Thursday, May 23, 2013

Memories beckon...

Yesterday night sleep was evading me as I had a nice afternoon siesta being on leave from office! My thoughts then slipped to my childhood and my house and life in Patna. I could not recall any exciting moment except for a trip to New Delhi during summer vacations with mom to my maternal grandparent’s place. Then my thoughts shifted to my son who is such a bholu raam that I feel worried for him all the time. But then he has inherited this from me! During such moments of brooding I analyse the weak points within me and they are being too submissive and always wanting to please others. The darkness of the night helped me go deeper in to these weaknesses and where from they emerged.

It took me back to my house and to a particular day when I was in Std. VIII and my sis a class higher. My mom was expecting (my brother was to be born) and she was on complete bed rest. We sisters were managing our day to day activities without mom’s help. As usual I went to my parent’s to get ready for school and there was dad sitting fuming in anger. He gave me a long speech which I don’t remember much as I was too shocked and confused to understand why I was being scolded right in the morning. All I can gather today is that it was about an empty jug of water which had caused “much inconvenience” to my dad as he had to go thirsty all night. I guess he didn’t know we had a refrigerator in the house stacked with water bottles! The drama didn’t end here. As my mom was on bed rest and ours was a joint family my grandmother and chachi (aunt) were slogging out in the kitchen cooking breakfast. I asked dadi for my lunch box and was answered with scolding for first taking my mom’s breakfast to her room. I then felt like crying but controlled myself, did what she said, came back to the kitchen, collected my lunch box and left for school with my sis. I don’t remember if both of us had breakfast that morning.

In school I was greeted by my friends, we laughed, we played, my essay was read out loud to everyone in the class as it was flawlessly written. I was a happy girl when I was going back home. When we reached home my dad was there and he hugged me and said sorry for scolding me. But sorry dad what is ingrained in my mind even today is the scolding for no reason. I reacted to such incidents in my childhood by accepting my situation and being submissive all the time. i knew that I am not an important part of my family and hence always wanted to please everyone. This habit stays on even today and I don’t fight for whatever wrong happens to me. It is so much ingrained that I am finding it very difficult to cope with it. Its just that my school has been replaced by my office where I am appreciated and it gives me the confidence to keep moving in life.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A woman's world

The morning started with the usual household chores and suddenly something went wrong. My husband screamed at me for no reason and as always I didn't do anything- just did my chores and left for office.
As I entered the office gate I saw a girl standing at the reception. One of my colleagues was on the phone and demanding to talk to a certain man. The man didn't take the call. I asked what happened? My colleague N said that this girl is HIV+ve and is an outreach worker from one of our projects. Her husband has been abusing her physically and mentally since they got married. He was HIV+ve at the time of marriage and this was revealed to her only when she became positive herself!
The husband instead of being apologetic started abusing her. he sits at home while she earns a living by working as out reach worker with us. he victimizes her again and again for no fault of hers and she said, "I continued to bear this because my husband has been stigmatized by his own family. I felt he needs love and care and my love will change him " But things went on to become from bad to worse. He started beating her up on false pretext like "Who were talking to in the train when you were going for work?" The reality was she that while travelling to a nearby block via train for outreach work someone asked her the time and one of this man's friend saw her and went and told her husband that she was chatting away with a man in the train. He then beat her up badly.
The day she came to our office her husband had crossed all limits and had abused her father. her family was in shock as they had no idea how things had been for their daughter and that they were HIV +ve. At the moment she is sitting in our office and has been asked by us to take a firm decision to leave this man after talking to her family. Once she is firm her case will be forwarded to the Women's Commission.
Yesterday a friend informed me about a girl whose uncle had thrown her out of the house and she had been sitting in a courier office since morning. We went, fed her talked to her and left her in a home for such girls.
Such things make me very sad but my soul asks me what can you do for the cause of these girls when you are not empowered yourself?