Saturday, 19 November 2011

The Fallen

I saw HIM hit HER today. 

I saw the slaps, the battering and the abuse that would persist even before it came. It was nothing new. I had seen it, Felt it- this spectacle, many times before. The intention always so clearly reflected in the irate dark pools of his eyes that the reverberation of the action manifested seemed to come too late. I hated him for wielding that power. I hated her for yielding to him. And I hated MY SELF for being unable to stop it. 


Was I a product of Hate?

Courtesy: Hibr/Creative Commons/Flickr

Is that why I wanted to thrash him? I was mad. I was angry. It was just so instinctively natural for me to know that only ONE would be enough. That hitting him with full force, till my palm stung with the hurt- was gratifying. It pleased me, to think of every grotesque scene plausible where I was rewarding retribution to the Man responsible for my misery. It gave me some small measure of comfort- at least for a while. Closing my eyes, with Love I embraced such thoughts till I was engulfed in Hate’s cold cocoon. And I thought…


“Life's just so weird. Sometimes we think we have all the answers... that we know and we'll be able to solve everything.
What is our problem??? ...... 
Living our Life in someone else's respect, on that one person's terms we call our Mate for life, or even the one we feel will be 
our Partner for life...
We Design our span of years on this Earth-
the whole foundation of it is laid on the terms that we can't go back.... that our life isn't our own but of the one who will make or break it... 
We change the whole course of the events that could have been.... just for one man....
We mould our perspective and shape our habits, language, moods, interests to suit the other's whims... 
After years of training ourselves to become a slave, we ask 'where has our life gone??
Life ditches you in the end...
And why wouldn't it ditch US???
Since we have been avoiding it... not doing anything to LIVE it.... shaping it in such a way that it becomes a wrap for someone else to wear and dispose off, at his own will...
Why the hell have we surrendered our freedom and wants???
Sometimes I feel that there isn't any Soul-mate thing at all... that it’s all just a huge Sham... A Big Fat Lie construed to make you float in the Realm of Unreality.... take you to places you feel you wanna go... the fantastic land of dreams ... 
I guess that’s why a pragmatic would call a romantic: a FOOL...”


After fuming for hours together I felt drained. 


Exhausted.                   


My head hurt and my eyes burnt from their continuous loss of the silent tears. The one who gave me birth calls me ‘Strong’. I realized that it doesn't matter how strong you are, for an abuse to your person, shakes up both- the victim and the witness. After expending my energy imagining every dark image possible, I was jerked out of my cataleptic despondent self by a notion that surfaced during the unconscious contemplation I had no idea was going on. 


“Evil thrives on vile thoughts and deeds.” 


It made me realize that I was the fuel, feeding the monster- nurturing and nourishing ‘Iniquity’ till I was sucked dry. 


Naturally I lost my Peace.


My God always tells me to forgive. But how can I forgive a monster? How can I just forgive and forget years of harassment and torture and turn into a beautiful woman? 
I am Ugly. My mother is broken. I am tainted. 


We are the Fallen. 


I am not so small now, neither so young nor so na├»ve. Losing that innocence was part of the growing up I had to do earlier than other kids of my age. Many times I wish I was NOT a Girl. Many times I wish God had made me a Boy. I’d have been Free then. I could have flown anywhere and still I would have been loved and taken care of. Because that’s what females do for a male, right? That’s like their ‘taken for granted’ sex description, a prerequisite for their ‘Being’. 


I didn't move when he came. I was ready this time. I felt my body being dragged across the floor and three piercing lashes. I opened my eyes and looked at Him for what He really was. I snatched the belt, threw it and walked into my room. 

I was free. Touching him was beneath me now.



Courtesy: Sebastian R./Creative Commons/flickr

I sat for a long time, how long? I haven’t any idea.


To be continued…


Let’s look at some facts here:


Domestic Violence Statistics


Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.


Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.


Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.


Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.


Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.


Every day in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.


Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.


Domestic violence victims lose nearly 8 million days of paid work per year in the US alone—the equivalent of 32,000 full-time jobs.


Based on reports from 10 countries, between 55 percent and 95 percent of women who had been physically abused by their partners had never contacted non-governmental organizations, shelters, or the police for help.


The costs of intimate partner violence in the US alone exceed $5.8 billion per year: $4.1 billion are for direct medical and health care services, while productivity losses account for nearly $1.8 billion.


Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.


Bihar, in India has the dubious distinction of being the state with the highest number of women having been beaten by their husbands. What’s worse, many women in the state find nothing wrong with what is a punishable offence under the Indian Penal Code and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2004. These are the findings of the latest National Family Health Survey-III, covering the period 2005-2006 for the entire country and 2006-2007 for Bihar. According to the survey:


59% of women in Bihar have been beaten by their husbands and 32% of women find such abuse justified if a woman argues with her spouse, shows disrespect to her in-laws or is suspected of having an extra-marital relationship. More than half the surveyed adults in the age group of 15-49 (57%) believe it is justified for a husband to beat his wife under specific circumstances. 


If 66% of males in the lowest wealth index scales had perpetrated violence on their wives, those in the highest wealth index were not far behind at 56%. Wife beating in middle class homes stood at 55%. The survey found nuclear families were likely to record more widespread violence, with 63% women saying they were victims of domestic violence.



Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Threads


"I keep my friends as misers do their treasure, because, of all the things granted us by wisdom, none is greater or better than friendship."
~ Pietro Aretino


Yesterday I thoroughly indulged myself in my favourite sport ‘Hunting’Now don’t be shocked and start leaping to conclusions for I love animals except of course the few which are good enough to eat. But here, I am not talking about my fondness for the few piquant members of the fauna kingdom. Yesterday was actually another of my many- many special days on which I went ‘Dupatta hunting’.

Now, if you are an Asian girl, then you’d probably know that mostly all suit materials come with this particular accessory. However, the eccentric that I am, my eyes delightfully rest on a ‘dupatta’ before anything. (The consequence of it is that I have to go searching for the cloth that would go with the accessory!) The myriad colours, the see through soft fabrics, the laces, embroidery, spangles, sequins, beads and the brocades are just a few of the plethora of things you can find on this piece of clothing. It is the first thing that catches my eye as if calling me to please come and take it off those mannequins and hangers. And then the rest is obvious, isn't it?

My love affair with them started a few years back and since then there has been no stopping. There is something so quintessentially female about draping a cloth across your shoulders with the middle folds of it resting on your curves like a caress. It is what I’d call, "A cover that despite covering you revels in the subtle and sensual revelation."

After spending hours on this interesting shopping spree, I finally managed to get my hands on this exquisite cerise pink chiffon chunri. Much as I want, for the sake and convenience of the male section of my readers I’d rather not get into the detailing part else I’m sure to lose them. So, as I was telling you about my ‘Hunt’, I was sitting in this fancy boutique (with an ambiance totally conducive to shopping!)

I was looking to my right and it was here that my gaze fell on a tapestry that covered half the wall. It showed four dancing girls with hands raised in zealous graceful motions. And they seemed connected to me somehow,bound by their ardour and something else.


This could only be described as one of those few magical moments when certain knowledge is realized, brought forth and made a part of your conscious mind. In my case, after a close perusal of what Le Corbusier would have called a fine paradigm of an allegorical ‘Nomadic Mural’, I humbly acknowledged a straightforward truth that had been staring me in the face all along. The truth is,

“THREADS not only form the basic Fabric of your Life, they also fabricate that perfect garment by amalgamating the different pieces of it together, so that YOU remain comfortable, safe and protected. Also, these threads when woven give birth to a tapestry that tells the story of your life.”

Courtesy: Ged Dackys/Creative Commons/Flickr

These silken threads are just like the Relationships we cherish, the people in your Life you care about and who care for you and love you. Each thread by virtue of its unique colour occupies a certain special position in our life, thus, adding beauty, colour, and most importantly strength to the body.

Ever wondered how important you are to all those people in your life? And how important are they for you? Your friends, your family, your romantic partner? Have you actually given a thought to the number of thoughts you have regarding these special people in your life? If you have, then you'll also notice that these people are never really away from your heart and mind. It doesn't matter what we are doing at any moment of day or night because their presence in our mind is like a benign mantle, a soothing panacea that constantly envelopes us in its care.

We spend our lives creating this tapestry, wefting variously coloured threads to make a design, a picture that is YOU. This tapestry is nothing but a manifestation of our choices. It beautifully shows us amidst our loved ones, dreams, plans and possessions we have and desire for. One must humbly acknowledge that there can never be anything that can make us as happy as the knowledge of being loved by our dear ones.

Courtesy: Amanda Venner/Creative Commons/Flickr


I never seem to get these lines out of my head. They are from the movie, ‘Shall We Dance’. Beverly Clarke says, “We need a witness to our lives. There are a billion people on the planet. I mean, what does anyone’s life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all the time and every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness."

This goes true not only for a marital relationship but also for all relations. Our friends are our truest companions who have both watched us grow and played a significant role in the attainment of that growth. A friend for me is someone who accepts you with the whole baggage of the good and bad you have and still loves you because that is all he is capable of. Naturellement. A friend is someone who never lets you give up on your ideals and shakes you out of both the despair and that protective soothing shell of complacency you get into when your world falls apart.

With a genuine awareness of our being, they know the song in our heart, and can sing it back to us when we seem to have forgotten the words.

The gift of true friendship is the treasure of a lifetime. So my dear friends cherish this privilege and do everything in your capacity to maintain these threads lest the knots get formed and we be deprived of the beautiful cocoon of love and care.

This article is dedicated to all of my friends to let you all know that I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH for you have always been there for me guiding, supporting, sharing, understanding and filling my life with bountiful happiness.

Courtesy: Trina Alexander/Creative Commons/Flickr


"The rain may be falling hard outside,
But your smile makes it all alright.

I'm so glad that you're my friend.
I know our friendship will never end." 
~ Robert Alan