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When the family realized that they may have gone overboard this time, she was rushed to a hospital, and they said that she had slipped on the stairs.
Trigger warning: This deals with domestic violence, and may be triggering for survivors.
It was early in the morning, birds were chirping on the tree outside. Prerna, our protagonist woke up from her slumber and headed towards the kitchen to prepare herself a cup of coffee. These 15 mins of preparing her coffee and enjoying it in her balcony on her own, was her me-time, something she never compromised with.
Today was no different, as she sat in her balcony with her hot cup of coffee, feeling the cool breeze outside. Staring in the mirror, her eyes landed on her scar on her forehead. Everyone called her Harry Potter because of that scar and her thoughts drifted….
She had met Vaibhav on a matrimony site, and they had clicked after the first phone conversation. Both the families had met as well and seemed pretty happy with the alliance, so soon the date was arranged and Prerna went as a bride to Vaibhav’s house.
The initial days were good, but slowly she started noticing changes in Vaibhav and his family. As soon as her salary was credited they would take it from her on one or another account and she was usually left with hardly anything to spend on herself. Even basics such as travelling and food expenses were getting difficult to manage for her.
As the first year passed, Vaibhav’s womanizing nature came in front of her. She realized that he would chat late at night with different women, and even went on trips with some of them. Prerna questioned him about the trips, but he said that they were work stuff and she stayed quiet to keep her marriage and maintain the dignity of both the families.
As time passed, Vaibhav had stopped having any physical relations with her. They didn’t even share a room, and she was nothing more than a servant for him and his family, but she still stayed.
Five years and she had soon become the punching bag for not just Vaibhav but even her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law. A once educated, strong-willed woman had reduced to an empty shell of her old self.
She wasn’t allowed to meet her friends and family, any relationships, even with office colleagues were hard to maintain. When COVID struck and work from home started, things just got worse. Now no one needed to care that someone outside might see the bruises on her. She kept crying and begging, but no one came to her aid.
One day the beating got really bad. She had added added too much salt to the curry and Vaibhav started beating her for that. His mother and sisters also joined in the beating, and in his anger Vaibhav threw the cooker towards her. It struck her head and she started bleeding profusely.
When the family realized that they may have gone overboard this time, she was rushed to a hospital, and they said she had slipped on the stairs. When it was time to pay for the hospital charges, the whole family disappeared. Fortunately for her, a colleague who was also in the hospital at that time recognized her, and informed his office HR. Her office arranged for the money, and the hospital treatment charges were put on her insurance.
Her head had split open, but fortunately there were no internal damages. Her parents were informed as well and they too rushed to the hospital. For 3 days, she was in the ICU.
On the fourth day after waking up, she called the police and informed them about everything that had happened. the CCTV footage of the hospital showed that her husband had dumped her here and left. Her husband and his family were immediately taken into custody and she filed for divorce based on domestic violence.
After getting out of the hospital she shifted in with her parents, but soon realized that her presence was making her brother and his wife uncomfortable, and her parents were being ridiculed because of her divorce. She took a loan from her office and found a small place for herself away from them all.
The ringing of her door bell brought her back to the present. She got up to open the door. It was her close friend and lawyer who had helped her fight this, and today she was going to get her divorce from that devil’s incarnate.
Image source: a still from the series Ghost Stories
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I huffed, puffed and panted up the hill, taking many rest breaks along the way. My calf muscles pained, my heart protested, and my breathing became heavy at one stage.
“Let’s turn back,” my husband remarked. We stood at the foot of Shravanbelagola – one of the most revered Jain pilgrimage centres. “We will not climb the hill,” he continued.
My husband and I were vacationing in Karnataka. It was the month of May, and even at the early hour of 8 am in the morning, the sun scorched our backs. After visiting Bangalore and Mysore, we had made a planned stop at this holy site in the Southern part of the state en route to Hosur. Even while planning our vacation, my husband was very excited at the prospect of visiting this place and the 18 m high statue of Lord Gometeshwara, considered one of the world’s tallest free-standing monolithic statues.
What we hadn’t bargained for was there would be 1001 granite steps that needed to be climbed to have a close-up view of this colossal magic three thousand feet above sea level on a hilltop. It would be an understatement to term it as an arduous climb.
Why is the Social Media trend of young mothers of boys captioning their parenting video “Dear future Daughter-in-Law, you are welcome” deeply problematic and disturbing to me as a young mother of a girl?
I have recently come across a trend on social media started by young mothers of boys who share videos where they teach their sons to be sensitive and understanding and also make them actively participate in household chores.
However, the problematic part of this trend is that such reels or videos are almost always captioned, “To my future daughter-in-law, you are welcome.” I know your intentions are positive, but I would like to point out how you are failing the very purpose you wanted to accomplish by captioning the videos like this.
I know you are hurt—perhaps by a domestic household that lacks empathy, by a partner who either is emotionally unavailable, is a man-child adding to your burden of parenting instead of sharing it, or who is simply backed by overprotective and abusive in-laws who do not understand the tiring journey of a working woman left without any rest as doing the household chores timely is her responsibility only.
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