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Aaditya and Me by Aditya Joshi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License

Thursday, December 25, 2014


(All names in this post have been changed.)

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/asaram-rape-victim-shouldve-pleaded-for-mercy/article4283466.ece

According to an article that I read some time ago, a famous celebrity tried to (sadly) put the blame on an assault victim by saying:

Dono ko bolti “Bhaiya! Main abla hoon. Tum mere bhai ho. Dharam ke bhai ho. Bhagwan ka naam lekar haath pakadti, pair pakadti.. itna durachar nahi hota. Galti ek taraf se nahi hoti.” (She should've said, "Brother! I am powerless. You are my brother. Brother by religion." In the name of god, she should've held his hand, touched his feet.... this wouldn't have happened. A mistake is never one-sided)

"And then Manoj bhaiya held my hand and said, 'Be an adult. Haven't you ever been touched?' I shivered as he tried to explain that what he was doing was right, as I kept quiet constantly remembering that Manoj bhaiya was married already", she had said.

Sushmit closed his eyes tightly shut as he narrated this incident to me. I wiped a long stream of tear running down his cheek, rather meekly.

I had told Sushmit many times that he was like a brother to me. But now, I was unsure. Was I sure that I would conduct myself with dignity around him? Silence ran through my ears. The word 'bhaiya' echoed within me.

When I hear that Manoj attempted to get close to her several times that night, I can hear my faith shatter to pieces. Faith in relationships of every sort. Between a man and a woman that she and Manoj shared - she had agreed to perform at the concert only because her "bhaiya", Manoj "bhaiya" had convinced her to do so. Between a man and a man that Sushmit and I shared - I had always looked at Sushmit as a brother but what the hell - if Manoj could do it to her, there was no other reason that I couldn't have misbehaved with even Sushmit whom I hold in such high regard. Between her and Sushmit - although she had confided in Sushmit this time, how could I be sure that Sushmit wouldn't do anything wrong with her in another incident in the future?


I did not deserve it. I did not deserve to hold the distrust towards men around me. She did not deserve it. She did not deserve to be assaulted by a man who she called her "bhaiya" but who, on a lonely night, tried to take advantage of her. He spat in the face of the word "bhaiya" and everything that it stands for, in the context of the culture we all are a part of. He redefined and in a great way, messed up what being a brother to someone means to me and to her.

It's now my responsibility as a brother to her and Sushmit's responsibility as a brother to me and her to prove it to every one of us that not all of us are like Manoj "bhaiya". Some of us do understand what immense responsibility the word "bhaiya" comes with. I wish I can somehow convince her that some people do take the word 'bhaiya' the way it should be.

And I wish I can somehow convince myself just that, in any way possible.

Friday, May 23, 2014


The sun was about to set. I stepped out of the fancy yet inexpensive backpacking hostel in Bicheno. Bicheno - yes. do you know where that is? I did not know - and frankly, I wouldn't be able to locate it on the map.

A small village/town in Tasmania, the island to the south of Australia - that's Bicheno. I walked around the village - from end to end in a matter of thirty minutes. And I thought to myself - WHERE was I?!  Born in Dombivli, thousands of miles away, I was here today exploring this village. You feel so utterly small when you realize the distance you have covered to be physically present where you are.

In that respect, the Hobart trip with Jump Tours were truly truly memorable. I will always remember those days fondly.