He just asked, “Bhaia, What is Rape?”
It was bit shocking for me, that how a 9 year old kid can ask such a question. But rather than answering the question, I thought, why the hell, he is asking me this question? And where in the hell, he got to know about it?
I simply asked him, “What happened, Harsh. Where you get this thing?”
Bhaia, I heard it on TV, and when I asked Daddy, he just shouted on me, and instructed me to solve math problems, he replied.
Ok tell me in detail, what really happened, I asked.
I was watching the cartoon and then daddy came, he switched to some news channel, and there was news of girl being raped and people were protesting against school authorities, Harsh.
I just asked the dad, what is rape? Because, they come up with such news on daily basis, it is something bad. And then, he shouted on me, he asked me to solve math problems, and when I told him, that I already solved them, he asked me to go outside.
I was bit surprised with Mausaji’s behaviour, but this is what you can expect from an Indian parent. There is a bit of hypocrisy in them, and they never talk on such issues. Mausaji is no different from them.
But the question is not that easy, and if not answered properly it can dent a 9-year-old mind.
At that moment, I was feeling same hypocrisy, maybe felt by Mausaji. So just to distract him from the topic, I asked him to wait till the evening, because I also don’t know the answer, but let him know after checking it on Internet.
When Ma came from the farmers’ market, I discussed whole thing with Ma. First of all, she asked me to calm down. It is normal thing with kids, because kids only ask what they see, and it is normal. And in present times, you only have news of rapes, molestation and corruption. So, what you can expect from a kid? At some point of time, he will ask such questions. And about news channels and newspapers, they have materialized this topic so much, that it doesn’t seem a serious issue anymore.
Just tell him, “When a person badly touches your private parts, it is called rape.”
Though the meaning is not adequate, but then he was only 9 year old. And it can dent his mind, if not answered properly. So I didn’t go on asking what if he asks for more. My mother told me, he will get it. And it will kill his curiosity.
And when evening came, I told him, what rape means?
But then he asked me, “Do that person get penalized?”
I just said, “Yes! that person gets penalized with life or death sentence.”
He was about to ask something again, but I changed the topic and start asking him some random questions about cricket, school and friends.
And now, I realize intensity of the question and the worthlessness of the answer? The question is way more complex, either you need to ignore or you need to deal with it lot of patience.
After this entire episode, I think, rape is not about physical assault anymore, it is also mental assault. I think, we are raping our kids, women, and goodhearted people if not physically but mentally. And I don’t know, whom to blame, people who do such heinous crimes, or people who have commercialized this whole issue.
Just want to know, what will be your answer if a 9 year old kid ask the same.
Photo Credit: Rape of Europa