Saturday, July 21, 2012

Excuse me, I am the wife ( husband)

Was reading about Anita Advani , who lived with Rajesh Khanna for the last ten years. Was not married to him because Rajesh Khanna and Dimple never got divorced officially. Brought to mind the funeral and the days after of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, where his son and wife and grandson were quick to land and get into the spotlight, as " legal family". This is a ploy most estranged spouses resort to nowadays, when the partner, who they have separated from for years, suddenly passes away. And possible because we live in a place that places utmost importance to " marriage". So what if the husband , who is the blue blooded senior management guy at work, does not think twice about shoving his wife around when he is drunk. Or if the wife is busy with her extra maritals under her husband's nose. Does it matter if the person has been cared for , partnered by someone out of the social marriage vows for years... They are still partners, not husband wife. And therefore, when death strikes its unexpected blow, the 'families' decend in droves in white. Embraced by neighbours and friends and everyone else. Who is at fault here? The people who have not ensured that the " families" have got the message loud and clear in every possible legal way that they have no right over anything and anyone anymore. The society who on one hand wants to move forward, but on the other puts on the garb of once a family, always a family. The law, that takes years and years to close. But there are enough legal steps that are possible. And can be taken. To ensure that the people we trust and believe in today, and mean something to us, continue to have that status long after we are no more. Happy Sunday everyone.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Stay Away Syndrome

We don't want to get into it.
Leave us out please.
It's not our business. It's between you.
We cannot take sides.

Most of us have said this at some point.
Some of us say it all the time.
And why not.
It is the safest way.
Why get involved?
Why be dragged and redragged and hassled?

Till one day,  something happens to us.
And we need support.
Someone to take sides.

And there are none.
The "Stay- away" syndrome sets in.
Fence-sitting becomes a virtue.

It is only then we realise that life is about having a point of view.
And a voice that says, Yes that is right and we will stand by it.
No matter what.

Takes some bit of courage.

But makes us stronger human beings.
Who are true to what we believe in.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

"I know why the caged bird sings"

This blog, started this morning over a cup of Assam tea and the newspaper, is inspired by two things.

Maya Angelou's poem on Caged Bird, which has always been a clarion call for me.
And the morning headline on "The End Game", the new divorce law entitling women to a share of property.

During my Chevening scholarship management leadership course in the U.K, one of my colleagues from the administrative services had stated that domestic violence in India is grossly under reported. For fear of families and vengeful husbands. And losing faith in a system that grills and wants evidence of aggression and abusive behind bedroom doors before justice is meted out.

As independent women some of us were taken aback. Why would we hold our tongues if we were undergoing abuse, mental or physical or both?
Some of us sat back quietly. Guilty of suffering the same silently. Embarassed at the lack of courage, fear of whats and whys once that bold step was taken.

Most of this is because of the social conditioning we grow up in as women.
Marriages are meant to be forever.
Husbands are to be respected, no matter what.
Some bit of aggression and abuse is part of our lot.

And more importantly, families are very clear. Do not drag us into public humiliation.

So silence prevails over courage.
Resulting in acceptance and staus quo.
Fake smiles.
Eyes, when looked closely, always misty.

It is time to break that grip society has drilled into us.
Time to speak to others who have travelled the path.
To write.

And realise that when there is no room for repair, it is time to walk out through that door.
The world will respect us only if we resoect ourselves first.

I took that step and sang, like the caged bird.
And I can feel and sense the strength one gets to fight.

This blog is another step.
For others like me.

To share, write, learn, unlearn.
And take that small step.