Tag Archives: Women -as we are!

That Evening

 

I was running on an empty lane outside my house, without any shoes, without a dupatta at 7:30 in the evening. My salwar being stained by the puddles caused due to heavy rain an hour ago. My kurta too was a bit torn around my high collared neck design. My hands were stained of turmeric and flour, which I had used to wipe my forehead twice. Blood was dripping from the cut on my cheek, neck and hand. And to top it all I was getting cuts on my legs too. My hair was not made properly and I had nothing with myself, not a penny nor a phone, only a hope and energy to run to my husband’s shop. My condition was such that I would not mind if someone would interpret me as a beggar.

The dark night and the empty lane did not scare me that day. It was too late for any woman to saunter around alone as expected by our esteemed husbands. However that day I was least bothered about anything except me. So I got myself a place to sit for a while and relax. I sat on a huge stone beside a locked house, the only safe place where no one would bother me for a while.

As soon as I sat my thoughts went back seven years ago, to the day I got married to my prince charming who was exactly the opposite to what I had thought in my dream, tall (just three inches than me), dark (actually too dark for me) and handsome (fairly less than me, even a bit bald). He was eight years older to me and I ignored even this. I am not boasting of myself but actually telling you the truth. I was never forced for this marriage but I knew how my parents worried about me not getting married till the age of 24. I bargained with his looks in the hope that everything else would turn to be perfect. And in actuality it was too perfect for the first two years.

I loved my husband, mother in law, father in law, two sisters in law and my dear brother in law (my favourite among everyone). We were almost of the same age so we used to jell up best. We used to bully each other, crack jokes on each other, spend time gossiping, he even took me outside when my husband did not have time for me even on Sundays. They all cared for me, loved me, and had no issues with me. How perfect my life was with them. It was just a blessing. I used to think that all the compromises, a sacrifice of leaving my house, parents, two brothers, three sisters and even my carrier proved fruitful. The happiness, the romance that filled my life was worth it.

But things changed after we got separated from our extra large family to form a smaller joint family. We left the place of my mother in law’s mother in law, her sisters and brother in law and moved to another apartment with my parent in laws, husband and my dear brother in law. By that time both my sisters in laws were married. Even our financial status deteriorated and perhaps that was the cause of frustration among everyone in our house.

Frustration reminds me that at present hour I was frustrated. I needed to start running again and isolate the place.

I then turned towards main road, extremely lighted for me to bear, too crowded for me to walk, either run and even too decorated where as I was in a condition too tattered. To inform you, in my place it is not less than a shock to see a woman without proper dress  (in my case a missing dupatta) to be called a whore in front of everyone.

I turned around to see a bike following me, when I just started running as an athlete who would run as if reaching just too near the finish line and see a competitor reaching behind. I complained to the traffic police that the bike is following me but he showed no reaction except amazement, as he knew both of us, me and my dear stalker.

In a positive hope that the traffic police would do nothing to save me I started running again towards my husband’s shop. On reaching the outside of the block of my husband’s shop, I turned to see if he was still following. Yes he was, but as I reached there he turned back giving me a murderer smile as if saying:

You are dead my dear, going to complain about me to your husband? Go, go! No one is going to believe you.

But you believe me that your being alive is difficult from now on. I promise that to you.

I entered the block and then to the basement, shop no 17, my husband’s shop. It was already 8 o’ clock and I was in such a beautiful condition that as everyone saw me they could not conceal their surprised looks. And as I said it was half past midnight for them and a missing dupatta made me look a whore to them and not a beggar.

I did not care for them now. What I cared for now was myself and my baby in my womb. But yes in this running I had forgot my pain. The pains of the cuts in my check, neck and legs, and the pain in my womb which was due to a kick by him (my bike stalker).

As I was standing outside the shop, my father in law came outside and took me into his arms and took me straight to our shop. My husband first completed attending to his customers as if nothing unusual had happened and then came to me. Till then I was painfully sobbing in my in law’s arms and was absolutely out of breath to say anything, only hoped that I was safe now. No one would beat me; kick me or even worst think of me as a whore.

I took a sip of water and recalled today’s evening at 7:15 in my house.

I was in the kitchen preparing the dough for chapattis and my mother in law was slicing onions. My niece who had come to visit me was watching television with my son. My brother in law came out of his room and without uttering a word switched off the television and showed both the children his anger in gestures. I must say my niece is quite daring and a bit too modern for our type of society. She took the remote, switched on the television and smiled cunningly saying:

Excuse me sir don’t you have that much courtesy to ask us before switching off the television

As we were watching that. Even we have that much common sense.

My brother in law wiped his hand ruthlessly across the centre table, too hard, which broke the flower vase on it and even cracked a part of it. listening to the sound we came outside the kitchen, at first unable to fathom what had happened, and even before we could do that my dear brother in law came almost running towards us, held my neck by his left hand, snatched the knife from my mother in law, put it under my chin and almost cut it. He then kicked me on my stomach. My mother in law tried to stop him but in vain. Seeing the children screaming and crying, he got a bit diverted.

I took the opportunity, pushed him hard enough to remove him till a distance from me, to run before he could get onto them. I took the children to my room and asked for a promise that they would not open the door till I would ask them to. As I came out of the room they locked it from inside.

Without another thought I slipped through the back door and ran on the empty lane at 7:30.

By then I was completely exhausted telling my husband all this in his shop and only after completing my story did I fell unconscious and regained it after an hour, still in the shop.

After another hour passed we went home hiring an auto rick-shaw. The devil was in his room and I ran to my room, politely knocked on the door and asked the children to open the gate. I saw them still crying. My son was of course as I had known too emotional and he was expected in the same state. But I had never in my life seen my niece in such a condition. I took them in my arms, hugged them, and kissed them. Neither I nor the children ate anything that day. We locked ourselves in the room and kept close to each other for the next two days. I knew that evening had changed everything in my life.

Regaining courage I asked my husband to book the first tickets he could get and leave my niece with her parent in the town. Eventually she came out of the scary event after a month, my son after about three months but I was never allowed to come out of it. Because that was just the first time the attempt to murder was attempted on me. From then on I faced regular attempts to murder, harassment, molestation, as well as physical torture of being beaten up by my dear brother in law, for years.

Only until, finally my husband had the courage to separate our houses which was not very soon. They still work together, in the same shop but at least I don’t have to see him.

PS: I know the woman was wrong to still live with such people, to go through such trauma. But before you start judging why the woman still lived with such people, why did she not leave them? For once can we think about how ruthless and unacceptable the men’s behaviour was? Even the husband did not do much to in favour of his wife.

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Whispered mocking

She stood there, staring blindly at the silvery wall, with no engravings on it. She hoped she would change them one day to a brighter colour, never liking the dull, un-happening colour. After all it was her personal space, where no one had the right to bother her, except of course a knock every now and then, but otherwise it was her place, her space. And no one would burst in here without her accent.

Leisurely she turned the knob on to let the water cascade from all sides. She stood there calm, a battle raging within. And yet she smiled. Did the water cool her?

She shut her eyes, and sat down on the floor, letting the water reach her from all sides, leaving no escape from it. She seemed to enjoy it. The water was cold, but so was the temperature outside and so were the people that she just left in the middle of a movie.

Her face was wet, but she knew not, if it was the shower or were there some tears involved? It had been usual for her to be mocked at, and she had long lost the hope to make people understand that it wasn’t her fault after all, she needn’t be laughed at.

And now, just after a long shower, she was past it, she was the strong adamant girl again who would fight any one off, who would knock your nose if you misbehave, who would punch you in the stomach if you say something disgraceful.

Sluggishly, she got up holding onto the curtain. She did not mind her nude body, not her bulky stomach, not her flappy arms, least of all not even her friend’s mockings. Giving a bright smile looking at her reflection in the mirror she voiced herself, “I am a beautiful woman. I am strong and I am invincible.” Almost priding on humming to the song “I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.” And suddenly the scoffing’s and scornful comments on her bulky body by her friends, or by anyone else did not matter.

She was well past that.

Turning the shower off, she came out of the room wrapped in a towel. Her mother asking her to wear a robe instead was waiting with some weight loss drink and a reminder of her workout session.

Silently, smiling at her mom, thanking her, she drank from the tall glass, and took out the tracks from the cupboard.

Just when her mother left, she whispered to herself, “Who cares if I lose weight or not, I don’t. I am not a fan of size 0.”

And so they don’t like me now!

I was sitting with my cousin and my aunt in their house, munching snacks and having a relaxed time over a cup of tea. We were having a blast, my cousins who have come all the way from Gujarat are really chirpy and can make you feel instantly at home anywhere, even if they are themselves not at home, and my aunt surely enjoys their company. Whenever they come over it is like the house is full of people, despite them being only two teen girls.

One of them just went upstairs to bring something to show me and that was enough for my aunt to start on me. She definitely likes to know everything going on in my life, and I on the contrary hate telling her or any one for that matter everything going on in my life. I can tell you just the thing you know but not every petty thing. So somehow we landed on the topic of girls being educated which made her say that she wants a “Beautiful, educated wife for her son who would stay at home and look after everyone.”

I could have made 1000 jokes on this and let it go but I could not, just as I am never able to let it go. I tried to make her understand what she was asking for and yet I could pass nothing into her chained minds. For her education is important but when it comes to utilising it, girls aren’t meant to do it. I mean do these people even understand themselves what they are asking for? They want an engineer homemaker for an engineer man, a doctor for a doctor, a management student for a manager? They want a girl to spend years and years educating her, working so hard to bring her to certain level and when the time comes to marry, they want her to leave it all behind and shove her degrees in the store room.

I respect completely stay at home moms or wives who choose to not work for their families, but the respect only extends to those who CHOOSE it, it turns to pity for them and disgust for their family members just the moment I get to know that the decision was forceful.

I know this brings us to another statement put up- ‘FIGHT FOR IT’.

What do you think? Women don’t? Of course they do, but somewhere down the line, there are many boundaries, emotional or otherwise which she just can’t cross or is forced again not to cross. If a man says he understands all this, I am sorry I am not going to believe it. I think you do not understand a person’s feelings unless you have been through them.

So there I was trying to justify myself but it was very clear that I was speaking Latin to a person who understood only plain Sanskrit.

Before the discussion changed into a heated argument my cousins took over and there was no further chance to discuss anything else, but my aunt’s curt replies and behaviour made it clear that she didn’t like my presence anymore, so making some excuse to my cousins, I left bidding them good bye.

I could not stand being in the wrong. I could not help being there, feel disgusted. The fact that I was trying to explain my point, talk up to my aunt made her feel that I was in the wrong then how are we supposed to make them understand things that are beyond their understanding?

We think that we can change these people, these circumstances but I don’t think so. We will fail until we have such people (MEN AND WOMEN) in our lives.

I don’t care if she doesn’t like me, now that I have raised my voice, put forward my opinion in front of her; what I care about is I like myself. I know I didn’t change her mind, but had I just taken it all without even trying, putting a little bit of effort, I would have hated myself. I failed but at least I tried. Well, that is what I am trying to say to myself and keep calm.

Were you not a girl, Mamma?

This is the first article/story I ever wrote which was published during my initial college days and hence it is very dear to me apart from various other reasons. Hope you like it too and is worth your time.

*

Ah! This is such a beautiful sight I am observing. These two girls looking so happy with each other, hand in hand going round in the rose garden, playing with each other totally lost in their enjoyment and devoid of any troubles as it seems.

I feel so happy to see this, to adore such a lovely sight, to imagine that, someday I’ll be there with one of my close friends or my sister or my brother. By the way will I have any brother or sister mamma? Or do I have any who is waiting for me expectantly?

Someday I’ll be there enjoying this austere and beautiful garden of roses where I am planning to play, it’s marvellous appearance and its capturing smell is so, so strong that I wish to be there now. But I think that it’s not good for me at present. For the time I should be here, quiet, and safe inside your womb, mamma. It is too early for me to come out, right?

I desperately wish to see you mamma. I want to see my family, my house where I will be. I want to see this life which everyone wishes to. Though I have heard a lot about the sufferings of the life, I earnestly wish to live it, experience it, and to test my capabilities of experiencing it. I want to have friend’s mamma, I want to have a family. No not one I’ll have two families like you mamma. Someday I’ll also have a husband like you have as my father and after some more days I may also be a mother like you. It seems so interesting but for now this thought is quite early, very early in fact. There are too many years but yet to pass.

I want to study mamma I want to gain knowledge and under your guidance I will hopefully have a good idea of art too. You’ll teach me no mamma?

I feel so obliged to be gifted a life. I feel so special warmth inside me when you touch your womb and with a sensation of care and delight you say “it is so special a feeling my child to have you inside me and it fills me with so much of happiness when I imagine you to call me a mother” I want you to be my friend, philosopher and guide. I want you to guide me throughout my life mamma! I hope you will, I know you will. You are so kind dear!!

But for now may I please request you to go home mamma? The garden is becoming so cold and it is getting very dark too. Please, let us go towards home mamma I am feeling so cold and you must also be feeling so? You must take care of yourself mamma or else granny will scold you! By the way how is granny mamma?

Thank you for proceeding towards home mamma. You are so kind! You are so caring! I love you mamma. I know you will take care of me so tenderly when I come to you, Just as this girl wearing a white dress is looking after you in this ‘WHITE CABIN’ but where are we mamma? This is probably not our house. It is totally white. People here are totally in white. And why are they making you sleep in such a small bed? You need to be comfortable you won’t be at any ease here. You will suffer here, you will be uncomfortable here. Please listen to me or else I’ll complain to granny and she’ll definitely scold you.

See you are already restless! Get up mamma, get up! It is already hurting you.

But now it is hurting me too. What is this mamma? What is happening? What are they doing to you? Why are you crying?

They are hurting me mamma. They are hurting me. It is so painful. Complain! I pray you to complain to them. You are so cruel mamma. I do not want to go mamma. I want to live. I want to see this life.

God!

Forbid…

Stop! Have pity on me.

I want to live mamma. I want to live. I want to come out of you. Why are you hurting me and yourself?

Oh! God! Look! Please!

They are cutting me, my legs, hands, they were so very small. They are thrashing it, smashing it. They are cutting me into pieces mamma. Ah! It’s no more hurting me mamma, it’s paining now. And I am speechless of your act and breathless because of this pain. You have killed me mamma. You have killed me. How could you do this mamma? How could you?

Just because I was a girl you killed me? Is being girl a sin? What did I do or what I would have done to trouble anyone? Why did you not allow me to enter the world? But if this world is such, where people kill their own blood I am lucky enough to not be there with you all.

My life annihilates just within three months but at least it was a peaceful one, not like yours comprising a sin. A sin, to kill an innocent!

I would merely ask you a question mamma I was a girl and you killed me. But were you not a girl mamma? Had you been in my place how would have you felt?

And here I die without making any difference to anyone.

Are girls so useless mamma?

The difference

Last day of school? Surely, it is special for everyone. But can there be biasness in this too between a girl and a boy?

I hadn’t known this until yesterday.

My brother celebrated his last day of high school yesterday and he came back home with colours all over his face and well wishes marked all over his shirt, kind of made me remind my last day at school. It always brings a smile on my face.

So, the point is when we are looking at his shirt we were sure pulling his leg at the remarks made my girls and he was blushing at all our jokes. It was kind of funny. But all I could think of was my last day school. When I had come home printed all over my parents hadn’t said a word about it, in fact they sure did not seem to have liked the comments written by the boys. They have never disapproved of my guy friends but never even willingly approved of them too. They never said it but their expressions sure did.

I am not saying that my parents have ever made differences between me and my brother but these small things matter to me. I am not sure if they should but they do. My parents are real nice and I love them, and also I am not complaining but somehow these things always tick my mind, my heart.

Lady Winchilsea!

Her bursting indignation against the position of women:

 

How are we fallen! Fallen by mistaken rules,

And education’s more than Nature’s fools;

Debarred from all improvements of the mind,

And to be dull, expected and designed;

And if someone would soar above the rest,

With warmer fancy, and ambition pressed,

So strong the opposing faction still appears,

The hopes to thrive can ne’er outweigh the fears.

*

She was a lady born in 1661, born in and married into a noble family and yet she was outraged by the position of women then.

I am only stunned that this is yet too true in the society even after centuries have passed by.