Do you remember the time we returned late from partying,
Only to be met by my father at the gate?
While I sat cowering in the car, you walked up to him,
And pacified him.
Or the time when the teacher picked on me
For not doing well on a test?
You went up to her after the class
And told her why I couldn’t.
Or even that time, when the roadside Romeo
Tried to act funny?
You’d not even seen the incident,
Just heard me complain about it.
Not just did you escort me home that day,
But also, did not flinch from calling the cops
When the bugger dared to whistle at us.
What then happened sweetheart?
How then could you not answer back to him
When he shouted at you the very first time?
Why then did you not confront him
When you realized he was snooping on your emails?
How then could you not stand up to him
When he ridiculed you in front of his friends?
Why then did you not walk out of the house
When he twisted your arm?
How then could you not call the police
When he slapped you black & blue?
What happened to the firebrand friend I had?
Did marriage take away your steam?
Why then did you not reach out to me or any of us?
Was the ‘sanctity’ of marriage more important than your self-esteem, & more importantly, your life?
Dear ladki, rise and get into your fight mode.
Let me be the wind beneath your sails for once.
You are fire – it keeps those around warm but it also burns.
Let us end what we did not begin…
What happens behind closed doors must not remain behind closed doors if it is harmful to the people involved. Why then do we put a finger on our lips when it comes to domestic violence?
I pledge to raise my voice against it, taking inspiration from When I Hit You, Meena Kandasamy’s new book.
Featured Image Courtesy clipartix.com