Out of the Darkness
The heat was finally giving way for the rains for some hours a day, and finally, the smell of the wet mud drew everyone out of their homes to witness the first fall of rains after being roasted in the scorching sun for months. I did the same, one cup of coffee in my hand, and thumped myself on the balcony chair, in my pensive mood, awaiting some beautiful lines to hit my head for my next poetry. As I got up from the chair, I saw her sitting down in her kitchen utility, wiping her tears off from the sleeves of her dupatta; she halted for a while to stare at the two birds chirping on the wall of her balcony as if there to distract her from life. It helped, for a moment or so, I saw her smiling, and then in the loneliness, she was surrounded with and finally broke down into a million drops of tears, more painful than the ones showering from the skies above!
It was two years ago that she moved into my society, by getting married to the elder son of the house opposite to mine. The day I saw her, I screamed a hello, but she did not even look up. For the ridiculous humans, we are, I judged only to later learn that she was verbally impaired and could not listen as well. That joined all the pieces of my crossword knowing the man she married was also like her, a less privileged amongst the many over-privileged. Nothing came in the way of her being that way although, she laughed she smiled; she went down for a walk with her then pregnant sister n law; she helped in all household chores; and after the baby was born, she took care of it as if her own!
What is hidden in the darkness is that, silently, she was in trouble, which was only seen and heard through the window of my house. Very often I heard her screaming, and it is fact that people who cannot speak can actually go very loud when they scream or cry. I have seen the woman, being dragged around the house by her father in law, with her husband just sitting there and eating, and her moaning with her eyes screaming for some support from the man she married! And to hell with him being handicapped as well, if he can perform every other duty of being a man including sleeping with her, he sure as hell could have stood up for her. But sadly, he did not. The other woman of the house have been seen stopping that crazy man from doing so, but he is one tough oldie to put strings on.
Usually, I hate the word ‘Curse’. It kind of makes me feel it’s not my business to be cursing or blessing anyone. I am not a demon neither God! I can only pray for things to be set straight. But for the first time, I did, my heart kept screaming that I wish the man had died when he was on his deathbed three years ago with his wife begging for work to make more money to pay off for her husband’s medical bills! I wish she did not!
Since the last two days, the intensity of all of this rose, and every few hours I hear her screaming. Last morning it was so bad so that the entire building was out in the corridors listening to her scream and listening to the father in law throwing out of the house. I kept requesting the males from the other homes to go in and help, the secretary of the building walked by and did nothing saying it is their family affair! Rubbish! When men on the road fight, people from all across the road join in to stop or at least crowd around to watch, and now suddenly something happening to someone in the same premises you stay in becomes a family affair! Does it not make sense we behave like humans first and do our duty and then try to save our butt from the society and its views?
There is no ending to what I have picked up to write because the end will come when there will be an end to this crime. As I saw her mingling her tears with the rains, I kept thinking to myself, she is one that I know of, but how many more would there be across the globe I assume, silently still taking this nonsense, only because their situations have not taught them better. In her case, she did not have parents to do better, to fight better, only a sibling who gave her away at the first opportunity. I am doing what I can on my part; talking to the people, lodging anonymous complaints and keeping my family in the loop to come with me if I ever lash out with a stick in my hand to break the man’s head.
Soon she got up from there, cleared her face to freshness, and stepped back inside, giving me a small smile. More the tears, that moment was what tore me apart!
While I write this, I pray for two things, that many women like her, who are still dealing with this behind the closed doors in the darkness of their house, might one day become the women they ought to be and give it back in a way that leaves the men of their house dumbstruck, and secondly that this article reaches the hands of many who are working towards making the lives of many such women independent as well as make them step out in the lights of the real world, the world where people are free to live on their terms and are not treated as mere animals! Having said that, I also wish that the last of this uneducated lot is wiped out of the society, in the most brutal manner to realise the pain they have given and been to others! A woman in a man’s house is not his property to mishandle if he can treat her well, good enough, if not I plead for the women, to storm out of such environments for there is nothing better than living your life with respect!
Where ever I am, I will do my bit of being the saviour; hoping that not many people have to witness the same, but yet if you have to, will you do your part without fearing the consequences?