DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Whoa! That’s deep. But I’ve been feeling feministic lately especially ever since I’ve received a distress call from one of my close friends. Apparently, she’s been a victim of domestic violence for about three years and has opened up only now. She called me to seek my advice on what to do next and my input was same as all her other girlfriends she had contacted prior to me—LEAVE THE BEAST!

So, when I first started this blog, I didn’t intend to explore the murky waters given my scant experience of the goings-on in the world. But the call perturbed me to an indescribable extent. Someone whom I have known for about a decade, someone whose wedding I attended and was held with much fanfare, someone who fell in love with the handsome guy her parents so meticulously chose from among numerous suitors, is enduring abuse in the hands of a heartless husband. I’m saying heartless from a woman’s point of view. But I’m sure he has a heart. What he doesn’t have is control over his mouth and limbs.

So, when she described how all hell broke loose just six months after the presumed marital bliss, I felt a shudder run through me. She shared her woes with her friends but what about many others, who’re silently suffering in the confinement of the four walls? How do we see behind the mask of happiness they sport whenever out in public? How does any girl identify the wolf in sheep’s clothing?

There’s no answer to those questions. It depends mostly on luck. And luck is not in our control. But what is in our control is the ability to chop the finger (well, not literally, unless that’s the only option left) of the man who dare lay a finger on us. One needs the courage to acknowledge an abusive relationship and come out of it before it’s too late.

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Easier said than done, right? I agree. But think of it this way. You go to a restaurant, order a sumptuous meal but find out that it tastes bad. Later you also discover that if you keep on eating, the food would cause grave harm to your health. Would you still go on? The example might be stupid but I hope I’ve made my point.

On the other hand, I just want to ask all the abusers a question? It has been scraping the insides of my brain so vehemently that I had to put it out here. Why do you do it? Seriously, why? Is it to feel a sense of control? But why would you want to control another human being who is equal to you in every way? A relationship is not about who is in charge. It’s about sharing and compromising.

There are some situations where the girl would provoke the man to raise his hand. But I can say for sure that in 90 cases out of 100, a girl is never the first one to start a physical tussle. If she can patiently and stubbornly carry on an argument or fight verbally then why the hell do you want to make it complicated by turning it into a scuffle? Don’t you have the guts to challenge her with your words? Are you so feeble that you had to shut her mouth only by hitting her?

There are so many ways in which you could tackle the problem of having a difficult wife but domestic violence is not one of them. And to all the men who torture their partners only to exercise control over them, here is a titbit. There are so many women protection laws introduced into our system that you would rot in jail for a decade minimum if she decides to open her mouth. And it’s only a matter of time.

WORLD WITHOUT SMARTPHONES

World without smartphones would be civil, gracious and perhaps more tangible. I could actually kiss a person as opposed to sending him/her a “Face throwing a kiss” emoticon.

Gone were the days when we would discuss a meeting place with friends over a simple, basic phone and travel miles of distance to gather there for a plate of pani puri or pav bhaji, since it has gotten so much easier with chat groups and video calling.

Imagine a world without smartphones, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram . . . Imagine a world where you could meet people in flesh instead of online. Imagine a world where you could focus on eating rather than clicking pretty pictures of the food on the table. Imagine a world where people don’t disregard etiquette for Facebook updates and whatsapp status. In short, imagine a world where people would freaking heed you instead of snubbing you for that piece of shitty electronic gadget.

So, here I am at a cafe meeting up with an old friend of mine, on her insistence. Honestly, I have better things to do—like watching T.V, lazing over my bed or snooping over neighbours (kidding!). But I came here out of benevolence because I’m a courteous girl, who values people more than objects.

The girl, let’s call her Ms. Snub, because she did just that. SNUBBED ME!!! Ms. Snub arrives wearing a crop top, flaunting her washboard abs, and ripped jeans. She throws come-hither looks at anyone who notices, even the waiter. I begin to get a feeling that she called me to show off her transformation from a flabby teenager to a sexy woman.

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t annoyed by any of that. We exchanged pleasantries, ordered our lattes and I started speaking with her body. Yes, that’s right. Her body. Because her mind was elsewhere and her eyes were over the screen of her smartphone. I thought my voice would stir her but nah. She didn’t so much as bat her eyelashes and I wondered if she was playing the game of Statues.

‘I think the latte’s getting cold,’ I said finally and that managed to gain her attention. Not me but the latte got her to channel her eyes back at me.

‘Oops! So, what’re you doing these days?’ she said as she guzzled down the now cold coffee in one gulp.

‘Uh, I am taking these classes on . . .’ and her focus was back to the gizmo.

Listen, you little snobby moron! I came here on your bidding. I came here for a chat not to gush over your intense makeover if that’s what you’re expecting from me. So heed me or I’m gonna rip that head off your Barbie doll neck.

Oh, that was just me fantasising. It was too tempting to put it into action but no. Because I’m plagued by this disease called manners.

So, I simply and as genteelly as possible say, ‘Um, hey, Snub, why don’t you and your phone bugger off while I go and do something useful.’

Hey, I said I’m plagued by a disease called manners, not tolerance.

Anyway, it makes me wonder why people think it’s okay to engage themselves in virtual conversations when there’s a person you could have a real conversation with sitting right in front of you, flailing their hands to catch your eye. Why?

It’s super offensive and borderline derogatory. But how do we deal with this madness?

I just wish I could arrange a worldwide intervention and holler at all the frenzied smartphone addicts saying, ‘Heya’ll! So here’s a tidbit. The person you are shunning right now, the one seated beside you, you’d take that place if you keep doing this. Imagine that!’

I agree that we need to keep in touch with our family, friends, and relatives who are not close by. But not at the cost of the person living with us or the one who comes just to see us. It doesn’t look pretty to see your partner pacing all around with a mobile in his hand and fingers always on the move over the screen.

Without smartphones, life might become tedious, monotonous and possibly create distance between people. But, at least it would give us undivided attention and I don’t think I’m being selfish in that respect. I’m certainly not an anti-smartphone evangelist but I do follow the protocol of “eyes on the face” when someone’s conversing with me or vice versa. And I believe it’s not unfair to expect the same.

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WHY?

Well, here it is! A blog of my own! Where I could moan . . . about the shit in my life. Shit includes both good and bad because I do see the bright side in dreadful circumstances too lest I lose my beauty sleep. For example, my ear piercing has been oozing pus for about ten days now. But it’s not painful and that’s a good thing, right? Right?

Now, I’m gonna pretend that I’m not panicking about a possible ear infection and peacefully go to bed.

I’m not here to use my blog as a vent-machine. I’m here to scream my lungs out about my issues, share them with you guys and try to get the unattainable closure.

Thank you in advance for taking the plunge and reading my stuff!