Not a single one of us can’t say Me Too.
Not once, twice or thrice,
Each of us were several times.
I was a little girl of seven, buying a loaf of bread
Some uncle came from the back,
Pressed his crotch in my butt crack.
I squirmed and looked at others for help,
With their business as usual they all went ahead.
We kids were playing hide and seek at nine,
A stranger backed me up against the wall.
I tried to scream but he covered my mouth,
And felt my body up and down.
In the bathroom at the fair that year,
A man locked me up, stripped me naked and thrust ahead.
I thank my stars someone knocked the door,
He pushed me aside and away he fled.
We cousins were playing cards in the summer holidays.
My uncle joined in laughing and joking,
The full while my shoulders he was stoking.
When I was twelve the librarian in school,
Held my hand while handing the book.
He held it smiling and rubbing it for long,
And all I did was helplessly look.
In the rickshaw on my way to class,
The driver pulled down his pants.
He started grinning and masturbating,
I cried like it was my fault.
Every Thursday I crossed the bridge,
To take my Marathi class.
The beggar knew my timing well,
Each time his penis he would flash.
My parents left me with my uncle,
I was a merely boy of eleven.
He made me suck his penis,
And laughed when he touched my genitals.
I had gone to my sisters at seventeen,
Her husband’s flirting was routine.
Then one night I awoke startled,
By his fondling my breasts and kissing my lips.
At twenty-two during my internship,
My boss called me home for work.
He showed me pics of naked women,
Asked me what I thought of those.
I was waiting on the street,
My friends I was to meet.
A car slowed down next to me,
Two hands pressed my bosom,
Away those boys sped in glee.
My father died when I was ten,
We took shelter with my maternal uncle.
I was his reward of this arrangement,
And there was no one I could tell.
I was walking back from work last night,
Catching up with my mother on the phone.
He stopped his bike abruptly by my side,
And yes, me he did grope.
We were chatting on the bed,
I was sitting cross-legged.
My brother-in-law stared and stared at my v,
Then scooted saying he had to pee.
From a beggar, to my uncle, to my boss…
I was an object with breasts, a vagina and a backside.
Or just a little girl or boy or a woman,
To be over powered and plundered as though not human.
Maybe I should have hit them hard.
Maybe I should have pushed and run.
I did want to shout and scream,
But each time I stood there feeling dirty and unclean.
I have never told my parents, teacher or supervisor.
I know, they’ll say, I should have been wiser!
I have hardly told anyone at all.
It happens with everyone after all!
Aditi Munot is a poet