Case Number 1,33,000: When Rape Survivors are Reduced to Mere Numbers

Pandeyji is in pain,

He met with an accident while returning from office.

Everyone is praying for the family and cursing the culprit

I ask ma, why don’t they come, meet me and curse my culprit

I’m also in pain; I was returning from college and I was raped.


I’m not lying,

They were four/five/six/seven/eight/ twenty

I was wearing a burqa/saree/ jeans/frock.

I was screaming, but they ate me like one-year-old Bittu chews his toys.

Ma, it was difficult to walk.


Pain; I write of it, because I have been told not to speak much

My lawyer told me,

That, I’m one lakh and thirty three thousand cases away from justice and that I will have to face questions like,

‘who opened the button first’

‘What colour was your bra’

After which, many me’s got scared,

But a few decided to fight.

One, I have stopped crying,

Two, I have started hiding,

Three, I have stopped studying.

Last, I have stopped dreaming.

But you can see me still breathing.


They would often tell me that I’m lucky to have survived,

There are so many who were already dead when found, I was still breathing fine.

However, I strangely envy them,

After all,

One, they never met those monsters again and saw them smiling,

Two, they never went through that nightmare of doctors and fingers,

Three, they weren’t expelled from their school,

Four, they weren’t called names.


Now that I have lost respect I think I have lost it all,

Pandey ji is a victim of rash driving

But I’m a woman of questionable character.


But still,

I’m fine.

I’m breathing.

One lakh and thirty three thousand women,

rotting in our courts, all screaming for help, right now.


Sameeksha Mishra is a 20- year old theatre artist and student at Delhi University, originally from Varanasi. Find her on Instagram @inklaab._
Featured image credit: Andrew Smith/ Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0