My family resembles a Yash Raj movie set, with many siblings, many more cousins and God knows how many uncles and aunts. Privacy had therefore always been an alien concept for me. Forget having a room to myself, I often had to fight even for the time I spent in the bathroom, what with someone or the other always needing to use it right then and there.
Anyway, between all this, I finished school and joined Delhi University. Oh, I was one excited fresher, auditioning for every society possible and managing to get through a few, at least. And thank god for my excitement for I wouldn’t have met my boyfriend otherwise. We were in the Fine Arts Society that helped organize the annual fest for our college and during the long evenings we spent preparing for the fest together, well, we kinda started liking each other.
He wasn’t the hottest looking guy on campus, or the most popular one, but he was a “nice guy”, and that was just fine by me. We would hang out between classes, go out for little dates and stay on the phone with each other all the time.
I had learnt the art of texting with my family around, without letting them grow suspicious of my relationship. I had also secured my WhatsApp with multiple passwords, just in case. One weekend, my boyfriend texted me, “I wish I could be there with you, right now. I miss you so much, send me a picture of yourself na, baby.”
My heart skipped a bit. I felt a bit too proud for having the best boyfriend in the world who missed me so often, and with an intensity that required him to see me, right then. I rushed to my bathroom, took ten selfies, edited one a bit and sent it to him.
“Oh, I’ve never seen this top before. What else do you have in your closet that I don’t know about?” he asked.
Like a naive little girl, I told him about the many other pieces of clothing I never wore to college.
“I want to see what’s in your drawers, baby. Come on, be a sport. I dare you.”
Oh, I felt awkward as hell, because clicking a selfie every time meant journeying up to the bathroom, and my Mum had started noticing it. But it wasn’t just that - I didn’t feel too comfortable either about taking pictures of my intimates and sharing them with my boyfriend.
Unfortunately, this continued over the next few months and my boyfriend just kept becoming bolder with his requests as our relationship progressed. He "explained” to me how it was completely normal to sext, and how all my friends were doing it with their boyfriends too, even if they denied it to me on my face (which, I found out later, was a lie).
But I kept feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t like sending him “hot pictures.” In fact, I hated it. Maybe it was the way he asked for them… In a towel or in a blouse that was deliberately tucked low, which just felt demeaning to me.
And what made it worse was that he asked for them SO often. I would refuse, become angry, even break-up - and he would stop for a while, and then ask for a picture, again. He said, “boys needed it.”
Anyway, our relationship became too stressful for me - and I just couldn’t live in the constant fear of my photos leaking, or someone in my family accidentally coming across them. Plus I realized that even though my boyfriend cared about me, he didn’t care enough to stop asking for something I despised doing. And with that realization, I broke up with him, for good this time.
I can’t even tell you how relieved I am to not have to send “hot pictures” to anyone, anymore. I guess I just wanted to be beautiful to someone, and not just “hot.”