There I was lying unkempt on the floor. Tears were flowing down my cheeks, and my lips seemed dried up, unable to speak, as if they were intimidated by somebody. I wanted to crawl into a pit hole where nobody would come searching for, and I would be wholly covered with insects and rot there; die there since all I could see now was complete darkness and destruction.
I lied there, motionless and numb…Maybe for an hour or more. I could hear the clock ticking away and I loathed for why Time even existed. Time should stop existing. Rivers must stop flowing. The sun must stop rising and the moon should never show its face. The stars should never shine again. This world must end. We all must bid farewell.
The night before was the day when I started questioning one of the most important symbols of a Hindu marriage-My Sindoor . Questions such as How significant it is to an Indian woman and does the male counterpart really respect its significance or is it just something whose value lies in the ancient texts and confined to woman only struck my mind and I almost reached a stage of bewilderment…or call it that stage when you are maybe confused, dumb or mute and everything seems vague.
So, last night was just like another normal night. All of us in the family were done with dinner and were off for the day (well it seemed so). I wasn’t keeping a sound health probably because I was down with viral fever since two days and the medications weren’t helping me much either. But that didn’t stop myself from carrying out the daily chores at my in-laws, which my mother profoundly told me to be my Real Home. Sad that after marriage a girl has to leave her home forever; the home in which she was born and nurtured…and it isn’t even called the actual home of hers. What the actual home of a girl is the one that belongs to the man she is married too, where sometimes the man is somebody you have known since ages and confided into, while sometimes it’s just another stranger you met days before and you are forced to bind yourselves with the knot called Marriage. This very thought just breaks the hearts of every girl. Yes, it does. I still remember how I cried when my father announced that a guy’s family was coming to see me off the next day for marriage, and I didn’t even hold that much of strength to oppose his decision, the decision of the Head of the family.
I was still lying on the floor. Seconds were passing by while the state of claustrophobia was engulfing me within. I couldn’t breathe. Probably, I was going through a propensity and urge of embracing death. But, somewhere I knew I couldn’t let that happen. I had to live, live for my family. Whether I was living dying, or dying living it didn’t matter. I had responsibilities. I was no longer a small child and the daughter of my parents. I was a daughter-in-law, a wife, a sister-in-law, and the aunt of three lovely children. That pushed me into wiping the tears off my face, and the smudged kohl surrounding my blood-shot, full of grief eyes was ought to be getting wiped too, leaving no trace of what I was going through, after all that happened the night before.
Well, it wasn’t in wee hours that I decided to freshen myself up and take a bath. The sun had already risen and dawn had almost fallen. The rising of the sun is so symbolic, isn’t it? A new day; a new beginning, forgetting all the bad memories of yesterday’s. Well that’s what the morning rays gifted me-“Hope.” Hope of a better tomorrow was what that was running on my mind.
It actually isn’t easy to come out from a situation like a rape. It is terrifying and heartbreaking at the same time when your soulmate molests you. Yes, you heard it right. I was being molested by my husband. Marital rape they say is something that doesn’t even exist. Well because it is said that a woman, after her marriage is meant to satisfy her man’s needs. So, in simple words forced sex after marriage is not even considered to be a crime. Wow!
Well, well I am quite acquainted with these so-called duties of a woman after her marriage. But is it again justified to remain mum when a crime happens right infront of you or with you, yourself. I mean keeping shut will just mean an invitation to more crimes. And again, this was the third attempt of my husband to initiate sexual intercourse, when I was not even ready for it, but he was successful this time (and my health was not even taken care of). So, shouldn’t I be letting my mouth cross all the barriers and let it speak.
Yes! That’s what I decided. I decided to speak…speak on behalf of those women who have been a victim of sexual abuse. The holocaust couldn’t remain unseen anymore. It had to be made seen…seen by the society.