Friday, December 21, 2012


“Listen, don’t cry…I agree what happened is horrible, but don’t let it get to you so deep that it disturbs you to this extent”, said a friend over phone, concern clouding his voice.

But I could not. I still can’t.

Ever since I understood rape, I’ve never been able to ‘take it easy’. I’ve taken it rather hard, sledgehammer hard. I remember when I was very young, some age in school, when I comprehended the meaning of rape. The first emotion was that of intense anger. Of mad outrage that sent me into fits of savage tears. Of blinding humiliation. ‘I’d much rather be killed than raped’, I would think. Overwhelmed with a shudder of shame, the utter loss of face. Gang rapes terrified me. The very idea of a girl set against a group…was so so unsettling that rape news jangled my nerves for weeks and months. That a man, or worse still, a group of men, should gratify themselves by such use of force on an unwilling girl – the extreme inhumanity of this act, the total disregard of a woman’s privacy – revolted me. How can anyone, no matter how aroused, touch a woman without her permission, let alone…i never had the heart to imagine the sequence of events. Hot vindictive tears would sting my eyes on hearing/ reading about every such incident. It still does.

Over years of growing up, I gradually realized that rape is not about gratification at all. Just as it has nothing to do with a girl’s clothing or mannerism. From rapes of months’ old babies to old/ handicapped women, it can be understood that a rapist is not seeking pleasure. He is seeking power. Abject power. Devilish control. Deranged domination. Power to abuse. Power to ravish. Power to push and shove and beat and bruise and maim and kill. The misery he causes in the process – the physical hurt, helpless cries and the supposed defilement – is his certificate of power.

Scratch the veneer of any rapist and you’ll find an impotent mouse hiding from light. A despicable failure whose answer to his own inconsequence is – if I can’t make my life any better, I’ll make others’ worse than mine.

So, what should we do with these rapists? Indian laws would rather not put these delicate darlings behind bars for more than 10 years. Such sympathy. Such Gandhi-hearted forgiveness (I wonder what Gandhi would have to say for rape). The provision for capital punishment does exist in our society, but that’s reserved for the ‘rarest of rare’ cases. Rape, of course, is normal. I got an erection, I gotta prove I’m a man, I’ll rape. Big deal. Un-rare. Even if means raping the intestine out of a girl, it’s un-rare. What say, my lord?

I see visuals. Of pouring molten iron in the eyes of rapists. Of shoving iron rods down every orifice of their bodies. Of cutting them limb-by-limb to ascertain a prolonged death. Of nailing them alive for public lynching. Of burning them inch by inch. Of castrating them, paralyzing them, and leaving them in a shithole to rot and die. Of parading them castrated and naked and mauling their faces. Of feeding them to hungry dogs. Of tying their legs to two trucks and ripping them apart.

But there remains a thread in me, a very strong one, which stops me from pursuing this trend of thought. It says I should not become the culprit in trying to punish him. I should not allow myself to be de-humanised. I should not fulfill the rapist’s very objective – which was to kill me within.

And now, as I sit here to analyse rape, as silent tears stream down by being day and night, I decide.

I decide to not feel ashamed for no fault of mine. I decide to live, and to want to live. I decide to be good, to try and spring back to normalcy, to prove to the rapist that his power over me was temporary and mere physical. That my spirit remains untouched. That he couldn’t mar my inherent vitality. That I will love and be loved again, pleasures he will NEVER know.

As for the rapist, a lifetime jail sentence – With no relatives, no human company (except jail guards and their batons), no outside world, no word, no sun, no breeze, no rain, no moon, no device to suicide, FOR THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF HIS LIFE, should be the least. For there is only one emotion that should occupy, overwhelm, smother and suffocate him till his dying day – REGRET.


  1. "Scratch the veneer of any rapist and you’ll find an impotent mouse hiding from light." -- you are right.

    I am experiencing sleepless nights these days.

    I feel ashamed of my gender. I feel embarassed for being a man at this place during such dark ages.

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  3. very powerful!!apt piece..this is basically the voice of every girl!!!

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  6. Sonal the entire piece is your outrage of emotions and the 2nd last para is the solution you yourself have found for the agony caused with the ongoing series of heinous incidents.

    I agree there is a lot of irrespectable acts going on, giving extreme punishments brings us to their level. What we need is a change in mindset of culture. Change in values of liberty. Change in way of acceptance. Change in moral values. All this can be done through grass root level, thru childhood. Now that we know what is happening and what is the solution we should educate children abt moral values and

  7. and parallel self defence classes should be run to teach women defend themselves in times of adversity, cuz all that we teach might not be implemented and we should always be prepared for the worse/worst.

    I respect your emotions and appreciate your initiative to bring your emotions to the society.