Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Violence behind closed doors.

By: Sharanya Ramesh

Today I saw a lady, with hair as black as a raven and skin as fair as milk. I walked past her as I moved towards the ticket counter at a train station. As I watched, she lifted her hand and pushed away a strand of hair that whipped against her face as a train whooshed past. While I stood in the line, waiting for my turn I couldn’t help but stare at her as she leaned against the wall, the tinsel in her hair shining, the glass bangles on her hand tinkling. From where I stood, she looked perfect her blue sari swaying in the wind. I remember her touching the bangles on her hand, her nimble fingers running across the smooth surface of the bangles that enclosed her slender wrist. As I pushed my way back to the front of the line, I turned again to catch a glimpse of this lady. I don’t know what about her caught my eye. Maybe it was her beauty, maybe it was the peace in her eyes. From where I stood far away, I saw she wasn’t really there in the world I stood in. She had drifted away, not aware of the crowds around her, the noise that surrounded her. I collected my ticket and walked towards the platform closer to where the lady in the glass bangles stood. When I drew nearer, I was startled to see that where I had earlier seen her milky white skin, I saw red marks, scars that ran long into the sleeve of her blouse. The hair which hid her back had earlier covered dark blue bruises on her back. And her red painted fingernails were chipped as if they had been broken. I looked back at her face and saw that her expression, the one of peace had changed. I saw her look past me into the distance. I turned and saw a tall man push past me and walk towards the lady. As he reached her, he roughly pulled her away from the wall. His hands closed around her slender wrist. I was close enough now to hear her gasp in pain as he pulled her away from the wall and walked past me to an oncoming train. As they walked away, I heard the tinkle of her glass bangles as they broke under the man’s tight grip. I watched as a shard cut her milky skin and a drop of blood appear. Another scar was added to the many that were already there. I looked back at the woman and saw her look of resignation. They climbed into the train, the man first and then the woman. As the train started moving out of the platform, the blue sari and the black hair was suddenly lost in the crowd. But just as I was about to look away, I saw her again, her hair as black as a raven and her glowing milky skin. But all I could see now were the scars and the bruises, the marks that stood out on her skin. And as I walked away my foot crunched against her broken glass bangle on the floor, crunching the blue glass into a many pieces.
In our society, violence is bursting. It is present almost everywhere and nowhere is this eruption more intense than right behind the doors of our homes. Behind closed doors of homes all across our country, people are being tortured, beaten and killed. It is happening in rural areas, towns, cities and in metropolitans as well. It is crossing all social classes, genders, racial lines and age groups. It is becoming a legacy being passed on from one generation to another.

Since times immemorial, domestic violence has been an intrinsic part of the society we live in. The contributing factors could be the desire to gain control over another family member, the desire to exploit someone for personal benefits, the flare to be in a commanding position all the time showcasing one’s supremacy so on and so forth. On various occasions, psychological problems and social influence also add to the vehemence.

However none of these reasons to me are valid. Everytime an act of violence is committed, we tend to look at a sort of explanation, a justification as to why it has happened. To me, nothing can justify domestic violence.

Violence is nobody's birthright and no reason or want can justify it.  Dont believe me? Ask every vicitm and hear their resounding answer and maybe then, you will.

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