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Updated: Sep 13, 2022

An unwelcome touch, a searing look, a seemingly normal word spoken but which is pregnant with hurtful intent — these are some of the ways in which people indulge in sexual abuse. The action may not even be evident to the next person but is ample to scar the person for whom it is intended.

“Ammu” by K. M. Sindhushree talks about such a scar that was caused to an innocent victim.

Illustrated by Shailusha Anugu

“I have always wondered why plastic melts when you heat it… Mamma never tells me why, because she is always busy working and fighting with Papa.

And why has Papa not come yet? He said he would buy me that pink choki today, without fail.

He keeps asking me for the name of the choki when I have already told him so many times — the name is pink choki, Papa.

But he still asks for the name.

Why do Mamma and Papa only ask questions but never answer?


“Hey Ammu! what are you doing up this late, that too alone.”

“Hi Topi Uncle, I am waiting for Papa. He said he would buy me pink choki today no matter what. But see, he hasn't come yet.”

“It’s okay Ammu, go inside now. Aren’t you feeling cold?”

“No Topi Uncle”

“You will catch a cold, go inside. When your Papa arrives, he will meet you inside.”

“No! Mamma will tell him I have fallen asleep and Papa will go back home.”

“But your papa is stuck somewhere, he may not be able to make it today.”

“How do you know Topi Uncle?”

“I called him, Ammu just before coming here to meet you.”

Papa always does this. That is why mamma always fights with him.

“Ammu don’t cry now”

“I am not crying.”

“Okay come, I will give you that chocolate.”


“Yes really…”

“But Mamma…”

“I will tell her don’t worry”


“Topi uncle! This is not the shop.”

“This is the building where Deepu and I took all the pipes for choki.”

“Are we taking the pipes again for choki?”

“No, but why did you take the pipes, Ammu?”

“Deepu said we will get choki in exchange for pipes.”

“You mean to say you stole the pipes, Ammu.”

“That’s what papa said I don’t know.”

“You naughty girl. Anyway we are not stealing pipes. I have hidden the chocolates inside for you so your Mamma won't catch you eating”.

“And don’t tell anyone about this okay? Ammu.”

“Okay Topi Uncle.”

“Uncle it is so dark inside and I am getting scared.”

“Let’s go to Mamma, uncle”

“Aree ammu, you are a big girl now so stop being afraid.”

“Come here and sit next to me.”

“But what about choki, uncle?”

“I will give you. Wait!”

“Uncle, why are you shouting?”

“I am not… your impatience is upsetting me.”

“Give me your hand.”

“Why uncle?”

“You won’t stop asking questions, will you?”

“Do you want choki or not?”

“Yes uncle.”

“Then put your hand inside my pants and squeeze me.”

“And don’t ask questions okay?”

“Just do as I say.”

“Squeeze hard, didn’t you eat enough?”