of molestrologers and new year resolutions – part 3

Call me old-fashioned, but I really don’t think it’s ok for an old astrologer to poke a pregnant (or not) woman in her genitals under any circumstances.

And trust me, though a dimwit thinks he has his wife convinced that his intentions were merely to demonstrate how to accupressure works on a pregnant woman’s ovaries, his marriage is in trouble.

How do I know this? Because at 7:45 am on the 29th of December, K. Santhanam rang my doorbell. Mom answered, and he said that:

  • He has no reason to be attracted to me because he has an “active” relationship with his wife and he loves her very much.
  • His loving wife was upset with him at first, but then understood that he was just “doing his job”.

Then, he asked to speak to me personally to sort out the “misunderstanding” – which I refused to do.

Then he told mom that I had overreacted without listening to his (cock and bull) side of the story. Mom decided to humor him, which was a mistake, because what ensued was three elaborate versions of how:

(a) He did not touch me on the right side but on the left because he was recently in an accident and could not possibly have moved that arm,

(b) He did not actually do anything and it must’ve been my own hand, and

(c) I put his hand on my crotch myself.

If mom were capable of saying fuck you, she would’ve. Despite her best intentions, she let him walk away with some of his dignity intact.

Now, it was up to me to do what I could to strip him of his reputation. I couldn’t get over how breathtakingly insulting his demeanor was. I started by telling everyone I knew in the Mayur Vihar area about what he had done, requesting them to tell everyone they knew.

Mom and the lady who lives next door went to the Ganesha temple to request that he be taken off the administrative panel. They promised to consider it, but did nothing about it.

Even so, by noon, the news had spread like wildfire. The phone was ringing off the hook, and we had several visitors who sympathized with me and promised to do what they could. Within a few hours, the man had lost his credibility among his social circle – which, at 70+, means a lot.

My brother asked if I was going to report him to the police. I dismissed the idea immediately. How am I going to shuttle between courts and the police station when I have a baby coming out of me? Besides, he’s getting what he deserves – ostracism.

But I was wrong. It took only a few hours for me to realize how easy it would be for this man to just shift to a new house and escape his punishment. By evening, I couldn’t believe I was going to bring a baby into a world where perpetrators of sexual violence can get away with just a slap on the wrist – because I was too lazy to step out of my comfort zone.

I discussed this with mom and Mister at length. If I don’t do this now, I will never be able to teach my kid to stand up for his/her rights. And if someone educated like me will back down because it is inconvenient for me to go to the police, how can I judge those that brush things like this under the carpet was all it took to convince them.

So I wrote to the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) detailing the incident and asking for legal advice. I am yet to hear back, but I feel lighter because this incident taught me something I would like to teach my unborn child (who will probably be here this time next week to learn it!)

Always do the right thing even if it is bloody inconvenient.

This is going to be my new year resolution. This year, and every year after this one.

And to those of you who were kind enough to share my posts on Facebook, I can’t thank you guys enough! I came across some other women who have had similar experiences with the SAME GUY. They are helping, too.

Really, thank you. You made a difference. A BIG one.

of molestrologers and new year resolutions – part 2

A 72-year old astrologer molested me on the 28th of December. And what did I do?

Nothing. I just got up and left.

When Mister came home, I told him what had happened. I feel so dirty, I said, alternating between rage and disgust. He said nothing, just hugged me tighter every time I came close to tearing up.

Where’s mom?

At the temple.

The doorbell rang, as if on cue. Ma entered, beaming.

How did it go?

Very well. Santhanam’s wife taught me how to do puja properly in the Ganesh temple…

… while he was busy molesting Ana.

 

Mom was shocked out of her wits. Mister told her what had happened. It’s my fault. I should never have left her alone with him. 

No, it’s not your fault. He had no right to touch me. 

We sat in silence for a while, and then I got up and declared I was going to confront him. They didn’t want me to, because of all the stress it would cause.

I won’t be able to live with myself if I let the bastard get away – and that is way worse than the stress confrontation would cause.

So we decided to confront him in front of his family – we took our neighbours (who are Santhanam’s old acquaintances) along for support.

I huffed and puffed my way up to the top floor, where he lives. We stormed into the house and demonstrated to his wife exactly what he had done, and asked her if she thought it was indeed an accupressure demo, and whether ok for him to do that. She sat there shaking her head in disbelief, while Santhanam smiled menacingly and told me that he was seventy two years old and at his age, his intention was obviously not to molest me – he had merely touched me as a “doctor” would.

My otherwise quiet neighbor spoke up. Actually, no male doctor touches women this way. They always bring in female nurses to do the examinations. In fact, even for women’s lung exams, they check from the back, not the front.

I was not happy with the non-aggressive, rational tone the neighbor had taken. Tell me this, you pervert, would you be ok if my husband, who is a certified Yoga instructor, touched your granddaughter exactly how you touched me?

Santhanam slapped his hands together in a mock apology and said – Ok, you are right and I am sorry. Now please go.

The dismissive manner in which he spoke infuriated me even more than the inappropriate touching.

We left, but not before I told him I wasn’t going to leave him alone.

You’re going to be really sorry you did this.

Can you believe that he actually stuck to his “accupressure” story? Would you actually touch a person in their private parts to demonstrate how pressure should be applied? 

of molestrologers and new year resolutions – part 1

Believe it or not, I got molested last week by a 72 year old astrologer.  Yes, you read that right.

Me, a heavily pregnant woman the size of a small planet, about to deliver any second now, poked in the crotch by an old rambling man with one arm debilitated in an accident and one leg in the proverbial grave.

Let me back up a bit.

Mister’s mom and I had heard fascinating things about K. Santhanam, a well-known palmist and astrologer who lives at 92, Pocket D, Mayur Vihar Phase 2, Delhi – 110091. (I decided to add his complete address here, just in case you feel compelled to send him hate mail after reading this shit.)

So anyway. Mom and I decided to consult this guy because we were curious about what he would have to say about my future. And yes, I believe in this mumbo jumbo when I feel like it.

He started by telling us how he was an accomplished astrologer-cum-face reader-cum-palmist-cum-something else who had even been consulted by an ex-president of India in this very house.

He talks too much, I whatsapped Mister.

Then he went on to talk about how he was an engineer at a senior post, and how he had sent a woman employee home because he had predicted, just by looking at her face, that she was going to deliver a baby boy the same day. Then he told me how she called at 4 pm to say she had just delivered. A baby boy.

30 min and he hasn’t talked about my horoscope yet, I whatsapped Mister again.

Then he got to the point. He told me three things:

  1. I had a “motherly” streak in my personality and I shouldn’t let it go.
  2.  My “gonads” (I think he meant ovaries) were not functioning properly because of lack of sexual activity. This was the root cause of all my health problems.
  3. Having my baby and breastfeeding would “fix” my health for good.

All this while, he kept gesturing at his groin to indicate “gonads” and at his chest area to indicate breastfeeding. He also said something about my beautiful face and lips and I found this odd, but did not think too much about it because he was a senile old man (and also because I’m not easily embarrassed about my body).

He told me nothing of significance about my career or relationship or anything else, and quite honestly, I refrained from asking because he had taken 45 minutes to give me the aforementioned load of crap about my gonads. I was actually relieved when he moved to mom’s horoscope.

His observations about mom were very regular in nature; he said that she was an open person. He asked her to do pujas in the nearby temple, then indicated that there was one going on right now and that his wife was going there.

I (stupidly) asked ma to accompany his wife – but in my defense, his grown-up granddaughter was in the house and I had no reason to feel threatened. At this time, he was looking at my palm.

As soon as ma left,  he started talking about my “gonads” again, then put his hand on my thigh and slid it up to my crotch. When I objected, he told me he was trying to show me the acupressure points that would help me fix my health problems. As he spoke, his hand was still on my thigh.

I slapped his hand away, got up, and instead of going ninja on him, I mumbled something about his behavior being completely inappropriate, gathered my belongings and left.

Has something like this ever happened to you? How would you react if you were in this situation? Do you think I under-reacted?

(On a lighter note, what do you think about the term molestrologer? Giggles came up with it!)

Here’s what happened next.

of perspectives

We used to spend a lot of time together, and as any other twenty year old, I developed feelings for SN. I knew he liked me too, and we came really close to making out one day, but didn’t – because it felt wrong to be the other woman in his girlfriend’s life.

Besides, he was just so wrong for me. He used to drink and smoke and make dirty jokes I couldn’t even understand. And he claimed that he had had sex with his girlfriend but didn’t want to marry her. That last bit gave me a little hope but I knew he didn’t want to marry me either.

I once told a friend, incidentally the same friend who came to pick me up from outside SN’s house when he tried to rape me, I’m in love with the wrong type of guy.

But you know all that. I told you before. What you don’t know is why I pulled these posts out of my drafts now, ten years after this happened.

It was because recently SN contacted me, out of the blue, and I couldn’t deal with it for a number of days because he seems to have a completely different memory of what happened that day.

Picture1

After I got his messages, I didn’t know what to do.

I told my ex-husband, who asked me to either ignore him, or meet him and listen to his side of the story. I couldn’t do either, because I thought I had forgiven him and moved on.

But I was wrong.

I’m still angry. It has taken me years to get over what he did to me that day. For the longest time I couldn’t trust anyone or look at a man. It took me years of counseling for it to finally sink in that it was really not my fault.

And the fucktard thinks it’s okay for him to come barging into my life and discredit my memory of what happened that day?

He says I thought he tried rape. He says it was an easy word. He says he is disgusted and that I spoiled his life.

I say he’s a lunatic. 

of betrayal

Memories of abuse that I couldn’t deal with made me start this blog exactly a year ago, and I thought that it was only fit that I end the year by talking about this episode that left me emotionally crippled. For the longest time I put off writing about this, but I also know that if I don’t get it out now, I never will.

Thank you for reading, and thank you for all the love.

 


 

Ana?

S! How are you!

The words had barely escaped my lips when he consumed me in a giant bear hug. God, I haven’t seen you in years! How are you?

Asphyxiated, I wanted to say. But I said engaged, just to see how he would react. I thought I saw a flicker of emotion in his intense brown eyes and a bead of sweat on his forehead. Was he this short back then?

That’s great news! Tell me all about the lucky guy! 

I didn’t want to, but I couldn’t pass up that opportunity to rub my awesomeness in his face. Let him realize he misses what he was too chicken to claim. I went on and on as he sipped his coffee. He was awfully quiet, and I was insanely happy about that.

Does he like to dance, he finally asked.

So you remember my checklist! Yes. He dances really well. And he cooks and is very patient. He never gets angry. He’s perfect! 

He was obviously jealous. Have you guys had sex yet? Or are you still waiting for the right guy?

Actually, yes, I said. And then I realized I shouldn’t have.

After a moment of awkward silence, I got up, saying I had to go to work, and he asked if I was still working in Gurgaon. Yes, I said again, surprised that he remembered that little detail about me. We hadn’t been in touch for two years save one birthday phone call.

He told me he was headed home (which was in Gurgaon), and that he could drop me to work. I was about to say no, thanks, my shift doesn’t start until 5 pm and I’ll take the cab, but he mentioned his bike, and my face lit up like a fucking house on Diwali (yes, I know I’ve said that before, but in an entirely different context – my face was on fire that night).

I agreed to go with him to Gurgaon. I just have to go home and change. That way I can just go to office right after I drop you.

Sure!

Big mistake.

An hour later, I was at his house, sprawled on his bed like a dirty bed cover. And there he was, sitting on my chest, his knees holding my arms down, his crotch dangerously close to my face. All I could hear was the thumping of my heart and a few incoherent words.

You bitch! How could you let him touch you!

Then I felt his hands on my crotch. Did he touch you like this? What else did he do to you?

Let me go. Please! My head reeled as he moved his unwanted fingers all over my body. I tried to cry but the tears just wouldn’t come. I trusted you, S. Why are you doing this to me?

I loved you, you cunt, and you never once let me touch you. 

I knew it was true. He and I had become friends after I bumped into him at the graduation party. We had hung out at his place many times, and had developed some sort of feelings for each other. I knew he liked me, but I also knew he had a girlfriend back in Kanpur. His face came very close to mine one day, and I asked if he intended to marry me.

Sure. But there was a hint of hesitation in his voice that I couldn’t ignore.

And now, there he was, trying to rape me. Take what I wasn’t willing to give him readily – not then, not now. I had to do something.

I didn’t even know you loved me… you never said anything, I said as he unbuttoned my jeans with one dexterous move. Carefully, slowly, I whispered the words I loved you too, but you never said anything!

As expected, he paused. You’re at an advantage when you know your potential rapist.

I tried to tell you that day, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t know how you would react! I felt ashamed of myself for being such a lying, conniving, manipulative bitch, but it was me or him, and I chose me.

He eased his weight off my body and slowly got up, sobbing.

I got off the bed, hugged him, and wiped his tears. You can’t marry that guy, he said.

We need to talk about this S., but first you need to calm down. Go, wash your face.

As soon as he entered the washroom, I sprang off the bed and bolted the door from outside. I picked up my bag as he pounded on the door, demanding that I unlock it, or else.

I slipped on the stairs, twice. I called the first friend I could think of who lived in Gurgaon.

I said in as calm a voice as I could: Listen, I need help. S. tried to rape me, and I ran away. I don’t know where I am, but I can’t be far from his house. Can you pick me up?

He found me under a tree, sitting quietly, staring at the road.

Oh my god, are you okay? What happened?

Nothing. I’m fine.

He took me to the nearest coffee shop and we sat down, and I told him everything. But the tears wouldn’t come.

That bastard. Promise me you’ll never speak to him again.

My phone rang. It’s him.

I didn’t answer. My phone rang again and again. I didn’t answer.

Then, a message. I’m looking for you so I can drop you to office. Answer your phone, goddammit!

Leave me alone is all I could type.

I couldn’t go to office. I called in sick and went to my future (now ex) husband’s office. One look at me and he knew something was wrong. What happened Ana, he asked.

I told him. I saw anger in his otherwise passive eyes – I saw him tremble with rage. Give me his phone number is all he said. I handed him my phone.

And then I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore.