In the summer of May 2004 I was a 16 year old girl with big dreams and hope for my future. I didn’t even know then that the demon that would destroy my life would be my next door neighbour, a man nine years older than me. It began with casual catcalling every now and then, which I tried my best to ignore. That summer when the catcalling took a new turn in the form him of him hurling obscenities at me, I finally mustered up the courage to tell my parents. On finding out, they were enraged and decided to talk to the boy’s parents. The boys parents were understanding and made it a point to give their son a piece of their mind. Things went back to normal from that day, he stayed out of my way and I thought he had learnt his lesson. Little did I realize that he had been harbouring such immense hate for me, that 4 years later in 2008, he caught m off guard and attacked me with acid. He didn’t even wait for justice to prevail… right after attacking me, he ingested poison and killed himself. I never even got the closure of justice and he got the escape of a quick death. Its very easy to press the quit button on life and get rid of all of your problems, he was a coward when he attacked me with acid and he died a coward. The hard part is surviving, which is what I am doing.
I felt like my life had ended and it did for 6 years, but little did I know that this experience would lead me to understand what true love is. I met an amazing man who was willing to look past all my external appearances and made me feel something I hadn’t felt in a long time…he made me feel beautiful. We got married a few years ago and I felt like I had been reborn. I even managed to get a job at the hospital and that has given me the chance to move forward in life and be a part of society. I’ve been happily married for almost two years now and I”m excited to grow my family.
The way I look at it, I can either cry over what happened for the rest of my life, or be thankful for everything – a job, a family and a person who redefined a ‘soulmate’ for someone like me. Everyday, I choose the latter…everyday I choose to feel beautiful.”