By Nidhi Taneja
She wanted to fly high in the sky of freedom and joy but ended up being caged inside her own home. She had now bruised her wings and shattered her dreams. She wanted her name to be echoed in the valleys of success but ended up in the coffin of silence. The girl who was once the charm of every party has now become a total recluse. The person who was so vocal about her decisions chose to remain quiet and passive. The home she has cherished as her own for so many years has now become a hell. The home which had once blossomed in happiness bears testimony to a deteriorating relationship. The person whom she considered to be her soul mate has no intentions of living with her.
The happy-go-lucky trail of her life has transformed into a dreadful journey. A young jovial lady has become a victim of domestic violence. It started from once in a blue moon contemptuous censure and obnoxious sarcasm. Slowly, it metamorphosed into intermittent tongue –lashing and hurtful thrashing. What initially appeared to be a ‘casual displacement of anger’ eventually took the form of ‘serious deliberate aggression’. The presumed minor accidents or small mishaps began to be unmistakably understood as intentional onslaught. It took only few months for the once in a while outbursts to become a common norm of her daily life. He used to slap her on the face, kick her on the waist, pull her hair, push her on and off the bed and beat her in every possible way till his villainous motives didn’t suffice. With every blow and hit, the bruises rejuvenated.
The slightest touch induced profound pain, which shook her to the core. She sobs for hours and sometimes a short lived APOLOGY from her so-called spouse fills her with new optimism. Her love and faith for the man convinces her in ways that defy rationality. Although on some occasions she did contemplate on her decision to stay with him. But she was in a situation where it was difficult for her to move out of the relationship and dangerous to be in one. Reluctantly, she chose the alternative which was harder to live with. She chose to suffer in silence. But, why did an educated, ambitious and dignified woman decide to tolerate the torture of domestic violence? Do you think it was her decision, her choice and her FAULT? If so, then you might be wrong this time.
Things are not always as they appear to be. Sometimes you need to peel certain layers off the surface to get the better understanding of why certain things occur in a certain way. The problem lays in the way our society functions and the stereotypes existing in it. On one hand we as Indians of a better age and time consider ourselves to be very sophisticated, modern and one with a broad outlook towards things whereas on the other hand the kind of liberty we assume in the name of ‘pati patni mein sab chalta hai’ and ‘jahan chaar bartan honge, wahan shor to hoga hi’, is far from legitimate or even decent. We participate with great enthusiasm in debates on women dignity following a shameful incident with our female diplomat abroad only to return back to a home with even worst conditions where the females of our family suffer from all sorts of injustice and violence. Everyday many such victims of domestic violence succumbs to the injuries on their heart, body, mind and soul.
When a few women do decide to break the silence, their voices becomes vague in the deeply ingrained notions of our society which upholds orthodox views like- The real home of a woman is her marital home. A fortunate woman is one who dies before her husband. A married never crosses the threshold of her marital home alive. Marriage is a sacred institution. Marital bond is a phenomenon in continuum, through several rebirths. Women are always considered to be the “weaker” sex and hence considers to be the sole ‘property’ of her husband who enjoys absolute right on her.
The dire consequence of the pitiful faulty thinking pattern has forced many women to suffer the injustice being done to her, assuming it to be her responsibility or ‘patnidharam’. She begins to see herself as a burden on her family and tries her best to keep the pride of the family intact. The perception of marriage as a sacred institution is a long held one, but that doesn’t mean every individual will believe in upholding this dignity or sacredness. The so-called pure and inseparable association of two souls becomes a tell tale when one of the partners begins to believe himself to be the ringmaster and his life partner a circus animal who needs to be tamed to act in a desired manner. Things get further complicated when, when one of them realizes the gloomy future of their relationship and wishes to come out of the darkness but the value laden society shows her the “no exit for 7 janam” board with a subtitle- “shaadi k baad ek ladki ki arthi hi ghar se bahar ati hai”.
We become part of the dreadful social evil called domestic violence when we fail to consider it to be a personal matter between the husband and wife, but let me tell you violence of any kind can never be a private matter. It’s indeed a crime and will always remain a crime which is punishable by law. It’s time that we start paying attention to those feeble voices in our surroundings. This gesture of yours might help in saving a life. Silence is the deadliest poison. The loudest screams are heard in silence. We need to accept the fact that the solution to any problem does not lie in turning your face away from it, it lies in confronting the problems with immense courage and determination.
But, more than anyone else it is the victim herself who can overcome her inhibitions and speak for herself. Until and unless she is not determined to shed the garb of victim-hood, no external push can be of any use. Every woman who is victimized must bear zeal to evolve as a survivor. She should never let these stereotypes rule and ruin her dignity and her life. There is nothing wrong in ending a relationship where there is no respect. If something seems wrong to your heart, then it is wrong. Don’t think about society, neighbors and family. For once just think about yourself, fight for your own dignity. After all it’s your life and you are the only one who has the right to choose how you want to live it.
Your home should be your heaven not a hell and when it does become so, don’t let the fire burn you. Live life on your own terms. BECAUSE LIFE IS A ONE TIME OFFER.