A letter to you; the one who lost his childhood to violence and abuse.
The one who sleeps at 9PM everyday, but wakes up at 1AM after his alcoholic father enters the apartment and throws his bottle of whiskey on the floor. Yes you, the one who gets beaten up while saving your maa from your daddy’s wrath.
The one who thought that opening the door to let your uncle in would mean having your favourite cotton candy in your hand. But darling, you should have known that price of having one candy is equal to one moment of violence followed by infinite series of flashbacks for the rest of your life.
The one who spends more time with broom, utensils and broken baskets. The one who wakes up to obey memsaab’s commands but never of his own heart. The one who is lashed with Sahab’s leather belt that he had wanted to wear around his waist.
This is for you. For every one of you; who lost their childhood in violence and abuse; the ones for whom hide and seek meant hiding in the store room for almost an eternity, until somebody comes up to switch on the lights; the ones for whom skipping moments was harder than skipping rope perfectly for 10 minutes; the ones for whom snakes and ladders meant just falling down from stairs; the ones for whom childhood didn’t sound like nursery rhymes but like their own sobs and screams.
Just wanted to let you know that even though your childhood was dark and haunting, your life isn’t. Because one phase of your life can’t paint all of your life with its own shade. I know that walking on a road with a heavy baggage is hard. Keep it on the uppermost shelf of your almirah and run on the streets of unknown cities, honey. I know things have always been easier to say than to do. But that shouldn’t stop you from trying. I know that your childhood can not be relived, but for how long will you not let yourself swim in the moments that are waiting to kiss you hard? If not for somebody else, do it for yourself. Do it for the ones who are writing this letter to you, hoping that you will paint sunshine on your scars.
Will you let it go?
Let it go.
~ Eshwarya Khanna
(Artwork by Aditi Mali)