Friday, July 24, 2009

The Abhimanyu I knew... by Aarambhh M Singh

It takes not a lot of courage to revisit a tale of horror. Something that Aarambhh had encountered in his friend and the chilling experience of his has lived with him for years.  On Facebook Aarambhh recounts his experience... and makes an appeal for Abhimanyu.

You could too like Aarambhh spread the word on your online spaces and send us the link for us to acknowledge here.


"No Papa No …"
I read the heading in the Times of India almost 15 years ago when I was too young to even understand the difficult vocabulary of the news paper article. I still remember the article had a painted picture of sobbing girl and I began reading it … and with every line it became more and more difficult for me to understand the words like "Molestation", "Rape", "Sexual abuse", etc., which were beyond my limited knowledge about sex at the age of eleven. Before someone could catch me, I hid it in the most unreachable corner of my room.

Years later… at our tenth class farewell, "Amol"(name changed) my best friend was missing from the party. It kept me very uncomfortable throughout, knowing the fact that he was expecting to be wining Mr. Evening title. After the party, I requested Avinash to drop me at Amol's place. Before I could press the doorbell of "Gupta's Residence", I heard a sobbing. I followed the sound only to find Amol behind the car in his father's garage. He hugged me tight and cried.(He was sexually abused by his tenant whom he was quite fond off)…I managed to bring him home somehow. Amol was scared that his father may never believe him. Mr. Gupta had blind faith on that 28 year old decent looking studious tenant rather than Amol. That night while Amol cried and slept, I ransacked my room to find the same article which was beyond my understanding years ago. I realized Amol was also a Victim of a Child Sexual Abuse.

The story never ended with Amol and in India it has become a never ending story. In India typically, parents are very careful about the friends we roam around. Even Amols parents Mr. & Mrs. Gupta enquired every now and then if his friends booze or smoke. They ensured to meet each of his friend with same old question "Beta aap smoke to nahi karte na?" "Beta aap drink to nahi karte na?" They even kept and eye on Amol's elder sister Akansha who turned nineteen the same year if she is loitering around because they were worried she might bring home some unwanted shame. But did they check the growing fondness that the tenant showed towards Amol? (He is a boy what will happen to him!) Did they ever keep an eye on Akansha when she was probably five and was left behind to play at a neighbor's house? (No because then they were not worried of pregnancy).

Another case just added to long pending cases, we read, we know and we try to hush the matters because we are ashamed of accepting the fact that such animals exist in this society. And with due respect to animals, these people are worst than animals, because even animals don't degrade themselves to such category. This is probably an everyday affair in our households where trustworthy people like a close relative, friend, tuition teacher, and servant are doing such a horrendous crime. But the lack of recognition, acceptance and inhibitions; just encourage them more and make the lives of innocent kids, pure hell.

To the point that when I had written this article one year back, the reactions which I got were ranging right from incredulity to criticism. I was told that such topics never deserved to be discussed in public forums. And I wondered at the mentality of people. What if its your own child? What if it happens to somebody whose close and near or dear to you? Would you still shove it under you bed, ignore it and consider it as a hush-hush topic? Most of the times an unaddressed issue , blows out of proportion and becomes a disease.

Today somebody has decided to address the topic in a way it should be. The movie "Abhimanyu" is a step towards the same. Director Onir in his series of short films , prelude with a story of a survivor of Child Sexual Abuse. All he needs is support from people. An unparallel support which would make this commendable dream project successful. So please take a step forward and contribute in the manner you can. A step from you today can make an impact on somebody's life, it can save a child from being abused, it can save our coming generations.

Anticlock Films wants this project to be a completely independent, community endeavor free from studio criteria like star-power and opening weekend sales. This is a movement towards cinema that has content- entertains by way of enriching oneself.

Your support (monetary contributions or otherwise) will help them realize this goal. To that end, they've established three different ways to help:

• Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 – Acknowledgements in the end credits( Treated as donation/pledge)

• Rs 25,000 to Rs 100,000 – Return of your contribution at the time of the final film release and acknowledgement in the end credits

• Rs 100,000 to Rs 15,00,000 – Acknowledgements in the beginning titles as co producers of the film and proportionate share in the profits.

• Rs 1000 to Rs 5000- Students category. Give up one weekend at a night club and support a film with a cause. Acknowledgement on website/ blogs/DVD booklet

Cheques to be made for Anticlock films

And sent to :
MUMBAI 4000 61

P.S: Everyone of us can do something to save Abhimanyu's and Amols of our Life ... How we stood for Child Labour, lets stand together against "Child Abuse" and Support the cause.

- Aarambhh M Singh

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