ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Good Touch, Bad Touch

In interactions between adults and children there is a thin line between genuine affection and lascivious intent.

In the 1980s there lived a young bachelor in a rented house in Malleswaram, Bengaluru, when it was a serene residential neighbourhood with pleasant avenues and houses that stood at kissing distance from one another. Looking out of his first-floor balcony, he would often see the three-year-old girl next door waving to him. They began to greet each other every day. The waving soon progressed to “talking”...she would sit on the landing of the stairs in her house and babble away to him. Soon her older sister, aged five, joined her. Chotu introduced him to her akka as “my friend”, and their childish prattle became a daily ritual. It was a time of good neighbourliness, and the girls’ family started inviting the bachelor, whom I shall call S, to their house for special occasions, teasingly introducing him to their relatives and acquaintances as “Chotu’s friend”. He soon became a trusted member of the entire family and would take the two little girls out to watch Kannada films in the local theatres or to play in the park nearby.

And then...

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