Returning one day from school, I threw my bag on the couch and stormed straight into the kitchen, “Get me a maths tutor, ASAP!” Mom, being my mom, answered without being flustered by the same request I made so many times, “Honey, but you are so good with numbers already, and what about your friend, who solves the tricky ones for you?” "Mom, I want individual attention and the with a batch of 50, our teacher has gone nuts already!” “OK! OK! Now off you go, eat and I’ll get you one by the weekend…”
That weekend I had a maths tutor, one who had been giving tutions in the neighbourhood of my uncle not living far off. He was a balding, aged man, with one preposterous habit of wearing two spectacles one on top of the other. So that afternoon, gathering my maths textbook I sat next to him, my dad had gone out for some work related to car servicing, as far as I recollect and mom was busy baking. It was all fine, I had answers to the questions he asked, and so we proceeded to solving my doubts, I was working out my way through a problem when I felt he placed his hand on my thigh, I thought it was a mistake and so I shrugged my leg and he removed it. After a little while he did that again, and moved it towards my waist. Only 14, I was not able to process this action, happening for the first time in my life, though I knew that something is not right and my space is being violated, but I didn’t say anything and just zoned out, not able to concentrate and solve the question. He solved it for me and after a couple of minutes, was again brushing past my arms, placing his hands on my knees, and I got up. Alarmed, he asked what was the matter, and I feebly said, "I’ll study from Monday."
My mother came into the study at that point and served the tutor the cake she had baked. Seeing him enjoy that, I was boiling with rage and close to tears. Once he left, I told mom everything, and she was appalled. For a man his age, and known to my parents, this act was infuriating. The man was phoned and told to never come again.
The things mom told me that day were my lessons for life, that I was not wrong at any point, and having voiced against the vulgarity was the best thing that should be done.
Whenever I see young boys and girls with people who are in a postion to exploit them, my blood curds. For a child it is not at all possible to word the wrong he/she is going through, they can only feel it. For us adults, it is the responsibility to never brush aside alarms, and always be protective of them, and educate them in all manners appropriate for their age.
At a young age, I understood my personal boundaries, and those of others around me, till today sometimes I feel violated, like once at office, when I had a colleague, who used to stare so hard , it was difficult to converse. It was only a few days when he was transferred luckily, but he made me quite uncomfortable in those few days.
I have met so many good people too- men, women, and otherwise in school, college, office, and Mirakee, open minded and kind, and I know darkness and ill-will, however much in abudance, will never be able to cloud the world till there is even one good person alive.
I think to live with dignity, the prime requirement is privacy, even for children. So let's create a place to live, where we respect everybody at the most basic level of personal space. And not let horrendous people gorgonize vulnerable children, women, trans people into being scared.