Monday, April 10, 2006

?

Sixteen years. Sixteen years of torture. Sixteen years of living in hell. Sixteen long, never-ending years of tears, pain and self pity. And finally, there’s light.

She was the average girl-next-door. Someone who you could easily miss in a crowd. A girl with small eyes and smaller dreams. She didn’t want much from life. She just wanted to get married, start a family and spend the rest of her life taking care of her loved ones. When her parents got her married, she thought she could cross one thing of her wish-list. Little did she know that her entire world was about to be turned upside down.

They looked like nice people. They demanded huge amounts of dowry at the wedding, but since that was ‘the trend’ then, no one thought too much of it. She left her small town to go and live in the big city. The cruel, materialistic, monstrous big city. Soon the nagging demands started. More dowry. More money. And if she resisted- physical torture. The bruises soon became prominent. Swollen face, burn marks, sore eyes, scratches all over. She began hating herself. She thought she deserved it. And bore it all. Sometimes, she tried running away. But always came back. They’d sweet-talk her into believing they’ve changed. He’s changed. But they never did.

A year or so later, she became a mother. Her hopes rose. She had someone she could call her own. She’d give her daughter the life she could never live. They cursed her even more for giving birth to a girl. But surprisingly, the father was affectionate towards the daughter. Not the mother though. His hostility towards her grew more. He still beat her whenever he felt like, but never harmed the child. As the little girl grew, she became more inclined to her father. She listened to all that he said. And she saw the way he treated her mother. And caught on. Her daughter, her only hope, had turned her back against her.

Her family back home tried all they could to bring peace. But in turn, they got only insults and humiliation. And criticism from all the relatives. Days turned to months, and months to years. She realized she was no longer the young girl she once was... the gray hair, the sagging skin…she was only a shadow of her past. She forgot what it was to be carefree and happy.

They sent her daughter out of the city to pursue her studies. Her husband became even more violent after that. Returning late at night, beating her just for ‘fun’. She couldn’t take it any longer. And then one day, after sixteen years, she decided she had had enough and fled. She broke away from that prison cell and never looked back.

Divorce. That’s all she can think of. No more living with the devil, no more bowing to his every whim. She had wasted sixteen years of her life trying to survive in a hell hole. No more.

This isn’t a work of fiction. It’s a story about someone I know personally. And I’m completely in awe of this person. But I’m also very surprised to see that social evils like dowry, wife beating, preference of a boy over a girl child, are still very much alive. How long can women be oppressed like this? We say India is developing. Sure it is. But only on the surface. Social ills are rooted inside us. This narrow mindedness is something that we do not wish to depart with. We still expect the woman to be silent and keep on bearing just because she’s ‘supposed to’. When I hear educated people talk like this, it makes me wonder what education really means. After sixteen long years, this woman has decided to fight. She finally saw light. What about the rest of the countless women who endure all this agony without even knowing that it’s wrong. Will they ever come out of the dark ages?

19 comments:

shrek said...

commendable courage and a touching way to put it indeed

milo said...

this is a cruel world!!
we cant change people bt yes we surely can change ourselves.. we havta behave n put things in a way which atleast if cant b taught or forced on oders.., shld b visible n prominent enough so as nt to get unnoticed.
n i wish god shows a lil more mercy n shower his blessings on her..

TripleSix said...

hmmm...
nice...i like the pic too...

looks like an inspirational phase goin on for u....

u have been writtin a lot about the others now a days..

good goin
take care

missin ya lots...

Random said...

the steel for women must come from within. one voice has shouted out, and others must follow suit.

MS said...

well,i think some women just exaggerate the situation,is it fine if the husband just bows to the wife?it is the perfect life. :D
jk
but part of the problem stems from the women themselves,some have no ambition except for caring for their family,and some even think of the man as the ruler,so I suppose these women deserve being oppressed(sorry to say that),but as long as women dont ask,be sure that men wont give anything.

Smartalec said...

really shocking:o!! and you've presented it brilliantly! kudos to you!
Yet again, we're faced with the question: can education make the difference? the answer is a no! to think of it, educated people are more into taking dowries than their uneducated counterparts! the more educated the groom is, the more dowry he demands!
dowry is a social evil and it must be put an end to... likewise for other social evils! the attitude of the people has to undergo a overhaul! and women shouldn't let themselves be oppressed... they need to fight back! it's about time women stopped enduring such treatment just because they feel the can't do anything about it... they sure can do a lot!

anuj said...

u have started writing some very serious stuff lately .. is this d journalist resposibilty :D ..

now being serious .. ya such evils still exxist in d indian society .... & as a younger generation i guess its our responsiblty ..

i mean like tht girl .. now tht she was a grown up & umderstand such things .. being educated she shud hav realised & opposed wht happns to her mother .. cause someday may be some1 might treat her d same ....

so i guess somewhr evn we r at fault .. nd sometimes u cannot help certain things ... nd it really hurts whn u r just a witness .. jst a witness ..

take care . nd may god bless tht lady .

Mirage said...

@shrek: Thnx man

@milo: I hope so too

@triplesix: thts coz there's a lot suddenly happening arnd me and i cannot ignore it anymore. neway u tc too...miss ya!

@ravin: sure hope theyre loud enough.

@MS: you're right. women are being oppressed coz they offer no resistance. bt thts coz they don't even know that they can revolt.

@steve: exactly. and this power that they have has to be made known to them. so they can exercise them in the right manner.

@anuj: yea...i felt helpless too... why else dyu think i put up this post? its the least i can do fr her...

MS said...

sometimes they dont want to,I know a woman(she is independant)whose biggest wish is to stay at home and just take care of her family.

Anonymous said...

its sad .... however true n happenin... guess dats 1 of d very many reasons y women r optin 2 b single n independent...

Hazel Dream said...

No dear its not woman is is oppressed .. its our inherent nature to Dominate ..and anyone who is weak is the victim.. man , woman , child, beast , god.... and there is no redmption from this cycle ....

desperado said...

just the problem in our society....we all take too much time to raise our voice against any injustice we suffer...
be it domestic violence or anything..but atleast this lady finally realised that mute suffering is no option...kudos to her..it must have taken great strength and willpower to bear it so long ...and even more to then break free
...just hope no other woman takes so long a time to raise her voice

Stone said...

disgusting!!!

dunno wat to say...hope she gets justice..after wasting 16 years of her life!!!

Mirage said...

@MS: having less expectations does not mean having none at all. if her wish is to take care of her family, it is obvious that she expects the same from them.

@anonymous: i suppose...but even they face a lot of criticism from society.

@dream merchant: i guess so...

@dhruv: yes...we always keep hoping that maybe things wud change...but we shud raise our voice the moment we feel something's nt right

@stone: hope so too... :|

Keshi said...

Another great example of violation of human and women's rights...

And I believe that even if women r highly educated, the cultural and religious bonds can be very hard to break...same with some Hijab-wearing Muslim women who r punished if they dun wear it...my topic that caused so much debate and anger by even good n educated muslims in the blog world...so u see, it comes down to relgious and cultural FANATICISM!


Keshi.

ravishing nymph said...

i found it a little bland.. cool of you to take the time to write it though.. hmm..

Rohit Talwar said...

This is Brilliant! Touching I'd say.

Good going.. Keep writing!

amod!! said...

Duniya bahut buri hai

MS said...

while everyone wants to dominate,having less expectation is not really sensible,most of the ppl want to be the king,men or women makes no difference.