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How the modern Indian educated woman, who is visibly independent on all other fronts, succumbs to domestic violence in the confines of her house.
I am a hard nut to crack. I believed it when my husband got admitted in the hospital with a laceration in his skull, when a head-butt failed to open my skull, but split open his scalp instead. It would have been easier for him to use his fist, had it not been caught by me in time. Yes the right timing, it has its boons.
I coaxed him – he said. And I believe him. I have always believed him. He is one of those people who can convince anyone, with the right play of words, that the scorching yellow Sun is actually a Full Moon. And it is very easy to turn a believer out of me who is so miserably in love with him. Yes, love can be that blind.
I believed him twelve years back when he had made me see that my promising bank career will deprive us of the fruits of a happy married life. I believed him the other day when he explained to me that my face is sagging hopelessly and would look ugly if I tie my hair high.
So today I am in the ward, standing awkwardly with a little stoop so that I can hear him properly as he is lying on bed with his soft head bandaged in soft cotton wool, restricting the movement of his jaw to the desired length. Listening patiently to his accusations that I screwed up his life, his career, his family—I am thinking of the memory of that ‘once-upon-a-time-hug’ that had drowned me once in unspeakable emotions.
I catch the eye of a man sitting five-beds apart. I am sure he must be thinking how lovable we are, a wife fretting over her husband with concern and husband cooling her down. Ha! I bet next he is going to accuse his wife for the lack of required emotions.
Strangely I am not angry with him. I am finding some kind of a satisfaction in the fact that he hit me. May be, this will make him soften towards me, may be it will help me concentrate on one issue and forget about other petty complaints. In fact, I am feeling guilty that my skull was so hard that it cracked his head.
My fingers moved reflexively to caress the egg on the left side of my head, and I praised myself for lifting my head at the right time – otherwise, my poor cheekbone would have taken the impact and the injury marks would have spilled the beans.
Thank god, our secret is safe in my skull, under the covers of my shabby hair. He saw me smile and scorned with loathe, ‘I know you are enjoying this. This was your game plan from the beginning, to cripple me and ruin my career’. I took a deep breath and smiled again.
Reading this if you are thinking that I am some poor, uneducated Indian wife, then I must tell you, in ‘daylight’ I am a different person altogether. I write passionately about Women’s Rights – hold debates over importance of gender equality – participate in torch-light processions at India Gate – counsel my maid on women empowerment when her alcoholic husband poofs up her salary.
I am a highly educated woman, earning a handsome salary and holding a good position in the outside world. I am a modern woman, who is well aware of her surroundings, well aware of her capabilities and well aware of the length of the rope to which she is tethered.
Through this diary-entry (expressed through fictitious characters but real life stories) I am trying to highlight:
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Vartika Sharma Lekhak is a writer based in India. She is the author of the short-story collection – Bra Strap and two anthologies – When Women Speak Up, and The Take Off.
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'Dr Saloni will take care of everything,' my MIL said. My cowardly husband refused to go against his mother’s wishes. I was left to fend for myself!
Some time ago, I went to a marriage ceremony with my parents. It was a very high-profile marriage – not the ones we usually were invited to – but in this case it was Ramesh uncle’s son’s marriage. Ramesh uncle was my father’s first cousin. He began his career as a humble elevator operator at the TIC business group. With his sheer hard work, grit, and the knack of sensing the right opportunities, within eighteen years he became the president of the company. My father and he were the best of friends during their school time.
Half an hour before the stipulated time, we left our house, hired an auto and reached the venue. All four of us were in our best outfits. Getting out of the auto and looking at each other, we were highly convinced that we were going to fit in just right. As we crossed the dazzling and beautiful portico, we felt very insignificant compared to the big lawn and building lying ahead.
Mother was wearing all the jewellery she had got, including the big old-fashioned necklace, earrings and shiny bangles. Father was wearing a velvet coat, brother had put on a light orange shirt with a black check coat, I myself was wearing a red salwar kurta with a net dupatta. I had put on a necklace with red beads which at the time of wearing looked very pretty to me. Now looking at the other guests, I felt all four of us must be looking like clowns who had come for a fancy-dress competition. I felt my brother and parents were also feeling self-conscious and uneasy now.
Live-in relationships are legal in the eyes of the law. Read on to know more on the rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships may sound exciting. But sometimes they become complicated, especially for women and the children born from a live-in relationship. It’s important to be aware of rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships are where a woman and man live under one roof with mutual consent, like husband and wife, but without getting married. This has become very common in metropolitan cities these days, where two independent people simply do not want to get married. This relationship can be terminated without the consent of the other party.
Live-in relation may not be recognized completely at the social level, but Indian law does consider this relationship to be legal.
Marriages in India are essentially a leap of faith, but young women can and should try to learn a bit more before choosing a partner
Reading Priya’s lovely post, Of Fairy Tales and Marital Bonds, I thought my six years of married life have earned me the right to dish out some advice to Indian women who would like to get married.
Nah, who am I fooling? Forget advice. Just consider it my thoughts on relationships and finding Mr. Right. While the original arranged marriage had fewer boxes to tick, new age, “modern” arranged marriages believe in letting the prospective bride and groom evaluate each other a little more (read, 2 dates over coffee and a few calls/skype chats). Which has led to the creation of a new box to be ticked labelled: “interests”. (more…)
Several women are coming out and speaking about domestic violence and how they fought against it. Here's why we need to speak up more!
Several women are coming out and speaking about domestic violence and how they fought against it. Here’s why we need to speak up more!
I recently watched an online video where a girl (very powerfully, I might add) depicted different stages of domestic violence. In the one minute clip, she goes from receiving flowers to hiding her bruises with make-up.
This reminded me of an incident that took place years ago. I saw an aunt covered in bruises. When I asked her how she got hurt, she smiled and very convincingly said, “I fell down a flight of stairs.”