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.

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