It has been 10 days since I read the book When I was Raped by Urmi Bhattacharya, but I could not gather the array of thoughts in a straight line whenever I thought of the book. The pain, fear, shock – Having felt the emotions that refused to leave my mind and let myself be.
Why this trauma?
This is not a book review because if I review this piece of literature on the basis of characters. craft, development, and grammar (which is on point), it would be an injustice to the five females featured in the book. Author Urmi Bhattacharya is sharing the first-hand experience of five rape victims.
One four-year-old girl whose vagina and anus became one tract after the heinous attack. another 9-month-old “Baby” whose body was damaged to nothing after the rape. Two other women were raped to show their place, to make sure these Dalit women won’t show self-respect and perseverance anymore, and the fifth, a woman who was raped twice (brutally) by her lover and lives in the guilt of bringing it upon herself.
Do you get what I felt when I read it with my nine-year-old by my side? Numbness.
It was surprising to see the author’s growing friendship with the rape survivors which sustained for years to go by. The book is talking about their lives years after the incident. Hence it is more into what it is to live like a rape victim and hence the title After I was Raped.
The author deserves special applause for not sensitizing the book. The book is as honest and hence the most painful.
The experiences made me wonder in which era we are living. How could a rapist live at a stone’s throw from the survivor’s home and pass sleazy, lecherous, and demeaning comments about her? How could a rapist come back with a vengeance in an attempt to silence her? If that is not enough, how could an advocate argue that the rapist is not his client because the child recognized him as Rahul Bhaiyya and his record name is something else? Well, no one has an answer to this.
Painfully I realized that we are living in a fool’s paradise and that I am a coward who cannot think about the trauma of the survivors again and hence stalled my review. In this scenario, the author who has been repeatedly visiting them and listening to what they have to say is GOD! No, I am not exaggerating.
I am waiting for one day when I could get her on the other side of the call and hear from her as to how she dealt with such a situation and showed courage…
Read the book if you want to come out of the fool’s paradise that you are living in…