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There are many, many girls like Seema who are stuck in loveless, abusive marriages; the abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, financial.
Trigger Warning: This has domestic violence and may be triggering for survivors.
Seema was the quintessential positive, talkative lady in the office.
Every morning Seema came as a breath of fresh air in the office. Her coworkers would share their problems with her, ask for solutions from her, makeup tips from her. She would organize all the important seminars and get-togethers in the office. People would be envious of her charm, energy, and dedication to her work.
In the family gatherings, Seema beti, Seema bhabhi would be the ‘jaan’ of the family. Everyone envied her perfect family life. Only Seema knew that everything that people believed was a facade.
Most mornings, when she would be leaving for her office her husband would either throw the breakfast, yell and abuse her, slap her, or hit her. She would hide the scars of her hands and legs by wearing full-sleeves kurta and chudidar. The red mark on her face would be camouflaged by makeup. Her children would go disturbed to the school every morning. Even her own parents did not know that she was tormented.
Many would ask why didn’t Seema walk out?
The apparently progressive society isn’t still that progressive. The apparently strong parents are still not that strong.
There are many, many girls like Seema who are stuck in loveless, abusive marriages; the abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, financial. The husband can be the most well-mannered CEO of an organization whom people would label as the ‘perfect’ husband material. Abusers don’t have a particular ‘look’, do they?
In Seema’s case, her husband would threaten to kill her and her children dare she tried to complain against him or try to move out. He had kept the finances under his control. He earned a lot more than Seema, her children studied in an expensive international school. Seema earned almost one-third of what her husband earned. More than money, it was the threat to the life to her children that scared her to take the next step.
She had tried to convey her agony to her parents, but like most Indian parents fearing society her parents pretended not to understand and always asked her to adjust stating that things will get better. But perpetrators never get better, do they?
So, next time you envy a woman, judge her, are rude to her, belittle her, ridicule her; just be a little mindful. You never know that the smiling woman standing next to you might have scars, might have just be been abused physically, might have been yelled at or abused verbally, might be carrying only 100 rupees or lesser in her wallet, might have been asked to “adjust” for the nth time by her parents.
Be a little kind to every woman you meet..she might be hiding both physical and emotional scars…and if you come to know of her reality try to help her.
Image source: a still from the film English Vinglish
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I am a travel expert by profession and an avid blogger by passion. Parenting and women's issues are something that are close to my heart and I blog a lot about them. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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If you want to get back to work after a break, here’s the ultimate guide to return to work programs in India from tech, finance or health sectors - for women just like you!
Last week, I was having a conversation with a friend related to personal financial planning and she shared how she had had fleeting thoughts about joining work but she was apprehensive to take the plunge. She was unaware of return to work programs available in India.
She had taken a 3-year long career break due to child care and the disconnect from the job arena that she spoke about is something several women in the same situation will relate to.
More often than not, women take a break from their careers to devote time to their kids because we still do not have a strong eco-system in place that can support new mothers, even though things are gradually changing on this front.
A married woman has to wear a sari, sindoor, mangalsutra, bangles, anklets, and so much more. What do these ornaments have to do with my love, respect, and commitment to my husband?
They: Are you married?
They: But You don’t look like it
Me: (in my Mind) Why should I?
Why is being married not enough for a woman, and she needs to look married too? I am tired of such comments in the nearly four years of being married.
I believe that anything that is forced is not right. I must have a choice. I am a living human, not a puppet. And I am not stopping anyone by not following any tradition. You are free to do whatever you like to do. But do not force others. It’s depressing.