You have to live in this society. We are in India not in any foreign country and we have some values, culture and tradition. How can you just ignore that?
People will treat you as an outcast, the friends and well wishers you have now will all vanish into thin air.
If no one else, at least think of your kids. Why do you want them to grow in such a troubled and lonely atmosphere? Don't they deserve Mommy and Daddy? Other children will start ignoring them and how will you save them from people's prying eyes and prodding fingers.
I wonder how many mothers had to hear this when they voiced their decision of separating from their spouse. And how many of them retreated and decided to suffer in silence. Don't get me wrong, I am not here to propagate the D word.
Not at all. I am fully aware that a child needs both set of parents and both have a vital role to play in giving him a fulfilling childhood.
But what happens when the marriage falls apart.
Can this just be brushed aside? And please don't tell me this happens only in poor families like those of our domestic maids. This is as much a reality in elite and well educated homes. It is just hushed up and hid under the duvet.
A husband slaps his wife because she spoke rudely to his aunt, it leaves a scar on her face. The next day at a family function when people ask her about the scar, she said she got hurt when cooking. This is not made up, the lady in question is well qualified. And I have known of more gruesome stories of men drinking and coming home and beating their wives, banging their head to the wall and there was a man who even went to the extent of urinating on his wife. Hard to believe isn't it? Even I thought the same, all this just happens in lower middle class and uneducated families and blame those Hindi movies and soaps for over dramatizing these things. I was shocked to see this happen in and around me. These were women and men I knew, I met them at weddings, we smiled and chatted, they hugged me and I thought they live a life just like me. Behind those smiles, I couldn't see the pain that they carried in their broken hearts.
Often these women bear all the pain and humiliation and suffer in silence just for the sake of society and their kids. But when kids see all this violence happening before their eyes, do we really think they will be left unscathed. And whom are we fooling by thinking that it's ok to ask the woman not to leave such a husband just for the sake of kids. What example are such parents setting before their kids?
The young ones will grow up thinking this is the norm, the son will not hesitate to lift his hand on his wife a few years down the line and the daughter would be one standing in her Mom’s shoes enduring blows from her husband and she would probably not even realize that there's something grossly wrong here for she saw it happening to her own Mom for so many years, and Mom did nothing too. These incidents leave a deep scar on the minds of kids, the impact of which would probably take years to erase.
Divorce or separation is not the only resort; in fact it should surely be the last resort. But what happens when everything else fails- talks with family, elders trying to make peace, threatening, pleading everything else. Should a woman sit quietly and endure it all just to maintain the so called false respect in society –Oh she's Mrs Sharma and those are the lovely kids of Sharmas. No one knows what happens behind closed doors, the bruises and swollen eyes; the nights spent crying on the pillow, and the unseen and unheard agony that the children go through. Yes it is indeed picture perfect to have a have family but happiness comes from mutual love and respect that parents have for one another and the day that is shattered, this happy family is but an illusion.
So the next time you are about to advise someone – ‘think again for the sake of your kids’ hold back and think again. And try digging deeper about what made her take this decision in the first place. And if is justified, give her a hug and show her that you are with her in this difficult phase. This would make a sea of difference. We need to really shake off this taboo associated with divorce and learn to accept it as a reality. Only when we can hear and talk about divorce without raised eyebrows or a smirk, we could build a more inclusive society for those who have had to go through it or are contemplating it.
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
As Aesha tapped her heel restlessly at the Visa Consulate, one
might just think of her as yet another young woman who has set her heart on an
overseas dream, a future in the greener pastures and she is probably nervous if
her visa will be stamped or not as her fate can either be made or broken by
this one seal (or the lack of it). But for Aesha , her tumultuous mind couldn't
be tamed today. While she was at
the cusp of an important milestone in her career and getting the visa would
mean she inches one step closer to her dream professionally- somewhere she
shuddered to think of how it would impact her love life and the very foundation
of her marriage. It seemed like
yesterday- Aman and Aesha met at a sangeet and got talking. They hit it
instantly and never realized where time flew. They would always chuckle when
they got to know later that this had been set up by their parents. Aesha was a young, dynamic, super smart, intelligent woman who was
a great fan of Sheryl Sandberg and truly…