me how I know
    (How do you know?)
    There’s a God up in the heavens
    Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens.

    The lyrics of the song often appear with the following text – which I remember was included in the inlay card of the Heart in Motion album CD.

    This song is about a girlfriend of mine. If you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual abuse, please don’t be afraid to seek help. The Sexual Abuse Helpline is open 24 hours a day, and someone who cares is waiting for your call…(800)4A-CHILD

    Just thought I’d include it. It may be useful to someone reading this.

    In India, you can call 1098. The coverage is apparently national.

    For more details, or children’s helpline numbers in other countries, check the Child Helpline International website

  14. Seetha

    Hi Megha,

    I hope you don’t think a stranger’s spamming your comment space. I wanted to talk about sexual harrassment as a part of this project but I don’t blog. Reading your post made me want to write a few lines too and contribute.

    I was harrassed as a kid and I never told anyone about it. My mother is fiercely protective about my sister and I, but somehow, whatever she prepared us for was not enough. Having been in such situations herself, she tried her best to warn us against people like this. But, a 10 year old mind couldn’t probably guage the seriousness until it came face to face. Also, the worst part was, both the men who tried to abuse me had girls of my age. (They were my friends’ fathers.) At that time, all I could do to avoid it was not visit my friends’ places. The fear of such things happening again, is still subconsciously in my mind, which is the reason why I don’t visit friends’ often. My family (the male members, I mean), I am sure would not have been supportive if I told them about it. All they would say is, you are responsible, not the guy. They would have asked me to avoid such situations. What they fail to understand is that avoiding is not a solution. If not me, it would be another girl. I wonder how many other friends of mine were harrassed by the same men.

    This is my story. I hope talking about it is the first step towards eradicating sexual abuse.

    — Seetha

  15. tatiana

    I thought for so many years that I was the only one. Rajesh’s posting of the words to “Ask Me” has brought tears to my eyes… for all the times I listened to that song when it came out in 1991 and still realized three years after the fact that I couldn’t say anything about what happened without tearing my family apart. It wasn’t *that* serious a matter, was it? I rationalized. It only happened once, after all. Never mind that I was never the same afterwards. It’s a small sacrifice to make for harmony in the family.

    I told my sister and a friend a few months afterwards. They changed the subject quickly. That was the last time for many years that I said anything.

    Fifteen years later, I found out my best friend had also had something similar happen. Today, inspired by the Blank Noise project, another friend confided the same thing to me. Child abuse is too prevalent, and while I have found some comfort and closure in knowing I’m not the only one, another part of me rages : Finding such confidantes means this is happening too much!!! And although more and more people are speaking out, it is STILL happening, and we are STILL somehow encouraged not to talk about it.

    Your post is, unfortunately, perfectly described. You remember the age, the room, the clothes you were wearing. And how someone “fun” and “favorite” turns into an object of intense hatred. We women learn how to pretend that everything’s ok at an early age.

    They say it’s one in three of us. We’re not alone. But I wish it was a boat we did not have to be in together. And thank you for being courageous enough to post this; I’m not even leaving my real name or link here because my family reads my website and I’m not even close to ready to bring it up even eighteen years later.

  16. Brat

    Too right child abuse is rampant in India. More so here because of the “culture” with prevents people from talking openly about it. Child abuse, sex education, lust, et al. Its all very well to say that we are but humans and raging hormones is part and parcel of “growing up”. True…in animal kingdom. We are social animals not the demarcating-my-area-by-pissing-and-I-mate-to-survive species. Not many realise this subtle difference and prefer to justify their reasoning for lustful thoughts with “can’t help it…everyone does it”. Coming to child abuse specifically, its crucial today to let a child know what is appropriate physical behavior and what is not. The physical abuse of the 6 yr old maid girl by two 10yr old boys is just one example among the many where the thirst to understand anatomy (read lust), music videos with barely clad women, lonely maid girl and a free afternoon lead to disastrous consequences. But who is to blame? Parents and the pathetic raising of their kids ? Poor control ? Lack of education? Or Baisc instcint (read ‘fire in the loins’)?
    Kudos to the commentators who came out with their story and inspired others to do so too. Talking helps and more than that spreading the knowledge of whats right and wrong helps lots.

  17. Megha Post author

    Apologies for the long comment response.

    [Zz] Thank you.

    [Dev] What worries me more is when the likes of Ravi have children of their own.

    [Anurag] Hard to determine who to blame. For me, the worst is when the family and friends who instead of helping, turn against the child. With attitudes like -

    * Cowardice – ‘What will people think of us if they find out’.
    * Indignation – ‘We are respectable people! Such things don’t happen in our family.’
    * Indifference – ‘Kids are kids, what can we do? Am sure they’ll change once they grow up.’

    [Ekta] That is what makes this the worst of the worst. That the abuser is someone the child knows and trusts, and the abuse invaribly takes place in the child’s home – the one place he/she is supposed to feel safe, thus taking away that security forever.

    [Andy E.] Absolutely. The only way we can hope to change anything is for parents to make children more aware of the dangers they face out there. The ‘never talk to strangers’ and ‘don’t accept chocolates from strangers’ lessons from our time of growing up, need to be updated. A friend recently mentioned about the song ‘My Body’ that they teach kids in the US in the first grade. It is by Peter Alsop, a song-writer and entertainer who focuses on children’s songs and goes –

    My body’s nobody’s body but mine
    You run your own body, let me run mine.

    A couple of very important verses out of it that go -

    Sometimes it’s hard to say NO and be strong,
    When the NO feeling comes, then I know, something’s wrong.

    Secrets are fun when they’re filled with surprise,
    But not when they hurt us with tricks, threats and lies.

    A simple but strong message. It is time we taught children in India these basics too.

    [ashok] Thank you.

    [Raju] Hm. Hard to understand why people are the way they are.

    [Vasu] Harassment of a child at home is in a lot of ways, much much worse than street harassment of an adult. You take a child who doesn’t know right from wrong, put them with an adult whose motives they are unable to question, and abuse them in their own home – the one place they feel safe and secure? Such vermin should rot in hell. There’s no two ways about it.

    [aNTi] The victims are scarred for life while the perpetrators continue their lives, unaffected. Looking for new prey.

    [s!] Well said. The closed-doors perpetrators probably get bolder and more public in their abuse as they get older.

    [Raj] Sadly, yes.

    [amit] A world that is going to the dogs – that’s the world we live in.

    [P K Dubey] Very very true. When it comes to child abuse, there is no distinction between the male and female child. What is worse is that since adult societal norms typically tend to define men as perpetrators and women as victims of sex-related crimes, the male child is even more unlikely to be perceived as a victim and hence the crime will more likely go undetected. If a middle-aged woman in the neighborhood seduces a 13 year old boy, most people will just brush it aside with a ‘ladke to ye sab karte hi hain’ type thing. If at all, the morality of it will be discussed and the woman will be branded of ‘loose character’ but she will not be considered a criminal. A friend recently mentioned in a discussion that one out of three Indian men lose their virginity to older/middle-aged women. Thirty-three percent! How scary is that?

    [Jay] Thank you for sharing your insights and the two personal stories. Do not apologize for the length of the comment. Happy that you shared.

    I am a little confused about some of the things that you’ve said, so have a few questions and clarifications that I am seeking -

    And this thought exists primarily because of the manner in which the harassment was terminated.

    While it was lucky (for lack of a better word) that the harassers involved in both these cases realized their mistakes and terminated further behavioral actions, they apologized by saying, “We did something wrong and immoral, an act that is reprehensible by any reasonable measure”. Statements like these only confuse the child’s mind as it leads the child to believe that he/she is also partly to blame for existing in that situation.

    So what is the alternative, in your opinion? Is there a better way to terminate harassment then?

    Sympathy, sadness, anger, and other emotions aside, I believe that harassers (especially child abusers) need psychiatric help (…)

    Sympathy? Towards the harasser?

    Psychiatric evaluation, yes, but not psychiatric help, in my opinion. I think help implies that we want to rehabilitate them and give them a new lease in life, which I don’t think they deserve. They lost that chance when they took away the victim’s chance of having a normal life.

    As for what goes on inside the harasser’s mind who is perhaps a married adult who probably fell in love, fought with his/her parents to get married, and had a difficult time dealing with societal pressure trying to explain his/her marriage, only psychiatric intervention may be able to tell.

    Should the harasser background be of any relevance? His love life, the difficulties he/she faced in getting married – should any of these have any bearing on the crime he/she committed? Or is this once again from a ‘trying to understand the mind of the criminal’ type thing?

    Hope to hear more from you, on this.

    [Richa] Hard to retain faith in the goodness of humanity, in the light of such incidents. And the worst part about a show like SVU is that while it may be just a TV show, the stories are based mostly on real incidents.

    [Apple] Saying I am sorry to hear what happened to you sounds very trite. But please do not remain quiet about it. Make sure the world knows what your cousin is like. Don’t let him get away with it. At the very least, perhaps it will prevent him from doing it to someone else.

    [Rajesh] Thanks for sharing the lyrics with us. And thank you for the contact info. I’ve updated the post with the information you’ve provided.

    [Seetha] Thank you for writing in. Far from considering it spam, it is my privilege that you decided to share your story here. Talking about it is the first step in spreading awareness about it. And awareness is the first step towards changing things. Very glad you shared.

    [Pareshaan] Happens all around you. Just look around.

    [tatiana] Thank you for having the courage to share your story with us. I hope it helped you to talk about it. And I hope with more and more voices speaking out about it, we will start to acknowledge a problem, that we, at most other times, are content to ignore. Very glad you wrote.

    (I deleted your second comment, since you preferred this one getting posted. I hope that is okay.)

    [karan] Yes, depressing and frustrating.

    [Brat] Well said. And I think the final responsibility lies with the parents -

    * To teach their children to say NO. To be wary of strangers. To make them aware that they have a RIGHT to say NO. That they should scream and shout. Not keep quiet. Not hush it up. To make it clear that evil lurks in the world outside and to equip their child to face it better.

    * To teach their children that it is NOT okay to look at a child (girl or boy) like that. You could have twice the raging hormones as the average person, but it is NOT okay to touch your cousin/sister/maid/neighbor’s son/friend’s daughter. It is not just immoral, it is a CRIME. A child’s vulnerability should make you want to protect them, not take advantage of them.

    [witnwisdumb] Hm. Thank you.

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  19. Kandarp

    Hi Megha

    I have been reading your blog for quite sometime, but never wrote a comment.

    This post of yours, is my personal favourite. According to me, probably the best so far.

    Keep it up.

  20. Jay

    [megha] I’ve tried to answer your questions as best as I can, but I must say that I’m speculating here and not attempting to present an ideal solution by any measure.

    Alternative: Perhaps, it would have been appropriate that the adult address the situation in first-person and take all the blame instead of holding both him/herself and the child accountable. Maybe, the adult did not intend to hold the child accountable, but addressing the situation collectively using “we” cast doubt in the child’s mind. Again, maybe I’m just seeing the world through rose-colored glasses and being naive — adults rarely take the blame in front a child. On a sidenote, have you read this article by Anderson Cooper? I thought you may enjoy it.

    Emotions: Yes, toward the harasser after committing a heinous crime. This was one of many emotions expressed by the harassed in both cases that I mentioned above. I found it hard to believe initially, but after listening to detailed accounts of their stories, I can say I know where they’re coming from. From an outside perspective, one can easily shoot down any sympathy toward the harasser, but certain child abuse cases seem to be to complicated. After all, we’re only human and we can preceive only this much.

    Help vs. Evaluation: I don’t have the heart to say they only need evaluation and no help. We’re all trying to be better people and I thought “help” would enable that. I’m not a proponent of the death penalty either. But I am pro-choice on abortion. Yes, I’m complicated … I know :-).

    Harasser’s Background: Personally, no, it does not bear any relevance to the crime itself. From a legal standpoint, investigations and trials consider background to determine if there are any mitigating circumstances before delivering a verdict. I just mentioned the background to provide perspective (I should have prefaced the description by mentioning that this was the case in the two incidents I mentioned before: my bad).

    Hope this helps, a little bit :-).

  21. Manoj

    Hey sorry for askin this here (but i cdn’t find ur email here). Can i quote this thing on my blog?

    “I think it is tougher to make people laugh than it is to make them cry. Tugging at your heartstrings is much easier than tickling your funny-bone. But no, I am not so full of myself as to believe that I always make you laugh. But I love to write the nonsense that I do and if in doing so, I manage to bring a smile on your face every once in a while, I cannot really ask for much more, can I?”

    Hmmm? Pleeeeeeeease? Can i? Can i? I can’t wait to do it.

  22. kamlesh

    I have a question for those with personal experiences of abuse as children. What would be the ‘ideal’ response from your point of view when you tell someone? Especially if the abuser was a relative? The reason I ask is that years ago, my cousin told me that she was molested by our (common) cousin, and I really was too amazed/shocked/numb to respond at all. We were about 8 when it happened, and he was 16 or so, and when she first told me, we were about 15. Over later conversations I have of course, found words to sympathize, although I ‘did’ nothing against the molester ever(what should I have done?)
    Now with kids of my own, I would really like to know, from a young child’s view, what the best support and response would be in such a horrible situation.

  23. :-)

    Not much of a story but the point is very clear.

    Ultimately it boils down to this.
    Men are stronger. They are always looking for a ‘chance’. Thats the truth.
    Another sad part of the truth is most of the men dont have a clue about the kind of scars they are leaving. Let it be street rowdyism, child molestation, prostitution, harassment at workplace or a rape, women folk need to make lot more noise about how they feel.

    If you stand in front of me in a queue, I try to feel your butt. Thats my nature. But if you tell me that it makes you feel bad, I wont. However simple it might sound it doesnt happen all that often. I feel instead of cowering away, women should make lots of noise about the issues that are sensitive for them.

    Knowingly or unknowingly that is exactly what this blank noise project is doing. I am glad that popular bloggers like you have taken up this issue and responded so well.

    Make noise.

  24. kalyani

    :):
    “If you stand in front of me in a queue, I try to feel your butt. Thats my nature. But if you tell me that it makes you feel bad, I wont. However simple it might sound it doesnt happen all that often.”

    IF my nature is to slap random people, is that Okay? Its just my nature! If you tell me you don’t like it, I won’t! Seriously! What makes you think that just because it is your “nature”, it is OK to feel random women around you? Why do women have to tell you its not OK? Its their body for heaven’s sake! What gives you the right to perpetrate your “nature” on unsuspecting women?
    Sorry about the venom in the comment, but after all the “Blank Noise” posts, to read comments as insensitive as these is just plain frustrating

  25. Vardan

    Amazingly written piece.

    I’ll say this: I don’t know if this is a solution to the problem or not, but as a society, we need to be a bit more educated/sensible. This kind of activity happens only when someone does not have a vent for his sexual desires. Maybe the society is liberal, but we aren’t open minded enough, which might amount to stating the same in different words.

    I don’t think that everyone is a pervert, I think every pervert at some point of time would realize the disasterous results of his act. Only, it is alway too late.

  26. twinkletoes

    (megha) very poignant…but the worst thing is, what you described is not as uncommon as we would all like to think…
    people try to deal with sexual harrasment by not talking about it, and by turning a deaf ear to anyone who talks about it-i’ve seen this happening, and i think it’s the saddest part.
    i don’t know a single indian woman who has not been harassed in some way or the other at some point in her life-and that includes me. i’m not trying to create a hyperbole here…
    it takes something vital out of a child’s soul when something this horrible happens to her/him.
    i think the first step in trying to fight this problem is to try to talk about it…thank you,megha.

  27. Manoj

    We dont have to get angry on them at all. We just have to put them in a cell for some 25-30 years and teach them well until they understand that. A laathi w’d be of good help. Coming to think of it, i doubt even this w’d suffice if they already murdered that innocence. And [vardan], what do you mean ‘vent for sexual desires’ ? There are hell a lot many vents for sexual desires. These paedophiles are so cowardish that they can’t even do a prostitute. Thats what is true. One thing can be done though. They can be crushed, burnt, vapourated and ensured that not even a trace of their DNA is left in the air. If morality won’t stop them, we can try fear. And if fear won’t stop them either, death will, for sure.

  28. SR

    Talking about it definitely increases awareness of the issue – but sadly awareness alone is just not enough. Its high time people started thinking towards a solution – Its time to revisit the basic structure of our society from an objective perspective – Its time to ask questions such as:

    1. Why is the sense of morality so low in our society? Are schools addressing this issue? Are parents addressing this issue? Whose responsibility is it? What part does religion play in either solving the problem or being the cause (or one of the causes) of the problem?

    2. How often and how long are children forced to tend to themselves? Obviously, they would not have to go through any of this shit, if they are under constant supervision (responsible supervision that is .. ). Going down that line of thought, it should stir up topics such as nuclear vs. joint family, should both parents go to work, etc.

    3. Do we need stricter laws? Do we need strict sensorship? Do we need strict dress codes? Do we need to behead offenders? Do we need a Big Brother (or a Sister)?

    Don’t make the mistake of trying to guess my stance – It is not about my stance. It is about making people think about things that they taken granted for so long – I see so much traffic on the web for meaningless stuff (not complaining – just stating), but if a small percentage is directed towards the necessary stuff, I think we could have a solution for a problem such as this which defintely cannot be tackled at a local level.

    SR

  29. :-)

    Sweetie Kalyani: However simple and obvious it might sound, yes you HAVE to TELL men what it feels like. Let us be fair. Let us not get into “Men are pigs and women are innocent sufferers” generalization.

    A man is at a disadvantage of having to make the first move. He usually has no grounds for that first move. He has to take that risk. He has to make that first move. You dont like to admit it but there are incidents when the girl in the front you actually responds back by pressing her butt back.

    I dont like explaining this butt example at all. You know that was an example pointing towards an ‘attitude’.

    Blank noise project is not magic. Women’s day is just another day. Dont get carried away. Let us get the basics right.

    Make noise.

    But largely that is it. Yeah, if you feel like slapping me, go ahead and take that risk.

  30. Zz

    [Megha]

    My apologies for the aggro-male-type behaviour I’m about to display in this fine space.

    [:-)]

    Your generalisations are, in a word, idiotic.

    If it takes someone screaming at you to get it across to you that your butt-pinching is objectionable, then it speaks poorly of your intelligence. To use your own examples, would it need a woman to “make a noise” about it before you realised rape or child molestation was a bad thing?

    And puhleeze, don’t try to cover up your chauvinistic bilge with this generalisation of yours about men always looking for a chance. Maybe you are. Maybe the guys you hang out with are. Maybe you don’t know any better, god help us all. But not all men.

    Your second comment is even worse. Let us be fair. Let us not get into “Men are pigs and women are innocent sufferers” generalization. Jeeze. That’s exactly the generalisation you made.

    And while I appreciate the dilemma we men have when it comes to making the first move in an age of equal opportunity and all that, if your idea of a first move is pinching someone’s butt.. I’m lost for words, laddie.

    Let me put it this way. There are times when I want to strangle people in crowded trains. To get out of my car and beat the shit out of a guy who cuts me off. If I expected the world to condone it, or were to say “Hey, how should I know it’s a bad thing? No one made a noise about it.” I’d have a hard time telling that to the judge.

    Sure, there are instincts. There’s also good breeding. Being well brought up. Civilisation. Those things ring a bell, smiley face?

  31. Heh Heh

    Mr Smileyface:

    Not only do you bring disgrace to that emoticon, but also to men in general. In essence your argument is that men are unthinking beasts unable to control their urges, unless they are threatened with some external consequence.

    First of all, YOU might feel the urge to pinch a womans butt if she is standing in front of you in line. Neither are all males like you, nor do they have to resist such urges. Some of us were raised not to violate other people’s rights, and to respect their personal spaces.

    Secondly, the threat of consequence is not something that witholds people from doing as they please. There is a word called morality, which you are perhaps unaware of, that makes them aware of right and wrong for what is. In other words, civilized people do not refrain from murder because they are afraid of being caught. They do so because they think taking a life is the wrong thing to do.

    Thirdly, men are not EXPECTED to make the first move. And if violating someone is your idea of making a move, all the best to you. Hope you survive in prison.

    As far as the “Let us not get into “Men are pigs and women are innocent sufferers” generalization.” is concerned, it is because of people like you that those generalizations are made. If the statements you made in your first comment were made by a woman, people like you would have been instantly at her throat calling her an extreme feminist.

    Lastly, I resent the tone you use for Kalyani. There is no need to use terms of endearment such as Sweetie for people you do not know.

    Nor is there any need to include veiled threats. “at your own risk” it seems.

  32. aragorn

    It starts in the family. Parents have to make their child aware of the sexual predators around and also they have a responsibility to make their girl child mentally strong as they have to face the attacks more than once in their life. May I mention, paedophiles not only target girls, but also boys too. Does that increase their perversion, I wonder. The Blanknoise blogathon was quite impressive but we need more action than words. Though words precede action, I guess. Keep going.

  33. :-)

    zzzz and ha ha dudes: Today is my ‘I have nothing better than this to do day’.

    I admit, that butt example was out of context. I was trying to point out towards something that happens in general on an everyday basis in this nation.

    Bah, every generalization has exceptions. (Including this statement) Thats too fundamental even to discuss. Dont get stuck there.

    Get to the point.

    Pinching butt is crude and vulgar. Raping is crime. Ogling at is indecent. Smiling at is ok. Using endearments is ‘civic’. Cool. I get it. I think everyone gets it.

    If everyone gets the point then why is this stuff happenning? everyday. everhour. every second.
    You think all those men are a) wrongly brought up by their parents b) beasts etc?

    Go ahead. Feel good. If that makes you feel good about your upbringing. But that doesnt solve the problem.

    Lot of men do it because, a) They think its ‘fun’. b) They have nothing better to do. c) Their instincts take over. d) They think the receiving woman likes it. e) Thats the only way they know about how to approach a girl

    Whats the reality?
    a) Sometimes the receiving woman enjoys it, sometimes she doesnt
    b) We can generalize that women dont like it.

    So whats the solution?
    Covering your ass doesnt solve the problem. Moving away from the harasser doesnt solve the problem. SHOUT. (Now dudes, dont take the SHOUT literally and come back to me with questions like, what if the girl is dumb or has a throat problem etc).

    Make noise.

    Make enough noise for the appropriate laws to be passed, the appropriate mechanisms be put in place to implement the laws.

    Make enough noise for every girl child to fully understand ‘harassment’ and the appropriate way in which she should respond to the harassee.

    Make enough noise for every man to fully understand that women dont like it and make them fully aware of the devastating consequences.

    I have no problem wearing the bad guy label.

    I am a bad guy. Today I want to rob a bank, Kill a guy and molest the girl worker in my apartment.

    I am afraid of robbing a bank because I am sure that I will get caught. I am sure that I will be punished.

    Killing a guy? The consequences and the media coverage are too strong. Nah, why would I risk something like that.

    Hey look at that girl. She is in her teens. I have weighed my options. I have calculated the risk. Hey its a risk worth taking. “Hello Girl”.

    I hope you got the ‘point’.

    P.S: Before you attack me or anyone in general ‘personally’, you silly ass, you cant judge a person based on a comment he leaves. The very reason I am entertaining this conversation and participating in this comment box is because I want to make noise. I want to be part of the noise.

    I

  34. :-)

    I left my response on my blog. (I couldnt risking typing a huge comment and lose it, again).

    zzzzz and boo haa, attacking a person ‘personally’ is always bad for a constructive argument. Honestly, I dont care. Whether you like me or not is a different issue. Whether you have problems with my morality doesnt have anything to do with my message.

    Make noise.

  35. Brat

    @[:-)]
    I can’t believe someone can be so dense and then go to eloquent lengths to prove it and lay a seal on it. Er…whats this crap about raising voice so that the men are enlightened about whats proper or improper behavior. This isnt about just “making noise” but for that sense of courage to know you are not alone and together you can fight back and win.
    You think the rapists indulge, due to sheer lack of etiquette and general ignorance? I dont even feel contempt…your comment is just a reflection of a person’s immaturity and a riddiculously morbid vacuum in a sense of humor.
    *Now dudes, dont take the SHOUT literally and come back to me with questions like, what if the girl is dumb or has a throat problem etc. *

    … I ask you)
    Dude, we dont leave in the neandarthal age. We dont have to SET a rule of conduct. Its all there and we grow up with a sense of whats right and wrong. A 16 yr old cousin knows full well the implications of his actions and yet, he gives in to the fire in his loins plainly beacuse he has, as you say, assessed the situation, and perhaps knows that the 8 yr old will neither have the clarity of thought nor the courage to report somehing she doesnt even fully understand about. This is about perversion, not nature. Again this isnt about male vs female. Its about the act thats distressing ,an act that more commonly and widely is rampant on and victimises the women. Your arguments would all do very well if you were defending a 4 legged canine and a bitch were sporting her ass for its benefit.Woof.

    In defense of my human brethren…NO. We do not,as a rule, feel the need to pinch a women’s butt. And Yes, upbringing plays a VITAL role in this.

  36. dxb prasad

    dark moments of dark minds to darken future of bright innocence! .. it’s happening man-to-man, man-to-woman, woman-to-man at all ages, mostly young.
    woman-to-woman happens too, but hardly ever in the same way.
    so sad, so tragic.

    btw, have posted my side of the “public flogging” story on my blog. wanna think about it?

  37. Bhanu

    In relation to the above conversation with “-:)” …looks like we have decided to get into personal attacks on the commentors. Now, you will be expecting my next sentence to be about ‘civility’ and being nice to each other on this wonderful blog. Yes, that is what I would say. But, when I thought about writing a comment in response, I was also thinking about ‘intolerance’ we are displaying.

    We are all aware of this debates raging these days on freedom of speech. However, I am beginning to think that when we start attacking a commentor going beyond disagreement to the opinion and such, I guess it is another form of intolerance.

    Anyway, this was a thought that applies to me to consider as much as it is a comment from me to others.

  38. :-)

    Brat: With Megha’s permission I would go as long as it takes to get it in your mind or anyones mind.

    Agreed. I was not raised properly. Agreed. My parents are four legged beasts. Agreed. So am I.
    Agreed. You have superb sense of humour. Agreed. My sense of humour is “riddiculously morbid vacuum”. Agreed. You are civilized. You are human. Agreed. I am a beast.

    So what is your solution to the problem? The problem of harassment. Which is real. Unfortunately, the reality is when it comes to harassment we are still living in stone ages. The society is filled with beasts like me.

    I know I am a beast. You dont have to tell me that eloquently. I am interested in your solution.

  39. Brat

    @[Megha]
    Very sorry aout this. This is the last you will hear from me on this topic vis-a-vis smiley.
    @[:-)]

    You misquote me. I never called you or anyone associated with you as a four legged beast. I merely referred to the act as bestial.
    I apologise, for coming down so strong.I dont indulge in such caustic commenting but this is one topic that I feel too strongly about. Perhaps the personal dig was below the belt. Again, I apologise. Objectively speaking and leaving aside unwonted personal comments, I still stand by my views.
    The solution is to not just make noise but to take action. “Noise” may spread awareness but the final solution is to report incidents such as these and bring such heinous acts to the fore so that the man behind the facade is revealed bare.

    Perhaps, you have a way of putting things that isnt really agreeable. What pissed me off was you trying to put the Male species in a template and seemingly defending their blasphemy with a simple “cant help it…we are made that way” excuse.We arent all that way and its ignominious to generalise so. I sincerely apologise, for the harsh words.

  40. HelP

    Hey Hi.

    Some time ago I faced a similar problem. I am a Man. The Problem was faced by a friend of mine. She is in Canada. She is an indian and there’s an indian guy who is constantly harassing her. I want to know how can we deal with this. As she is really scared and helpless, is there anything we can do to help her.

    Mail me back Please

  41. rosh

    Response to Help,

    Re: your helpless friend constantly being harrassed, should pull up her socks and head to the cops, file a complaint and get a restraining order against the wannabe hero. To continue to live in fear or with harrasment is not a choice – it won’t bring her any comfort.

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