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Friday, May 16, 2014

The Bad Touch by Payal Shah Karwa

Blurb (from the jacket):

Real-life stories of victims of child sex abuse who emerged victorious!

Harish Iyer is a survivor nay he is a thriver of child sex abuse. He is an award winning social activist who first shared his disturbing story of his sexual abuse on the television show Satyamev Jayate and who gave voice to the issue when most would be silent.

Harishs story will tear the reader apart. He suffers abuse at the hands of his uncle Satheesh, from the time he was seven. Harish was threatened that his parents would be killed if he did not submit to his uncles and sometimes his friends barbarism. Until one fine day when Harish musters up the courage and says No! He takes his mother into confidence who supports him, but Harishs woes do not end there. He is castigated by society, his own father believes Harish to be at fault and so begins Harishs solo battle to help other sufferers like himself.

There are others: noted film director Anurag Khashyap, a victim of incest and sexual abuse, not once but many times over; Jai, living in a Mumbai high rise suffers abuse and a now 34 year old mother who suffered sexual abuse as a 12 year old.

The stories in The Bad Touch will shock, horrify, sadden, repulse and numb the reader. But underlying them is the small ray of hope that if the immediate family is sensitive enough to the signals a child may send out, he or she may be rescued from being victimized.

This book is a mission: to help ebb the trauma of survivors and inspire them with stories like Harishs and to create awareness of the issue of child sex abuse amongst parents/guardians

Our take on the book:
It is my beyond our conscience to comment negative about the book which deals with the vermin that is prying on our society as long as the human existence. We feel lucky there is nothing negative about this book. In fact, I felt pretty awkward when I was requested to review a book, a non-fiction, about a very sensitive backdrop of our society. Awkward because I knew I can't be honest if there were negative aspects to the book. But now, after reading the book I feel very lucky that I no longer feel the awkwardness and could provide a really honest review, because there was little ill to talk about this book. So goes the review...

I spent quite some time staring and trying to comprehend what the cover design was trying to portray. All I could fathom is a hand clutching onto something, something like dough. Maybe it depicts the forcefulness exerted during the deed in question. However, not having the perfect picture of the what the cover picture means, I let it go and move on to read the book.

I must agree that the author had done a very great job capturing and portraying the vividness of the situation occurred to the victims of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA).

In fact, I remember watching an episode of Satyamev Jayate, TV show hosted by Aamir Khan. There was one episode dedicated to this issue, I don't remember which episode. Halfway through the show as more and more incidents were telecasted, I was moved to tears. The very thought of such evil being exerted on poor, little souls was way more disturbing than any homicide. In fact, it should be considered no less than a homicide. Only that, in this case, the victim lives and have to thrive all his life upon one single incident from his past that is far behind him, yet distresses him no less.

In this book, Payal Shah Karwa had address various sources from where CSA could be inflicted and the part that is to be attended by the parents. The book addresses various precautions that should be taken by parents to protect their children from CSA. And by detailing, the author had greatly tried to portray how pitiful and lowly for someone who bestows CSA on a child. How it indeed effects the child on the long run and that it is not as puny as it seems. CSA leaves a longtime impression on that child, that might not perhaps redeemable!

Apart from that, I appreciate the courageousness of the people like Harish Iyer and Anurag Kashyap, for coming forward and daringly narrating their story of the being abused. Particularly not making any attempt at masking their identity.

Confrontation is the only cure, or so the author says. It can't be any truer. You are rotting until and unless you let it all out.

Really a heart-wrenching account of stories by thrivers (no survivors, mind you). A eye-opener of a read...



Title: The Bad Touch

Author: Payal Shah Karwa

Tagline: The true story of Harish Iyer and other thrivers of child sex abuse

ISBN (edition I've read): 9789381398487


Read between: 14-05-2014 to 16-05-2014

Reviewed for: Shifa Bhati

Publishers: Hay House Publishers

Pages: 208

MRP: ₹ 299

The best deal of this book could be found here:  

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