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granddaughter’s hair. The Terrace Aunty was my friend during a crucial year of my life. The night I wept over her, I didn’t lose my ‘innocence’, as my neighbours feared - I lost preconceived notions, I lost stereotypes and I gained the ability to see and love people for who they were. 2011. My daughter was four years old. I took her to a park near my home in Bangalore. Our routine was that I would jog while she played. The park was small enough that I could keep an eye on her wherever I was on the jogging track. Couples - old and young - were walking around the perimeter as usual. As I jogged past a bench, past others walking, I heard a voice saying, “Come here baby”. My hair stood on end. I turned around to see my daughter walking toward the bench I had just crossed. A man was seated on it - his fly open, masturbating. For less than a nanosecond I was speechless, rooted to the ground. Then a mad cry emerged from me - I picked up a stone and ran towards him - he got up hastily and ran out. Other walkers looked at me, smiling weakly, not wanting to acknowledge that they had seen him, and remaining silent - not wanting to do anything about him. I thought about Neelavathi that night - the mad woman who taught me to stand up, use my voice and throw a stone if I had to.

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Yours Truly

Profile for Chaicopy

Chaicopy Yours Truly Issue Vol. 3 March 2019  

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