Friday, 18 July 2014
I am a Mum of two boys. But I am not carefree.
Today as I reached work, my timeline was flooded with anguish of mothers over the rape of a 6 year old in her school. I read a few but couldn't go beyond three. They were all full of so much helplessness that it irked the mother in me. But what was interesting in all of them was that they were all from mothers of girls.
I have sons. Two. Though both are aged around the little girl who was assaulted in Bangalore, they are boys. Does that mean I am less sensitive to these news items on rapes being carried out to little girls? I am not even saying that ideally I should feel the pain of those parents as a woman because I am as prone to rape as this little one, in this country. My point is that I am equally worried about my sons today. Hear me out all you parents of girls, who feel so insecure while bringing up daughters in our callous country. So what if I have boys? I am equally scared for them as you are for your daughters.
I am scared because being boys, I cannot technically tell them what is rape, at least not now. I am scared because someone who is sick in the head can assume that touching my sons is lesser a crime than touching someone's daughter. I am scared because they are naïve, just like a girl of their age, and can get scared of someone overpowering them. I am scared because everyone assumes they are safe, or safer.
I have taught them good touch and bad touch. I have told them they cant be alone with a stranger anywhere in the school or in the bus. I have told them that if anyone says that they will cause any harm to their parents if they tell the truth, Papa will teach that person a tougher lesson than he can imagine. I watch over them every minute when they are in the park. I call them every 3 hours when I am at work even though they are safe with their Grand mom because there could be something that they would like to share with just me. I have a secret password with them which they can use in case someone tries to give them a message through me at an unfamiliar place. Mind you guys, I am not a helicopter parent. I am just a parent in the times where my child needs me for a plethora of exposures he gets and needs answers for. I am doing everything in my might and senses which can keep V and N away from crime. But I know I can never do enough. I have to send them to school, to their dance classes, to friends' places, to the park, to swimming. Can I be around them all the time? I cannot. And what irritates me is that ideally I shouldn't. I am responsible for their safety but I cannot suffocate them over it.
So what is it that I can do? I can only pray it seems. I can pray not just for them but also for every little baby who doesn't deserve these crimes. I don't intend to join a candle march at India Gate to register my protest. This, because I am not stupid enough to not realise that this mentality is so deeply ingrained in our society that my candle will never last enough to burn down this disease of some brains. I don't want to pray for strength for those parents whose daughter was raped. That's so futile. I pray in fact for a miracle where this girl's example can let God put an end to our miseries. Yeah but I am game to join a pressure tactic which insists that schools do everything they can to ensure that our children are bloody safe with them as I am not assuming that they truly are.
Every morning when I send them to school, I kiss them and say- "Have a nice day." When they smile back, I look at them in the eyes and assure them that they will.
V and N- you are the reasons why Saurabh and I exist and we promise you that we are doing our best to keep you happy and healthy including saying our daily prayers :)