When I was nine…

Playing with butterflies, fond memories, loved ones, school and friends, innocent questions, and a whole lot of love. Those are my memories of life when I was nine. But, what about that unwanted touch in the bus back from school? That so disliked uncle who would grab every chance to find me alone in a room? Done, but not dusted. Forgotten, but still etched on my mind and heart.

A poem by Swati Singh Sambyal is a beautiful expression of a very sad truth. A very sad truth about the state of young kids in India, and abroad. Girls and boys. Soft tender hands and lips, innocent minds, and pure souls exploited for a dirty, selfish motive. A motive that is even worse than taking a life. A motive that annihilates not just the body, but also the soul. A motive that sets ablaze very bright futures. A motive that creates memories that haunt till death. Wild, free, rebel, fighter? Still scarred.


When I was nine

When I was nine,
He grabbed me by the hands
And kissed me.
Did I know what was it?
What it meant?
I still recall of that night
And hate my body.

What was in me
That he touched me
Like that.
I hated my parents more
For leaving me alone.
For asking someone else to guard their wild child.
But guarded was I?

As I grew up
As I hit puberty?
I loathed everything about my body?
Was it that night…
That made me loathe
Everything about myself?
I chose not to think
About it
And grew…
And grew…
But I did become
Dark and complicated…
Angry and even more

My first relationship..
He just kept his hand
Around my shoulders
And I broke into tears..
But did he do anything
No, he didn’t!
I again went back
To that night…
When I was nine…

At thirty…
I still am wild…
I still am lost…
I am fighting
My way out…
Being the rebel
That I’ve always been…
But I haven’t forgotten
The night when I was nine.


For all those brave souls who faced abuse in any form, don’t hesitate to reach out. Don’t hesitate to share. You are not the bad ones. They are.

For more of Swati’s touching poems, follow her page Painted. Stopworthy content that will stir your soul.

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