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Mini was scared .She was a little girl, all of eight years.She refused food though her amma had cooked her favourite bhindi fry.Her mom asked,"Shall I make maggi for you ?" Mini said ,"No." Her dad said,"Come ,beta.I will feed you today."'No ,appa .I want to watch tv." Her mom looked for her toy - a doll which had been gifted by her Uncle.The toy could not be found.
She kept watching tv & that too without interest.She would look here & there & just wander around.Her parents could not follow what had happened.A week went by & Mini was still subdued unlike the chatterbox that she was.She would turn in her bed & get up frequently .Her parents asked her many times if she was having dreams .She would just keep quiet & try to cover the whole body with the bedsheet. Slowly ,she returned to her original self.Soon, all was forgotten.Mini tried to forget as well.She succeeded to some extent. Her dad was transferred to a new place, on his promotion.
Mini was all grown up now.She had completed her MBA .She was working with an MNC.Her parents started looking for a match for her.One day her dad said,"Remember the Guptas ? We stayed together in that township in Tarapur ? " Mini was suddenly jolted,"Yes,daddy." How could she forget ? She had tried to & yet it was buried deep in her mind.Even physically.Her dad said,"Their younger son is an Engineer & is working in US.They asked if you are ready to meet him.?" "No ,Daddy," let me enjoy being single for some more time.It is just now that I have become independent.Let me explore my freedom." Her mother chipped in ," Just meet him & then you can decide if you are ready to get hooked. Marraiage will not be immediate."Mini said," Ma,please don't insist." Her mom & dad kept pestering her over the next few days.She had realised what had happened with her that night.She had felt ashamed.Was it her fault ? No,she was sure that she was not to be blamed.She felt a longing for that doll after so many years.
Mini wanted to tell them that she would not have minded meeting other boys.The sons of Gupta family were not welcome.Actually ,the elder one.She recalled how, that night, some neighbours including Guptas & her parents had gone for a movie leaving the kids in Gupta's home.Gupta's eldest son was in Medical college in the first year.He was home for the weekend.His grandmom was at home.There were many kids in that house that day-maybe ten or eleven.They started playing hide & seek.Mini had taken her favourite toy ,the doll with her to keep company. Gupta's eldest son was seeking out all the kids.It was his turn.He put off the lights in the room.All screamed.Then he started finding them all.He called out to Mini.He said,"Mini ,please come out-I know ,you are behind the table."Mini started moving towards him.Then she remembered her doll.He shouted,"Mini,come here.You are out." Mini said,"Bhaiyya,I am searching for my doll."'He replied,"Its with me." Mini was able to make out in the dark ,that Bahiyya was holding her doll in his hands.She went to get her doll.He grabbed Mini & made her sit on his lap as he sat on a chair.He handed her the doll.She got busy with the doll.His left hand gripped her waist tightly.His right hand began working on her frock.Slowly,he slid his hand inside her frock & started fiddling her genitals.She felt awful.She shouted,"Its hurting." He laughed & his hands began twisting & pinching her insides.His fingers entered her soft insides .It pained her She felt, she would urinate then itself.What will Bhaiyya think ? .'His hands moved to her chest & pinched her chest many times.'She kept struggling to move away & his grip kept tightening.She screamed.Somebody switched on the light. Bhaiyya hurriedly pushed Mini away from his lap .He got up & started playing with others .Mini was not the same anymore. She felt the pain.She did not know what had happened.Why did Bhaiyya hurt her ? Was this some sort of game ? Was she a doll, in the hands of Bhaiyya ? She never hurt her doll.She loved her doll.If she was a doll,why had Bhaiyya pinched her chest & at other places ?
She ran to the bathroom & urinated.She felt relieved.She wanted to change her clothes.Her knickers felt wet.She waited for her parents to come back .It seemed like eternity.When they returned,she went away with them to the safe confines of her home.
Mini hated her doll.Because her doll was with Bhaiyya ,she had gone to Bhaiyya & he had hurt her.Maybe ,if the doll was not there,she would have been spared.She threw the doll away.From that day ,Mini had stopped playing with dolls.She gave them all away.Her parents were happy that Mini was growing up.Little did they realise what had caused all this growth.
Mini came back to the present. She decided to confide in her parents.She bared her past to them.They were shocked.Mini said," How can I even think about meeting Gupta's younger son.? "Her parents agreed.They felt sorry that they had been unable to read the signs into her behaviour. They called up the Guptas to inform their daughter was keen on her job & so giving up her job & moving to US was not possible.Mini was glad that she had shared her pain with her parents who had understood her.She decided that she must start helping those who had survived nightmares like her.She joined an NGO .She came to terms with her agony.She being with the NGO, helped her to share the pains & also ways of overcoming them.