Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Alone....



Jaya came to me for a certificate of fitness for duty.. She had been absent for nine months and the reason for her absence was ‘back pain’.

A 32 yr old teacher…A slight woman with sorrowful eyes....
“Back pain…? Nine months..? That’s a pretty long period..” I spoke conversationally…as I studied her reports.. “Are you ok now..?”

She hesitated.. “No doc it was not back pain.” she murmured…

“It was due to personal problems.. My hubby doesn’t want me to work…”
“Oh..?” What does he do…?
“He is a business man.. Gravel and sand business.. Has not gone to high school..”
“But u r a graduate..!.” I was surprised..

“It was an arranged marriage.. His family is well off. We had some problem.. My father had a second wife. Money was always a problem…

“So he doesn’t like you working..?”

“Hmmmm… yes.. But he never admits that.. Just finds fault with whatever I do ….. The food is not tasty enough for him.... The house neat enough.. Tells me that I should be a good housewife too .. Not just a good teacher..…”

“Doc, I have to take two buses each in the morninng and evening to the school and back.. I feel so tired in the evenings.. But I never have a peaceful evening.. He picks up a fight for silly reason.. Becomes violent.... Often I have to run to a bedroom and lock the door.. But I have to suffer for that when I come out of the room in the morning.."
"My kids go to bed hungry most nights..Doc, I make it a point to serve them food as soon as they come home from school itself these days..”

Her eyes were moist.

My kids are disturbed..My elder son says he will throw a stone at his fathers head one day.... She started to weep…

Why don’t you consider a separation..? I asked gently..

“He says he will come to the school and insult me there.. In front of my students…’
I would have done something if I had at least one person to support me.”.

“What about your parents..?”

“My father is dead.. My brother is studying in college. My mother says that I should adjust… That I am a woman.. I should forgive and forget… Think about my kid’s future..”

“I sometimes wish that I could die.. She started to cry.. Then I think of my kids…”

“Don’t wait for any outside support..” I told her.. “You can’t live in fear and misery like this. You have to find the resources within yourself… “

“Get the message across strongly that you can’t go on like this.. That you will consider a separation. Unless he starts to treat you with the respect you deserve..”
“Tell your mother that you have taken a decision.. A stand… Tell her you will go ahead even if she doesn’t support you..’

I talked to her for nearly twenty minutes … Maybe I was not being practical.. But I wanted to instill some confidence in her..

I felt disturbed after she had gone…I knew that the spark I had put in her mind wouldn’t be enough for her to break free from her bondage… I wished women got more support.. At least from their parents..

Social status... Social stigma.. Shame.. At the cost of Personal dignity.. Personal freedom…

But then it’s easy for me to preach.. But difficult for her to practice.. Isn’t it..?

22 comments:

Sujit said...

yep.. its sad that she is not getting enough support from any corner at all. And ofcourse yes its quite easy to preach and putting into practise is rather tought which people wont like or impossible at all.

>|' ; '| said...

very difficult situation. she faces risk either way.

silverine said...

I have seen this same situation with my maid. She will find it difficult to break free because that would mean that she would not have the financial means to go it alone with two kids. She will stick on for the sake of her kids. And the brute will continue to terrorise her.

Jithu said...

hmmm.. this is ridiculous.. we talk about woman empowerment and self sufficieny and still things like this prevail. donno how long will it take for a social revolution..

Geo said...

sad...

Alexis Leon said...

Very sad. But -poison- is right--it is a lose-lose situation.

Sonia said...

omg! she is harming herself and her kids too with what she's doing. what can be done about families likes this? the chidren are going to suffer all their lives for this. i know of families like this. you feel so helpless just reading and not doing anything, and not kknowing what to do. God help her! i don't know what to say. i'm really feeling so bad.....

Manini said...

Have thought of this pretty often.. In a lot of cases it is not just financial security, clearly she does not love him or respect him , in all probability her feelings for him are just disgust.. and from his behavour too it seems that he is a person who is controlling to the point of cruelty .. a maliciuos child in a grown up body..

what i do not understand is why , Why is it so difficult to breakaway from such a marraige ?

clash said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
clash said...

With all my senses open to percieve the injustice society imparts to "she". I would like to make a point here.. u always hold a strong parochial dictum!

"she" or the new "she" is the biggest farce and facade!

AF said...

Yea! Sometimes this is the problem with arranged marriges…..male egoes r mostly pampered and women is supposed to adjust to situations and be patient….
EDUCATION….does make a man a really good , decent and cultured human being…

Rohit Talwar said...

damn! its sad.. i wonder how she is making through that

LI said...

It seems that she is not happy and her children are also not happy for whom she is taking all the suffering. Social Stigma is trivial when you cant take exploitation like this.The age of women who "forgets" and "forgives" is over and it is upto her to either separate and live separately or quit the job so that problems may subside.A distant scope of win-loss stiutation rather than loss-loss as people have commented.

Anonymous said...

:-(( , I don't have a solution but I hope that she realises that whatever be the circumstances outside, she has strength to stand on her own - whenever she decides, with or without him.
Mandeep

the Monk said...

support and hope...they'll do wonders...just u wait...

jaguu said...

:(

I hope SHE would have the courage & Character to get out of such a Situation. I am sure SHE can after all she is a WOMAN & a MOTHER.Men can be so lame :(.

Arun said...

“You can’t live in fear and misery like this. You have to find the resources within yourself… “ Very well said. And well, thank you for igniting that spark in her. Someone had to.

illusion said...

Yes it's the social stigma, the so-called "presence and status" that becomes the deciding factor at the cost of self respect and basic dignity and honour. It has nothing to do with education or particular strata of the society...it happens to the high class elite women, to a middle class housewife and to a poor labourer woman as well.It is the woman who ahs to stand up and say no. I am not saying so because I am in a position to say so. I guess every woman has the right and opportunity to say a "no" only if she wants to...Taking a decision seems difficult but is not difficult. Walk ahead...without thinking about society...and support will pour gradually. But she has to be determined to take a decision.

lash said...

it is indeed sad but there's little anyone can do abt it. if something has to be done it is that lady who shud do it. the only obvious choice is a divorce.

i wish if the society could treat a divorcee without indifference and symapthy. but at the end of the day its just a wish. social change is not an overnight process.. it will take another 20 years to get this stigma out of our country... what we can do is bring that 20 down to 10.

anumita said...

Such a difficult situation but a common one. I hope she finds the strength to stand for herself, with him or without him. I love the way you write these little stories.

hope and love said...

ts every body..
i just wanted to share this utterly sad situation with you..
the options she have r very few.. go on suffering like this.. finding momentary pece.. in diversions like food.. kids.. movies.. tv serials.. a life of quiet desperation of suffering for the sake of kids and keeping up a happy facade.. hoping for the best..or she can openly separate and face whatever comes her way.. and hope for the best...
:))

pophabhi said...

A drawn line that we often think we cant cross. But to realise that the line is not drawn by us, and when we look closer, to realise that there is no line at all - I think that we let us jump out of boundaries drawn by the unknown.

Its sad, but out of seeing this in life - She should do something.