You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still like air, I’ll rise.
Sapna Bhavnani, an up roaring rebel, an outspoken person and someone who has never floundered from speaking her mind, has again emerged as an inspiration to many women out there. She recently shared a piece of her scarred past in a blog for Humans of Bombay. This lady talks unabashedly about herself as a gang rape survivor.
Sapna Bhavnani, a hair stylist and a participant of Big Boss Season 6, is known for her feminist mindset and the much famous Salman Khan controversy. During her Big Boss days, she had a little tiff with Salman Khan when he refused to believe that she wasn’t there for the prize money. She didn’t shy away from voicing her opinion and calling Salman Khan a “Serial Women Beater”.
Her tattoo covered body, piercings and short hair ousted her from the category of stereotypical Indian women. She rode bikes and wore shortest skirts, hence, getting names like whore or r**di. At the age of 24, she was gang raped by 4 men in Chicago. They forced her to have oral sex at gun point.
Sapna, however, did not let her spirits falter. In a recent interview to NDTV India, she simply said, if ever in her life she comes across her enforcers, she would simply walk away wishing them a good day. According to her, she has already forgiven them and that’s the first step for moving on. Sapna never let this incident change her way of living. She continues to wear short dresses and bright lipsticks.
We need to break this silence, because as it is said, “The world is suffering not because of the violence of the bad, but because of the silence of the good”.
It took her almost 20 years to speak openly about her abuse. Most women silently keep on suffering and even if they try to speak, the society silences them.
According to Sapna, if a woman keeps everything inside her because she doesn’t have a choice, it isn’t a sign of weakness but of strength. I beg to differ here. Maybe if someone wishes to not talk about such incidences, it’s their personal choice. But, we have seen that when women started opening up and unapologetically talk about the abuse they go through, it also gives others the strength to face their fears.
Actresses like Kalki Koechlin and Poorna Jagannathan have openly talked about the sexual abuse they have gone through. Not only them, famous director Anurag Kashyap also openly spoke about the sexual abuse he went through as a child. People follow them and such people inspire others also to talk about their story.
In fact, Sapna herself admitted that her story helped many village women to talk about domestic violence and the rampant physical abuse they go through.
Deepika Padukone’s story about her phase of depression gave hope to ones who were suffering through it. Sexual abuse, depression and all are considered as taboos in our society. People refrain from talking about them. But when they see the people whom they idolize talking about the same problems, they understand that maybe keep quite wouldn’t help them at all.
Nobody has the right to define you. What defines you are the choices you make and the life you chose to live. Let not silence overpower the good. Let not silence take away the good!
Remember what Steve Marboli once said, “We all make mistakes, have struggles and even regret things in the past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles and you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future.”