Thank You Mom- For courage

Dear Mom,

Today I stood and talked to a few friends about why it is ok to stay quiet when another person is fighting. I spoke of how its unfair and all I heard was it is situational. And I remembered to Thank you for courage. I remembered to thank you because I never did for giving me the fearlessness I carry. I stood there and in my head thought how easy it is to discuss another’s pain.

I remembered how once as we travelled as kids in a bus, you stood and fought with some men who were harassing a woman travelling alone. I remember you had my little brother and me along. But what you cared about was the respect of another woman. I remember how you screamed at random men who harassed you or other women.

And I was always proud, proud of being your daughter. Proud of being with you and safe. I grew up without fear. I grew up to be one of those forward women who create an ‘issue’ about ‘small’ things. Those women that fight and scream and yell when they are harassed or harass another. I don’t often tell you mom, but I have had my moments of hell. When I have been asked for ‘my rate’ in a crowd or been called lewd names. And every time I turn around and glare thinking of what you would have done.

I wish there were more mothers like you Mom. I hear the fear in you now. I know you worry that I fight too much, or stretch it too far. I know you were not worried till I was closer to you mom. But I hear the fear in your voice now when I say I stood up for what’s right. Maybe when I have a daughter I will know your fears better. I just hope I can set the examples you set, so that my daughter will not stand quietly aside while others fought. I wish there were more mothers like you mom, then maybe more would have stood up for the right and not been bystanders of injustice.

I am scared mom, of being a woman sometimes, always thinking twice about what is right to wear, how must a girl behave, or whether I will be groped or not. But I still stand up and will always. Because my mom taught me too.

I wish there were more mothers like you. Then may be just may be two boys would have been alive.

Love,

Neha

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Abuse

She stood behind the wooden door,

hiding behind her own shadow,

she still knew not what would befell her,

her little feet and smaller hands they talk to each other in nervousness.

And then he came and asked her to get ready for the circus,

she did put on her prettiest dress,

all set for a day of joy and fun.

And yet she knew not as darkness fell,

she was taken away from uncle dear,

so suddenly that she did not decipher yet that uncle wasn’t coming her way.

And then she cried to the night,

and cried her heart through it,

but no shoulder came to her rescue,

and no loving voices led the way.

All she saw were those few men,

and felt the piercing pain,

she struggled and tried to cry out louder,

and she felt the sweaty glassy hands,

choking her every vein.

And she wished for death to come,

but death can be so cruel.

It came not till she had lost the smile and the voice,

and killed herself inside.

Death came with her one last scream,

with her story to her retold.

And I stood there and watched it gulp,

that little pretty girl as a whole.