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Domestic abuse doesn't always mean physical abuse which leaves visible scars. Some scars are not visible.
Domestic abuse doesn’t always mean physical abuse which leaves visible scars. Some scars are not visible.
“I can’t believe you can’t even make a decent cup of tea! You are absolutely useless!” He yelled throwing the tea on the floor.
Her self-worth shattered like the cup.
She admired herself in the mirror, her carefully applied make-up, the neatly draped saree, the painstakingly matched accessories… and waited for him with bated breath. He entered the room and after just one look at her, smirked, “Ma’am, we are going for an official party and not your second wedding. Go and change into something appropriate … or you can’t do that too?! Do I need to pick out an outfit for you?!”
She wiped off her lipstick… and the lone tear.
As she headed towards the door, she heard him shuffling inside, “Where are you going?” he asked from the bedroom.
“I told you yesterday only, I am going to my mother’s house,” she smiled.
“Didn’t we just meet them?!” He asked and her smile disappeared.
She could sense the irritation in his voice.
“We met them 10 months back,” she said slowly. Then, as an afterthought, added in a whisper, “Today is Rakhi.”
“So?” he came outside, yawning.
“But, today is Rakhi.” she said again.
“I heard you the first time! Give the damn thing to me, I’ll courier it. There’s no need to visit them everyday; Now go and make some breakfast for me. I am dying of hunger.”
She buried the packet of rakhi inside her bag… and her anger inside her chest.
“Can you recharge my phone?” she asked as he was leaving for work, “there is no balance in it since last week.”
“I don’t have any money, it’s the end of the month. Can you use your brain sometimes, if it is not too much trouble?!” he said adjusting his new watch.
She smiled a fake smile, while her heart cried in pain.
“I have a job interview tomorrow,” she said excitedly as they got ready to sleep.
“You have decided to make me the bad guy in front of everyone, haven’t you?!”
“What? I don’t understand,” she asked.
“That’s the problem that you don’t understand. Just tell me this, why do you need to work?! Don’t I provide for you? Do you have any shortage of clothes, make-up, shoes or even food?”
She shook her head.
“Then, why the hell do you need to work?! You want people to think we can’t survive without your salary?!”
The rapid questions took her by surprise.
“B-B-Because what?!” he imitated, “You can’t answer these simple questions, how will you clear an interview?!” He sniggered, “Go to sleep, this job-shob, interview-shinterview is not your cup of tea. You’ll thank me one day for saving you from the humiliation. Sleep now.”
She turned off the lights… and her feelings.
They were at a party where everyone was complimenting her sense of style.
“Thank you,” she said shyly.
“Mrs. Malhotra, you don’t have to lie,” he interjected, “you are the one who is in with the style, she doesn’t even know how to match her clothes with her shoes,” he guffawed.
“Tonight also, I have picked out her outfit for her, right baby?!” he put his arms around her waist and glanced at her, expectantly.
She nodded with her head bend low.
“But, I love her the way she is,” he kissed her on the cheek.
She smiled at his sudden display of affection.
He read aloud the news of the recent high-profile domestic abuse case in the papers.
“See, what women around the world have to go through! You should thank me and your stars that you are in a happy marriage where I don’t even lay a finger on you and take such good care of you,” he said, smugly.
She stared at the pictures of the bruised actress, thinking, ‘Some scars are not visible.’
Published earlier here.
Image source: sad woman profile by Shutterstock.
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Mostly Normal is a book of innocence, longing, filial love, angst and acceptance, encapsulating a gamut of human emotions within its lightweight edifice. The book touches the human heart and will stay with you.
Some books enthral you till the last page, and then there are those that you stop reading after turning a few pages. Some books are a one-time read, while you carry some books with you long after you have read them. Then, once in a while, a book hits you so close to home that you find it difficult to slot into any category.
I will put Priyadeep Kaur’s Mostly Normal (BookSoul Reads, 2022) in this last bracket.
At a little less than hundred pages, Mostly Normal is a testimony of the power of words to inspire, irrespective of their length.
Most women do not get to live their lives the way they want, on their own terms. So why should they be tied down in their old age?
Every morning, while dropping the kids at the bus stop, I find a grandfather waiting with his granddaughter. I see him again when I fetch the kids. This has been the pattern for the last few years.
He is seen actively participating in his granddaughter’s activities, from morning and evening walks to attending her parent-teachers meeting, sending her for extracurricular activities to even planning her birthday party. He is admired by all. He is appreciated for making himself useful in his old age. People rave that the doting grandfather is doing his duty towards his children and grandchildren. The much-admired grandfather is also a widower, having lost his wife years ago to chronic disease. It’s also to be noted that both his son and daughter-in-law are working parents.
Every day, the onlookers appreciate his sense of duty and dedication. They say that this is how the elderly should keep themselves occupied. They should bring up their grandchildren while their children go off to work.
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