Back in 2006, Harish Iyer and I were colleagues and friends. One day he came up to me and asked me to watch his interview on IBN that weekend in which he had narrated the true story of how he was sexually abused by his uncle when he was a child. I wasn’t quite sure if I understood him, so I actually Googled up the phrase ‘Child Sex Abuse’. What I read made me realise how ignorant I am about the issue. I saw his interview and applauded him for being brave enough to talk about it.
After we quit that organisation, we stayed in touch on and off. Thanks to Facebook I would know of his various cause-related stints. My admiration for him doubled and I fell in love with him for his genuineness and inspiring action.
I quit my corporate job to start out on my own and pursue my dream of authoring a book. When I brainstormed with myself about what to write on, it was clear to me that I am not cut out for chick lit, pseudo-romance or the less serious literature. I wanted a subject which would be issue-led or for a social cause – something which would create value in society. In terms of Buddhism, I wanted my book to be a ‘kosen-rufu’ book. And then the brainwave hit. Why not write a book based on Harish Iyer’s victory over his trauma of Child Sex Abuse?
Child Sex Abuse is a terrible reality but shrouded under the silence of the victims. My pre-manuscript research said that if victims shared their story or read others’ stories, it would help them cope to some extent. Harish’s story was not about being a victim, but a victor. It was about achieving victory over one’s trauma. And that’s what enticed me the most. It was a good resolution, and not one of pain and suffering. I was convinced about the idea and when I shared it with Harish, he was delighted. Thus started the journey towards my mission, which is now called ‘The Bad Touch’.