Alex(Name changed) and I met in Mangalore. Alex came there to give a talk and I was happy to meet Alex on my trip to Mangalore. It was an extremely fun trip. We visited the beach, played hard , talked a lot, but through out the trip, Alex kept distance from me. I was curious, but never asked anything. We went out on our day's planned routine to meet a bunch of people, and we were both due to leave Mangalore the day night. We decided to best utilize this day since we were not sure when we would meet next. During the evening Alex looked a lot emotional, the face wanting to say something but never got the notice it desired. During the evening when we finally settled down, and sitting in a room, it was very clear for me that Alex wanted to say something.
Alex told sorry. I was surprised. Alex was like, I know that I have not been reacting great, I am no fun to be with, (In the morning talk I told Alex not to give a smile for everything), and that there is a reason that only a smile is given most of the times. I was quite anxious. I was expecting a sarcastic answer there. But what I heard was quite different. And here I share Alex's story.
Alex was the only child and was quite a jealous kid from childhood. Quite jealous when someone hugged Alex's parents, angry if someone calls by nicknames, excited to learn a lot, religious, and a handsome looking white-skinned kid. When Alex was studying 4th grade, Alex was having one momentous day. Alex was wearing a jean and a t-shirt and was going to visit relatives. The auto guy was known to Alex's mom, and offered to drop off Alex. But he had to stop for a while on the way since he had a pickup from a girls school. Alex for the sake of escaping a walk, agreed. Alex and the auto guy entered the school and was asked to wait for a while till the school gets over. Alex was a happy kid went and sat on a bench in the corner of the school. The auto guy followed Alex and sat next to Alex. Alex felt something moving under the jean that Alex was wearing. That is when Alex realized, the auto guy had unzipped Alex's pants. Alex did not know what to react or how to react. Alex did not realize what it meant.
Alex without realizing any of these, without know how to react to these, went through a lot lot of such incidents in the year. Throughout , in the morning while going to school, in the evening, while coming back.Initially Alex thought it was some game because the other guy was smiling through out the incident, but soon Alex could not take it anymore. Alex asked for a cycle. Alex parents were not in a state to afford a cycle. But then since Alex had asked, they borrowed some money from relatives and got a cycle for Alex.Alex was happy.
Tough Alex still sometimes had to go through the unzipping incident even after getting a cycle, but it did reduce. Alex still went through incidents of forcefully kissed on the streets, forcefully hugged, but Alex did not know what to do about. Alex was too afraid that, parents might beat or scold. They loved Alex a lot, but they also did not know how to express their love. They would beat Alex and then they would cry for beating and hug in the night. This was a time, Alex's dad got a job in another city, and Alex also happily moved. Alex was a free bird.
Alex was in 7th grade, and was happily going to school in the new city. Alex's parents still had to go to work. Alex was always all alone, taking care of the house, doing the homework, going to school all alone, taking medicines when needed and what not. But Alex after being gone through some great life, was too shy to talk to anybody. It was when some neighbors started talking to Alex. They used to offer snacks, let watch TV. But then it was time for Alex to realize, nothing comes for free. The snacks were just to lure Alex to their place. The neighbors knew, Alex's parents worked, and that they would not be home till 7 in the evening, and that Alex would be home by 3 PM. Their concept was very simple, give snacks, show TV, lure Alex, and have fun with Alex. Even if Alex resisted to go to their house, Alex used to be forced, forced so much that Alex would not have a choice. Apart from the sitting alone in the balcony and times when parents were around, Alex was never happy.Alex did not like school, didn't like the house and was too shy to talk to everybody, and was too afraid to tell what was happening. After 2 years of going through this , Alex's parents decided to shift houses.
The new house brought Alex a lot of happiness. The girl in the neighbor house, soon because friends, and they became siblings from different mothers. After school, everyday, they used to stand in the terrace , in the gleaming sun and talk for hours together. For a few months, this went on, and Alex was living the most happiest part of life.
!# I dont have the strength to say more of Alex's story. I am cut-shorting most of it.
Well, when the rising sun, sets, the dark is always full of terrors. Soon, Alex had to face more of the fear, that Alex wanted to run away from. People around Alex were too observant, and slowly approached Alex. Only this time, there were more people. There were women, there were men. Everyday molestation , most of them really forceful ones, and Alex was left with lovely parents whom Alex was too afraid to tell. The wheel kept rotating with no end. The most fearful incident that Alex was made to do was, one of the molesters forcefully made Alex drunk and made Alex molest yet another small kid. A small kid, half the age of Alex and the opposite gender than Alex. Alex did not even know who it was, how did they get the kid here. Alex had no go. Alex afraid of most of these things, used to keep roaming in the cycle most of the time. But the molesters didn't have heart and never missed a minute. The so called religions places, made no difference to Alex.
A few good friends made Alex feel better. Sometimes Alex used to hangout with them. Alex did not go through this for a few weeks, but rather for a few years. Alex's story at some point started to have a good amount of changes. But before going to that part of the story, I wanted to ask a question. What gender do you think Alex was born with ? A Female ? A Male ? A Transgender ? Take your time to take a guess before you read on.
Alex was born a Male and also identifies himself as a Male. The reason I didn't mention his gender so far in the article, is I didn't want any prejudice on gender while reading this part of the story. Yes, the handsome looking white-skinned kid, was a boy. The same boy which the society says should also be bold and be dominant.The same boy, which the world defines cant be raped but rape is something, that a boy should enjoy. But here is Alex, a boy who was sexually abused, a boy who went through a lot of sufferings, Not once, but nearly everyday through out his childhood. I had a lot of questions in my mind, and I was just dumbstruck staring at his face, not knowing how to react. I didn't know what to say, I didn't know if he needed a hug. I just sat there staring at his face. But what he told later, made things even more worse.
Alex also fell in love with a girl Asha(name changed too). He spent most of his time, resisting the molesters and talking to her on phone. They used to talk for hours. The love between them was not told, but they knew it between themselves. After a few days, since Asha left to her study, he proposed to her on a very late night. And she told, "I too love you man". Alex was flying with happiness and daunted with fear. The fear that if the molesters knew the girl, they might harass her too. They already knew, but he wanted to keep her safe. He didn't want her to go through anything that he went through. He used to get her home sometimes and they used to talk, hug and lived happily. But since then, the molesters multiplied. They were growing in numbers. There were now about 7 of them surrounding his house. He cant ask his parents to change the house, as they cant afford a new house. He was now in his 2nd year of college. He was growing more bold and more mature. But in the molesters world, he was "Ripening". One day when his parents had gone out and he had to spend 2-3 nights alone, one of the female molesters(who is apparently just 2 years elder than Alex), brought along a friend to have fun. And when Alex told, they had brought condoms along with them and forced themselves on to him. I broke down. How all this impacted his relationship was what was more disturbing to me.
Alex, tough had to go through all this, he was a cool little detective. While he and his GF studied in different schools and had 1 year difference between them, Alex always could find people in there, to make sure that she is safe. Everytime someone talks very rigid of his GF, he would get to know. He knew who they were, what they talked. Some of Asha's very close friends were the ones talking very wrong about her. He didnt know how to tell her. One day, he just broke it down to her. She took a little while to figure things out and took the necessary steps to be better. Asha was an inspiration to him. She was an awesome programmer. Alex still says, she is his role-model programmer even till date. She used to love his so much. She compromised a lot for him. And she really meant to share her life with him. Alex would die for her. But to both of them, their parents meant a lot. They always decided that they would do things at the consent of their parents. Without going too much into their story, lets just cut it short to the implication of their relationship. Since Asha moved to a different city, that Alex had no friends in, he was just too afraid for her. He loved her so much, that he could not let anybody hurt her. He became so obsessed about it. He could not trust anybody around her. The questions of "what if" kept popping in his mind. He could not say, he don't trust any of them, he could not trust them. He didn't have to guts to say what he was going through. The fear that has instigated inside of Alex was just too fearsome. It was too hard, it was so hard that it was killing him everyday. The fear, the shame (that he pulled upon himself), the question of trust, it all killed their relationship. Alex just finished his engineering, and they broke up. Alex still remembers one thing he kept saying her "Asha, I cant change myself right now, Trust me, another 3 months and I will be out of this place and will get a job in a place you live in. I will not be this anymore". Alex broke down saying this. I could see, what this guy had gone through. I could not say if he was right or wrong. I have never been in a situation like his. I don't know what I would have done then. But till today, over being worried about being sexually harassed, the worry that mounts him is the fact the he lost the girl that he loved the most. Tough the girl also had other reasons to break up, he still remembers her saying "No Alex, I cant go through this anymore" (pointing out to the relentless distrust he had on the society). He shifted cities, he got a new job, he lost the person who loved him so so much.
Alex killed himself, after. He worked for nearly 18 hours a day just to keep him occupied and not remember any of his past, to hide his tears. He drunk. He took weed. He even tried to self harm. He decided this is not going to help him. He lived in a hostel. That was all he could afford. But luckily, for the first time, he had a room mate he could trust. His dis-trust on the society slowly started going away. All it took was one person to fix Alex. Alex did not tell his roommate his story. He just told, he was in a relationship and they broke up. But the fear was always there. Alex tried to do a lot of different things in life. He was an explorer. He started writing code day after day. He started engaging himself with others (with a fear he always kept his distance from everybody). He was not the friendly one at all, but he did interact.
Alex says "There are only 2 mistakes that he made in his life. 1) He did not have to guts to say Asha what he was going through. 2) He never took the effort to tell Asha what he went through even after reading this."
Asha, I hope where ever you are, whoever you are, that you are reading this and you could just talk to him once.
Alex is well now. He is standing up for himself for now. He is bold. When one of the female molesters, found out his address in the new city that he is living in and came home , he had the guts to drive them away. But what hadn't gone from him, is the fear, the mid-night dreams he has. He is still too afraid. Alex told I am the only person he trusted (I don't understand why he trusted me), so he wanted to share his story.
Alex's life, made me ask a lot of questions inside myself.
The social stigma that most of us have in ourselves, that men don't get raped, if at all they are, they need to enjoy it.
What prompted so many of these molesters to use Alex as an object of entertainment ? While I want all of them given capital punishment, I really want to understand their mindset. What did they go through that forced them to do this to a kid.
The importance and the need for Sex Education in schools. (Not the BJP-RSS style where they say,keep the women locked in the house, so you can sell them off when they come of age).
The MOST important question I had in me was, the parental relationship. Alex parents loved him so much. But still Alex could not say his story to them. What went wrong there ? Was it too much love ? Was it not that they didn't try to bring their relationship too bold ? I don't know what, but something clearly stopped Alex and many others like him, to not share such things with parents.
What does gender mean to the society ? The moment we say , Rape we ask what was the girls name, but Alex's story was way too different to me. Something completely unexpected. A story that helped me break my stigma.
The same neighbors who were supposed to help him, did molest him. But not everybody. The girl who brought her friend along one night to have fun with him, her parents were so lovely and extremely helpful to him. The 50 year old women who was also one of the molesters, her granddaughter was one of his best friend, with whom he used to talk in the hot sun in the terrace.
The fear, the thought, a person who had gone through such incidents, have, what do they mean ?What impact do they have on the victim itself. Alex mentioned he tried to kill himself a few times. More than a question, it put me in a thought that without knowing the other person's story, can we even comment.
How many such people live around us, hiding their story ?
I asked Alex , how could I help him, and his answer stunned me. "I know I would be too afraid, I know I would suddenly have weird thoughts in my mind and go completely blank, I know sometimes I wont know how to react, and would just smile away, but you knowing what I am, if possible if you could stay near me and lend me your shoulder when I want to cry, give me a hug when I feel too down and listen to me when I just want to say stuff out, I will fight hard and win the world."
I put the thought in me, I know I cant do that, I am not that type of a person, I am not emotionally attached, but I will try to do best of whatever I can do.
PS : "I" in this article need not refer to me.
PPS : Dont ask who "I" in the article is, who Alex or Asha is. But I can assure you one thing, the story of Alex, I can say is true.