This article has been submitted by Nipasha Mahanta for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think this article is a good read, ‘Like’ this article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘comments’ section below.
I was like a tiny bud about to bloom. I hid behind the mosses and stayed in the oblivion of people’s sight. I treasured the fragrance in me and wished to spread my aroma far and wide. My supple petals showcased the many vibrant colors and were supposed to be a treat to the eyes. The lushy green leaves protected me in their warm bosom. I was young. I had dreams; dreams which I wished to explore, which I wished to live a full time. The sun held awe for me- I desired to offer it a bright innocent smile. The moon was a mystery for me- I wished to unravel its myth. I wished to sway under the clouds and dance in the rains. I wished to be the benefactor of the inquisitive mind, a portal of inspiration to the downtrodden and the unending source of joy to all. The fountain of nectar was hidden in my abode. I dreamt to heal the world. I dreamt a simple dream-a life of normalcy where I would not be required to pay a cost for my gay laughter and where flesh would not be traded for lust. I did not aspire to be treated like a Prince or Princess. I wanted to be considered just a mere human being, not a toy. But then I was naïve. The complexities of life had not dawned upon me yet. I was a fool to dream a ‘dream’ so unreal. I was a fool to hope for happiness without weighing the price it demanded. I failed to recognize an imminent storm which was about to turn my life helter-skelter. But the storm raided my dwelling without the slightest hint prior to its arrival. The monstrous storm rendered me weak. I fought with courage but my youth failed to its barbarism. I put up a strong struggle but it was of no avail. My petals were destroyed, the ambience was nauseated by my aroma and my color was slighted by all. My stem was injured and I was ruthlessly uprooted from soil. The company of leaves became an episode of the past. The sun refused to shine upon me. The moon’s apathy hit me hard. The mosses withered in mourning. My nectar was labeled impure. I was stained. I was the hush of the garden. I was ostracized. The storm visited me often and I had to bow down to it time and again. I was defeated and prospect of victory was a mere blur. I endured the pain in solitude. The sympathy of the monsoon rains tried to wash away my stain but the obliterated marks got carved on me. My innocence was snatched away by the devil. Gloom was my only faithful comrade. I was no longer beautiful. I was no longer wanted. I was murdered and thrown to live a dead life. I am scarred now. I am an omen to be buried now. They say that ‘the monster’ raped me just once. I deny. I say I have been raped twice- first by the devil and then by my own life.
They say I do not deserve to live. They say I provoked the perpetrator to commit his crime. I do not protest but listen silently. I wonder what this pain is which creeps over my body all the time. I do not understand why some men in uniform keep shooting questions to me. I do not want to visit the dull Uncles in uniform who never greet me with a smile. I want to go to the playground. The swing and the see-saw miss me a lot. But my wishes are crushed every day and I wonder why.
My teacher no longer asks me to recite the ‘Jack and Jill’. I miss the pat on my back which I used to get. My friends do not share their lunch with me and I sit all alone at a corner during the recess. I wonder why they are punishing me. I tell them –“I have done my homework. I have learnt my lessons.” But they were a cold expression and turn away. My parents no longer hug me when I return back from school nor do they take me on their lap. I miss my mother’s pampering. I miss the candies daddy used to bring. My best friend is forbidden to play with me. And my aunts and uncles shoo me away. My Granny wears a remorseful face. Those bedtime fables are no longer gifted to me. I see people sympathizing. They say I have been raped. I stay confused-if only I could know what ‘rape’ means. I just remember that one of the monsters from Grandpa’s tales tried to devour me. But I battled with swords and emerged alive. It is at this point of the fairy tale that the Princess looks the way for her Prince and so do I. I await the glimpse of a white horse. But the wait just lingers. He has not come yet and I doubt if he ever will. I never thought Grandpa would lie to me. With a teary eye I hug my pillow and sleep. I dream of the damaged flower-my pal. The bloom is as sad as I am. I pick her with care and she looks at me helplessly. And then, we both cry.
The flower in me has not withered yet. The aroma has not drained yet. Nor has my color faded. Even after being struck by the lightning bolt, I have not given up hope. I will part away from the stoic in me. I will defeat this haunting numbness and begin ‘to feel’ again. I will give up the indifferent coldness and will embrace the fleeing warmth. The tiny flame of optimism still burns somewhere in my heart. I will continue to battle against all odds. So what if they call me the impure element of society, so what if they say I deserve a doomed living. I will not let them plunge daggers in my heart. I will live proudly because I did not just suffer and die but I suffered and embattled my curse. I will not be the silent sufferer anymore. I will be a voice to the many unheard. I will earn my deserved justice. I will drag the monster to the gaol and get him hanged. I have suffered enough. I have cried enough. It is time to rise up, to fight and to win. I will be beautiful again. Yes, I will smile again.