I was sixteen. I was naive. I was broken. I was raped.
I cannot read.
I cannot write.
I am -what you would call -uneducated.
But just because I am uneducated, is it alright to harass me?
I did not know about the Badaun District rapes.
My husband told me about them.
He said ‘those men must be caught and hanged, only then will rape stop in this ignorant country.’
The whole situation seemed quite ironical.
You see, he had raped me one night – along with three others.
Married women don’t like me.
They think that I am the unnecessary evil in their lives.
I am -what you would call -despised.
But just because I am despised, is it alright if this hatred blinds the justice system of our country?
I loved him.
And I thought he loved me.
But then again, who knows what love is?
He told me that he would clear my debt.
He told me that we would get a new house.
He told me that we would have a child together.
He told me that we would start a new life together.
I was sixteen.
I was naïve.
I was new.
I was sold.
I was bought.
I was broken.
I was lost.
I was alone.
I was terrified.
Which girl wouldn’t love a man who told her all these things?
Which girl wouldn’t love a man who made her all these promises?
I am a sex worker.
I am a prostitute.
I am -what you would call -disfranchised.
But just because I am disfranchised, is it alright to make me die for my rights?
It was supposed to be a good night.
It was supposed to be a great night.
I was the brothel keeper’s favourite and she trusted my man.
She had given me permission to stay out till 5:00 am.
That was the first time she had let any of her girls stay out till that late.
I dressed up, I didn’t usually.
I wore a strappy blouse, a red saree and bangles.
I applied a hint of kajal and bindi.
I looked like a new bride.
He wore a blue shirt.
I had told him once that I liked the color on him.
He took me to an apartment in the outskirts of town.
‘Do you like it?’ he asked, ‘This is going to be our flat!’
My ecstasy showed when we got into bed.
But this euphoria gave way to terror when I saw three other men enter the room.
‘What are they doing here?’ I asked him.
‘Shhh,’ he said.
They raped me.
All three of them!
They raped me repeatedly, all through the night.
They raped me till my blood covered the floor.
They raped me till I begged for mercy.
They raped me till I fell unconscious.
They raped me till they thought I was dead.
I don’t remember how I got out of that place.
But I did.
I had been gang raped.
I wanted those men punished.
I wanted those men tried in court.
I wanted those men dead.
I went to the police station.
I told them what had happened to me.
I told them I wanted to lodge an FIR.
They asked me what I did.
They laughed at me when I told them.
‘You provide sex as a service, how can you be raped?’
‘I am sure you are lying, that’s what all you dirty people do.’
‘Don’t you have any shame? How can you have sex for money?’
‘I am sure they didn’t pay you enough, which is why you are here.’
‘You sex workers are there so the better girls of our society don’t get raped.’
‘Get lost, we never want to see your face again…randi.’
I am a sex worker, I am stigmatized.
I am a sex worker, I am ostracized.
I am a sex worker, I am marginalized.
But just because I am all these things, is it alright if horrific crimes are committed against me and no one is punished?
About the Author: This article is contributed by Aashna Banerjee, our Intern.