TW: Sexual Molestation
I was eight years old when I was sexually molested for the first time. I was eleven when it happened the second time and now I have lost the count of it. Because weirdly and sadly my brain has normalised it. Some how I was made to feel that it happened to me because of the way I looked (I am a heavy breasted girl). So since early childhood I dressed a ‘certain’ way for men around me to feel comfortable. This played a huge role in my school days as I had zero male friends (because of how uncomfortable I was around them) and was almost a ‘kitabi-keeda’. My true side was reserved for my girlfriends and family.
I took science in my 11th and 12th as people around me expected a girl of my caliber to and being a people pleaser I had to do that. It was in the 11th standard that I realised that integration, derivation and thermodynamics was not meant for me but I had no choice rather than continuing. After 12th I persuaded my family to let me go to Pune as I wanted to make a career in Mass Communication. But being from a conservative family I had to let that dream of mine go and take admission in my hometown (Nagpur). So I took BBA. I met some amazing people there but I knew I didn’t belong there. So, I took an impulsive decision to drop out of college after only two months and took a diploma in Radio Jockey instead.
My parents were furious and called me immature. Those six months of my diploma were amazing. I learned copywriting and scriptwriting and got to explore my creative side. But the purpose inside me was missing. I lacked direction.
Finally after an year my parents came around to sending me to a different city to study. I got admission in MIT, Pune and was on cloud nine. But this time destiny was not on my side. I had to cancel my admission due to some personal reasons and go back to my hometown. I was heartbroken but didn’t lose hope. By this time I knew I was a creative person; so, I took admission in Humanities, Lady AmritbaiDaga College, Nagpur University .It was the best decision of my life. I never knew I could love Shakespeare so much. And the thing that mattered to me the most was that it was an all girls college. It was a safe space where I could be myself.
This lockdown made me reflect back on my impulsive choices I made. To me those choices were not only based on my interests but also on the fear I had of the male company that stemmed from my childhood.
The judgments that came with it made me submissive. So, I decided to make a page on Instagram wherein I expressed myself . I raised my voice against sexual assault and abuse that women face on a daily basis in India.
I wrote my heart out. I felt empowered. Currently I am in the process of writing my first book on double standards that womxn ( The spelling of womxn is meant to show inclusion of trans, non-binary,womxn of colour, womxn with disabilities and all other marginalised genders)in India face today. I am also planning to start sex education classes for children of all ages to break the stigma surrounding sex and to hopefully decrease the sexual assaults that happen on a day to day basis. I now have a purpose and enough passion to follow it. I cannot wait to become an author and contribute in making a change even if it’s small.
Let go of the very classic and common fear of ‘Log kya kahenge’ and do what you want to, wear what you want to, eat what you want to, love who you want to ( sounds very clichéd, but cliché is what works sometimes) and for god’s sake don’t become the 4th person in the ‘4 log kya kahenge’. Let go of your judgements and live and let live.
Lady AmritbaiDaga, Nagpur University.
Connect with Payal Karamchandani – Instagram
Read More at Humans of Campus
- I am a Rainbow with so many shades of happiness to spread!” – Twinkle Makol – Bharati College, DU
- FAILURE, BETRAYAL, GETTING MISLED and anything that has to do with giving up has never stopped me from putting my foot into things that fascinate me – Ayushi Baaliyan, College of Vocational Studies, DU
- When times are low, you can lead life two ways; you either become your biggest motivator or the destructor – Niharika Singh Ahlawat, Maitreyi College, DU & OP Jindal University
- I had my share of ups and downs in college but at the end, good people were the ones who stayed by my side. – Manvi Anand , Maitreyi College , DU