Long ago in my childhood, a shutter down was announced by Baloch Students Organization (BSO). In those days, such shutter downs were very common. As a primary student, I was happy to have an extra holiday to play cricket. Although I was only ten, I was pretty good at cricket and was passionately in love with it. When I look back, I am astonished by the fact that I knew that much about cricket. That day when I woke up, I realized we did not have a ball to play cricket. Remembering my duty, I ran outside to get a ball.

A ten-year-old boy, who was full of energy and loved cricket more than anything, was running like a maniac from shop to shop. But as I mentioned earlier, there was a shutter down and shops were closed. However, I kept marching forward like a young soldier who was eager to conquer the city and hoist the flag until I reached a point where I got little scared because I was far away from my home. I started walking back ashamed like a captain lost the series and was coming back home.

While on my way back home, I saw a man. Not sure but presumably he was twenty-five. Every detail of that crocked face is inscribed in my mind. Desperate to get a ball. I asked him, “I wanna buy a ball, is there any shop open near-by?”

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A corner of his lip dipped down and his brows slanted upward in a way that approvingly say, “not bad”. After a while of staring, he responded, “I have one in my room; you can take it.”

I jumped into the opportunity and said yes enthusiastically. He took me inside. It looked like a hostel, a long corridor having rooms on both sides. Second room from left was his room. He took me inside and offered me to sit on his bed. After a while of searching, he sat beside me and said, “I can’t find it but I have a bat, do you want it?” while having his eyes fixed on my lower areas.

I started getting scared but the urge of having a ball was on top of my head. “No, I need a ball,” I replied frustratedly. “I will buy you one,” saying this he started touching my thighs. I got shocked and was shivering. He slowly started trawling his hands upward. At that point I suddenly jumped from the bed and started running. Indeed, it was God who pushed me out of the bed. I do not remember much of this part because I lost track of time and direction. But, sooner or later, when I returned to my senses, I realized I was not far away from my home. Although at that point, nobody was pursuing me and I was totally safe but still I was scared and trembling.

A little boy, who just wanted to buy a cricket ball and play cricket on his holiday, was about to get raped. That day I cried a lot. The hardest part was keeping it a secret. How in the world, I could have explained this to my friends and family? I spent a childhood keeping myself away from adult men and cricket.

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