Like Kareena Kapoor says in ‘Jab We Met’, I used to be very excited about the prospect of getting married when I was a kid. I used to wear bangles covering my arm and shawls like a saree to look like a little bride. I used to picture myself in the bride’s place whenever I went to my cousins’ weddings. I just couldn’t wait to grow up and get married. Even in my teens I used to dream of falling in love with the perfect man and living a ‘happily ever after’ with him. I used to put on romantic melodies and dance to them as if I was dancing with my hero.
When I did grow up, I grew scared of the prospect of getting married. Every time I had a crush on someone I knew it wouldn’t go too far. With every fleeting infatuation I started losing my hope in finding my true love. I grew scared of relationships. But deep inside I always had the dream of the little kid cherished – of a happy married life. It did come true when I finally found the love of my life, after I had given up on the search for love. Getting married to my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. Luckily for me, I got everything I had ever dreamt of. A husband who was and always will be my best friend, who loves me more than anyone else in the word, who pampers me as if I were his little one, who shields me from any harm that might come my way. I can only thank God for that and pray I find things the same till my last breath.
But I can’t help but think of the ones who do not find themselves lucky. It disturbs me deeply every time I hear of someone in an abusive relationship. I’m sure those women might also have been the little kid I was, dreaming of a perfect life, a happily ever after. She also might have stepped into marital life with millions of dreams. And what did she find? A man so much a coward that he has the desperate need to prove his manhood. And how exactly does he strive to do that? By overpowering and beating up his wife, leaving her devastated, both physically and emotionally. For him it is just a twist of the arm, a slap on the face, a kick in the gut that he puts her through. For her it is all her dreams shattered in an instant.
Brutal and horrifying as it is, she endures it. I’ve heard of a huge number of women who have taken this domestic violence in silence. In this era of women empowerment and pseudo feministic ideals, it is a worrying fact that there are women who go through this, irrespective of the status of the country and society – developed, developing and underdeveloped, literate and illiterate, progressive and orthodox. It shocks me when I hear of men who are even highly educated and enjoying top positions in corporate companies, talking about letting women come to the forefront, sometimes being a part of the so-called women’s cells, take a monstrous turn at home, going against all that they preach in front of others. It shocks me even more when I hear about highly educated women, who are successful in their career take this.
So why exactly do these women stay back and let themselves be beaten up? For some, it is the fear of going back to their family and putting their parents through shame in front of the society, that holds them back. Some others cite kids as the reason for enduring the torture. They do not want their kids to lose their father. The fact that such fathers are imprinting wrong images of life ahead in their innocent minds and leaving them prey to a major phobia towards relationships and happiness never crosses their minds. Some others just stick on because they are used to it, they have become so tired of trying to protest that they just don’t have the energy to go on any further. Some who have had just enough put an end to their life, saying good bye to all their problems.
I used to talk practically and blame these women for sticking on to this miserable life instead of ending the relationship and moving on. But when one of my friends told me how it is not easy for someone in an abusive relationship to just get out after the constant hit on their self-esteem, I started thinking. It’s easy for us to be an outsider and judge them, get angry at the thought of these women not taking a stand. But it’s just not easy for everyone to put an end to a relation, no matter how torturous it is. Even if they did put an end to their relation, will our society give them all the support they need? There would still be people who isolate them, there would still be parents who force them to go back to their husband, there would still be perverts who would want to “try their luck” now that they are alone.
For the ones who have had the courage to walk out and build a new life without looking back, I wish you find all the happiness you once dreamt of. I wish you do not give up on love and happiness because of one monster who came into your life. I wish you never regret the decision to leave just because society makes you feel bad. For the ones who never had the courage to get out, I do not judge you or blame you, I just hope one day you will realize you can make your life just like in your dreams, if only you would give yourselves a chance.
Before you judge me for being a feminist, let me make it very clear that I know there are men who are trapped in marriages enduring emotional torture from their wives. I just wanted to focus mainly on physical abuse, because I happened to hear about a lot of such incidents of late. Writing this blog does not in any way mean that I am against men. Being with a man who respects women with all his heart, I respect such men and more so, their parents for giving them a wonderful upbringing. I hope one day the world will be full of such men.